April 1, 2020
Last week, I shared ways to organize your wedding week in a way that you would get everything you needed to done, AND how to not forget anything important in the process! I mentioned how itineraries played a huge part in how much Lavon and I enjoyed our day, and I wanted to talk more about how we did this, with hopes that it might help another couple!
We created itineraries for everyone that had a part in our wedding day: wedding coordinator, bridesmaids, personal attendants, groomsmen, ushers, host and hostess, guestbook attendants, DJ, musicians, caterer, dinner servers, dessert servers, etc. Each of these itineraries outlined what time they should arrive to where, the tasks they needed to do at what time, where their assigned seat was at the reception, and who to find if they had questions. I sound insanely Type A right now and to some couples, this may seem over-the-top and unnecessary, but this made such a huge impact on our wedding day that I have to share about it! This may not be helpful for all couples, which is okay, but I know that it will for some!
These itineraries worked like a charm for us! Throughout the entire day, we don’t remember anyone ever coming up to either of us, asking questions about where things go, what needs to be done, etc. If anything didn’t go as planned, if there were any questions that weren’t answered, or if something went wrong, Lavon and I didn’t even know about it because it was already magically taken care of! Our vendors and friends worked so hard to give us the perfect day, and they were able to successfully do that because we were organized and planned ahead. The extra work definitely paid off!
As you begin creating these, make a list of everyone involved in your day: any vendors, family, bridal party, etc. We created a Google Doc and gave each person their own section. We created these early on in our planning and would add tasks or notes as we thought of them. I encourage you to not plan on making these and finalizing them in just one night. If you don’t want to forget anything and want them to be detailed and thorough, plan on updating it constantly. As the planning goes on, you’ll think of more tasks and notes to add each day, so remember that this should be an on-going project!
Below is a list of questions that we asked ourselves as we planned and thought through our day, and I hope this helps you get started! Some of these questions are similar to the questions I mentioned last week about planning your wedding week, but now, these are directed towards what your vendors, family, and friends need to do, NOT YOU! Every wedding is different, so there may be other parts of your own wedding day you need to think through that we didn’t have to! Take this list as a way to get started, but think outside the box and brainstorm yourself! The more detailed these itineraries are, the more helpful they will be and the more you will enjoy your special day! As you ask yourself these questions and think of tasks that need to be done, delegate it to someone, and add it to their itinerary!
Questions to ask yourself for the DAY OF THE WEDDING:
- Is there anything that needs to be picked up or dropped off on the wedding day?
- Do all vendors know what time they need to be where?
- Are there any rental deliveries that someone needs to handle?
- Who is in charge of any day-of vendor payments or thank you cards?
- What decor/table pieces need to be set up that can’t be set up ahead of time?
- Who will set those decor items out?
- Who will light any candles and at what time? Do they know where to find lighters?
- Who will move the guestbook table from ceremony venue to reception venue, if applicable?
- Who is in charge of keeping the card basket safe after guests arrive to ceremony or reception?
- Who will load gifts and cards into what vehicle and where should they be taken after the reception?
- Who will pin the Groom’s boutonniere on before the first look? Do they know where to find the boutonnieres?
- Who will pin the rest of the boutonnieres on the groomsmen, ushers, fathers, etc. and at what time?
- Who will set the cake out and at what time?
- Who will fill flower girl baskets with flower petals, if not already done ahead of time?
- Who will keep their eye on when all guests have arrived and it’s time to line the bridal party up?
- Do you want to get coffee for your bridesmaids, personal attendants, and moms as you get ready? Who should place the order, and who should pick up at what time?
- Who will bring all bouquets and boutonnieres to the bridal suite/where the bride is getting ready?
- Who should make sure the hair stylists and makeup artists have been paid in full before they leave?
- Who is responsible for carrying around the emergency kit?
- Who will help bustle the Bride’s dress?
- Who is in charge of handing out sparklers, bird seed, confetti, bubbles, etc. before the Grand Exit?
- Who will greet guests into the reception?
- Who will dismiss tables to get in line for dinner?
- If any guests have questions about the seating chart, does anyone need to be in charge to help them with that?
- Who will do a welcome/prayer after the bridal party is announced at the reception?
- Who is in charge of rounding bridal party and family up for photos at what time?
- What time should bridesmaids have hair and makeup done, be dressed, and ready to go for the Bride to get in her dress?
- Who is in charge of gathering bouquets after the ceremony and putting them on the bridal party table?
- Who is in charge of lunch/snacks for the couple, bridal party and family before the ceremony?
- Do any musicians or speakers for the ceremony know what time to arrive, where to get sound checked, etc.?
- Does the caterer know where to find everything they need?**
- Do the dinner servers and dessert servers know where to be at what time? Do they know what their tasks are and where to find the food to refill?
- Who is in charge of refilling the beverage dispensers?
- Who should each of these people find if they have questions about anything?
- Do close family and friends know the schedule of the day?
- Is there anything else I need to communicate with family and bridal party?
- Is there any other task I need to delegate to someone else?
**Side note: Lavon and I planned an outdoor ceremony and a tent reception. Because of this, there were a lot of extra aspects of our day that we had to plan and organize that most couples might not have to. For example, most venues will have a kitchen for their caterer. We obviously didn’t! So, we had to make sure our caterer had power with enough extension cords and plug-ins for roasters, table space, and all the items they needed in order to actually put on a meal for 350 people outside. Along with all those details, we had to make sure the caterer was aware of their workspace, what they needed to know in order to prepare themselves, and where they could find everything they needed. Couples might not normally need to create an itinerary for their caterer, but we did. We had the same situation with our DJ. Because we were outside, we had to make sure he had enough power and extension cords to hook all of his sound equipment up, as well as make sure he knew how and where to set up! It may not be necessary for you to make an itinerary for every vendor that we listed, and remember: you might have different ones yourself!
The Thursday before our wedding, we printed enough copies of these itineraries for everyone to have one, then we handed them out at the rehearsal dinner! Any itineraries that we couldn’t hand out at the rehearsal dinner, we gave to our wedding coordinator; she then gave them to everyone on the wedding day when they arrived.
Ultimately, every single bride wants their day to go as smooth as possible, and each family member, each friend, and each vendor, wants that for them as well. Why not be extra, extra organized by thinking through your day ahead of time, and delegating any and all tasks?? I know your friends, family, and vendors will all be honored to help in any way possible! Do whatever it takes for you to be able to relax on your wedding day, not worry about tiny details, and just enjoy each moment with your spouse. You won’t regret it!