Dear DJ AJ9: The Knot Told Me To Change My Timeline


A personal note from DJ AJ9 follows:

Dear Readers,

Good morning!  As I write this, it’s about 9:30 AM.  This morning, The Knot posted yet another article about timelines, and by the time I write this, I am engaged in active conversations with four of my current clients that I can summarize with one question:

“My timeline doesn’t match up with The Knot timeline; should we revise it?”

Because of the short amount of time that has passed compared to the volume of similar inquiries, I knew I should release a DJ AJ9 “Official Statement” ASAP!  Here it is:


No, you should not change your already-planned-for-good-reason timeline because The Knot timeline doesn’t match your timeline, unless you see a compelling new idea in The Knot’s article that you want to explore.  In that case — let’s schedule another planning meeting to talk, and let’s keep your wedding planner in the loop, if you have one, too.


The Knot is a national publication/site, and, consequently, the timelines they release must either be some bizarre mish-mash of different regional traditions or must favor one region over others.

For example: cake cutting. Where I grew up, in Knoxville, Tennessee, cutting the cake can be seen as a sign that the party is wrapping up. It’s generally saved for near the end of the evening. Couples often serve another dessert, after dinner, and guests take boxed wedding cake home. For that reason, waiting until 10:30 PM to cut the cake isn’t that weird, but — here in NEO — people eat the cake as dessert, typically, and I usually see cakes being cut around 8:00 PM. Sometimes, the cake is even cut before dinner as a convenience to the catering staff, though this does require the couple to eat (unblessed, if you’re blessing) dessert before dinner and to cluster several special events together preventing each of them from having their own special spotlight of time in the evening.

Another example: First Dance. In other areas of the country, dinner service lasts a long time, and dancing between courses of the meal is common. In those regions, it makes sense to schedule the first dance as early in the evening as possible, since it’s “bad luck” for other people to dance before the Bride and Groom. Here, we do not dance between courses, and it seems strange (to me) to have a first dance prior to dinner so segmented from other dancing and butted up against other special events in a cluster, preventing it from having the spotlight of special it deserves.

On a more personal note: it frustrates me to see such a prominent outlet distributing such confusing information — without any sources cited — presented as “fact.”  This is an opinion article, and it is my opinion that your opinion is more relevant to your wedding that Meredith Bodgas’s who — by the way — is a blogger and magazine editor who lives in the Greater New York City Area, where regional traditions are very different from the ones in Northeast Ohio.  Not a wedding planner.  Not an entertainment specialist.

She doesn’t know about the special grand entrance you have planned with personalized bios for every bridal party member — or the telling of your Love Story — or the fabulous cookie table — or the sparkler send-off — or the “after party!”  She’s not a bad person for not knowing, and The Knot isn’t a bad media outlet for publishing the story, but — like everything on the internet — take it with a grain of cyber-salt.  The Knot deals in generalities, and, if you’re planning with Something New Entertainment, your wedding is far from cookie-cutter!

Heidi Baumgart from Heidzillas Wedding Planning and Coordination offers another important piece of advice: don’t forget to account for the in-between times!

HeidzillasLogo“I find that the time that most online stories and my clients forget is the moving around time. For instance, your dad may have a 5 minute speech, but it will take 1-2 minutes for the emcee to introduce him, hand him the microphone, the clapping to stop, him to stop crying and actually start to speak. Also, yes it may take a limo 10 minutes to go from point A to point B but it could take up to 10 minutes for your bridal party all to get on the bus, move bags, and actually sit down before the limo bus can go!”


Ultimately, it’s you who must make the decisions about timing and scheduling for your big day, but rest assured that you’ve got tremendous support behind you. The team at Something New Entertainment will help you explore your motivations for timing and to help you understand the logistical implications of the resulting itinerary to make sure that you achieve the event “flow” you’re expecting.

After all, that’s why you hired an expert Master of Ceremonies and not a jukebox, right?

What do YOU think about The Knot’s article?  I’m interested in hearing from Northeast Ohio Brides and Grooms, Northeast Ohio Wedding Professionals, and Entertainment Professionals from the 49 other states about how relevant and valuable this information is to you.  Comment, below, and we will choose one lucky reader who comments to receive a Something New Bride Tee and a copy of Peter Merry’s book “The Best Wedding Reception…EVER!”

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