DO I REALLY NEED A RUNNING SHEET FOR MY WEDDING?

Updated: Jan 3

Have you ever tried to cut back time or speed things up because you’re really pressed for time and trying to fit everything in - only to discover that your hair colour really did need that 45min to develop, or your cake is soggy in the middle because it really did need the 1 hour the recipe book said it did to cook?

Well learn from these everyday small lessons when you are planning your wedding day because it’s really, really important to get the timing right for everyone to know what’s going on when so that all the various pieces of the jigsaw to come together correctly and in harmony on your big day.


In the early stages of your planning it’s really important to know the kind of time frames you will need for all the various elements of your wedding - and to a large extent we cover this with our wedding couples in their complimentary Design Consultation to ensure they allocate sufficient time to get the most out of their photographic and video coverage. This is not just about how long to allow for location or portrait shots - oh no! It’s things like allowing sufficient travel time in between venues, toilet and water breaks, having someone to help “herd the cats” for family portraits, arranging extra hire on the cars if you want photos with them, right down to making sure the bride is the first to get her hair done and the next to get her make-up done so she is ready when the photographer arrives!

A realistic timeframe for how long things will really take makes it much easier to slot in the various vendors and suppliers into your dedicated spreadsheet for your Wedding Day.


However, the closer the wedding gets the more likely little things (or sometimes big things) will need to get tweaked or changed from your original plans - you and your fiancé may well know what they are, but chances are your bridal party or family don’t know every last detail, and certainly your vendors and suppliers may be well out of the loop at that point. The answer is to make sure you have everything written in your spreadsheet and share it with everyone involved - that way everyone will know what to do and where to be over the days leading up to and after your wedding. It also means people can let you know if they see any potential problems you may have missed or things you didn’t realise that may impact things.


Your spreadsheet or table needs to have all the essential bits in it:


Start with some Column Headings:

  • Day and Date

  • Timing - The actual start and finish time (not just the duration but you can include that as well if you want).

  • What the “THING" actually is that will be happening

  • Who is doing it or has responsibility for ensuring it happens

  • The Location its happening at

  • Details or notes that are important - like who needs to be involved, or where something is to be stored or placed, contact person at the other end etc.

What things do you need to put into your running sheet?


Pre -wedding:

  • Last minute collection items eg Hire Suits

  • Accommodation - Many couples live together before marriage and may leave from the same location. However, others still follow tradition and spend at least the night before the wedding apart. Some brides spend the night in a hotel with their bridesmaids, others go home to their parents. So if this is happening plan the moving to accommodation or location where you will be getting ready or leaving from or later spending your wedding night at.

  • Appointments eg manicure, pedicure, tans, massage, lash extensions etc

  • Lunches with family or bridal party

  • Wedding Rehearsal

Wedding Day:

  • Arrival of family or bridal party members at various locations for getting ready or before the ceremony

  • Hair and makeup

  • Arrival of Photographers - Groom, Bride, Reveals etc

  • Deliveries to getting ready locations (eg flowers, food platters, drinks etc)

  • Deliveries to ceremony venue

  • Deliveries to reception venue

  • Suppliers or Vendors timing (arrival and departure - eg DJ, MC, Florists, etc)

  • Family members or Bridal Party members coming and going

  • Transport and Travel times between locations/venues

  • Grooms arrival at Ceremony Venue

  • Brides arrival at Ceremony Venue

  • Ceremony times (start/finish)

  • Congratulations

  • Family Portraits

  • Bridal Party Portraits

  • Location Portraits

  • Timings and Services around what will guests be doing whilst Bridal Party having Photos? (Eg Cocktails, Grazing Boards, Canapes - occupy themselves)

  • Guests to be seated in reception venue

  • Entrance of Bridal Party

  • Food Service - Meal

  • Speeches

  • First Dance

  • Bridal Party Dancing

  • Father Daughter/Mother Son Dance

  • Games - Tossing Bouquet/Garter

  • Cutting Cake

  • Last Drinks

  • Music Off

  • Farewell (eg Sparkler Send Off)

  • End of Night

  • Who will collect anything you have supplied that must be taken away on the night?

  • Who will take wedding cards and gifts home for you to collect later?

Post -wedding:

  • Collection of any items you have supplied that could be left overnight

  • Return of hired personal items such as suits etc

  • Depart accommodation if not staying longer

  • Planned catch ups with any family members, especially people who have travelled interstate or overseas to be there

  • Collection of your wedding cards and gifts if not dropped off at your home for you.

  • Organise to leave on your honeymoon?


It’s okay if this all seems a bit overwhelming - the trick is to treat it the way you would eat an elephant - one bite at a time. You might not know how long each element will take or who will be responsible for it when you start - just fill it as best you can as you go along and when you chat with each of your supplies you can get the details on how long they need to set up, for service delivery, for packing up and any other special information they may need.


Is this really overkill? Believe me! Your suppliers and vendors will especially be grateful to know where you want then to be and at what time and that you have allowed them sufficient time to do their job properly and give you the professional service and exceptional products you have paid for. An accurate and well planned running sheet helps everyone involved in your wedding to work together and for you to be able to relax knowing it’s all covered!


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