Wedding Day Timeline: Advice & Example

 

When it comes to planning your timeline, you pretty much have two options

  1. Pay someone to help you plan it (typically along with a day of wedding coordinator)
  2. Plan it yourself and create your own timeline

If you plan to create your own, we want to give you a few quick tips of advice and provide a sample to what you timeline might look like

Advice

  1. Share a copy of your timeline with a bridesmaid and groomsman to help you stay on track to your schedule
  2. Get started earlier than you think and give yourself more time than you think need for activities (such as photos)
  3. Have a good gap of time between your ceremony & reception if you are planning to take photos after the ceremony (this gives you more time to hang out and talk with your guests during cocktail hour)
  4. Hire the best for vendors – find great photographer and a great DJ

Example: Day of Timeline

8:30am – Begin makeup & put in extensions

8:30 am – Bridal party arrives (take video of arrival and photos after with DSLR camera)

8:30 am – Hair and makeup arrives

9:10am – Bridesmaids hair – braided up – makeup eyebrows and eyelashes (hair – $45, makeup – $40, eyelashes – $10)

10 am – Matt sets up the arch with flowers

10:30 am – Maid of honor’s hair – half up, half down with curls and makeup (hair – $45, makeup – $40, eyelashes – $10)

11:15 am – Bridal Party

  • Give gifts (bracelets, earrings, mug, hair ties) – Take photos of gift giving
  • Give maid of honor vows to hold

11:15 am – Groomsmen arrive (Take video of the arrival and photos after with DSLR camera)

  • Give gifts (Drink set & man card) – Take photos of gift giving
  • Give best man box of rings to hold
  • Give best man vows to hold

11:30 am – Brides hair – braided with curls – veil & headband – makeup: eyebrows and eyelashes (hair – $70, eyelashes and eyebrows $15)

11:45 am – Parents of flower girls and ring bearer arrive

  • Mother and daughters meet with girls – give gifts
  • Father and son meet with guys – give gifts

11:50 am  – Maid of honor brings gifts and letters to and from bride and groom

12:00 pm – Parents of bride and parents of groom arrive

12:15 pm – Photographer and videographer arrive

  • Dresses hanging on personalized hangers
  • Photos of guys and girls getting ready in their rooms
  • Photos of rings
  • Photos of children

12:50 pm – Read letters to videographer

1:00 pm – Bride and bridal party robe photos

1:30 pm – Put dresses on

2:00 pm – Bride formal photos (bridal party, parents, and grandparents)

3:00 pm – Grooms formal photos (bridal party, parents, and grandparents)

  • Tux jackets on, tux jackets off, groomsman with ushers, etc.

3:30 pm – Ushers leave to go to the ceremony location

4:00 pm – Rest of groomsman go to the ceremony location

4:00 pm – Girls leave for the ceremony location

4:15 pm – Best man gives ring bearer wedding rings

4:30 pm – Ceremony starts (Tell guests that it starts at 4:15 pm to compensate for late arrivers)

  • Groom and officiant (Begin ceremony in place at alter/podium)
  • Bridal party starts by walking to processional song – “Yellow by Vitamin String Quartet”
  • Flower girls and ring bearer walk to same song (song is 3:38 seconds total)
  • Bride and father walk to “A Thousand Years – The Piano Guys”
  • Officiant goes through entire script including vows, rings, and candle lighting tradition
  • Processional song after officiant is done – “Signed, Sealed, Delivered – Stevie Wonder”

4:50 pm – Ceremony end time

5:00 pm – Cocktail music, games, drinks, photo booth and hanging out time

5:00 pm – Formal photos with the entire wedding party and family members

  • Photos with entire wedding party by lake
  • Photos of bride & groom with all groomsmen
  • Photos of bride & groom with all bridesmaids
  • Photos with of bride and groom with flower girls and ring bearer
  • Photos with bride’s mom, dad, and brothers
  • Photos with groom’s mom, dad, brother, and sisters
  • Photos with bride and groom holding thank you sign

6:30 pm – Finish all photos

6:15 pm – DJ announce for all guests to take their seats & for the wedding party to meet in the back room for the grand entrance

6:15 pm – Sara starts walking around and telling wedding party to meet inside room for the grand entrance

7:00 pm – Start grand entrance – “Can’t Stop the Feeling by Justin Timberlake”

  • Includes ushers, announce only first names of wedding party, play only one song (not a song for each couple), announce bride and groom as Mr. & Mrs. Anderson

7:05 pm – Bride and groom say “Welcome/Thank You Speech” to all guest

7:10 pm – Uncle John says a prayer then DJ lets all guests know that they will be dismissed by table from catering staff for the buffet line and starts dinner music

7:15 pm – Dinner starts

7:45 pm – Bride and groom sneak away to do a private cake cutting for best photos with photographer

8:00 pm – Speeches begin

8:30 pm – First Dance “Perfect by Leroy Sanchez”

8:35 pm – Father/Daughter Dance – “Butterfly Kisses by Bob Carlisle”

8:40 pm – Mother/Son Dance – “Songbird by Fleetwood Mac”

8:45 pm – Open Dance Floor

10:00 pm – Late night snacks & pizza come out

11:55 pm – Dance Ends (play “Piano Man by Billy Joel” for the last song)

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