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Mandy
VIP May 2019

Timeline

Mandy, on January 14, 2019 at 1:13 PM Posted in Planning 1 20
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What is your start times timeline for the big day? Ceremony, pictures, grand entrance, reception/meal, dancing, cake cutting, grand exit, etc. I'm getting married in May and trying to lock down a ceremony start time so I can get invitations ordered very soon but trying to make time for everything without being super rushed.

20 Comments

  • Mrs. J Robinson
    Super March 2019
    Mrs. J Robinson ·
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    Following! I have a ceremony time of 3:30 for a Sunday Wedding, but I’m still working on our timeline too
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  • Victoria
    Dedicated March 2019
    Victoria ·
    • Flag

    My ceremony starts at 4pm on a saturday. Here's my timeline. I have a small bridal party so keep that in mind when planning hair and makeup based off of how many stylist you have. Also take into consideration how many photographers you have.

    Timeline 1


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  • Lauren
    Dedicated August 2019
    Lauren ·
    • Flag
    Here's my tentative schedule! This seems to be the typical schedule of events for all the weddings I've been to in my area as well.

    9am-11am: hair and makeup
    11am-1pm: lunch and decorating
    1pm-2:30pm: get dressed, photos with bridesmaids
    3pm-3:30pm: ceremony
    3:30pm-5:30pm: photos, lemonade reception
    5:30pm-6:30pm: cocktail hour
    6:30pm-11:30pm: dinner and dancing!
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  • Mrs. S
    Master November 2019
    Mrs. S ·
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    Here’s my draft: 8-10am finish decor, 10-1 hair and makeup, 1-1:30 get dressed, bridal party photos, 2:30 guest seating, 3:00 ceremony, 3:30-4:30 cocktail hour, 4:30 buffet opens, 5:00 speeches during dinner, 5:15 first dance and dancing opens, 6:45 cake cutting, 7:45 last song and line up for exit
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  • Yoice
    VIP March 2019
    Yoice ·
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    Consider adding vendor arrive time to your timeline if you hire all your own vendors and is not thru the venue. My coordinator said you always tell the vendor at what time they need to be there otherwise is a disaster and they simply show up at whatever time they want.
    Keep that in mind.
    • Reply
  • Caytlyn
    Legend November 2019
    Caytlyn ·
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    I'm not familiar with a lemonade reception, can you tell us more about it? So your ceremony will end at 3:30, guests will attend what I think is similar to a cake and punch reception for two hours, then cocktail hour, then a full 5 hour reception?

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  • Yoice
    VIP March 2019
    Yoice ·
    • Flag
    Ask your photographer to send you a timeline based on your wedding ceremony time which depends in setting of the sunset, etc. This would be best to work around your entire timeline since they’ll know best. That’s my best recommendation.
    • Reply
  • Sherry
    Rockstar September 2019
    Sherry ·
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    My ceremony starts at 2. Setting up will start at 11. Photographer arrives at 1 for first look etc photos. Guests are set to start arriving at 130. Group and family photos after ceremony and food starts being served at 330. Reception ends at 6
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  • Alyssa
    Master December 2019
    Alyssa ·
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    I’ve got this but it’s messy

    havent 100% decided on times for dj, photographers, and potential photobooth

    Timeline 2

    Timeline 3
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  • Lauren
    Dedicated August 2019
    Lauren ·
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    Yep - I'm actually really excited about this part! Our venue calls it a "soiree" but it's mostly just a way to fill that awkward time in between the ceremony and cocktail hour, especially for our many out-of-town guests.

    Our ceremony is in the gardens of this estate/art museum. After the ceremony, the gardens will be open for guests to explore, and we'll have music and lawn games, tea/lemonade/water, and flavored popcorn in the small reception area to tide people over until the actual reception, which is about a five minute drive away.

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  • MrsD
    Legend July 2019
    MrsD ·
    • Flag

    Here is ours!

    10:00 AM - Coordinator Arrives

    10:00 AM - Bridal Party arrives at venue to start hair & makeup, snacks & lunch served

    - Hair & Makeup arrives

    12:00 PM - Grooms Party has lunch at hotel restaurant

    1:30 PM - Grooms Party heads to venue to get dressed in groom's suite

    2:00 PM - Groomsmen start to get ready

    3:00 PM - Photographer & Videographer arrive, Caterers arrive

    3:15 PM - Groomsmen take pictures

    3:45 PM - Bridesmaids take pictures

    4:15 PM - Bride & bridesmaids puts on dresses

    4:30 PM - First look with bride & father

    4:45 PM - Groomsmen head out to ceremony space, guests start to arrive & sit down

    5:00 PM - Ceremony begins

    5:30 - 6:30 PM - Cocktail hour, wedding party/bride & groom portraits/family pictures

    6:15 - 6:40 PM - Guests are seated to plated salad

    6:40 PM - Bride & Groom, wedding party entrance

    6:45 - Bride & Groom first dance

    6:50 - Dinner (We haven't decided plated or buffet, leaning towards plated. Plated will take 15 minutes to serve to 175 guests.)

    7:15 PM - MOH, BM, FOB speeches

    7:45 PM - Father/Daughter dance, Mother/Son dance

    8:00 PM - Cake cutting

    8:15 PM - 10:30 PM - Dance floor open

    9:00 PM - Bouquet Toss

    9:05 PM - Garter Toss

    10:30 PM - Grand Exit, buses arrive

    11:00 PM - All guests out of venue

    12:00 AM - All vendors out of venue

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  • Courtney
    Master December 2019
    Courtney ·
    • Flag

    3pm: Arrive at venue to get ready, finalize décor, and take some pictures

    6pm: Let's get married!

    6:30pm: Cocktail hour for guests and more pictures

    7:30pm: Reception entrance and start of dinner services

    8:30-9pm: First dance and father-daughter dance

    And then we boogey all night... or until 11pm when we're due to leave the venue haha.


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  • Cristy
    Master May 2021
    Cristy ·
    • Flag

    I don't have my whole timeline locked down yet. But not wanting to be rushed is exactly why we decided on a ceremony start time of 4:00pm. Any earlier, and I would end up being a mad woman and totally stressed out. The late afternoon start will allow me plenty of time to get ready at a leisurely pace, have the first look and a bunch of pics out of the way before the ceremony starts, and then I can join my reception shortly after my guests do to maximize the amount of time I can spend with them.

    Another thing to keep in mind is your venue, and what their rules are for setting up decor, or anything else you have to do yourself. My venue will set up all the tables/chairs, linens, dishes, etc. But decor has to be done by us, and we can't start until the morning of the wedding. So, there had to be plenty of time in the day for that, before I have to start getting ready. But if you have a venue that will let you in the day before, even better!

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  • Tina
    VIP March 2020
    Tina ·
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    Glad to see another messy notebook girl... me too!Smiley laugh

    Mine is tentively...

    1. ceremony at 430

    2. cocktail hour immediately after approx 5pm.

    6. dinner at 6pm.

    7. dancing at 7pm.

    8. finish by 11pm.

    But I am very untraditional as I have no set time for photos.

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  • MissSoonToBe
    Expert May 2020
    MissSoonToBe ·
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    View Quoted Comment
    I’m a Sunday 3:30 wedding also.
    • Reply
  • Kendra
    Devoted September 2019
    Kendra ·
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    Anybody have any suggestions for a 2:00 ceremony starting time, wedding timeline. I have 2 Maid of Honors and that is all. I was thinking of start getting ready around 9 am and then start taking pictures around 11-12 pm. Get groom and his groomsmen pictures a little before that. Then we was wanting to do a first look and pictures with my maid of honors and then pictures with the whole bridal party. Was hoping to have those pictures done by 1:00. That way nobody sees us before the wedding starts. We are doing simple hair styles and simple make up.
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  • Xiomi
    April 2019
    Xiomi ·
    • Flag
    My ceremony starts at 4:30pm and we have to leave the reception by 9:30pm. Ceremony and reception both at the same hotel, plus we’ll be staying there too.
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  • Grace
    Super May 2019
    Grace ·
    • Flag

    My ceremony is at 4pm, but we are starting to get ready at 7:45am! This is because photos for the girls is at 2pm, and the make up artist has to start that early in order to get everyone done before 2pm. While the girls are getting ready, the groom and groomsmen will do their photos at 11am, then chill till the ceremony. We are not doing a first look, so we are doing groom/bride photos after the ceremony.

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  • Alyssa
    Savvy December 2019
    Alyssa ·
    • Flag

    My wedding will have a 4pm start time on a Saturday.

    I haven't necessarily nailed down the "getting ready" times in the morning as of yet. My venue has a bridal suite but it is smaller. So I think we will do hair/make up at the hotel before going to the venue. I will get dressed at the venue. We plan on doing the first look pictures, which need to be completed by 3:30 because that will be when guests begin to arrive. I'll take the 3:30 to start time to "freshen up". But other than that this is my timeline so far. Some advice that I have heard is to make sure your DJ is well aware of your schedule so that he knows when to get people moving in different directions.

    4:00- Ceremony

    4:30-5:15- Cocktail Hour- there will be lawn games, music, open bar, and snacks

    5:15-5:30- I have time allotted for people to make their way to their tables (really hit the bar again before they sit down lol)

    5:30- Bridal Party & Parents Entrance, Introduction of Bride & Groom, All the dances (First, Mother, Father)

    5:45- Buffet style dinner begins

    6:30- Toasts (MOH, BM, Parents)

    7:00- Music really starts and party begins

    8:15- Cake cutting and possibly The Shoe Game/ We are not doing bouquet/garter toss, so the Shoe Game would stand in for that type of entertainment. Look it up on Youtube if you've never heard of it. I think its cute.

    10:00- Last Call

    10:20 - Last Dance

    10:30- Sparkler Send off (or whatever we decide to do for the send off)

    Everyone off property by 11:30


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  • Desiree
    Super March 2020
    Desiree ·
    • Flag

    A big question that I have is I am doing a lot of DIY stuff in terms of the décor. Probably won't take longer than an hour to set up. When do y'all find time to sneak away before your too dolled up to head down and do that yourself? Or do you find someone else to do it? That's been so confusing for me in terms of the timeline - just looking for other people's thoughts or suggestions.

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