How to Create a Wedding Day Timeline

To ensure the day of the wedding will run smoothly is by creating a great timeline for the day! By creating a timeline it helps you, your groom, bridesmaids and groomsmen stay on track! It not only helps them, but will also help your vendors and photographer know when to show up as well as start setting up to prepare.

Now we all know about making sure we are all on time to the wedding and when the reception starts, however, that is not enough!

There are many moving and working parts within a wedding. Whether it is out on display for everyone to see, or behind the scenes helping make the magic. This is only all possible when every working part is on a schedule/ timeline.

So lets start in the beginning.

  • (12:00 PM) Hair and makeup artists should be starting. Hair Stylists should start on bridesmaids while the makeup artist starts on the bride.
  • (12:30 PM) The photographer should show up 30 minutes before the bride is ready. This is to ensure that they are in the right place and their equipment is functioning properly. This also gives the photographer a perfect opportunity for beautiful photos of the bridal party getting ready.
  • (1:10 PM) Bridesmaids should be dressed and the bride’s hair and makeup will be completed.
  • (1:25 PM) Bride will begin putting the gown on. Photographer or trusted friend/bridesmaid can help take the precious photos of the bride getting ready.
  • (1:40 PM) Bride can now begin with portraits with the photographer.
  • (2:10 PM- 2:30 PM) Bride and bridesmaid photos.
  • (2:30 PM Optional) You can opt for a first glance of the groom looking at the bride if you want a more intimate option instead of under hundred of eyes when the bride walks down the aisle.
  • (2:30 PM-3:00 PM) If you choose to opt for the first glance, your photographer can take the photos of you two and capture the moment of the first glance. This would also be a great opportunity to take photos at the locations you wanted and scouted for the perfect backdrop to your wedding photos.
  • (3:00 PM- 4:00 PM) Now it is time for your wedding party and family photos. Have your wedding party at the venue by 2:40 so there is time for the stragglers. Don’t forget to provide the photographer a short list of everyone you want in the family photos.
  • (5:00 PM) Have this as your listed start time on your wedding invitations, however it is best to plan to actually start your ceremony about 15 to 30 minutes later. This allows for any stragglers or people running late to get into the ceremony venue. This also prevents awkward interruptions during the ceremony with late arrivals.
  • (5:20 PM) Is the actual start time of the ceremony.
  • (5:20 PM- 5:55 PM) The time block varies for many ceremonies, depending on religious ceremonies, vows, etc.
  • (5:55 PM- 6:55 PM) This time frame is perfect for your guests to mingle and enjoy snacks and drinks. You can also use this time to take your wedding photos if you had chosen not to do the optional pre- ceremony photo-op. If you have already taken the photos, then join the party and celebrate with your guests.
  • (6:55 PM- 7:20 PM) This is the perfect opportunity to get some beautiful sunset photos in.
  • (7:20 PM) It is time to invite your guests to dinner.
  • (7:35 PM) This is when your grand entrance and first dance will begin.
  • (7:50 PM-8:40 PM) It is time for dinner.
  • (8:50 PM- 9:05 PM) Toasts! Time for your best man and maid of honor to toast the happy couple. Try to set a time limit of how long speeches should be. 5 minutes are the recommended time.
  • (9:10 PM- 9:20 PM) Father- daughter and mother- son dances. Best done after the toast, it allows for an easier transition onto the dance floor.
  • (9:50 PM-10:05 PM) Time for cake! This is a good time to do the bouquet and garter toss. This is also a perfect opportunity for the new married couple to thank their guests for coming.
  • (10:10 PM) Time to dance like nobody’s watching!
  • (11:45 PM) Last Call! Have a final song with your DJ to , say your goodbyes, give your last hugs and say goodnight. Have a designated member of your bridal party to help organize the guests along the exit path of the bride and groom. Also make sure that you have someone organize all your gifts and other belongings to help you load it into your getaway car, so you don’t accidentally leave them behind.