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Save Money - Begin Your Wedding On Time

by Judith Rivers-Moore, The WeddingLinks Coach

Save Money and Time By Outlining Your Ideas On The Ceremony & Reception: 

use this with your officiant & wedding planner or day of coordinator ahead of time.

This assists you in preparing your wedding rehearsal outline.

Our Book "The Wedding Manifesto" provides Timelines For The Rehearsal, The Wedding, & The Receptions


Someone has to wear a watch!

Whether you believe it is stylish or romantic to start the wedding late, it really can be costly when you don’t begin on time. It is difficult for the guest who sits on the hard chairs or hot sun, and nerve racking for the groom, soloists, clergy, etc. Of course, the reception food gets overcooked or soggy and for every hour that lags during the ceremony, the reception crew, [musicians, caterer, hall, limo, etc] will probably add up overtime charges. Read each of your contracts carefully.  There usually is a clause that states clearly the charges for overtime.  With four vendor services going over by one hour, it will take money from your honeymoon funds before you leave the reception. You don’t want to put a damper on your trip or daddy’s over-used wallet. So head off the problems with a few proven methods.


From The Wedding Guest’s Perspective, your invitation can read a half hour earlier than your ceremony begins. A map can be included in the envelope to both the ceremony and reception location. Close the guest book fifteen minutes prior to the ceremony to speed up the seating. The guestbook can be reopened at the reception. Have valet parking when the site is difficult to unload passengers and remember to reserve the front of the ceremony site near the curb when arriving in a special car. Brides don’t walk a block in the sun or rain!!  


Be in Touch With Each Of The Vendors To Confirm Time Of Beginning & Ending Of The Wedding - Many Require Earlier Arrival Times

These people are committed to being early for setups and professions

Tenting - the day before

First into The Reception:  Set-up of Tables, Linens, Food/Caterers, Cake, DJ Set up & Decorator Vendors


First Into The Dressing Area:  Wedding Planner, makeup and Hair Artists, Bridesmaids

First Into Ceremony Area:  Florists & Decorator Person, Musicians For Set-Up

Second Into Dressing Area:  Photographer, Mothers

Second Into The Ceremony Area:  Minister & Soloists


Drinking Alcohol While Getting Ready -- This slows down the process of the wedding beginning. Yes, I know the entire day is a day of celebrations, but take these clues from a pro....Often one of the bridesmaids or groomsmen cannot handle the alcohol.  Too much tippling can make for a very humiliating scene during the ceremony as the bride lurches down the aisle or groomsmen falls on his face.


Get Me To the Ceremony On Time - The Amazing Timelines

When a couple decides not to hire a wedding planner, many of the usual details of the day can go out the window and the guests may leave before the cake is cut or photos were taken that are important. Some brides have an inner clock, but most get caught up in their special day. With a bride or groom’s personal tardy habits, it is important to put someone in charge of assisting them to be on time.  In person, pick them up, and deposit them where they are supposed to be according to the timeline for the day.  Getting the bride and groom everywhere on time is vital.   That “lucky person” may hate you later for assigning them this task, but it is for everyone’s good.  


We do know, some wedding venues and vendors say, I'm with you all day", but some of your other vendors do not have this agreement and they will leave or charge you overtime. 


The immediate family and attendants will be prompt when properly instructed of their obligations to the task of getting you married on time. When there is a known “late person” in the group, ask one of the on time attendants to be in charge of the late one. Call them, pick them up, etc. The attendants should have an email or paper with the days, addresses, phone numbers, maps, exact times you want them where and any specific things they are to assist with. This is sent ahead of time and given again the day of the rehearsal. 

(Be certain to review our timeline structures found as gifts with our online "Wedding Manifesto" Planner)

Complete The Ceremony Process ~ Rehearsal timeline ~ Reception timeline and Cleanup timeline (who is in charge).  


Pre-Wedding Timeline

Call all your attendants and vendors a week ahead to remind them of dates, times and places. The night before having gas in the car, a working alarm clock, all items hung out for the ceremony or packed, honeymoon luggage packed, tickets, passports, marriage license, attendant phone numbers, keys to the car, some good protein in the stomach and bottles of water.


The Day-Of Timeline (given to your designated wedding attendant).

Create a personal timeline for the day of your wedding. ( Find one in our Wedding Manifesto Book gifts.) Figure out what time you should get up, how much time it takes to complete each task for getting ready, how long it takes to get to the church or ceremony location, how long for makeup, dressing and pre and post-ceremony photos or family portraits. Place one or two of your attendants to be in charge of politely moving you through the wedding day process.