With the exception of the things I mentioned yesterday, (tent, lighting, flooring and generator and bathroom trailers), your wedding vendors will generally load in and set up on the wedding day. The arrival of these professionals needs to be scheduled with forethought.
Sometimes the tables and chairs, and some of the other rental items, can be delivered the day before the wedding. This will of course depend on the weather forecast, and whether or not the delivery of these items will encumber the other early morning set ups the next day.
If your lighting wasn’t completed before the wedding day, it should be completed before the caterer arrives. The lighting technician will then stick around to tweak the overhead lighting once the tables and flowers are in their final place. If you are doing any draping as part of your decor, that will usually also be done before the caterer arrives. Other than that, your rentals and your caterer will typically arrive first. A caterer will need a minimum of two hours to set up before your guests will begin to arrive (which is thirty minutes before your ceremony starts). If your alcohol is not coming with the caterer, it should arrive within an hour of the caterer’s arrival so the bartenders can get it chilled before guests arrive.
Your florist should arrive about an hour after your caterer, allowing time for the tables and linens to be set up. The exception to this rule is if the florist has an intensive set up for the ceremony or cocktail hour, and can do that while the caterer works on tables and linens.
Depending on the type of entertainment you have hired, arrival times for the musicians will vary. Bands usually need at least two hours to set up and sound check. You will want the sound check to finish before any guests arrive. This may mean that you will have to pay the band an additional fee for an early set up. DJs should arrive a minimum of an hour before your guests do. Live musicians hired for the ceremony or cocktail hour should arrive and set up before your guests arrive.
Your cake should arrive at least thirty minutes before the guests are set to arrive. If its a warm day and your cake has buttercream frosting, you will want to keep it in the air conditioned home until it is time to cut it.