One of the most helpful things your wedding planner will do is create your day-of production schedule. For couples planning a wedding without the help of a professional, handling this step on their own can feel confusing and unfamiliar, but it's not impossible. If you're not sure how to coordinate vendor deliveries and set up, we're here to help. Here, four helpful tips for timing your day's install and breakdown.
Communicate clearly with vendors and your venue.
If you're working with a number of different vendors, organizing deliveries and set up may require a great deal of back and forth, as what works for certain pros may not work for others. Wedding planner Amy Nichols says, "This is where communication with your vendors and your venue is key!" You should also find out if your venue needs to approve any equipment that your vendors may need to bring in.
Build each space methodically.
Nichols recommends asking vendors who need the most time to set up to arrive first. "If you have complicated lighting that needs to be installed, find out how much time that will take, and if the lighting company needs to use a scissor lift," she says, "If so, you'll likely need to install lighting before your dance floor goes down." Florists typically come in later in the day, as you don't want flowers to wilt and you'll need all of the furniture in place in order to display arrangements.
Don't forget to coordinate load out.
Keep in mind that loading out may need to be scheduled, too. "If your outdoor venue doesn't have functional lighting, then lighting should be removed last, otherwise your vendors won't be able to see at night," Nicholas says. She adds that garbage removal should be scheduled for the end of night, or the following day if it's an option.
Turn to your venue for help with scheduling.
Your venue will have basic rules around when vendors can come and go, including a cut off time for having all vendors off the property. Most venues will have a coordinator or venue manager who can talk you through the logistics of the wedding day and may even be able to help you create the schedule. You might also ask for a sample timeline from previous weddings, which should help guide you through the timing if your wedding is following a similar format.