Wedding Day Timeline: Coordinating Your Big Day
Day-Of Coordination & Wedding Day Timeline
You’ve spent countless hours wedding planning and it’s finally time for the main event! You’ve found your perfect dress, your vendors are squared away, you’ve written your vows—but how can you make sure all your hard work pays off while also enjoying the celebration with your family and friends? Enter the day-of coordinator! We recently asked founder Emily Capitano of Em and E Events to share her expert advice on all things wedding planning—now she’s back to talk about the day itself. Below, Emily answers common questions on day-of coordination and how to plan your wedding day timeline.
Q: How does a day-of coordinator differ from a wedding planner?
A: A wedding planner is with you every step of the way throughout the planning process. The day-of coordinator takes over once your wedding plans are in place. Day-of coordinators make sure the event runs smoothly and you can enjoy the day stress-free. Every couple needs a day-of coordinator; if you have room in your budget for a full-scale wedding planner too, it’s a great investment. Planners know more about weddings, traditions, etiquette, trends, the bridal industry, etc. than you can imagine!
Q: How far in advance should couples hire a day-of coordinator? A: Six months to a year.
Q: What are the typical duties of a day-of coordinator?
A: There isn’t a guide that all planners follow when it comes to day-of packages, so it’s important to ask potential planners exactly what’s included. At Em and E, our day-of package includes the following: timeline creation and management, vendor management, event set-up and take-down, guest management, ceremony coordination, and four in-person meetings.
Q: What should couples let the day-of coordinator know about the wedding? A: Absolutely everything! The more information you can give your coordinator, the better. Do you need to direct the florist when setting up the ceremony space? Time to change from your gown into a reception dress after the ceremony? Someone to make sure the DJ doesn’t stray into your ‘do not play’ list? Let them know! Share every single detail to make the day go as smoothly as possible
Q: Any advice for couples working with something shorter than the traditional wedding day timeline?
A: Eliminate any traditions that don’t speak to you as a couple. Don’t like cake? Bye, cake cutting! Think the garter toss is super cringe-worthy? Cut it out! Want to spend the night dancing? Skip going table-to-table and tell your guests to meet you on the dance floor!
Q: What can a couple expect as part of a typical wedding day timeline? A: Here are some estimates to get you started! Download a pdf of our wedding timeline template here.
Hair: Allow 45 minutes to 1 hour per person
Makeup: Allow 45 minutes to 1 hour per person
Getting Dressed: 20 minutes
Photos: 3 hours
First Look: 20 minutes
Q: Are there common things that couples overlook when planning their wedding day? A: Remember that the wedding day timeline is just a guide. Don’t stress if things aren’t on time to the minute! The couple shouldn’t even be worried about the timeline day-of; assign or hire someone to manage it. No bride or groom should be watching the clock to see if it’s time to cut the cake!