Wedding day timeline help!!!!

posted 2 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 2
308 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

A ceremony is typically 30 minutes to an hour. If you plan on doing a cocktail hour before dinner that is about an hour. And dinner is usually included in the time of your reception, which would be about 45 minutes to an hour as well. If you booked your reception venue then you should already have a timeframe for how long your reception can be.

I would ask your photographer how much time it usually takes them to do photos. My photographer laid out a general time frame for us so it made it really helpful to know what we needed to do and when. 

  • This reply was modified 2 years ago by  Kendrao.
Post # 3
1532 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

Timelines are tough. This is where you hoe you hired good vendors to help you out.

Working backwards from the ceremony, you need like at least 10 minutes to sit and be out of view before the ceremony starts.

Factor in travel time.

Before that you may or may not do pictures. Decide what pictures you want to take pre-ceremony and ask your photographer how long those will take. That will give you the start time for pictures.

Factor in travel time. Factor in time for hair & makeup to take too long.

Call your hair stylist and/or MUA and tell her when you need to be ready. She will be able to give you a start time.

Factor in travel time. Now you have the time that you need to be out the door! So before that make sure you’re awake and showered and have everything you need for the day.

Post # 4
111 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

A friend of mine, who was married last year, gave me this “typical” timeline which I found super helpful:

Pre-ceremony:  allow 2-3 hours for bride & bridesmaids hair & makeup.  If taking pictures, allow 1 hour before the start of the ceremony.

Ceremony:  30 minutes – 1 hour

Cocktail reception (if having):  1 hour.  Bride & groom, wedding party, and family pictures are usually done during this time.  Any longer than an hour between ceremony and reception, you should have a place guests can go to wait and snacks available.  

Reception:  wedding party & bride and groom are announced.  First dance immediately follows announcements.  Father/bride and mother/groom dance immediately follows first dance (can be at the same time or one right after the other.)  Guests are invited to dance while dinner service begins.

Dinner service:  1 hour to 1.5 hours.  Toasts begin after the final course is served, or if having a buffet, after all guests have gotten their food and seated for 15 minutes. 

Final stuff:  Garter/bouquet toss immediately following dinner service.  Guests are invited to dance again.  Cake cutting is 1-2 hours before the end of the reception.

Leaving the reception:  If the bride/groom are doing a formal exit (with sparklers and such) the guests line up 10 minutes before bride and groom leave.  The guests are then given 45 minutes-1 hour to finish up and leave after bride/groom leaves. 

Hope this helps!

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