How to create a wedding day timeline

How to create a wedding day timeline_

When it comes to your wedding, creating a timeline for the day is of utmost importance. Having a wedding day timeline helps you track timing for everything from waking up in the morning to your last dance and helps your wedding run like clockwork. Your wedding day will be full of events, and running and rushing, though you don’t have to rush and run literally. But, running even a few minutes late can throw the whole day off-track, which might ultimately annoy your guests. Not at all a wise idea!

Wedding day timeline however, vary from couple to couple based on their wedding style, vendors, venue, family and friends. But, in this post I am sharing with you the most common rules that you can follow to create a great wedding day timeline.

Keep reading…

1. Include everything whether small or big…

Don’t miss to include even a small detail in your wedding timeline, including wake up time, eating breakfast, signing the marriage license, and more.

2. Talk to the experts.

If you have hired a professional wedding planner take his/her help in creating your wedding day timeline, and if you don’t have any then asking from venue event managers or from someone who recently got hitched can be a great help to create your wedding day timeline. They can surely help you create a nice wedding day agenda that is workable and feasible for all. Also, don’t miss to talk to your vendors about how long they’ll require to set-up and prep. It will help you schedule them accordingly and you would be able to provide them with enough time to complete their tasks.

Moreover, if there’s any form of transportation involved in your wedding (to the ceremony or from the ceremony to the reception), make sure you allow them at least a 15-minute buffer in case there’s an unexpected traffic or other delays.

3. Allow some buffer

If you’re really worried about your guests running late, factorize an additional 5-10 minutes to your ceremony start time so that everyone has time to find their seats and get settled. Also, to deal with guests who may run late, you can have either ushers or someone from your family may be your cousin or sibling, who can direct late arrivals to their seats properly after the ceremony has started.

4. Consider the Following Aspects

Creating a wedding day agenda depends on various aspects of your wedding, and you need to consider all those aspects carefully to create a feasible wedding day timeline. Here are the aspects that you need to consider before you create your wedding day timeline.

  • Yours is a destination wedding or wedding in your hometown. Because in new places you are not fully aware of things and hence have to be extra cautious.
  • Timing of the ceremony: whether planning a late afternoon ceremony or late evening ceremony with a seated dinner reception.
  • Planning to get ready at your ceremony location or in the hotel reserved for you and your guests or somewhere else.
  • Is your reception location separate from your ceremony location? In that case you will need to include travel time into your wedding timeline.
  • Your wedding photography –Planning on having a “first look” and doing photos before the ceremony or would want to have them during the cocktail hour.
  • Discuss the length of the ceremony with your officiant.
  • The number of dances and the toasts lined up.
  • Are you planning to provide transportation for your wedding party members and/or wedding guests?
  • When will your cocktail hour take place: before the ceremony or between the ceremony and reception?
  • Travel time: from your ceremony to the reception venue.
  • Bride and groom prep.
  • Wedding crew prep.
  • The timing and type of reception.
  • Are you planning to have a receiving line?
  • Is there any predetermined time to end your reception? Know this beforehand, as it is crucial to plan things accordingly.
  • How about your first dance?
  • The exact time when your vendors such as florists, photographers, music bands etc. will arrive at the venue.
  • Hours of your wedding photographer and DJ/music band.
  • Planning to host an after-party or parties!

If you know all these it will be easier to create a wedding day agenda.

5. Make your wedding day agenda

As I said earlier, every wedding is different and so are the wedding agendas. You may find thousands of wedding day timeline templates online, but you can’t have them for your wedding. So, to create a wedding day timeline, list down all the activities that are going to take place on your day. Your list should include every single detail be it a very small detail, wake up, eating breakfast, getting ready, wedding crew getting ready, couple photography, cocktail hour, first dance, toasts, everything for that matter along with the duration.

6. Give your wedding day timeline widely

Make sure you give your wedding day timeline to all of your vendors, your family, wedding party, and as VIPs (if any). It will help them know where and when they are supposed to be on the day of your wedding. If you have a wedding planner, then it’s great he/she can keep track of timeline but if you haven’t hired a professional, then you could possibly ask your maid of honor to be the “keeper of the timeline,” who can make sure that things are running smoothly and keep an eye on the clock and enforce the schedule.

Here are some samples of detailed timeline for you:

Have a look.

Morning Ceremony + Brunch Reception:

6 A.M. to 6:15 A.M. Wake up; freshen up
6:15 A.M. to 6:30 A.M. eat breakfast.
6:30 A.M. to 8:30 A.M. Bride and bridesmaid do their hair and makeup, while the groom and groomsmen shave, shower, and get ready.
Photographers arrive while the bride is getting ready; to shoot gown and other details during this process.
8:30 A.M. Bride and bridesmaids are dressed and ready, groom and groomsmen are dressed and ready. Bride along with bridesmaids, groom, and groomsmen head to the ceremony site.
8:45 A.M. Time for first look photos and portraits.
9:10 A.M. Photographers shoot bridal party, couple, and family portraits.
10:15 A.M. Ceremony starts.
11:00 A.M. Guests moving from the ceremony to the reception location.
11:15 A.M. The newlyweds enter the venue, can either have their first dance or take a seat.
11:20 A.M. Brunch starts
11:35 A.M. While guests are eating, speakers making short toasts.
11:50 A.M. Time for Mother-son, father-daughter and other predetermined dances.

Noon Dance floor opens.

12:45 P.M. Cut the cake or open the dessert bar.
1:00 P.M. Guests sitting for dessert.
1:05 P.M. Newlyweds make a thank-you speech while guests enjoy dessert.
1:10 P.M. Toss the bouquet!
1:55 P.M. Last dance.

Late Afternoon Wedding + Seated-Dinner Reception:

7 A.M. to 7:30 A.M. Wake up; freshen up
7:30 A.M. to 8:00 A.M. eat breakfast.
8:00 A.M. to 12:00 A.M. Bride and bridesmaid do their hair and makeup, while the groom and groomsmen shave, shower, and get ready.

Photographers arrive while the bride is getting ready; to shoot gown and other details during this process.

12:00 P.M. to 12:30 P.M. eat lunch
12:30 P.M. hair and makeup touch ups
1:00 P.M. Bride along with bridesmaids is dressed and ready.
1:30 P.M. Photographers shoot portraits with bride, bridesmaids, and others.
2:30 P.M. Bride along with bridesmaids, groom, and groomsmen head to the ceremony site.
2:45 P.M. Couples have a first look photos
3:10 P.M. Time for the photographer to shoot couples portraits, bridal party portraits, and family portraits.
4:30 P.M. Ceremony starts.
5:15 P.M. Cocktail hour begins.
6:00 P.M. Guests moving from the cocktail hour to the reception venue.
6:15 P.M.Newlyweds enter can either have their first dance or take a seat.
6:25 P.M. Dinner service starts.
6:35 P.M. While guests are eating, speakers making short toasts.
7:00 P.M. Time for Mother-son, father-daughter, and other predetermined dances.
7:15 P.M. Dance floor is now open for guests.
8:00 P.M. Cake cutting or open the dessert bar.
8:15 P.M. Guests sit for dessert.
8:20 P.M. Newlyweds make a thank-you speech while guests enjoy dessert.
8:45 P.M. Toss the bouquet!
9:30 P.M. Announcement for the last call.
9:55 P.M. The last dance.
11:00 P.M. Dismantling and cleaning up

Late-Night Cocktail Party:

8:00 A.M. to 1:00 P.M. Wake up, eat breakfast, pamper yourself, do whatever you want to do, enjoy every bit of your morning.
1:00 P.M. to 4:30 P.M. Bride and bridesmaid do their hair and makeup, while the groom and groomsmen shave, shower, and get ready.
4:45 P.M. eat something light to stay full until your dinner.

Meanwhile, photographers arrive while the bride is getting ready; to shoot gown and other details during this process.

5:30 P.M. hair and makeup touch ups.
5:45 P.M. Bride and bridesmaids are dressed and ready.
6:15 P.M. Photographers shoot portraits with bride, bridesmaids, and others.
6:45 P.M. Bride along with bridesmaids, groom, and groomsmen head to the ceremony site.
7:00 P.M.Couples have their first look photos.
7:20 P.M. Time for the photographer to shoot couples portraits, bridal party portraits, and family portraits.
8:15 P.M. Ceremony starts.
9:00 P.M. Guests moving from the ceremony to the reception venue.
9:05 P.M. food stations open.
9:15 P.M. The bridal party is introduced, while newlyweds enter and greet guests.
9:35 P.M. While guests are eating, speakers are making short toasts.
9:45 P.M. Time for first dance, Mother-son, father-daughter, and other predetermined dances.
10:00 P.M. Dance floor is now open for guests. Food services pauses.
10:15 P.M.Cake cutting or open the dessert bar.
10:15 P.M. Guests sit for dessert.
10:20 P.M. Newlyweds make a thank-you speech while guests enjoy dessert.
10:45 P.M. Toss the bouquet!
11:30 P.M. Announcement for the last call.
11:55 P.M.The last dance.
12:00 P.M. Couple’s exit

Happy Wedding… ☺ ☺

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