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Just Said Yes October 2025

Timeline help!

Taylor, on May 3, 2024 at 1:48 PM Posted in Planning 0 5

My fiance and I want to exit around 10 because we leave for our honeymoon early the next day so we are trying to figure out the timeline for the day.

We are getting married next September so the golden hour will be around 7 PM.

We think 5:30 as the start time on the invite allows for people to be a little late without interrupting. 6 PM start time for the ceremony, which will probably be like 15 minutes. Then the cocktail hour and photos from 6:15 to 7:30. Dinner starts at 7:30. We make our re-entrance at 7:45 for our first dance. (Short) toasts at like 8:30 and then parent dances after that. Dessert table and coffee bar open at 9. Bouquet toss at 9:30 and thank you speeches from us. We exit at 10. We have late-night snacks at 10:30 and the party stays on until 11. Is this an okay timeline? My fiance also wants to play a wedding game at some point during the night, he is thinking the shoe game or trivia. When is a good time to do that?


Latest activity by Robert, on May 4, 2024 at 12:32 PM
  • H
    Master July 2019
    Hannah ·
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    The start time on the invitations should be the actual start time of the ceremony. I would plan to start it at 5:30 (or even 5) and move everything up accordingly. Also, I’ve honestly never been to a wedding where the guests stay after the bride and groom leave. I wouldn’t schedule anything for after your gone because most people will be following right out the door. You can always step out of the event for some golden hour photos if the timing doesn’t align. Even if your ceremony is short, there are always inevitable delays so I would budget a half hour for the ceremony to be on the safe side.
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  • Michelle
    Rockstar December 2022
    Michelle ·
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    Try to start earlier. Because that is a super tight rushed schedule that won’t work in reality with everything that you want to do. If you have not already, ask your month of coordinator (who is not employed by the venue) and your photographer what their suggestions are. 7:30 is late to eat. You list the start time on the invitation as the time you walk down the aisle. Guests know to arrive early to be seated and don’t appreciate being treated as unintelligent children, which is what an incorrect time does. Most djs suggest 2 hours for dancing. Guests will leave when you do.
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  • Andrea
    Rockstar January 2024
    Andrea ·
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    The start time on your invitation should be the start time of the ceremony. Adults can figure out how to arrive on time. You’re going to have extremely irritated guests who arrive at 5:10 based on your invite time and have to wait around for almost an hour for anything to start!

    When are you eating dinner? You have dinner starting at 7:30 and your re-entrance at 7:45. That’s not a lot of time to eat and go out to reset for an entrance. Are guests going to be eating during your first dance? I think things are pretty tight there.
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  • C
    CM ·
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    Most weddings at popular venues around here have a timeline of 5 hours from the beginning of the ceremony to the end of the reception. In the afternoon, it's more like 4 hours since they often have a second affair in the evening to set up for. I've been to both. For an evening wedding that features a full dinner, dancing, and the other things you mention etc. I would push up the ceremony to 5 pm.

    While couples traditionally used to leave before their guests, these days I think everyone would be likely to leave at 10 if you do.

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  • R
    Just Said Yes July 2024
    Robert ·
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    Your wedding day timeline looks well thought out and efficiently planned, allowing for a smooth flow of events leading up to your 10 PM exit. Here are some suggestions and considerations to enhance it:

    1. Wedding Game Timing: Since your fiancé is interested in incorporating a wedding game like the shoe game or trivia, a great time to slot this in could be right after the parent dances and before the dessert table opens at 9 PM. This period will likely have a more relaxed atmosphere as guests are settling down after dinner and before the final activities. It can serve as a fun transition that engages your guests and keeps the energy lively.

    2. Flexibility: While the timeline is comprehensive, ensure there's a bit of flexibility built in. Sometimes, events like toasts or dances might run a little longer than anticipated. It might be helpful to brief your MC or DJ about the timeline so they can help keep the schedule on track or adjust the flow as needed without causing any rush.

    3. Preparation for Early Departure: Since you plan to exit by 10 PM, consider reminding your photographer and videographer to capture any essential shots or moments with family and friends earlier in the evening. This ensures you don’t miss out on any key memories before you leave.

    4. Informing Guests About the Exit and After-Party: Make sure your guests are aware of your exit time and that the party will continue after your departure. This can be communicated through your MC or a sign at the venue, so guests are encouraged to stay and enjoy the late-night snacks and the extended celebration.

    5. Review and Rest: As your wedding day approaches, review your timeline once more with your vendors and the wedding party. This ensures everyone is on the same page. Also, since you’ll be leaving for your honeymoon early the next morning, make sure you have some time to rest and refresh before traveling.

    These tweaks should help ensure your wedding day is memorable for you and your guests, balancing structured events with spontaneous fun. Enjoy your big day and the beautiful journey ahead!

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