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We know that shopping for shoes, choosing cake flavors and looking at dreamy honeymoon destinations are far more exciting than writing a wedding day run sheet, also known as the schedule. But this is the key to you having a stress-free, relaxing day that goes smoothly. It’s never too early to start planning this document that you can give to the vendors, venue and bridal party.If you’re not sure on what to consider when planning out the day, keep reading for our top tips on creating a run sheet.

1) Start getting ready early. It’s incredible how many short interruptions can add up over many hours and cause a couple to be late for their wedding. Aim to have your hair and make-up complete at least an hour before the ceremony so you can have photos and spend time with your bride tribe. Work with the hair and make up team on what they also think is reasonable.

3) Tell guests the ceremony starts with welcome drinks about 30 minutes before the actual ceremony begins. Then you cover any latecomers because there’s always one (or more). They can mingle, admire the ceremony set-up, take photos and you will be happy when you get word everyone is there.

4) Talk to your celebrant to find out how long the ceremony is. And then, ask your photographer and videographer how much time they need after the ceremony with the bridal party. If you are getting married in the afternoon, they may want to pinpoint the sunset time and recommend when the ceremony should be. Factor in about 20-30 minutes for group photos after the ceremony before the newlywed photo shoot and bridal party pictures. These are the photos you will probably print and hang on your wall at home so make sure you get the timing right.

5) Allow yourself some time. Time to have a drink, bathroom break, hair and make-up touchup between photos and your grand entrance to the reception. For all the romantics out there, add 10 minutes to have alone time with your new husband or wife. You don’t get much time alone on your wedding day since there’s so much going on. It’s nice to take a moment if you can.

6) Most venues will help you usher guests to be seated for dinner because there’s usually a chef in the kitchen who wants their amazing food served on time. Let your venue know when you want food served and if you will do speeches during or after dinner. If you have a lot of speeches, it’s nice to have them during dinner or between courses to make the evening flow and the drinks at the open bar.

7) The rest of the timeline should mention cake cutting, first dance, and any other activities you have planned. Find out what the latest you can stay at the venue is and try to give the DJ plenty of heads up if you might want an hour or so over time to keep the party rocking.

We know that creating the runs sheet is one of those wedding tasks most brides dread. But, it’s so important to have at least a rough estimate on how the day will run. So keep in mind some of tips for a smooth, stress free day!