Wedding Day Timelines

Timelines pronovias Wedding gown

Photo Source, Pronovias

This is a post I put up a while back but because I have had a busy week doing very detailed timelines for 2 upcoming wedding, I thought it was apt to put out there again. I hope you enjoy it again if you read it the first time around!

One of my brides was just about to order  her invitations and wanted to run her proposed time line by me.  I did adjust her timeline and most importantly ceremony time from this which she had:

2.30: Buses at venue.

3.00-4.00: Ceremony
4.00-4:45: Busing guests to venue from church via short tour
4:45-7.00:Cocktail reception at venue
7.00-9:30: Dinner
9:30-12:30: Band
12:30-?:  DJ

To this:

1.00 Bus arrives at venue

1.15 guests get on the bus {tell them 15 minutes earlier. There is always a few late ones!}

1.30 Bus departs

1.45 guests arrive at church

2.00 – 3.00 Ceremony {we changed here ceremony time all together}

3.20 – guests get on the bus from church via short tour

3.30 – Bus departs on tour

4.30/5.00 Guests arrive back at venue

5.30 ish – (Consult your photographer on this) Bride and Groom arrive back at Venue.

6.30 – Call for Dinner

Timelines Photo source, The Knot

Photo source, The Knot

7.00 First course is served

9.00 Speeches begin

9.30 First dance

12.00 DJ starts

So here are some suggestions to consider when doing your own wedding day timeline.

-          Check with your main suppliers for advice on times.  These are your hairdresser and makeup artists, photographers, venue or caterer. Your venue may insist that you sit at a certain time and your photographer will know how long they need you.

-          Know how long your speeches are going to be or give them a time limit.

-          If you are having a full mass, I always allow 1 ½ hours at the church. Your ceremony won’t be that long but your guests will be milling about afterwards chatting and taking photos. Let them relax a while.

-          Consider how much time it takes to gather and move a large group of people and how many times you will have to do that. With the above, we need to gather everyone from the Venue to church, from the church to the venue again and when calling for dinner. The more guests you have the longer it will take each time.

-          Are you offering a choice for dinner? If so orders may need to be taken and wine and water poured. I have found an average wedding party of 150 guests will need 30 minutes from calling for dinner to when they actually have their first course in front of them.

Wedding Canapes

Photo by Kevin Charlie

-          How much time do you want to spend with your guests at the drinks reception/cocktail hour? Would you take photos before the wedding?

-          If your guests have an early start as the second (my) timeline, please consider giving them canapes or some food before dinner. They probably have not eaten since breakfast!

-          How long is your band’s set up time? Can they do that before the meal or will they be in a different room?

So that’s some food for thought. Consider the above and be realistic. You don’t want dead spots of time but neither do you want to rush things and constantly be running late. It’s a stress you don’t need and your guests will notice.


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