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Event Timeline Tips

You guessed it, I LOVE a timeline. A good timeline gives me all the happy dance feels. I suppose you could think of it like the recipe for any good event. A Wedding Planner will live and breathe timelines and will be one of your most used tools on the wedding day.

I want to share with you my best tips, tried and tested methods and advice from over 12 years for creating an epic and functional timeline.

1. Start with your key times.

Think of these as your non-negotiables like the ceremony times, catering service (hot food can only rest or stay hot for so long), the venue curfew times as well as suppliers booked for a shorter time such as the band or entertainment.

2. Work backwards.

Once you have a really good foundation of your key times you can start to piece your entire timeline around these. It can be easier to work backwards and you can think of it like a jigsaw puzzle of key moments and logistics.

3. Check in with each supplier and ask WHAT or HOW much time they need.

This will include hire companies, set up crew to the floral stylist and beverage service team. Ask the questions and avoid assumptions (by all means never assume).

4. Be flexible.

Seriously, I mean flexible. Did I mention flexible already?

It is important to allow a buffer on each task and know that things may not go to plan every single minute (trust me they won't). There needs to be room for movement throughout the event and is where an Event Manager or Coordinator comes in handy - they are like the time keepers, that's their jam.

5. Consider how long things take and be realistic.

By this I mean moving 120 people is not a 2 minute job. Cutting the wedding cake and serving all at 7.30pm will not happen. 5 minute speeches will turn into 10 minutes. Things take time.

6. Create a master timeline.

This will be your absolute best friend on any event day. Your master timeline will include every single detail, down to the minute and include each supplier's tasks, time frame and duties. It will also need to include each supplier's contact details and I mean EVERYONE!

7. Give each supplier a copy.

This will make sure everyone is on the same page and running to the same time schedule.

8. Start your timeline early on.

Think of it like a mind map. A place to update plans and details as they change (and trust me they will). Programmes like Word Doc or Excel are a great place to start. It doesn't have to be fancy, it has to serve a purpose. If you are a business I would suggest branding your timeline.

You can think of the timeline as a map of the entire event. It is like a bible, a holy grail piece of work that will help to create a seamless event. Do not be afraid of including as much detail as you can into a timeline as it is better to be safe then sorry as they say. Your master timeline can be a great place to include floor plans or detailed images and references.

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