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  • Writer's pictureMel Close

The Perfect Wedding Day Timeline

Your wedding day is a culmination of dreams, months (or even years) of planning, and a whole lot of love. From the moment you wake up to the last dance of the evening, every minute counts. Crafting the perfect wedding day timeline ensures that your special day flows seamlessly, leaving you and your guests with cherished memories that last a lifetime. Let's dive into how to structure the ideal timeline for your big day:

Morning Preparations (8:00 AM - 12:00 PM)

The morning of your wedding sets the tone for the day ahead. Start by ensuring you have enough time to relax, and not feel rushed. Breakfast is KEY, you will need fuel to help you through the day! Schedule hair and makeup appointments well in advance, ensuring everyone is ready with plenty of time to spare. Remember to factor in travel time between locations and any last-minute touch-ups. Make sure to communicate with your hair and makeup stylists, as to how much time is required for each service, and adjust your timeline accordingly.

Getting Ready (12:00 PM - 2:00 PM)

After a light lunch, it's time to slip into your wedding attire surrounded by your closest friends and family. This is a memorable moment filled with laughter, tears, and anticipation, and your photographer can capture this occasion.

First Look and Bridal Portraits (2:00 PM - 3:30 PM)

Consider sharing a private "first look" moment with your partner before the ceremony. This intimate exchange allows you to soak in the moment together and calm any pre-wedding jitters. It also allows for extended time for bridal portraits and group photos with your wedding party and immediate family. Make sure to chat with your photographer about how much time they need for your photos - this is very dependent on their style/needs, and how big or small your wedding party and family is.

Ceremony (4:00 PM - 4:30 PM)

The heart of your wedding day is the ceremony; a celebration of love and commitment. Whether you opt for a traditional church venue, a scenic outdoor ceremony, or an intimate elopement, this is the main event and purpose of your wedding day. Most civil ceremonies last between 20 - 30 minutes, but if you are including any additional cultural or religious aspects, plan for a longer ceremony.

Cocktail Hour (4:30 PM - 5:30 PM)

After saying "I do," treat your guests to a fun, social cocktail hour. Offer a selection of drinks and appetizers as they mingle and relax. If you did not opt for a first look, newlyweds can utilize this time for their bridal and wedding party photos. Otherwise, some couples are opting to dive right into their first dance, upon arriving to cocktail hour, followed by greeting guests and enjoying a drink or two.

Reception (6:00 PM - 9:00 PM)

As the sun begins to set, transition into the reception venue for an evening of dinner, dancing, and celebration. Your wedding planner will coordinator with your venue and vendors to ensure a smooth flow of events, including speeches, toasts, dinner service, and cutting the cake. Don't forget to schedule in time for your first dance, parent dances, and any other games or additional formalities.

Dancing and Farewells (9:00 PM onwards)

Once the formalities of your reception have ended, it's time for guests to kick off their shoes and dance the night away. Having a experienced DJ can make this the perfect way to celebrate your newlywed status, and dance with friends and family.

Once it's time to call it a night, bid farewell to your guests, and even throw in a a memorable send-off such as a sparkler exit, or a classic getaway car!

Creating the perfect wedding day timeline requires careful planning, coordination, and flexibility. As your wedding planning or coordinator, we can help you fine tune your timeline, and communicate the details with your vendors, wedding party, and anyone else involved in your special day. Remember, while it's essential to stick to your schedule, it's equally important to savor every moment and embrace any unexpected surprises along the way!



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