When planning your wedding day timeline, it is important to follow a few key steps:
1 | TIME OF THE WEDDING CEREMONY
Start with the ceremony time and work backwards to create the rest of the timeline. Allow for around 15-30 minutes buffer before the ceremony for the bride to relax, refresh, and prepare for the ceremony.
2 | FIRST LOOK
Consider whether you want to do a first look, which is a special and emotional moment for many couples. If so, plan to do it just before the ceremony.
3 | TRAVEL TIME
If your ceremony and reception are in different locations, add extra cushion time for travel. Consider adding 15 minutes to your schedule and allow for any potential traffic or emergencies.
4 | TIME OF SUNSET
Keep the time of sunset in mind when planning your timeline. Sunset is a beautiful time for photos, so add about 30 minutes before sunset to your schedule to ensure you capture some epic couples portraits.
5 | RECEPTION START TIME
Once the ceremony and couples portraits are finished, it’s time to move on to the reception. Typically, the reception starts with cocktail hour, followed by dinner and then dancing. Make sure to set a start time for the reception and communicate it to all of your guests.
6 | COCKTAIL HOUR
Cocktail hour is a great time for guests to mingle and socialize before dinner. This is also a good time for you and your partner to take some candid photos with your guests or sneak away for a few more couples portraits.
7 | DINNER TIME
Once cocktail hour is over, it’s time for dinner. Make sure to allow enough time for your guests to be served and enjoy their meal. A typical dinner service can last around 2 hours, but this can vary depending on your menu and the number of guests.
8 | TOASTS AND SPEECHES
After dinner, it’s time for toasts and speeches. This is a great time for your loved ones to share their heartfelt words and wishes for your future together. Plan to allocate about 30 minutes to an hour for this portion of the evening.
9 | CAKE CUTTING AND OTHER TRADITIONS
Once the toasts are finished, it’s time for some traditional wedding events such as the cake cutting, first dance, and parent dances. These events typically take around 30 minutes to an hour, depending on how many you choose to include.
10 | DANCING AND PARTYING
Finally, it’s time to hit the dance floor and celebrate with your loved ones! Plan to allocate at least 2-3 hours for dancing and partying. Remember to communicate with your DJ or band to ensure that the music is tailored to your taste and that everyone has a great time.