Kelsey
VIP September 2020

Who to reach out to first and when?

Kelsey, on November 6, 2019 at 12:12 PM Posted in Wedding Ceremony 0 10
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When did everyone start planning their day of timeline and who did you reach out to first? I assume first would be the venue. I know I will have to let my other vendors know eventually the start time for the ceremony, but I'm just wondering who do you start coordinating this with first? Our day of coordinator is provided by the venue, but I'm less than thrilled with her right now and she really isn't all that great at her job either. I wasn't really planning on even doing this/ reaching out to the venue/ vendors until after the first of the year, but now I'm wondering if I should do it sooner?


Note: We do have a tentative start time of either 3 or 3:30 for the ceremony followed by cocktail then dinner at either 5:30/6 PM depending on the start time of the ceremony. Everything is at the same place, so I don't need to factor in drive time. Any yes I'm probably over thinking this, since it's still early and I have time to figure this out; but I'm not very trusting of my coordinator so now I'm wondering if I should figure this out sooner rather than later.

10 Comments

  • A
    Expert August 2019
    Ami ·
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    First person I reached out to was my photographer. I needed to know how long they wanted for getting ready, first look, family photos, etc.....
    From there I reached out to hair and makeup to see how long they needed for all of us in the morning. That's how I set my time of arrival.
    Then things just start falling into place. A DOC should help with this too.
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  • Kelsey
    VIP September 2020
    Kelsey ·
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    Ok thank you! We aren't doing a first look but want to do some of the bridal pictures with each of our bridal parties and parents before the ceremony then do our pictures after.

    Thank you!!

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  • Kristal
    Expert February 2020
    Kristal ·
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    My venue gave me a rough outline based on my start time. My DOC and I have tweaked it a little bit but not by much. My recommendation is to be direct about your expectations with your DOC and what of them aren't being met. It really shouldn't take much for anyone with experience to be able to do the basics of a timeline. I've had issues with mine not understanding a lot of how I do things but that wasn't part of it. That said, based on my own timeline and input from venue and DOC, here's a possible outline for you, depending on how long you have your venue for. You'll want to adjust based on how long it will take you to get ready. I'm doing hair/makeup at my house in the morning most likely. Since my dress is zip up, it wont take me long to hop into it and do touch ups. Yours may be different.

    -you and anyone decorating arrive at venue: 12/12:30 (you want at least 2 hours to decorate before you are tucked away for guests to start arriving)

    -2:15 (might want to tell them 2:00 just to be safe)-any wedding party not decorating in advance arrives, gives you time to take pictures if you can do so where you are tucked away from the eyes of the arriving guests.

    -2:30 Guests begin arriving

    -3:00 Ceremony Start time (allow 45-hour for ceremony)

    -4:00 Pictures/cocktail hour

    -5:00 you and your groom have a few minutes of alone time... super important to put this time in; also allows your DOC time to make sure all your guests are seated for your entrance

    -5:30 Grand Entrance, beginning of reception

    -6:00 Dinner is served

    -Reception end time should be one hour before you have to be out of your venue to allow for clean up.

    Hope this helps!

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  • Kelsey
    VIP September 2020
    Kelsey ·
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    It does. We actually rented the space for the day before too so we can do any decorating that day so I'm not worried about that. I'm going to email her eventually she is supposed to be getting back to me about some rooms that she screwed up, but i asked for confirmation of that so once I hear back about that I will ask her about ceremony start time! This helped a lot thank you!

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  • Hannah
    VIP July 2019
    Hannah ·
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    I started my detailed day of timeline about a month before the wedding. You have plenty of time! Our venue contract had the ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception times in it, so that's what I gave the DJ when we booked them. I spoke with the hair and make up salon about how long it would take to get all of us done, along with photographer to see what time he wanted to start first look pictures about 3-4 months before the wedding just so we can book out the time for hair and makeup at the salon. About a month out, we met with the photographer about more detailed times and my DJ had an online form where we put in the specific songs for things and then we spoke to them over the phone about a week and a half before the wedding to finalize the timeline on their end. I provided both of them the finalized timeline I wrote up via email. Day of, the DJ and photographer talked to each other as well to coordinate things.
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  • Meghan
    VIP October 2019
    Meghan ·
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    I asked my venue what time our vendors were allowed to arrive and begin setting up. I asked our planner/DOC for her timeline and asked our photographers and videographes for theirs. I then shared the photography timeline with our DOC and visa versa.

    We had our full days timeline finalized one month before our wedding.

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  • Cristy
    Rockstar May 2020
    Cristy ·
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    I actually started with my other vendors, rather than the venue. Photographer helped me with the timeline, because only she could tell me a rough estimate of how long the photos will take. Then I reached out to my hair and makeup ladies to see how much time they will need to get all of us ready--that helped me set my arrival time for my BMs, and when we need to start so we're ready to go when photography gets there.

    So, try those things. Maybe by then, you'll have heard back from your venue coordinator, and you can give her the rough timeline you have already worked out, based on your other vendors.

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  • Kelsey
    VIP September 2020
    Kelsey ·
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    Thank you!

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  • Cher Horowitz
    Rockstar December 2019
    Cher Horowitz Online ·
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    I took care of the venue first! To me it seemed like a good foundation, so we booked our church about three weeks after our engagement Smiley smile

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  • Kelsey
    VIP September 2020
    Kelsey ·
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    Ok thanks! They gave us a rough start time. I will message my hair person I think to see how long it will take to do our hair I think to start and go from there since our photographer just told me to let her know when we are starting that. Thank you!

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