Trying to think about what to tell you about next is always hard! I’m handling all these aspects at astronomical speeds, nothing I would ever expect from someone whose brain functions in much more normal ways.
The next thing I would suggest, for an individual who is of normal brain speed, to look at is timing; when is everything going to happen? This helps you to know what vendors you’ll need, when you’ll need them, among other things.
We started with how long the venue would give us – 3pm-11pm, clean up 11-midnight. As we’re doing a large amount of DIY, we knew we’d need more time to set up (and I would have to do it myself!), we also know what we have to transform the dining area into a dancing area, seamlessly. So make a list (lists lists lists lists), what order would you do things in? Would you do photos before the ceremony or after? Do you want to spend the day in spa relaxation? Where do you want the sun to be (if you’re having your ceremony outside). All these things are going to impact your schedule and change your requirements from vendors. Next to each item, indicate approximately how much time it may take. Here’s my list:
- 3PM – Access to site (rentals can be dropped of 8am-10am, so they’ll already be onsite)
- I need to set-up (1 hour, I maybe only need to be around for 30 minutes, family can figure out the small things from there)
- We need to get ready (30-45 minutes, none of my girls are really wearing make-up, mostly it’ll just be for photos, our hair will already be straightened and all they’ll have to do is to tie the front few strands back. If the boys take longer than 45 minutes, it’ll be because James is tying his shoes)
- We want to do a “reveal” (so groom sees bride before the ceremony) may as well do some photos now too, do the ceremony right before sunset [if the sunset matters to you, check out the old farmers almanac online for your region and it’ll give you the times ] (an hour or so, we’re taking more later) (10 minutes between ceremony beginning and photos ending to gather our bearings, drink some water, etc)
- Ceremony (max 45 minutes – we’re legally getting married another day)
- Some more photos with family (30-40 minutes max)
- Dinner (an hour or so)
- Speeches (god I hope this is short – we will merge it into the dancing)
- Dancing (first dance etc) (Dancing starts when speeches end, goes until 11pm)
- Pinata (30 minutes)
- Cake cutting (what, 20 minutes, 30? People can eat cake and dance, no problem)
- Garter toss, bouquet toss (15 minutes)
- Bride and groom leave (no real time limitation on this one. We’d like to head out around 10:30pm)
- 11PM – Party ends, clean up begins
- 12AM – clean up must be complete
Looking at this you start to get an idea of your time line. I can say ceremony starts at 6:00pm, dinner around 7:15, and I’m getting out of there at 10:30 at the latest! That’s way past my bedtime! I also realize that I don’t need a photographer onsite until 3:30, maybe even 4pm and they can go around 9:45 (or I can pay them to stay for the send off because I’m imagining something spectacular in my head!) and I will need to pay someone to clear the plates because we don’t have a caterer doing it for us. We’re going to have to clear out the tables in the dining room for dancing so maybe we move the piñata fun to before the speeches because it’s going to be in a different room so those people I’m hiring to clear tables can move those tables out of the space!
I also realized, when looking at 12, that I haven’t even begun to think about what my bouquet might look like so maybe I want to start looking a different flowers that match my colour scheme. I also realized that we’re getting married at a community centre, there’s no staff to clean up after us, who the hell is cleaning up 11pm-12am (I discovered Pop Down Weddings and events last week! They have like best business idea of all time!)?
Now that I have this list, I can adjust it as need be, move things around, but at least I will have a timing idea. Also, it’s good to remember that this isn’t a strict schedule! Things may take longer than anticipated or you might have that piñata broken open in 10 seconds flat. Be flexible with how your night goes and JUST HAVE FUN!
So now I’m going to flush this bad boy out and give you an idea of what to look out for!
- 3pm – Access to site (rentals can be dropped of 8am-10am, so they’ll already be onsite)
- 3pm-3:30pm – for me to set-up (1 hour, I maybe only need to be around for 30 minutes, family can figure out the small things from there) we need to pick-up our florals before this time, likely around 2pm, have a family member on this
- 3pm-4:30pm – for set-up to happen (close friends and immediate family that are helping us out) what exactly is the decor going to be? Are we going to do floral? What will be at each person’s setting?
- 3:30pm-4:30pm – to get ready (30-45 minutes, none of my girls are really wearing make-up, mostly it’ll just be for photos, our hair will already be straightened and all they’ll have to do is to tie the front few strands back. If the boys take longer than 45 minutes, it’ll be because James is tying his shoes) we want the photographers onsite for the start of this, require them onsite 3:15pm
- 4:30pm – for the reveal; 4:30pm-5:50pm – for photos (an hour or so, we’re taking more later) (10 minutes between ceremony beginning and photos ending to gather our bearings, drink some water, etc)
- 6pm-6:45pm – Ceremony (max 45 minutes – we’re legally getting married another day) Oh… who is marrying us?
- 6:45pm-7:15pm – Some more photos with family (30-40 minutes max)
- 7:15pm-8:15pm – Dinner (an hour or so)
- 8:15pm-8:45pm – Pinata (30 minutes) Wait, how are we going to hang the pinata?!
- 8:45pm – Speeches (god I hope this is short – we will merge it into the dancing) Who are we inviting to do speeches?
- 8:45pm-11pm – Dancing (first dance etc) (Dancing starts when speeches end, goes until 11pm) We need to start looking into songs for your first dance! And the Father Daughter dance!
- 9pm – Cake cutting (what, 20 minutes, 30? People can eat cake and dance, no problem) We need to find a cake person
- 9:30pm-9:45pm – Garter toss, bouquet toss (15 minutes) Shoot, I forgot about looking into a garter belt.
- 10:30pm – Bride and groom leave (no real time limitation on this one. We’d like to head out around 10:30pm) Are we going to a hotel or just going home? Honeymoon right away?
- 11PM – Party ends, clean up begins Hire Pop Down Weddings so we don’t need to make family clean up
- 12AM – clean up must be complete. Where are all our items going – we have a lot of rentals and a lot of things that we own
As you can see, a lot of things come up when you’re hashing out your plans! The more you think about one item/activity you realize you haven’t thought about random things or you never considered that you might need to hire that vendor.
What we know about our wedding so far:
- We like Tacos, and pinatas can be pretty cool, too, my parents had one at their wedding
- We are getting married April 22, 2017
- We are not going to wear yellow gold rings
- We want our ceremony outside (regardless of weather) and our reception indoors
- Lego is the best theme ever
- We’ll both have 5 attendants before the flower girl and ring bearer, maybe six, depending on some babies that are coming
- We want our parents as involved as possible because it’s not JUST about us, we’re joining two families
- Our guest list is in and around 120 people, and not everyone we would have liked to invite is invited.
- We will be getting married at the Aberthau Mansion near Jericho Beach in Vancouver
- We are registered at Bed Bath and Beyond (mostly just so we can get a Pastasaurus)
- We have designed and ordered our save the dates (THEY’RE MAGNETS!) but will not be sending them out until July
- Our colours are Royal Blue and White (to match lego!)
- We got some sick centrepieces in the works!
- You know, stuff. I got to keep some things secret from you guys!
- Our website is live, but still needs some work! You can check it out here!
- Pop Down Weddings and Events BC is the most brilliant business idea ever!
- We hired these absolutely amazing photographers! Check them out here!