Have you ever been at a wedding as a vendor, and were handed a 10+ page client timeline? It can be pretty overwhelming! The goal for client timelines is to create a simple, easy-to-read, and clear overview of the day’s events. While it’s important for us as planners and coordinators to be fully aware of every moving piece of the wedding day puzzle, I’m a big believer that the rest of a client’s vendors do not need (or want) to see all of those nitty-gritty details.
So, my number one tip for client timelines?
Keep them short and sweet.
Creating Condensed Timelines for Your Couples
When creating your client timelines, there are a few things to make sure you include (and some things you can leave out!). The biggest thing to have listed is where the couple needs to be and what time they need to be there. You should also include where the bride and groom are at all times so that everyone knows where they are, and any big details they need to know like when guests arrive, ceremony timing, cocktail hour, and portraits.
You’ll also want to have the big highlights of the reception, like first dances, dinner, and all other major formalities.
This way, your couples have a clear timeline of the main events without being overwhelmed. Your couples don’t need to know when the cake arrives or when the rental company is picking up the furniture. They just need to know the bigger picture items!
[Curious how to set up your ceremony processional? Get my Ceremony Processional Template!]
Creating Timelines for Your Vendors
Another timeline you need to create is a condensed timeline for vendors. The truth is, a baker doesn’t care about the ceremony processional, and the photographer doesn’t need to know when your team is lighting the candles. Vendors shouldn’t have to sift through a bunch of details that don’t pertain to them! Instead, they just need to be able to quickly see the key elements of the day.
My Vendor Timeline Templates include multiple timeline examples and scenarios that you can use in your very own wedding planning business. I cover what to include in the vendor timeline as well as my step by step workflow to developing and finalizing a client’s vendor timeline! This way you can create your different timelines in just a few easy steps.
Still Have a Game Day Playbook
While your vendors and couples might have a condensed timeline, as a planner, you need to come armed on wedding day with your Game Day Playbook! This is essentially the big timeline, with all the nitty gritty details noted for you and your team. In the Game Day Playbook (AKA: your onsite details), you can include every little detail, from the processional order to when to light the candles to the logistics of teardown at the end of the night.
My FREE Game Day Playbook will help you create the perfect Playbook for you and your team! In this FREE Guide, I walk you through how to create this essential wedding day tool. It includes how to add in the logistics, décor details, and more amongst the day’s timeline so that no detail is left behind!
Short and Sweet Client Timelines
Keeping your client timelines short and sweet will make for happier couples and vendors. Not to mention, they’ll be less overwhelmed. Condensed timelines just lead to a better client experience.
For the detailed items you need as a planner, I’d encourage you to create a Game Day Playbook for you and your team! You can add all the details that only you and your team need to know. Creating these different timelines ultimately ensures that the big day runs smoothly for everyone involved!