Timeline 101 Prep: Before You Dive in...
Oh timelines… It’s a key part of planning and commonly the main part that our couples say they either are dreading or are worried about for the day of. We get that, there is a lot that goes into it and so many moving pieces! Not to mention, you actually want to be able to kick back and enjoy the whole thing, not just stare at the clock and go one checklist item at a time right?
Before you dive into your timeline there are some things you should have ready, some information that will help you shape your timeline and bring all the pieces together.
1 - Vendors and Venue(s): Contracted Times
So the big question: How long do you have access and do you have your pros onsite?
A quick check to your contract and services should solve all your questions for this. You will want to make a quick note of the times. For your venue, you want to know what time you have access and what time you need to be cleaned up and offsite. If you have more than one venue you will want to know how long it takes to travel from the first to the second - a bigger perk is that Google maps will let you pick a day and time to account for normal traffic patterns during that time so you can really plan appropriately. If you have any other services included with your venue package (for example, at our venue we include security) make a quick note for how many hours you have that as well.
For your professionals, such as your photographer and DJ, you will want to know how many hours you have paid - and how much additional time would cost you too just in case you want to extend your time.
The average rehearsal lasts 4 hours and most guests don’t last much longer so don’t worry about keeping things going too long - they’ll be having so much fun on the dance floor they will be wiped! You can always have an after-party at a local bar for those who aren’t ready to finish up celebrating your new milestone!
2 - Ceremony Time: Sunset and Time of Year
First you need to decide what time of day you'd like to say " I Do". If you’re picturing a traditional evening reception with dinner complete with sunset golden hour photos then you will want to know two quick things.
First - what time does the sun set on your date? This is easily done with a quick google search. Simply include your date and location like so: [sunset in Krum, Texas on 10/10/20]. Secondly - use this info to chat with your photographer! They are the pro after all, and they will most likely have a preferred time to capture your photos and ceremony before the sun goes down.
Bonus - have an idea if you want to take sneak peeks or wait to see each other during the ceremony? Let your photographer know so that they can plan accordingly and designate more time before or after your ceremony.
Don’t forget about the time change! This is a BIG one particularly if your date is in November or March. Keep this in mind as it will make a big difference in when you’d like your ceremony to begin and of course for when things will get dark in a hurry.
So what happens once that's been accomplished? Now that you’ve worked so hard to draft the perfect timeline what do you do with it?
First up - have your pros look it over! If you don’t have a coordinator, ask your photographer, DJ, or another vendor to check it out. When you’re all set you will want it to be shared with your key people including:
If you’re needing help with your timeline reach out to our team! Like drafting floor plans, this is a service we help with and would love to help keep planning a little easier on you and give you one less thing to worry about.
Contact our team HERE.
Check out more on Timeline 101: What's in a Timeline HERE
One of the BEST things we get to do with our couples is help draft a floor plan. It’s sort of like one of our favorite things when it comes to details and prepping… is that weird? Well, if you didn’t know we are wedding nerds now you do! Floorplans should get way more hype and credit than they do when it comes to planning. It is the BIGGEST way to bring your vision to life and will outline your entire reception.
A lot of times what we see though are couples who are burnt out by the time they need to sit down and draft a floor plan. It’s not the most exciting thing, and it doesn’t always look the best - compared to floral arrangements or that cute custom sign you had made that is. It can also be very overwhelming once you start thinking of all the little details and things that go into a floor plan. Which brings us to this blog post - 5 steps to setting up your perfect floorplan.
As always - resources, links and more at the bottom!
We suggest planning for a safe number - the upper range with some flexibility. If you choose a layout with 10 tables you can seat 80 by placing 8 chairs at each, or 100 by placing 10 at each. What that really means for you is if your RSVPs come in at 90 you’re not stressing to build/order another centerpiece to make it work. If your count comes in lower? That’s easy! Seat less per table or bonus remove a table meaning you have the decor you would have set on it to use at the bar, the entry, etc.
When thinking about your guests you should also consider the VIPs in the room. These typically include your wedding party, their significant others, and your immediate family members. We can’t recommend reserved tables enough - with their names at their place setting. Each weekend we see parents come in from taking post-ceremony photos with the gorgeous couple to be stopped by many friends who are saying hello. What couples don’t think about though are all their other guests - you know, the ones not in those family photos who made their way into the reception hall half an hour ago to claim their seat. Your VIPs should not be left looking for a chair in the back corner of the room - a simple “reserved” sign helps. Place cards with their names ensure that your second cousin once removed doesn’t self proclaim to be VIP, and it also enables your pros to help direct guests to a fantastic seat while leaving those seats reserved alone.
The room itself is not the only thing you will want to know the shape and size for though if your venue has tables, chairs or other furniture provided for you as them the sizes so you can space accordingly. There is a big difference between 6-foot long banquet tables and 60 inch rounds. Your venue should also have basic details and information about the furniture for you. For example, our 60 inch round tables seat 8 - 10 with our chiavari chairs. If someone were to bring in folding garden chairs which are wider we would suggest 9 tops, and ideally only 8 chairs per table.
Every venue is different - one thing you don’t want to forget about when planning your perfect floorplan are the permanent features in the room. It may be large furniture or decor items that cannot be moved, or it could be something more structural such as a door or counter. For our venue that includes our bar - a long granite counter located in the southwest corner of the reception hall. Keeping these permanent features in mind will help you use the space to your advantage and really let the floorplan work for you rather than being stuck with what you have.
Electrical outlets are another feature couples sometimes forget about. For example that band you’re planning on having? Or that amazing photo booth your guests will be lined up at all night long? They need power - and enough of it too. For our couples we keep it simple, we have multiple outlets on every wall, outlets at the ceiling for those who hang decor and have larger installations such as lights, and we even have outlets on the floor. It keeps creating their floorplan a little simpler with one less headache to have to worry about.
4. Know the details before you dive in
It’s kind of hard to plan your space when you don’t have a clear vision of everything you need there. Are you serving a buffet line or will meals be plated? Do you have a DJ or an 8 piece rock band? All these things make a huge difference in what you have space for and where you need to start to tackle your floor plan. If you jump the gun and start drafting your floor plan without knowing these details you may find yourself erasing…. A whole lot. Or you might finally reach the end and then realize you forgot to put your head table in the room - YIKES.
This checklist is just a glimpse of the questionnaire we send our clients and items that are in the majority of the floorplans we’ve built.
Talk about saving the best for last! This is the one area that can be hard to visualize - so please talk to your vendors and have them look over your floorplan with you. The flow of your guests is very important. Often we hear during tours how couples don’t want lines - lines at the buffet line, the guest book, and especially not at the bar. Now keep in mind that there will be busy times when lines are unavoidable. Even our intimate weddings with less than 40 will have a line at the guest book to sign in and leave a note - that’s expected. What you do not want though is a traffic jam.
Could you imagine if the line for your bar crossed paths with your buffet line? What about if in addition to that your caterers and bar staff had to walk across the lines to get to ice and their utensils. PLEASE don’t do that to your pros, your guests, or your sanity! Break apart the hotspots of the evening - even photo booths can be so fun near the bar but if they are in the same corner is a crowd waiting to happen.
Our venue was designed with the kitchen and the bar on opposite ends of the venue for a reason. The kitchen has multiple doors so that caterers can move freely and not through crowds. Use it to your advantage - keep the buffet line near the kitchen and spread out the flow or your event to utilize all areas of the venue.
See a photo you love?
Check out these awesome photographers:
1st, 2nd and 3rd photo by April Sapp Photography
4th and 5th by Blackall Photography
6th by Brooks Captured Moments / Lovesick Photos
Looking for hands on help?
Contact our team for help with your floorplan, and to set up a time to tour!
CLICK HERE TO CONTACT US
Wedding Planning! So exciting, fun, and..... Stressful?
No matter how much you love the planning process most couples have never fully planned a
wedding before. Even if you have, odds are it hasn’t been many and as we all know every
wedding is as unique and as amazing as each individual couple.
SO where to start?
Well.... Everyone’s budget is unique and what is reasonable or expensive to you could be
completely different to those brides in your Facebook group that are giving you suggestions of
photographers that are “reasonable”. In addition, having a budget can help you stay on target
and in control of your wedding spending. The two problems we hear from couples in the
beginning of planning is that
1) “We have no idea how much a [planner] should cost! Is this a deal? Is it expensive?”
2) “How much of our budget should we spend on [floral]?
Questions and Answers!
So, we can give you our tips all day long, but we thought hearing directly from a planner who
helps consult and set budgets would be way more helpful. Cindy is a local planner we love
working with and is always so professional with couples.
We’ve asked her for her two sense on budgets - take a peak.
Q: I can’t afford to pay an arm and a leg for floral that’s just crazy! I am looking for an
affordable DJ - who can help?”
“We as vendors see this question all the time, I need a planner who doesn’t cost an arm and a
leg, I need a low budget DJ, can’t spend an arm and a leg. Wedding budgets will look different
for each couple but just to set the record straight.
The price of a new prosthetic leg can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $50,000 and an arm that is
fully functioning and can bend at several locations can range from $20,000 to $100,00.
Is anyone’s budget here $150K? OK perfect so none of you will spend an arm and a leg.”
- Cindy, CM Promotions
Know your ideal budget and ask or look for it! Vendors cannot help or have any idea what is
“reasonable” to you if you don’t give a range or max amount. We do recommend that you look at
vendors that are slightly above that range to compare what is provided at that price level.
Our venue for example includes some services like tablecloths where others do not. That
service saves you $200+ easily from your budget so may first look like we are above your ideal
venue budget when in reality we save you more in the long run.
Q: How should I start figuring out where to spend my budget?
“Make a list of your wedding priorities: Start with the top three things that are most important to you on your wedding day. For example Food, Live Band and Photo are mine, and yours may be
different and that is ok. Whatever is most important put it at the top and book those vendors
first. Anything leftover you distribute to everything else you need but at least you’ll have your
main priorities taken care of.” - Cindy, CM Promotions
Q: Are there ways I can stretch my budget or make the most of it?
“Be resourceful! There are a lot of items/decor for weddings that can be used for both the
ceremony and reception. Example: Bridesmaid bouquets can double as centerpieces for the
reception, lanterns used to decorate the aisle can be brought inside and put on tables/stairs for
extra decor. Adding a colored napkin to a white or ivory table cloth can add so much to the
room for only a little expense.” - Cindy, CM Promotions
Q: Should I go for the best deal I can find?
“Do your research: As important as budget is to your wedding day, you can’t get a redo - if you
think your vendor has a deal that is too good to be true, dive in a little deeper, read the reviews,
post to one of the Facebook groups and see what other brides have said. Having an
experienced and knowledgeable vendor team is crucial to the success of your day, the planner,
DJ, and Photographer all have to work hand in hand to ensure your day is a success.”
- Cindy, CM Promotions
Q: How much of my budget should go to each area?
“I feel like the wedding budget is different for everyone so this Budget 101 breakdown is like a
middle ground and it works for those who have a budget of $20,000 or $60,000.”
- Cindy, CM Promotions
CLICK HERE cmpromotions.co/to set up that free consult call with CM Promotions.
Stationery questions - Making it custom, personal and part of you vision
Do you ever feel at a loss for words? You have this great idea or picture in mind of what you are planning but when it comes down to putting it in action your mind goes blank. Now add on that stress of making it tie into your wedding vision and PHEW. It's enough to make anyone stare at a screen of options for hours and hours.
Your invitations have a very important job. They give those people who mean the world to you all the details to get to your day to celebrate and soak in the love. Your invitations alone let them know so much more than when and where, they also tell them the overall style of your wedding from color to how formal it may be and the tone of the day.
Your wedding stationery; from menus and programs to mailed invitations are all a part of your day and is the first look your guests have to the event you have been working so hard to plan. The colors and overall style should match your vibes - but the wording?
So, we reached out to one of the best - an amazing woman owned business local to North Texas that is! Seriously guys, you have to check out her amazing work. Not only does she cover all your paper needs but she is crazy talented and you will not be disappointed! Back to the information - we had a quick Q and A with Erin and have all the details here for you. Don't forget to visit her website to get even more questions answered and look into having your dream set designed.
How can we ask guests to not bring a plus one, or what if we’re planning an adult-only reception?
"Properly addressing the envelopes is going to be the best way to specify who is invited to the wedding. If an envelope is addressed to “Mr. John Smith” then he should not be bringing a guest to the wedding. If the envelope is addressed to “Mr. John Smith and guest” then he may bring a plus one. The same goes for families - an envelope addressed to “Mr. and Mrs. John Smith” is just for those two people, whereas “Mr. and Mrs. John Smith and family” or “The Smith Family” would include all members of that family.
If you are worried that your guests will need another reminder, you can add the words “Adult Reception" to your website and/or the reception card included in your invitation suite. "
- Erin Wright
Save the Dates vs. Invitations: When are they sent?
"Save the Dates should be ordered and mailed 6-8 months in advance.
Wedding Invitations should be mailed 2 months in advance. Printing time is typically about 3 weeks and we will want to leave time for proofing the design on the front end, and addressing/stamping/stuffing on the back end. Therefore, we suggest you start working on your invitations about 4-5 months in advance. That gives you time to look at samples and narrow down the style of invitations, then go through the proofing process to make sure all design aspects and wording is just as you would like. "
- Erin Wright
What other paper products should I be thinking about?
"Day of Wedding paper (programs, menus, table numbers, seating charts, etc.) should be ordered once you have your final headcount (usually about a month before the wedding). We typically start designing these shortly after the invitations are sent out, that way once you receive your replies and have a final number, we are ready to move forward with printing.
Notecards can be added to any of the previous orders, or placed as their own order. You will want to have these in hand right after the wedding to start working on thank you notes."
- Erin Wright
Photo and more amazing tips at Sincerely, Addison
What are your top tips on choosing a style/theme for their stationery & how it should tie into our overall style?
"Your invitations are meant to set the tone for your wedding. You won’t want to send a rustic looking invitation for a black-tie event. The invitation suite will gives your guests a hint as to what to expect on your wedding day, therefore you will want a cohesive look throughout. Keep with the same color scheme and overall style. When deciding on your invitation design, we suggest looking through samples and photo galleries. Find what is catching your eye about certain invitations.
However, we want to make sure everything about this day to be representation of you two as a couple. Talk to your stationer about your likes and interests as a couple. Tell us the story of how you met and things that are important to you. Are their moments in your life that you want to incorporate in your invitations or day of paper? We have done custom sketches of pets, fun facts about the couple printed on cocktail napkins, and tables named after places the couple has travelled. Our job as a custom stationery company is to design something specific to you."
- Erin Wright
All Images Are Property of Sincerely, Addison
Part 2 - Reception
- Buffet lines must be served by catering staff
- Condiments: served by staff or in individual packets
- Flatware, plates and napkins should be at the buffet supervised during the day/event
- Use disposables if possible and do not reuse for refills
- Cake should be served by catering staff and sitting in the reception area
GENERAL HEALTH & SAFETY
- Have hand-sanitizer stations at every entrance, at the bar & at the buffet lines
- Post signs: "to have & to hold, from 6 feet apart"
- Provide masks for guests and members of your wedding party that you may be within 6 feet of
- Event staff should wear masks and gloves
- Encourage all guests who have been ill, with a temperature over 100 degrees and are experiencing any of the symptoms listed here to stay home.
We love to help others & being a part of your big day! We believe in dreaming big, smiling often & southern charm.
10340 Jackson Rd. Krum, TX 76249