The Perfect Wedding Day Timeline
As Wedding Planners, we know that preparation and planning are essential for the smooth running of a wedding. Having a wedding timeline ensures your day has a good flow to it but will also help your guests to know what’s going on, allow photographers to capture those perfect shots and ensures suppliers can work together to keep things running smoothly.
Our timeline will give you a rough guide of how long to allocate to each part of your big day!
2:00pm The Ceremony
The time really depends on the type of ceremony you are having. Civil Ceremonies last around 30 minutes, while religious-based ceremonies can last up to an hour. Once you exchange vows, it’s on to the celebrations!
2:30pm Drinks Reception & Photographs
This is when the Bride & Groom escape for some post-ceremony photos – this includes couple, family and wedding party shots. During this time, your guests can enjoy some music, drinks and canape’s.
4:00pm Wedding Breakfast & Speeches
Time to take a breath and eat! Most venues usually allow around 2 hours to serve a three-course wedding breakfast. Also allow around 30 minutes beforehand to allow your guests to be seated. As dinner is wrapping up, the father of the bride, the groom and the best man (or whoever you decide) can make their speeches. A toast to you as the newly married couple wraps up speeches perfectly! Alternatively you may decide you wish to do the speeches before you eat.
7:30pm Evening Guests Arrive
Your venue will turn the room around to make ready for dancing before your evening guests arrive. This is a great opportunity for the Bride & Groom to get some ‘golden hour’ photographs.
8:00pm Cake Cutting & First Dance
Around 30 minutes after your evening guests arrive, you can cut the cake – most venues will slice your cake and serve alongside the evening food. Your first dance kicks off the evening party! It’s tradition for guests to hit the dancefloor after the first dance.
Image reference – WVSA Supplier The Rugby Cake Fairy
9:00pm Evening Food
Depending on what type of food you are having, sometimes this can be set up slightly earlier. If you’re having something like a food van, guests can just go and grab something when they’re ready.
The timing of this will depend on your venue. It’s worth noting a time for ‘carriages’ on your invitations so guests know when to book taxis. After a long day of excitement, it’s time to get some rest, before your first day as a married couple!
Look for any gaps in your timeline – if you’re worried there might be a bit of a lull, what can you fill the gaps with? A photobooth, magician or bouncy castle may work well!
Remember to factor in breakfast (and maybe a glass of bubbles!) into your bridal prep – you don’t want to be walking up the aisle hangry!
Add some buffers (you may forget some little details) … but not on the invitation (ensure ushers are on hand to direct any late arrivals to their seats!)
It’s totally okay to throw this all out of the window and do your own thing! You may be having a twilight ceremony which will completely change your timings.
Image Reference WVSA Supplier – Dream Wedding & Events
Please check with your venue as they may have recommended timings that are suited to their specific set up. Note: the timings above are based on a 2:00pm civil ceremony at the reception venue.