Weddings can be very stressful to plan, and I find couples struggle most with the logistics of their big day. While as a certified wedding planner I do go into great detail with my timelines and itineraries… I understand the frustration and wondering where to start. Let’s break down the timeline, and go from there!
This is the most important element of your wedding. Without a ceremony there really is no point in the rest of the wedding, right? So talk with your officiant, venue, ceremony coordinator to see when you are able to have your ceremony. You’ll need to know the duration of the ceremony too.
Once you h
ave your ceremony time and location picked out, you can then work backwards for the morning of your wedding. How long will it take you to get your hair and make up done? How many in your bridal party will be getting theirs done? will the stylists come to you, or will you need to travel to them? I typically allow 1 1/2 hours per service just to allow a little breathing room.
Depending on your ceremony time, you may decide to do first look photos where the bride and groom meet at a location and see each other for the first time before the ceremony.
This is typically when couples will do their photo session with the bridal party, and of course family portraits. Talk to your photographers to see how long they estimate photos will take, and which locations you can go to for photos. There are great options around the city, and of course you want to find something to suit your wedding and personalities.
This timeline can get a little tricky. But keeping a few things in mind, this will be a breeze! The first thing to ask the venue is what time they typically serve dinner. In most cases dinner is served between 6pm & 7pm. Depending on the # of guests, your venue manager can give a rough estimate of the length it would take to serve your guests.
Would you like to do speeches during dinner, or after dinner? I would allow 5 mins for speech just to allow your speaker time to get up to the podium.
First dance typically happens shortly after speeches, followed by a bridal party dance, another slow dance for all couples, then the father/daughter dance and mother/son dance. Some couples choose to do the father/daughter and mother/son dance together.
Cake cutting I try to plan close enough to when you will be doing the late night table so that the venue has time to cut the cake and plate it for guests.
If you have any special entertainment, dances or traditions you want to incorporate, you can fit them in between the “set-in-stone” events.
Lastly is the bouquet and garter toss. If you are planning to do this, you’ll probably want to plan this for later in the evening.