In planning your event – whether it is a social event, wedding, fund raiser or business launch, putting together a “Day Of” timeline insures the elimination of any last minute extra mental stress. I suggest that you design your timeline at 15 to 30-minute increments. And then when you plug in an item, pad on another 30 minutes wherever you can as it always seems to take longer than anticipated. So in doing this, it does not mean that a crisis won’t occur – no one can predict that – but when every detail – no matter how minor, is placed on the timeline - you know what and when to expect and that means – a lot less surprises!
So here are some items to consider. For the venue, set up of the tables, chairs, service/food tables, bartending station, linens, podium, sound system… What about the decorations and centerpieces? Plug in the florist if you have ordered flowers. What time will your caterer arrive? Does she or he have plenty of room to set up and serve? Do you need service staff and/or bartenders? What time do you want them there? (Make sure you have the proper insurance to serve alcohol at your event.) If you are having entertainment, plug their arrival, set up and take down on to the time line. Is there adequate parking for help and guests? Restrooms? (Make sure to have the restrooms checked periodically throughout your event for clean-up and restock – plug these time slots on to your timeline – same goes for emptying waste containers.) Are you having photos taken? What time does the photographer arrive and what kind of photos? Does she or he need help gathering groups together? And then, last but certainly not the least – clean up. Everyone is going to be tired at the end of the event. Make sure you have people lined up to clean up and put everything back in its place and with its rightful owner.