(Closed) Day-of Timeline For a Morning/Early Afternoon Wedding

posted 6 years ago in Ceremony
Post # 3
100 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

We had a 10am ceremony (which ended up starting around 10:15). I’ll list our timeline below, but there’s a lot of traditional-type stuff we didn’t do — I did my own hair and makeup, we didn’t do getting-ready photos, and the bridal party just met us at the ceremony site rather than all getting ready together somewhere. I think you could make it work to fit that stuff in if you wanted to, though.


6 – 8:30am: bride wakes up, breakfast with family, getting ready, etc. groom gets up, gets ready, heads to reception venue to set up.

9am: bridal party, parents, etc. arrive at ceremony venue. photog arrives at the same time

9:15am: first look

9:15 – 9:50am: formals with bridal party and close family. sometime during this period (9:30ish, I think) the flowers were delivered and got handed out.

9:45am: guests arrive, find seats

10am: ceremony


We had an additional photo session with extended family after the ceremony for about a half hour, I think — we had our ceremony site reserved from 9 – 11, so we used the extra time after the ceremony for the photos. You can do formals pretty efficiently if you give your photographer a clear list ahead of time and make sure everyone knows when they’ll be pulled in for pictures (so they don’t wander off and make you spend time hunting them down).

Hope this helps! You do have to get a bit creative when you don’t have a whole day to get everything prepared, but I really loved our morning wedding/afternoon reception.

ETA: When I was planning the day, I used a spreadsheet from A Practical Wedding to start with: http://apracticalwedding.com/spreadsheets/. There’s one called ‘Day of Timeline (DIY, Morning)’ that I found really helpful.

Post # 4
14 posts
  • Wedding: May 2013

I am doing something very similar! We are having a dry wedding at 130pm. It saves SO MUCH MONEY on catering to have “snacks” versus a full meal. Also, who is really going to notice the lack of alcohol at 2 in the afternoon?? For my wedding I was going to wake up around 10 (maybe sooner) to start everything. For your photo list, you are going to want at least an hour if not 1 1/2 reserved for that. Hair/makeup/getting dressed is another 1-1 1/2 hours. I personally would get up sometime around 7am if not a little earlier so you wont have to rush too much. And I agree with @happypup on making the timeline, that way ALL vital people will know what to do and when and that will really help you stay on track!

Post # 5
529 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

Our ceremony is starting at 11am on a Sunday and we’re doing a brunch reception, I’m not sure exactly what time we’re getting up and getting ready- I still have to call the onsite spa and figure out the times for everything with me and 4 girls getting ready. So I don’t know yet but I can always tell you when I’m done talking with them! I’m hoping it won’t take too long so we can push the ceremony start time to 10a! 

Post # 6
5 posts
  • Wedding: August 2012

Our ceremony started at 11am. I woke up at 6 because I couldn’t go back to sleep! Hair and makeup people came at 7:30. We had two hair stylists and two makeup artists for six girls. Finished at 9:30, got to the ceremony site in time for a first look in the area at about 10am. The two of us took photos for about 30 minutes. Our ceremony at 11 took about 30 minutes, and we took photos with friends/family afterwards for about 30 minutes, finishing around 12. That said, we also took photos during cocktail hour and during the meal. 

I guess how much time you need to take to get ready will depend on how large your bridal party will be. Also, our limo person told us it would take twice as long to get to our destination because they have to drive slowly (but we’re in a city with tiny streets, so you should ask your people). Finally, with more people you have in your bridal party, it is likely that you’ll have to consider more time traveling and taking photos (adjusting and such). I didn’t really think about this stuff while planning, but my Mother-In-Law was really a stickler on time and scheduling, so just a few things to consider. 

Post # 7
529 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

@glee811:  wow! That’s extremly helpful, thank you so much. I’m shocked by how quickly hair and make up was done. Did the stylists do the hair and make up at the same time for each girl? Was it traditional foundation or airbrush? What type of styles were done for the hair (updos/ blowouts)?


I just contacted the salon thats on site with our ceremony / reception and they said that it would be about 1 hour for hair and 45 minutes for makeup. They’ve got 4 stylists and our party is 5 altogether which is stressing me out a little because the salon doesen’t open until 9a and our ceremony is at 11. The salon rep basically asked if the ceremony has to start at 11- RUDE. I’m currently stressing over that 🙂 I’m excited to see what other brides did for their morning and how long it took. 

Post # 8
524 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

futuremrsndl…. Hubby and I went to a early wedding today and had a ball. The wedding started at 11:30 well maybe 11:45, the cocktail hour follwed it was for an hour, the couple didnt serve any hard alchol they had beers ( Heineken and Samuel Adams only) but you could have and frozen drink you wanted non alochol. Then reception started it was great had dinner we danced it was fun and I must say I am tired!! The recpetion was over at 5:30

So all you ealy brides it can be done and your guest will have a reat time, we are home now relaxed and glas it was early so now we can watch a movie together

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