A wedding day is maybe one of the most anticipated days in our lives. We plan it a year, sometimes more in advance. We make pinterest boards, hunt days for the perfect dress, think about paper thickness and menus, first dance songs and design candy bars. And all we want it to be is smooth and happy. I have therefore written this blog for you to get a rough overview of how it can look like and plan you wedding day timeline. I hope it will help you to plan your day as well and make it as smooth as possible. You can find a print button at the bottom of this page.

How to plan your wedding day timeline

I am writing this blog as in the past a lot of couples or parents of the couple came up to me during the wedding day asking me what time they should go for the family photos or the big group pic. Or what they should do when the guests look bored. Or they postpone the openings dance etc. Of course, they all had on a piece of paper written down what time should be done what but usually this is their first wedding and they had never planned a wedding before. For example, it was not a big surprise that taking the family pictures just before dinner time was not the biggest fun for the hungry crowd. Or planning an openings dance for 23 pm when the ceremony was at 2 pm. The guests need to be entertained and fed properly in order to rock the dance floor. So I wrote down some completely personal suggestions on how to plan your wedding day timeline. Don’t worry if it’s not fitting to your schedule, it won’t be a problem at all to do it differently. But maybe picking up some ideas will help you to have a smooth day and a happy crowd.

In this timeline, I have the reception and party at different locations so there is travel time included. If you have your party and ceremony at the same location just ignore the travel time.

The wedding day timeline

10:00 The photographer arrives. Get’s his/her own things in place and ready. red velvet cake waldorf astoria
10:00 Bride gets ready with Makeup and Hair. Bridesmaids and/or mother of the bride also get ready.
11:30 The dress is being put on.
12:00 We leave for the first look. But first a sip of champagne. And a snack. And lipstick back on.
12:15 First look after the photographer got in place.
12:30 Photoshoot on a chosen location incl. travel time.
13:30-14:00 We leave for the ceremony.
14:30 Yes I do
15:30 Congratulations
16:00 Champagne and wedding cake
This is the best time for family formals! Everyone happy, just had a drink and social time.
17:30 Drive to the location
18:15 Everyone seated, Couple arrives
18:30 First course/Amuse
18:45 Speech 1
19:00 First course
19:20 Speech 2
19:30 Second course and surprise game or more speeches
20:00 Main course and more socializing with guests

When to plan the first dance?

Start your first dance latest by 21:30! It’s time. Believe me.I have seen so many times that the dance floor is getting less crowded when the bride and groom are not on it. The guests want to party with the newlyweds. So make sure that you are on having some comfy shoes on under your dress.

When my brother got married last year he asked me for the best timeline. He had planned his openings dance for 22:00 but I told him to start dancing right when they enter the venue in the evening. I told him that I am convinced they would set the tone for the rest of the evening like this. They had their openings dance at 6 pm when they entered the venue and between courses, people could not stop but asking for more dance. By 8 pm the dance floor was crowded and peaked until 0:30 until only the younger generation was left – still crowded. We left the party at 5 am.

Download here your wedding day timeline for free.


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