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January Focus – Bumble Events bite-size event planner tips – 2. Timelines

The second instalment of our January bite-size event planning tips for you aspiring event planners.

Timelines are an essential planning requirement and will always be needed on the day of your event.  A timeline will help you stay organised throughout the day and will ensure that everyone is aware of how the day is scheduled to run!

More detail

The time line needs to be as detailed as possible.  Any and everything that is going to take time needs to be written on the timeline.  You should be able to look down and know exactly when each vendor is dues on site, what time the bride will have her hair done, etc.

Share the timeline with clients and vendors.  People need to know the timescales they are working too and also any dependencies on them.

Build some contingency into your timeline.  Give some flex where possible so that if some element runs late then you can recover without it affecting everything else.  For example, give the decorators ample 30 minutes either side of the time you have given them.
It is a good idea to start as early as when the bride wakes up. Keep a buffer between entries for surprises and when guests arrive late or there is a snag with the photographer.

Keep in mind that you are also responsible for keeping the time line on schedule on the event day so make sure you put in anything you think you will need to know on the day.   I always put the key telephone numbers of vendors against their entries so anyone who has a copy of the timeline has the numbers.

Vendor time lines

Once you have developed a master timeline, it’s a good idea to run through it with each vendor.  Check their understanding of the timescales and double check that the time you have allocated for their task is sufficient.  You can also use this time to make them aware of any notes you need them to be aware of such as “make sure there is a cocktail placed at each setting on the top table” or “Make sure there is microphone available in front and at the back of the reception hall”.  You will be surprised about the little things that you may have overlooked.

For example for a wedding master time line you might have these times:

2:30 PM – Photographer Arrives
2:30 PM – DJ Arrives
3:00 PM – Bride – Photos with Photographer
3:00 PM – Cake arrives
3:30 PM – Groom – Photos with Photographer
3:30 PM – Caterer Arrives
….
5:00 PM – Grand Entrance
5:15 PM – First Dance
5:28 PM – Dance
6:00 PM – Pour Champagne for toasts
6:03 PM – Toasts

To prepare a time line for the DJ you can give him the times that would be important for him:

2:30 PM – DJ Arrives
5:00 PM – Grand Entrance — Make sure the music only starts when they enter the hallway
5:15 PM – First Dance
5:28 PM – Dance
6:00 PM – Pour Champagne for toasts
6:03 PM – Toasts — There will be a surprise for the groom, please make sure John has an extra microphone with him.

Stay on schedule

Then the only thing for you on the day (I say only thing but this is no mean feat) is to make sure to keep everything on track and to schedule. If things run late then try to jig things to accommodate and communicate at the earliest chance so that everyone still stays synchronised.

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