What should be included in a wedding itinerary?
The wedding day is undoubtedly one of the most significant days in one’s life. It’s a magical day filled with joy, love, and beautiful moments. However, planning for such a big day can be overwhelming. One of the key elements of ensuring a smooth wedding day is preparing a detailed itinerary. In this article, we delve into the question of what should be included in a wedding day itinerary.
Starting with the Basics: What is a Wedding Itinerary?
A wedding itinerary, also known as a wedding day timeline, is a detailed plan that outlines the flow of events on your wedding day. It schedules when and where each activity will occur, from the moment you start getting ready to the grand exit at the end of the reception.
Crafting a wedding day itinerary ensures that nothing falls through the cracks, and every detail is taken care of. It also helps you manage your time effectively and ensure that everyone involved, including vendors, bridal party members, and guests, know exactly what is happening and when.
Key Elements of a Wedding Day Itinerary
Crafting a wedding day itinerary involves considering several elements. Let’s look at what should be included in a wedding day itinerary.
1. Pre-wedding Events
Your wedding itinerary should start from the very first event, which is often the wedding rehearsal. However, for some couples, this may include pre-events that are part of a larger multi-day wedding celebration.
Begin your timeline with the rehearsal, detailing when and where it will be held. Also, include the time and location of your rehearsal dinner or welcome party.
If you have any pre-wedding get-togethers planned, such as a bridesmaids’ brunch or a groomsmen’s golf outing, these should be included in your itinerary.
2. Getting Ready
This is where the wedding day officially starts. Detail when and where you, your partner, and your wedding party will start getting ready.
Hair and Makeup Appointments
Note down the time when your hair and makeup artists will arrive and who they will work on first. Also, specify any instructions your stylists have provided, such as whether the bridesmaids should arrive with clean, dry hair.
Specify what time everyone needs to start getting dressed. It might be before you put your gown on so they can help you get ready.
3. Vendor Arrivals and Set-up
This section should include the arrival times for all your vendors and when they will start setting up.
Vendor Load-in Times
Include the time when each vendor is expected to arrive for setup. Be sure to include what they are setting up and key contacts.
Photography and Videography
Specify when your photographers and videographers will arrive and start taking shots. Also, note the times for different photo sessions, such as the bridal party photos, couple’s portraits, and family photos.
4. Wedding Ceremony
This is the main event. Outline when it will start, how long it will last, and any specific traditions or customs you will incorporate.
Include what time your guests should start arriving for the ceremony.
Ceremony Start and End Times
Clearly state when your ceremony will start and end.
Specify any post-ceremony activities, such as a confetti toss, signing the marriage license, or a group photo.
5. Cocktail Hour and Reception
This part of the itinerary includes everything from the start of the cocktail hour to the end of the reception.
Indicate when and where the cocktail hour will start and end.
Note when guests will be seated for dinner and when dinner will be served.
Speeches and Toasts
Outline when speeches and toasts will take place and who will be giving them.
Include when the first dance will occur, the parent dances, and when the dance floor will be open for all guests.
6. Evening Activities
This section should cover all the activities that will take place during the evening, such as the cake cutting, bouquet toss, and any other special dances or games.
7. Wrap-up Activities
Detail when the last song will be played, when guests should depart, and when the wedding couple will make their grand exit.
Tips for Crafting a Wedding Day Itinerary
Here are some tips to help you craft your wedding day itinerary:
Start from Scratch: Every wedding is unique, so you’ll need to create a timeline that suits your day. Use templates as a guide but adjust them to fit your needs.
Add Buffer Time: Unforeseen delays can happen, so add extra time to your schedule to accommodate them.
Distribute Your Itinerary: Share your itinerary with your vendors, wedding party, and family members to ensure everyone is on the same page.
Consider the Weather and Lighting: If you’re having an outdoor ceremony or planning for sunset photos, consider the weather and lighting when scheduling these events.
Work with a Planner: If possible, work with a wedding planner or month-of coordinator to help you create a detailed and effective itinerary.
Creating a wedding day itinerary is an essential part of planning your big day. It ensures that everything runs smoothly, and all your guests have a great time. Take the time to think through each part of your day and create a timeline that suits your needs. And remember, while sticking to the schedule is important, don’t let it stop you from enjoying one of the most memorable days of your life!
Are you looking for help building out a wedding itinerary? Reach out to our team of Toronto wedding planners to help pull your final details together!
Do wedding planners negotiate?
Unveiling the mystique surrounding the role of wedding planners, the primary question that often arises is – do wedding planners negotiate? The art of negotiation when it comes to weddings can be complex, but seasoned wedding planners, like our team at Events by Whim, have their own approach.
Understanding The Role Of A Wedding Planner
A wedding planner’s role extends beyond mere coordination. We are your strategic wedding partners who ensure your dream wedding comes to life within your budget. From vendor selection to contract negotiation, our expertise plays a pivotal role in ensuring a smooth and hassle-free wedding journey.
The Art of Negotiation
Negotiating with wedding vendors is an integral part of a full wedding planner’s role. We are well-versed in identifying areas where negotiations can yield significant cost savings without compromising the quality of service or even more importantly, the good working relationship with your vendor. Cutting a great deal at the expense of that working relationship could cause you issues down the road. Walking the line between the right contract inclusions while still recognizing the talent and expertise of your vendor is incredibly important and your wedding planner will know exactly where that line is.
Wedding planners have established relationships with industry vendors. That rapport often results in vendors going the extra mile for our clients. This does not necessarily mean a direct monetary discount but could translate into additional services or benefits. Many of our friendors in the wedding industry will bring extra product, stay a few minutes later, capture behind the scenes or other goodies to really wow our mutual clients, many times out of appreciation and love of working together as a team.
The Negotiation Process: A Closer Look
Delving deeper into the process, we find that wedding planners employ a strategic approach to negotiations. Understanding how they operate can provide valuable insights.
Analyzing Vendor Contracts
A wedding planner scrutinizes the vendor contracts, identifying the negotiable and non-negotiable components. This scrutiny is vital to ensure that all terms align with the couple’s expectations and that no hidden costs are lurking in the fine print.
Establishing a Dialogue
Initiating a dialogue with the vendors, wedding planners communicate the couple’s vision, budget, and concerns. This dialogue is not about hard bargaining, but more about reaching a mutually beneficial agreement.
Reaching a Consensus
The final proposal may not always be about reduced prices. It could be about added perks, customized packages, or flexible payment terms. The key lies in finding a middle ground that both parties are comfortable with.
The Power of Respectful Negotiation
Negotiating with vendors does not mean arm-twisting them into providing cheaper services. It’s about respectful negotiation, recognizing the value they bring, and working collaboratively to achieve the best outcomes.
Empathy is Key
Approaching the negotiation with empathy and understanding can foster better relationships with your vendors. Remember, they are here to help make your day special. A little kindness can go a long way.
Set Clear Expectations
Transparency is crucial in negotiations. Clearly communicate your expectations and budget constraints. This will help vendors to provide solutions that are in line with your needs.
Be Open to Compromises
Negotiation is not about winning; it’s about finding a solution that benefits both parties. Be open to compromises and alternative solutions proposed by the vendors.
So Do Wedding Planners Negotiate?
Yes, wedding planners do negotiate. However, the true value we bring lies not just in price negotiation, but in our ability to create a seamless and delightful wedding experience within your budget. By leveraging our industry relationships and expertise, we ensure that every aspect of your wedding, from venue selection to vendor management, is tailored to your unique needs and budget constraints. So, when you ask, ‘do wedding planners negotiate?’, the answer is a resounding ‘yes’. But, more importantly, we bring to the table our expertise, relationships, and an unwavering commitment to making your wedding dreams a reality.
Are you struggling with how to bring your wedding vision from Pinterest to reality? Reach out to our team of Banff & Toronto wedding planners today to get started on planning your happily ever after!