(Closed) Married bees- tell me your day of timing errors/successes!

posted 5 years ago in Logistics
Post # 3
2869 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

Aww! Don’t stress too much.  I worried about getting my timeline exactly right, and honestly, day of, I have no idea if we stuck to it or not!!!  The main times that matter are before the ceremony; the reception you should have an idea of when to do cake cutting, toasts, first dance etc, but to a certain extent it will just flow. Work backwards from the ceremony to figure out getting ready time, and if you know your reception start and finish times, start plugging things like dinner, toasts, cake cutting, first dance, open dancing, and move them around until they seem reasonable.  There’s no hard and fast rules, but lots of examples online.

Are you using hair and makeup people or doing your own? They will know how long they need to get you ready.  Getting actually dressed doesn’t take long, and you’ll have an idea of how long it takes after doing your dress fittings. 

As far as how long for photos, are you doing a first look or doing all photos after the ceremony?  Guests will presumably be at some type of cocktail hour when you do the post-wedding formal shots?  How long it takes depends on how big your families and bridal parties are, any extra/posed couple shots you want, etc.  I’d talk to your photographer about how long they need. 

I also did a timeline for the day before for rehearsal, rehearsal dinner, etc., partially because our location was an hour away.

Mine, for an example:

Brunch with bridesmaids: 11am-12pm

Leave for location: by 12.30pm

Arrive location: by 1.30pm

Makeup/hair/get dressed: 1.45-3pm

Photos (separate): 3pm-3.45pm

Guests arrive: 3.30pm-4pm

Ceremony: 4pm-4.30pm

Photos/cocktails: 4.30pm-5.30pm

Dinner (buffet): 6pm-7pm

Toasts: 6.45pm

First dance: 7.15pm

Cake cutting: 8.15pm

Last dance: 9.50

Bride and Groom depart: 10pm

Cleanup: 10pm-11pm

However, as I said, I have no idea if it actually went like that.  I think the toasts were a bit later and the cake cutting was a bit earlier. The photos also didn’t take the whole cocktail hour, so we were able to mingle with guests and enjoy the hors d’oeuvres and drinks 🙂

Post # 5
2869 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

@aprilbride26:  It was totally awesome 🙂 Small, I think we ended up with 35 guests, but that was perfect because we knew everyone and got to talk to everyone.  Like everyone says though, it completely flew by!! I never wanted a videographer but now I kinda wish I had one, so I could see more of the moments that I missed or don’t fully remember.  Oh well.  Everyone had an amazing time and nothing really went wrong, so I definitely can’t complain!

Post # 6
258 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2013


Post # 7
343 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

@aprilbride26:  Several of my friends wished they had done first look so they could spend cocktail hour mingling with guests.
I am taking this advice. (Plus I LOVE first look photos!!!)

One of my besties said she wished she’d had an extra hour at reception for dancing. (She had one, she wished she had two.)

One gal said she loved that she left too much getting-ready time before photog arrived and she loved just shooting the sh*t with her BMs. 🙂

Hope this helps. <3

Post # 8
75 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2013



We did a first look before the ceremony and formal photos with family during the cocktail hour.  We allocated half an hour for family photos and were hoping to mingle with guests for the last half hour but the photos ate up almost the entire hour for us!  A lot of time was spent tracking down family members (even though we had someone from both sides with the job of rounding up people) and being pulled to take pictures with different sets of people.

Post # 9
930 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

I forgot to schedule & plan for lunch for me & my girls.   My mom ending up making grilled cheese while we were getting ready!

Post # 10
11246 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

What I did right was the planning for getting ready. I planned slots for make-up and hair and getting dressed as well as even eating. 

My error was that for getting to the church I allowed for Saturday traffic – worst case scenario. As we got married on a Sunday I ended up getting to the church 20mins early. The vicar was amazed and the first time it happened to him. 

Post # 11
899 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

Ours went very swimmingly, but I didn’t expect it to take so long to get me into my dress (10-15mins!). It didn’t muck anything up but I did miss one photo op because my photographer had to get to the church! (it wasn’t anything planned or important, just an idea that the photographer had on the day)

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