I CANNOT put enough emphasis on just how important timelines are! A good timeline (and staying on time) makes a difference for the couple, guests, and the vendors. It can be so easy to squander time, and maybe over the dumbest or littlest things.
If the schedule is off then a multitude of things can happen, including a stressed couple, or even worse – compromising! If you run out of time, the couple might have to make a decision about cutting something out of their plans to make up time or rushing through something that was supposed to be special or intentional. Stress, disappointment, or compromise are not things you should ever have to experience on your wedding day.
With as many weddings I have been to, there is much more fallout we can discuss (like guests getting grumpy, hungry, or maybe too tipsy from waiting).
For the sake of short attention spans I want to narrow in on vendors disrupting timelines. Why? Because as a vendor myself, it’s my specialty! And because I am a big believer in controlling the controllables (like hiring solid, experienced vendors).
I often describe a wedding day as a relay race. The couple is the baton, and your vendors carry you to your finish line. In a relay race you have a team strategically completing different phases. The phases they’re running are designed to be within their strengths and expertise. To complete their phase, they work as best they can – then pass off the baton.
But what happens if the teammates in this race aren’t team players? What if they start drama with the team? What if they do a bad job and have to start over, or bring in a sub to fix the job or redo it? What if they’re slow, late, or fall behind? Worst of all, what if they don’t show up?
For example, if the makeup artist or hairstylist is slow or has to re-do anyone – then the photographer has to bust a move with their portraits so that there isn’t even more of a time deficit OR so that they can make up time.
Another example, the photographer can’t take too long and be late getting back from the couple’s portraits (after the ceremony, before dinner). If the photographer is late, it is throwing off the caterer’s time that food was set to be delivered and may cause the food to be off as it’s being served too early or too late. And no one wants to have a wedding with the notorious “dry chicken”.
Each vendor has their responsibility to be on-time and be a good teammate, which is why it is so important to hire a good teammate! Another tip to consider – do not hire your dream photographer or cake baker or florist without more research. They may be talented, but they may also be rude or only out for themselves. And I’ll say it – I do not recommend hiring your friends or family. Oh, and your aunt who is a hair stylist (but hasn’t done wedding hair since the 1990’s) shouldn’t do everyone’s hair, or even the bride’s hair! Weddings are a different beast, and experience matters.
Aside from experience, I’d say the next most important quality in a vendor is their attitude. It’s inevitable that vendors must work with other vendors, and they must be able to work together to stay on-time. If vendors have a good attitude and care about the couple, because it’ll help the other vendors be successful.
Success and quality are important, because that’s what they were hired by the couples to deliver. Lack of time can compromise quality or create a rush to make up lost time which also may cause quality issues. An obvious goal is to avoid an upset or stressed, but the goal is also to deliver your best work to avoid a disappointed couple who have to live with the unsatisfactory work a vendor delivered.
While most weddings may not be exactly on schedule and things happen that cause you to pivot – the vendors you choose (and are probably paying a pretty penny for) should never be the cause of a vagrant timeline.
When working with a couple, I love to share what I know to look for when hiring other vendors (experience, experience, experience)! I always help my couples make the most bullet-proof timeline we can to set them and their day up for success.
Okay, okay. I’ll get off my soapbox – if you promise to vet and hire good vendors!
Want me to touch on more timelines (or maybe things that will throw them off)? Did you like what you read here? Leave your girl a comment on this blog post or check out some of my other blog posts.
Venue: Orchard Creek Lodge
hi, i'm wendy
It's about more than pretty portraits. This business is personal for me. I've lived through the planning stress, family dynamics, budget woes, and overwhelmed emotions that come with weddings.
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