Use this guide below to create your wedding day timeline. Keep in mind, every photographer and vendor is different so this could be out of order. Again, use this as a guide to help plan what your wedding is going to be like and adjust as you plan along. Typically, the final draft is complete about a month prior to your wedding date with possible minor changes a week before.
Google Docs is a great tool to keep your wedding plans in 1 location while also being able to share it with anyone involved with your wedding planning like your vendors.
Relax as you sit in the chair and get pampered on your beautiful wedding day! Depending on the size of your bridal party you may have your own hair & makeup artist while the bridesmaids have a hair & makeup artist. Example: Bride has 1 hair artist & 1 makeup artist (or 1 that is doing both). The Bridesmaids/MOH/MOB/Flower Girl has 1 hair artist & 1 makeup artist.
To photograph the details: venue, rings, flowers, jewelry, garter, sentimental items, getting ready, etc.
Bridal party and anyone else involved in main photographs (flower girl, mother of the bride etc.) have their hair & makeup complete and dressed.
They open any bridal gifts they received.
NOTE: if you want to do a celebration with robes then plan this before they all get into their bridesmaids dresses and have ready any props like champagne!
Before you slip into your gorgeous dress, head to the restroom and see if you gotta go! Photographer then captures your mom, grandma, or maid of honor lacing or zipping up your dress. Photographing slipping into your shoes and having your wedding jewelry put on.
Self portraits in your gorgeous gown and details around your venue.
These are casual and fun photographs with your favorite friends that will be standing by your side when you say, “I do”!
Optional and reasons why to consider doing a 1st look!
You will share a moment seeing each other for the first time together. This gives you each time to cry, laugh or embrace each other which is something you won’t be able to do as you walk down the aisle. Helps you relieve any nerves you are having too.
This is if you decide to do a 1st look then you can get a few portraits of each other around the venue. Don’t worry, you’ll do more portraits after ceremony as newlyweds!
This can be done before ceremony or after ceremony. If you have a very big family list then you can consider doing half of the family photos before and the rest after ceremony. Discuss with your photographer and coordinator.
Head inside to your waiting area. Soak in this moment, hydrate, freshen up your makeup, adjust any hair pins if necessary and breathe.
Non-religious ceremonies last about 20 minutes and religious ceremonies can last up to an 1 hour.
Your guests enjoy the finger foods, drinks and play some games if there’s any available while they wait for reception.
Gorgeous sunset portraits of the two of you during cocktail hour. You will get to enjoy your cocktail hour with your guests.
Note: You can check out TimeandDate for sunset times based on your wedding date and location.
Guests find their tables to be seated.
This can be your bridal parties being announced during the entrance then have you both make your grand entrance after. Then you’d jump into your 1st dance.
Traditionally, one of the parents say a brief welcome toast to the guests. A prayer may be said as well prior to dinner.
Dinner is served or buffet style goes by tables announced by the DJ.
While dinner is being wrapped up, the Best Man & Maid of Honor start off with the speeches. Recommended to advice them to keep it within a limit to hold on guests attention rather than dragging it. Typically, speeches go for 5 minutes.
Traditionally, it’s father-daughter dance & mother-son dances after speeches.
Personal experience: My mother-in-law had passed away so we had his sister (my sister-in-law) dance with my now husband. It was a precious moment!
After the traditional dances, it transitions to an open dance floor for a few songs before jumping into the next events.
In this order, if you’re keeping the traditional wedding events. Otherwise…
Dance your butt off!
You can arrange for a final song with your DJ / band ahead of time. A great DJ will also announce prior to that song coming up so they’re aware the night is coming to an end.
You all then head out for a grand exit with sparklers, confetti canons or other festive idea you have!
Sometimes, a fake grand exit can happen earlier if your photographer is not hired to stay completely through the night and you would want it captured. In that case, it would happen in between songs during the open dance floor then will resume the open dance floor.
I hope this guide on How to Create a Wedding Day Timeline guide helps you get started with ideas and how you want your wedding day to be like!
Rearrange it to make it your own! Have fun!