75 Grand Army Highway (Route 6) Swansea , MA 02777 • MA Line: (508) 678-3901 • RI Line: (401) 861-2780 • venus@venusdemilo.com

Pro Planning: Timeline Tips for Swansea Wedding & Reception

Pro Planning: Timeline Tips for Swansea Wedding & Reception

A little-known secret in the wedding planning world is that if you choose a MA wedding and banquet facility that has all of the amenities you need plus an on-site event coordinator, you don’t need to hire a wedding planner. Professional event planning is helpful, but if you have other things you would rather spend your money on for your Swansea wedding reception and ceremony, there are ways around it. Being organized helps – it helps a lot. Choosing a premiere wedding venue that will accommodate you, your guests, and all of your requests is a bonus.

What is a Wedding Timeline?
Just as you might expect, a wedding timeline is a script or schedule for your special day that helps you to fit all of the things that you want to include so that you won’t forget something important. It is also used to help improve the flow of the day, assist the DJ or emcee with the announcements that need to be made during the reception, and can assist the bride, groom, and the bridal party knows where to be and when. Everything from the ceremony to the first dance, the tossing of the bouquet and the cutting of the cake should be included in your wedding timeline.

A timeline isn’t set in stone. That being said, special accommodations and allowances due to the time of year, the weather conditions, and the start time for the ceremony and reception will all influence your schedule. It also helps to think about the timeline as a guide rather than a strict rule. It’s your wedding day, and you need to learn to go with the flow. You may need to cut certain activities short and extend other activities due to problems with the photographer, a wardrobe malfunction, or issues with the catering staff.

A Basic Timeline
If you have never planned or participated in a wedding before, it helps to know the terms that will be used by the venue, the on-site event coordinator, and your vendors. While most of the words used to describe specific items on the timeline for your ceremony and reception at the MA wedding and banquet facility will be self-explanatory, some may need a little definition and example to make sense.

  • Hair and makeup for the bride, bridal party, mother of the bride, and mother of the groom should start at least six hours before the ceremony. Which means a noon ceremony requires a 6 AM start and an afternoon wedding that starts at 4 PM requires hair and makeup to get started around 10 AM.
  • Vendors should arrive between two and four hours before the onset of the ceremony, depending upon the amount of setup they will need to do for the wedding.
  • Photos should start approximately two hours before the ceremony, including the wedding party and family members. Pictures of the bride and groom, along with family members and the wedding party, can be taken after the ceremony and before the reception starts. This can usually be accomplished during the cocktail hour when the guests are settling in for the reception.
  • Guests and music should begin approximately 30 minutes before the “invite time,” which is the time stated on the invitations. Once again, this is a loose time which gives guests time to arrive, the photographer time to finish photos and the couple time to make last-minute touch-ups and prepare to walk down the aisle.
  • The ceremony should start approximately 15 minutes (or more, depending on the situation) after the “invite” time. The ceremony shouldn’t take longer than 15-20 minutes, depending on the size of the wedding party, the length of the vows, and any religious services that will be included at the premiere wedding venue.
  • Cocktail hour begins immediately following the ceremony. Have the emcee or DJ tell guests to move into the reception area and make sure the vendors know to start serving appetizers and drinks at this time. Take the full hour and use it to touch-up after the ceremony, take those group and couple photos, and just breathe for a minute or two before you enter the reception area.
  • Dinner should be served approximately two hours after the ceremony begins, so if you don’t do anything else according to your timeline, at least try to hit this mark. Toasts can start about 15-20 minutes into food service or after the conclusion of the buffet line, allowing another 15-20 minutes for the speeches.
  • First dance should happen about an hour after dinner concludes, providing time for greeting guests, receiving well-wishes, taking photos with guests, and general mingling. This should be followed by general dancing for all guests.

The Golden Hour
Depending on when you start your ceremony and the season, you will want to make sure to take advantage of the “golden hour” of sunset for another round of photos. Do not miss this opportunity for some breathtaking shots. Work with the professional event planning staff at the premiere wedding venue for tips on great locations. Even a parking lot can turn magical with the right timing at sunset and a good photographer. Morning weddings, afternoon weddings, evening weddings – whenever you plan your Swansea wedding reception and ceremony, just make sure to take advantage of that sunset for your photos.

Visit the World-Famous Venus de Milo
If you are planning a wedding in the Southeastern Massachusetts or Rhode Island area, make sure to consider Venus de Milo for your Swansea wedding reception. We are a premiere wedding venue with years of experience hosting wedding ceremonies and receptions, anniversary dinners, corporate events, community gatherings, special occasions, and much more. Give us a call at 508-678-3901 to schedule a tour or to check on availability.

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