Planning your wedding day schedule can be a nightmare. With so many things to think about, finding out what happens when, how long things last and who needs to be where. Remember you only get this day once so it’s important to try and make every second count. So, to help you keep to your timings we have a guide… (feel free to change according to your needs)
If you’re working with a wedding planner or coordinator they will probably handle it, however if you’re doing it on your own following these steps will help you craft a timeline and schedule that creates a seamless experience, helps your vendors out on the day and cuts down your managing time so you can just enjoy your day.
1. Information and Material Gathering
Collecting all the information and material that you need to craft the timeline and schedule is an essential first step – especially the external information or material that is out of your control. To help you out here are some questions to ask yourself:
- What time can you get into your reception space and what time do you need to be out?
- How many hours does your photography and videography package cover?
- How long will your prep (hair and makeup) take for you and your bridesmaids?
- How long will your ceremony take?
- If your ceremony and reception venues are far apart, how long will travelling take?
- How long will formal photo’s take?
- Are you having a cocktail hour – how long will it be?
- How many guests are giving toasts?
- Are you doing first dance?
- Are you cutting the cake?
- Are you planning to toss your bouquet?
- Do you want to make a exit before the last dance?
To answer some of these questions, you might need to chat with your vendors – especially your caterer and photographer.
2. Add times and details as you get them
This will help you create your schedule and timeline. If you’re stuck here’s a look at the standard plan of an evening wedding.
- 10:30 AM – Prep (Beauty) Time
- 13:45 PM – Guests start arriving
- 14:00 PM – Ceremony Begins
- 15:00 PM – Ceremony Ends | Confetti & Setlist Shots (Family Formals)
- 15:30 PM – Bridal Party Photos
- 16:00 PM – Cocktail Hour
- 17:00 PM – Dinner is Served
- 18:30 PM – Speeches
- 19:00 PM – Cake is Cut
- 19:30 PM – First Dance to Open Floor
- 21:00 PM – Toss Bouquet
- 23:45 PM – Bride and Groom Depart
- 24:00 AM – Reception Ends
Of course there are many other factors that can affect your timeline. Here are but a few:
- Locations – Do you have one or two?
- Family Formal Photos and Bridal Party Photos
And, to be even more prepared make multiple versions of your timeline and schedule. This will help either your wedding planner or day of coordinator manage the day better without relying on you too much.
But remember, a wedding day schedule and timeline is just a guideline – as long as you don’t keep your guests waiting too long and your food is fresh, it’s totally fine to change the plan slightly.
We hope this post helped you plan your wedding day schedule perfectly. Now, let us know in the comments below if you have a timeline and whether or not you changed the flow or have any other tips to add.
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And, if you missed our last post What to ask your wedding entertainment go check it out here.