It’s All In The Timeline…|Pez Productions

notepad and paper ready for writing

It’s All In The Timeline…
|Tips From a
Calgary DJ|

Timelines and Why They’re Important | Pez Productions

It’s no secret that weddings are busy and can be stressful. However, they don’t necessarily have to be. A wedding with a solid timeline is a wedding that you can thoroughly enjoy and be engaged in.  

But, what’s in a perfect timeline and why is it so important? A wedding has multiple parts to it that all have their own little pieces, and each of those pieces has an actual person trying to make them fit. Sound complicated?

Well, it can be; but it doesn’t have to be (for you anyway). Between organizing the photographer and getting everyone to the right place at the right time, to planning out when your dinner and speeches will start and finish, things can get a little…messy.

  • How is your DJ supposed to know when to play the Grand Entrance song if he or she doesn’t know when you’ll be entering the room?
  • Your venue is going to want to know how much time they’ll need to prepare everything as well. You don’t want your food to be cold because you’re running an hour behind.
  • AND, You don’t want your dinner to run too long and cut into your dancing time…You’ve, no doubt, hired a great wedding DJ to throw an epic dance party for you and your guests; so make sure everyone can actually participate in the “Fun” part of the wedding too! You know that at least a few people wore their comfy shoes in anticipation of getting down on that dancefloor!

But, if this sounds like too much to think about or is already stressing you out, don’t worry, we’ve got your back.

Here are a few tips on getting the perfect “day of schedule:”

Hire a wedding planner. Yes, we know we talk about this all the time, but that’s just how much we believe in the expertise of a professional. They’ve done this so many times they’ve probably lost count. But more importantly, they’ll have the tools to help you make this special day run smoothly. Wedding planners have also typically worked with some, or even all, of the vendors you’ve hired. This means that they’ll know what to expect, the best ways to communicate with them, and they’ll trust each other enough to know that the day will be organized according to everyone’s needs. A wedding planner can produce a day of schedule that is down to the minute if that’s how organized you want to be. Or, they can just make sure that every person is in the exact place they’re supposed to be, when they’re supposed to be.
[Pez Pro Tip: Check with your wedding venue and ask if they have a wedding coordinator to help facilitate the day in combination with your planner or separately.]

Buy a wedding planning book/calendar. If hiring a wedding planner is not in the budget, or even if you have hired one, purchasing a wedding planning book is always a great idea. They’re usually available at Chapters/Indigo or Amazon and they’re a great way to count down to all of the important events that accumulate to one spectacular day. Typically, a calendar is included and will tell you how far in advance to book certain vendors and what to expect the day of your wedding. It can give you an idea of when the ceremony and reception should take place and how far apart to schedule your photos and cocktail hour. This is a great way to get organized.

Plan your photos out ahead of time. Scout out a few locations with your photographer or on your own. Keep them as close to your venue as possible, just in case, and have some back-ups if the first few don’t work out. Speak with your photographer ahead of time to make sure you’re on the same page in terms of which poses you want to get and the groupings for the wedding party and family photos. We suggest making a list of family groupings (i.e. Mom, Dad, Bride, Groom, Siblings, etc.) ahead of time and having someone in your wedding party call out names as the pictures are being taken. This will help family photos go by quicker and also avoid unnecessary photo requests from your cousin Eddie, twice removed.

Your music needs planning too. It’s very important for your Wedding DJ to know where they’re needed and when. Perhaps you’ve hired them for the sound during the ceremony, so they’ll need to know when this starts, how soon to get there, and what their turn-around time before the reception will be. And then at the reception, they’ll want to know the cues for sound during speeches, playing cocktails & dinner music, your first dance, and cake cutting music. All of these can be attached to the timeline you create and give to your DJ, and all of your vendors. 

Time your speeches and dinner appropriately. At the end of day, remember that as much as this day is for you, your guests should enjoy it too. Waiting too long to eat isn’t fun for anyone and not being able to enjoy the night, might be worse. Inevitably, your guests will be checking their watches if they’re sitting for too long. Most people have an idea of when they plan on leaving, and if speeches and dinner creep too close to their “bedtime”, your dancefloor will end up being empty.
[Pez Pro Tip: Schedule your speeches between each course (if you’re having a plated dinner) or split them between the beginning and end of the buffet.]

Here is an example of a speech timeline: Soup – Best Man speech – Salad – Maid of Honour speech – Main Course – Parents speeches – Dessert – Bride and Groom {The Couples} speech.

This way, your guests can have breaks between each course, and the speeches aren’t grouped together making them feel longer than they are. Also, this is a great way to make sure that the individual speeches are time sensitive because the time between courses really isn’t that long.
[Pez Pro Tip: Close the bar during the speeches. That way, no one is getting up and coming or going while someone is speaking.]

The most important thing to remember is that you need to make it make sense. Be realistic about your expectations for your big day. Wanting everything to be exactly perfect, or not really caring at all can affect the way you enjoy your wedding. Understand that if you have a tight schedule, it is possible that there will be hiccups. Someone is bound to have to use the washroom just as the speeches are about to start and a flower girl or ring bearer can only sit still for so long. Be a little flexible and you won’t end up being disappointed if the ceremony starts a few minutes too late. On the other hand, don’t be so relaxed that no one ends up knowing where they’re supposed to go and you leave your guests waiting too long to eat or not give them enough time to tear up the dancefloor. Finding a happy medium here is ideal, and with a little time management and planning, very doable.

We know that wedding planning and timeline preparation can become a little overwhelming, but your Entertainment doesn’t have to be! Allow Pez Productions to ease your mind and provide you with the highest quality DJ services for your Ceremony and Reception. With our expertly trained team, we will work closely with you to make sure that your special day is perfect. With optional Lighting and Photobooth services added to your DJ package, your planning process just got a lot more stress-free.