Planning Your Wedding Day Timeline


Planning Your Wedding Day Timeline

A simple guide to get you started.

planning your wedding day timeline

The timeline is intended to be a general starting point. Many factors make each wedding day unique, such as having the wedding and the reception in a different location. Other considerations to make when finalizing your timeline include sunset time, location/weather, the amount of time your photographer requires for portraits, transportation time, the type of reception you are having, and any cultural traditions that make your wedding unique.

This timeline is built around sunset time at 6:00 pm. It also assumes the bride and groom have decided to do a first look and see each other before the ceremony. I believe the route is ideal for many reasons. You can read all about the first look HERE.

With all those provisions, here is a sample wedding day timeline with sunset at 6:00 pm:

1:00 – Amy & Dan arrive at the venue.

1:05 – 2:25 Amy Photographs the bride’s details (dress, shoes, jewelery, bouquet etc…) Then, the finishing touches of hair and makeup and bride getting in her gown. Meanwhile, Dan photographs the venue details, and the groom getting ready.

2:30 – Bride & Groom first look/portraits

3:00 – Bridal Party Portraits

3:30 – Family Portraits

4:00 – Bride & Groom in hiding (rest & refresh). Amy & Dan photograph the ceremony location, details, and guests arriving.

5:00 – Ceremony

5:30 – Cocktail Hour/ Bride and Groom Just Married Portraits/Sunset Portraits

6:30 – Dinner reception

6:45 – Grand Entrance/ First Dance

7:00 – Dinner

7:30 – Toasts & Special Dances

8:00 – Open Dancing

8:30 – Cake cutting/ garter toss/ more open dancing

9:00 – Special Exit


Brides, when planning your timeline for when to begin getting ready count backward from the time you’ll see your groom (2:30 in this example). Plan time for hair & makeup, transportation, getting into your dress etc… It’s ALWAYS better to overestimate the time than not have enough.

The key to enjoying your day is to have a great plan in place. You have so much more to focus on, like GETTING MARRIED to your soulmate and being present and enjoying the day! It will fly by.

Again, this is a jumping off point and I hope you find it helpful!

You might also like:

The Showstopper Wedding Bouquet

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