Controlling the Flow of Events

Brian Walsh
Feb 3, 2020

In my years of experience as a wedding and event DJ, I have come to notice something that can create awkward moments between guests and the wedding party. Many couples, and even planners sometimes, overlook this when creating timelines. What I am referring to is the "flow."
When I say "flow," what I mean is the flow of events, specifically, how each event transitions from one to another. Controlling the flow of events with an effective timeline is paramount for a successful event.

A good way to visualize this idea is driving. Imagine driving somewhere you go all the time. It is such an enjoyable and smooth ride if you hit all green lights, without having to ever fully stop or slow down drastically. A good flow of events is just like hitting all those green lights.

When an event doesn’t flow into the next properly, it can create awkwardness.


Calling back the driving analogy, an event not correctly flowing into another is like hitting a red light. Having slow down or stop can affect the mood or atmosphere of the event.
This brings up another issue with flow, known as "clustering." When there are too many big moments that happen right after each other, it exhausts guests; and, even more so if the events that are being clustered don’t flow together well.

Clustering Example and Solution

An example of clustering would be if the order of events went from grand introductions to the first dance, then special dances followed immediately by toasts.
Introductions and dances is actually a good flow of events; the couple is already present on the floor after the intros, which allows easy flow to the first dance, and even onto special dances.
The outlier in this example is following those events with toasts. Toasts tend to be longer in nature, and require the attention of guests. After giving their full attention to intros and dances, it is hard for many guests to sit quietly through toasts.

One way to fix this example of clustering is to have toasts towards the end of dinner, but before cake cutting. This gives guests time to relax, get some food, and get comfortable at the event. They will then be more receptive to giving speakers their full attention. Following toasts with cake cutting is a perfect way to take care of all the dinner formalities and go straight into dancing.

Creating Your Timeline

When planning your wedding timeline, remember you want nothing but green lights, no reds!

Check out our sample timeline below, as a great way to get started on your own timeline. Controlling the flow of events for your big day doesn't have to be difficult!

Sample Itinerary Controlling Wedding Flow of Events
Photo by Brooke Roberts Photography

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The featured image for this blog post is property of Stout Photo Studios taken at Lightner Museum in St. Augustine, Florida.

We love The Knot! This related article has extensive example timelines for your entire wedding weekend:

About the Author:
Brian Walsh is Assistant Operations Manager, DJ/MC at Island Sound. He has countless 5 star reviews across multiple platforms. His duties include managing our venue and vendor database, traveling to train and equip DJs, and maintaining our excellent levels of performance at weddings and events.

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