“Trini time” is different to “regular” time. However, with strict rules nowadays about the times to be in and out of ceremony and reception locations, it is now essential to be punctual for your wedding and have things flow smoothly. That is easier said than done, since weddings involve many different activities that occur simultaneously or precisely in sequence. However, human behaviour, the weather or sometimes just plain bad luck can make timing your activities difficult!
Here are some tips to help keep you on track with time:
Ask vendors to approximate their times
A wonderful event management tool to have is a detailed schedule of how the wedding day will run. To do this as accurately as possible, find out approximate times vendors would take for their services. For example, the length of time your hair stylist takes will affect the timing of your makeup artist—it is often wiser to do hair before makeup. Also, the arrival time of your decorator will affect the arrival time of your cake, since the cake table should be decorated before the cake arrives.
Do not underestimate the time to get ready
As a general rule, everyone in the bridal party and close family members should get ready before the bride. That way, the bride’s hair and makeup looks freshest and once the bride is ready photos can be taken immediately without waiting on anyone. Many brides (and grooms) underestimate the length of time it takes to dress. There are many time-consuming elements, for example—undergarments to put on first, lacing up, sashes to tie, tiny buttons to fasten, jewelry to hook and even the garter. A good idea is to let someone help you dress.
Factor in photo time
A reasonable amount of time should be allotted for taking photos after the ceremony and before the reception, would be a minimum of an hour and a half. Most photographers concentrate on the bride and groom with their bridal party for the first hour, then family photos in the other half hour. A useful tip is to check the estimated sunset time, since you will want to take advantage of natural light as much as possible for outdoor photos after your ceremony.
Factor in travel time
Find out from your driver/limousine company how long the commute would be from your home to the ceremony and from the ceremony to the reception. It is a good idea for brides and grooms to get dressed at a location close to where the ceremony will take place. The bride should ideally have the hair stylist and makeup artist come to them rather than the other way around to avoid a long commute, traffic or other setbacks to timely arrival.
Avoid the “never-ending cocktail hour”
Guests particularly dislike waiting for hours on end between the ceremony and reception. They also worry about the “never-ending cocktail hour”—the one where they hope to see the couple enter the room but instead hours creep by. While guests wait for the party to get started, they are often overcome with boredom, hunger and thirst. A considerate option is to have entertainment provided for guests while they wait, as well as hors d’oeuvres and drinks. Having a Master of Ceremonies or a wedding planner present is another good idea, since he/she can keep the crowd informed about the agenda and/or the couple’s arrival time.