Timeline Tips for Weddings in Sedona


By J.B. Bloomfield, Sedona Luxury Weddings

So, you’re having a Sedona wedding in 6 weeks!  Your final payments are due, your last RSVPs are arriving and your meal count and selections must be turned in.  The pressure is on.  But, we can’t forget your timeline which is one of my favorite part of wedding planning.  I did this same thing when I planned parades at 7 years old in our neighborhood.

Grand Canyon Wedding, Sedona Luxury Weddings, Image by SedonaBride.com

I’m going to take it for granted that you have done all the necessary ground work to make your wedding in Sedona happen.  I would like to give you some things to consider as you put your timeline together.  Believe it or not, if you were to be given a true and false test, these are all true statements.

Grand Canyon Wedding, Sedona Luxury Weddings, Image by SedonaBride.com

TIME IS NOT On Your Side.

There is only so much time on your special day.  If you can develop a good schedule and stick to it, you can accomplish a lot.  Work backwards from the time you and your caterer have determined you should arrive.  This is critical because all reception activities will be dictated by your arrival time.  Remember that your schedule is fairly tight.  If you have booked a five-hour reception from 6:00 pm to 11:00 pm, you can usually assume that at 10:30pm, the DJ will start to give the last call and wind down the songs to your last dance.

Also, if for some reason you end up being a half-hour late, you run the risk of your dinner being served cold and your other activities may be rushed.  Not a good thing if you are trying to relax and enjoy yourself.

Grand Canyon Wedding, Sedona Luxury Weddings, Image by SedonaBride.com


Brides routinely ask, “why do we need to start our hair and makeup so early when the wedding isn’t until the end of the day?”  It’s much easier to spend a little time waiting for the show to start while lounging and having fun with your friends than it is to rush getting dressed to make up for lost time.  Plus, I have observed bonding time and memories captured with snap shots, giggles and champagne toasts during these hours.  These are special moments that will be treasured forever.  Even though the bride might think so, it’s amazing how there really never seems to be much leeway in the wedding planner’s timeline.  This is because a lot will be happening behind the scenes involving the set-up that you, as a bride, don’t have time to worry about.  That’s why you have a planner in your court!

Grand Canyon Wedding, Sedona Luxury Weddings, Image by SedonaBride.com


When you don’t eat, you lose energy…and you can’t have fun if you’re tired and hungry.  Plan to have breakfast even if you are not hungry.  A protein bar or banana and peanut butter will suffice.  Have one of your bridesmaids or moms put together a basket of snacks.  And if you’re having that champagne toast, make sure you have some carbohydrates before you float up the aisle.  Too much alcohol early in the day is usually a bad idea.

Grand Canyon Wedding, Sedona Luxury Weddings, Image by SedonaBride.com

TRUISM #4…Travel Eats Up TIME

If your ceremony is in one location, and your reception in another, be sure to give everyone plenty of time to get from point A to point B.  Have maps, addresses and directions available to everyone ahead of time.  This information can be included with your invitation or on your website.  Some couples have their wedding planners provide welcome baskets and include the information.  Another idea is to obtain transportation for your guests and keep the limo for your bridal party so they can all have fun together and not have to worry about drinking and driving.

Grand Canyon Wedding, Sedona Luxury Weddings, Image by SedonaBride.com

TRUISM #5…Good Photography Takes TIME

Check with your photographer to see how much time is needed in accordance with how many family members you want in your photos.  Make sure you have discussed the designated family members who will be in the photos, so there is no last minute confusion.  This can sometime cause hurt feelings.  It is a good idea to get these pictures taken either just before or immediately after your ceremony because your closet family members are already there, assembled and freshly attired.  The worst place to try to get family portraits is at the reception!  Trying to get people off the dance floor is next to impossible while they are having fun. Receptions are for informal and fun photos.

Grand Canyon Wedding, Sedona Luxury Weddings, Image by SedonaBride.com

TRUISM#6…TIME & the Champagne Toast

Make sure that everyone who will be giving a speech has a time limit.  I have been to weddings where the speeches went on for 15 minutes, the guests were bored and the meal was served “well-done.”  From the Dads to the best man, maid of honor and even you and the groom, toasting speeches should be limited to 2 minutes and by no more than 2 to 4 guests.  The two of you may give a thank-you speech making sure you know whom you are thanking in advance.

Grand Canyon Wedding, Sedona Luxury Weddings, Image by SedonaBride.com


The timeline is where having a good wedding planner is indispensable.  Relax and have fun with your bridal party while your planner watches the clock.  She will be with you from the beginning of your day until the end of your contract time.  She will be keeping you, your bridal party, and all the your vendors in check so that everything comes together in a timely manner.  If you work with a planner, she will keep you on schedule and maximize your experience.  Believe it or not, this is in the coordinators best interest too, because their signature is your wedding and you have become their family for the day.


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