The key to your wedding going off without a hitch is timelines. Trust us. From when vendors should arrive for deliveries to what time the last song gets played, letting everyone know what's happening and when will keep your team on the same page and help make sure details don't get overlooked. A timeline is also a great way to make sure you and your wedding party are in the right place at the right time. After all, you don't want to be hunting down a bridesmaid when it's her turn in the makeup chair! When you're putting together a weekend schedule for your bridesmaids, groomsmen, family, or the whole lot of them, here are the details you can't forget to include.
Start your timeline before the morning of your wedding, including any pre-wedding events you'll need them to attend. Specify when and where your rehearsal will be taking place, as well as the time and location of your rehearsal dinner and/or welcome party. Stick in a note about the dress code, too!
Hair and Makeup Appointments
Work with your hair and makeup artists to create a timeline of who is having services and when. Include the specified service (such as an updo or false eyelash application) and any notes your stylist wants to pass on, such as whether ladies should arrive with clean, dry hair or wet hair that will be blow-dried. Are your 'maids paying for their own services? Put the total cost of each of their appointments (plus tip!) on the timeline so they know to bring cash or their check book.
Items That Can't Be Forgotten
Are the bridesmaids all getting ready in your suite, or groomsmen gathering at the hotel to get ready after a round of golf? It won't hurt to include a list of what they need to have with them, from bridesmaids' dresses and suits to those cute monogrammed button downs you gifted them for getting-ready photos.
What Time They're Getting Dressed
Even if your bridesmaids will be with you all day, put in a note about what time they need to start getting dressed — it might be before you put your gown on so they can help you get ready, or while you're doing your first look if you've tapped Mom for that job instead. The same goes for groomsmen. Sure, they take much less time to don their suits, but they'll appreciate knowing they need to be decent when the florist arrives with boutonnieres.
A Basic Photography Timeline
There's no need to spell out the exact order of every picture, but give your family and wedding party a basic idea of when pictures will be taken. Doing all your photos before the ceremony? Make sure your parents and family know to arrive early. And if you're snapping shots after you say "I do," this is a great way to make sure no one strays too far once you've walked down the aisle.
Ceremony and Reception Timeline
Sure, it's all on the invitation, but give your wedding party a little more information so they can be prepared for your big day. Remind them when you'll be walking down the aisle, when cocktail hour begins, and what time guests should be seated for dinner. You should also include what time your parents, maid of honor, and best man will be making toasts! This way they'll be prepared when the MC invites them to the mic — and will know how long they'll want to wait before hitting the bar.
Transportation Information and Addresses
Are you providing shuttle service for your wedding party (or all of your guests)? Include what time transportation will be arriving and departing. If they'll be driving themselves or taking a cab, also make sure to include the addresses of your venue(s) and any parking information they'll need to know.
Important Phone Numbers
You won't want your wedding party or family members calling you with questions the morning of your wedding! Instead, provide them with contact information for your wedding planner or coordinator, the maid of honor and best man, and your parents (in that order). Your planner should be able to answer pretty much any question, while if they really need to get in touch with you, it should be through your MOH or your mom instead of by texting you directly.