Wedding Day Timings

Wedding Day timings need careful consideration so you can sit back, relax and enjoy your wedding day!

The majority of couples getting married have never planned an event quite like a wedding before. This is a huge occasion which shouldn’t be underestimated with its many different moving parts that need to be kept track of throughout the day.

When your wedding day finally arrives the most important thing for you to do is take in as much as you can and enjoy your wedding day. After all, it will be over in the blink of an eye!

The last thing you should be doing is worrying about what time things are arriving, if they are even there and where people need to be. Therefore it is essential that careful attention is paid to your wedding planning and it’s done well in advance. Don’t forget to pass off this responsibility to your venue co-ordinator, bestman, chief bridesmaids or wedding co-ordinator as they are there to support you on your day!

Fortunately for all my couples I am on hand to help run through their timings and photo schedule to ensure that everything will run smoothly. Most wedding co-ordinators can also assist with these timings but do ensure that they liaise with your suppliers. Having a schedule of events will help to keep things running smoothly and reduce the amount of stress on you, the wedding party and your suppliers.

Here is an EXAMPLE of what you can expect from a typical wedding day timeline. Keep in mind that although this covers many traditional wedding activities, every wedding is unique and this is only meant to serve as an example. This sample wedding follows a timeline in which the ceremony starts at 1pm and that everything is taking place at the one venue.


9:30 Start hair and makeup for the bride and your bridesmaids.
10:30 Getting ready and detail photos to begin
11:00 Groom and Groomsmen getting ready photos
11:30 Bride to be lacing up her wedding dress with Mum or Bridesmaids
12:15 The ‘first look’ (Bride and Dad) with fun and formal Bridal photos
12:30 Groom and Groomsmen fun and formal photos
12:40 Grooms interview with registrar
12:45 Guests are seated for the ceremony
12:50 Brides interview with registrar
1:00 Wedding Ceremony commences
1:35 Cocktails & Canopies’
1:40 Start of the formal photos

2:20 Bride and Groom photos in and around the venue
2:50 Photos of the wedding breakfast room layout
3:00 Guests seated for wedding breakfast
3:10 Speeches & Gifts
3:30 Wedding breakfast served
5:30 End of wedding breakfast, Teas and coffee’s served
5:45 Guest photo opportunities, mingling and entertainment begins
7:00 Evening guests arrive
7:30 Buffet to open
8:00 Cutting of the cake
8:05 Throwing of the bouquet
8:10 First dances
8:15 Party time!

Here are some questions that I often get asked:


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This is completely down to personal preference and down to the number of guests you’ll be having at your wedding. You do, however, need to take into consideration if people will be eating before your ceremony, especially if your ceremony time is around lunchtime. In the example given above we are factoring in that guests will have a light snack before heading off to a 1:00 ceremony. We have provided drinks and canopies’ to tide our guests over until the start of the wedding breakfast at 3:30.


**Advisory Note** Your wedding invitations will have a ceremony start time but no matter how hard you try, some of your guests will arrive early and of course some will arrive late. I’d suggest that you send out your invitations with a start time 15 minutes before the actual ceremony starting time. This way, any late guests won’t have to awkwardly sneak into their seats as your wedding party is already making their way down the aisle.


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Wedding speeches / toasts are usually done either before or after your wedding breakfast. Occasionally this can happen during the wedding breakfast, meaning that you’ll have to coordinate carefully with your photographer to ensure that they’re ready on time. It is always best to ensure that you provide a meal for your photographer at the same time as your guests, this way they won’t have to go off to find their own food which may result in them missing parts of the speeches.


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I’d suggest cutting your cake shortly before your first dance. This way your evening guests get to part of your day rather than just attending the party side in the evening.


In summary
When thinking about your wedding day timeline, be sure to allocate plenty of time for photos, travel and traditions. Having that extra breathing space on your schedule will come in handy should anything go wrong on your big day. To start out I’d recommend speaking with each of your vendors to see how much time they would recommend for their respective duties based on the number of guests attending your wedding. Remember that your wedding venue coordinator should be a helpful resource to call upon to ensure your day is perfect. Most importantly, remember that having a wedding day timeline is just a guideline. Don’t stress out if things don’t go perfectly on your big day. Stay focused on the happiness and joy of getting married and seeing all your dreams and plans fall into place!

Whatever happens, remember that this is your day – enjoy each and every moment of it.

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