(Closed) UK Brides – share your wedding day schedule, need help getting timing right

posted 4 years ago in Logistics
Post # 2
413 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2014 - Mauritius

Hey fellow UK bee! We got married in Mauritius, so we didn’t do the traditional thing over here. One thing that I have learnt from mine and my friends weddings is that everyone is different and has slightly different traditions etc. That being said, on our return we had a reception to celebrate with all of our family and friends, and did do the traditional speeches, cutting of the cake & (second) first dance. We had a buffet so no sit down meal so this was pretty well taken care of and went fairly smootly! Our reception started at 7.30pm, the buffet came out at 8.45pm, we did speeches at 9pm, cut the cake at 9.15pm then our first dance straight afterwards. It’s soooo hard to get everyones attention, it gets fairly busy, people are all over the place etc but we thought the best thing would be to have it all together, once we had everyones attention for the speeches everyone was then there for the cake cutting & first dance.

Hopefully this helps a little for you, unfortunatly just can’t help with the timings for the wedding breakfast etc x

Post # 3
877 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013 - A Beautiful converted Barn

Hi – UK bee here. we also had a 2pm wedding. our venue (Dodmoor House) was 3 converted barns which surrounded a courtyard, we got married in one, had our wedding breakfast in another and the 3rd was the bridal prep room and bridal suite.

our schedule for the day was as follows:
2.00 – ceremony
2.30 – drinks reception in the courtyard (including confetti shots, group photos and ‘just us’ shots)
4.45 – guests moved in for wedding breakfast
5.00 – speeches (20ish mins) followed by food
7.30-8.00 – tea/coffee in the courtyard & evening guests arrive
8.00 – sparkler arch entrance of bride and groom
8.10 – cutting of the cake followed by 1st dance and evening reception
9.00 – hogroast served
12.00 – wedding finished.

i was super worried about there being too much time for the drinks reception and people getting bored but it all went smoothly and seriously – the photographer made use of the entire 2 hours!!!

we tried to tie everything in together so noone would miss anything – we did the sparkler arch to involve the evening guests straight away – i saw it as the ‘confetti moment’ of the evening, and it also got everyone in one place ready for the cake and 1st dance.

we had a sign in the bar with timings on it and also i had it on our wedding website in the run up to the wedding just to give everyone an idea of what to expect. our wedding day coordinator was amazing though (staff member at the venue) – she made sure everything went SO smoothly!! i didnt have to worry about anything.

i would say talk to your venue and photographer – they will have the best idea of timings for your wedding.x

Post # 4
989 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

Uk bee here but getting married in Italy so schedule may be a little different:

3pm – ceremony

3.45pm – toast and ice cream 

4.30pm – bride & groom photos while guests go on boat trip around the lake 

5.30pm – cocktail hour with hors d’ouvres 

6.30pm – sit down meal 

8.30pm – first dance 

8.35pm – band starts 

Midnight – boat takes us all back to main town square 

  • This reply was modified 4 years ago by  SellyJo.
Post # 6
353 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

Below is our original timeline:


2pm Service begins at church

2.45pm (ish) Service ends – photos at the church

3.15pm Drive to reception

4pm Reception drinks @ Sopley Mill

5.30pm Call for dinner

6pm Dinner is served!

7.45pm Speeches

8.30pm (ish) Cake cutting followed by first dance

After first dance to midnight = Disco

9.30pm Evening buffet available

11.45pm End of music 

12am Venue Closes<br /> <!– [if !supportLineBreakNewLine]–><br /> <!–[endif]–>

the only thingthat didn’t run to time, was that we arrived at the venue around 40mins earlier than expected! the caterers were great though and got all the reception drinks out. 

It actually worked out well – we had a receiving line and lots of photos of just the 2 of us (as well as some bigger family shots) during the drinks reception, and everyone enjoyed the time to relax. Even though it was halloween it was 21 degrees, and so everyone milled around outside quite happily 🙂


what I would also say is that aside from suppliers, only our master of ceremonies (my brother!) was aware of the guideline timings. We just let things run, and he knew around when to announce the next thing, without following it to the minute. It made for a really relaxed and fun wedding!

  • This reply was modified 4 years ago by  Kellym84.
Post # 7
1482 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2015


I’m a semi-British bee. My Fiance is British and I’m Swedish, but we’re getting married in Sweden. I thought I’d share our plan as well though, because when I was trying to book the ceremony time I wanted as many opinions as possible.

We’re having a photo session before the ceremony, as this is customary in Sweden. This way my Fiance and I will be able to spend about 2 hours taking our portraits and photos when we’re at our best, and the guests won’t have to wait later on in the day. 

12.00/13.00 Photo session bride and groom

15.30 ceremony (guests arriving at 15.00)

16.30 photos on the church step

17.00 coach takes guests to reception venue

17.20/17.30 bride and groom arrive at reception venue as well

18.00 first course

Then we’re not completely set, but there will be speeches, then cake cutting, dancing, evening snacks at 23.00 and then the venue closes at 01.00.


Post # 8
877 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013 - A Beautiful converted Barn

Steph77 – my work PC wont let me tag you, but between the dinner and the sparkler entrance we used that time to go round and talk to our guests. up until that point we hadnt really had alot of time just to mingle with everyone!! (we didnt go table to table saying hello during the dinner) having a short time to chill out and relax with eveyone a bit really helped set the mood for the evening reception!

Post # 9
530 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

Well here’s how our one is going.  All one venue in Ireland.  We have late nights!

3pm ceremony

4-6pm drinks reception

6-6.30 speeches

6.30-9.30 dinner is served.  IT will take a long time as everything will be cooked to order. cake cutting will be in there somewhere I suppose (not pushed about it)

9.30 -12.30 Band (not bothering with first dance or any of that lark.  two left feet!)

12.30-2.30 DJ

2.30 – ????  We have the venue all night and the following day too.

Post # 10
989 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

Steph77:  Thanks, I hope so! 😉 

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