Your wedding day will be a great day filled with awesome and fun activities centered around you.  It is going to be a super busy day and it’s important to have a wedding timeline set.  Coming up with your timeline should be one of the first things you  when starting your wedding planning.  Below you’ll see a wedding timeline template that you can use to plan your day.

Once you have your timeline, it can always be changed and tweaked so don’t worry about anything being set in stone.  Having at least an outline for how your day will go will make the rest of the planning process much easier.  You’ll be able to share your own timeline with vendors to make sure everything is where it needs to be on your day.

I’m sure you have a broad vision for how you want your day to go, but sometimes it can be challenging to put it down on paper.  That’s why I created this post.  In the sample timeline below I share some of the most popular wedding day events.  I always talk about how a wedding day is a series of special moments all in a row and this sample wedding timeline template below includes those.

I hope you can find this wedding timeline template helpful.  It’s meant to be a resource for you to plan your own day.  You can use it and tweak it to create your own timeline for your special day.

 

Wedding Timeline Template / Sample

9:30 am – 1:30 pm – Bridesmaids meet for hair and makeup

12:00 pm – Groomsmen meet for lunch

1:30 pm – Groomsmen arrive at venue

1:45 pm – Bridesmaid arrive at venue

2:00 pm – 2:30 pm – First looks (if you are doing one)

2:30 pm – 3:15 pm – Pictures with bride and groom (if you are doing first look)

3:30 pm – 4:30 pm – Ceremony

4:30 pm – 5:00 pm – Family Pictures

5:00 pm – 6:00 pm – Cocktail Hour for guests

5:00 pm – 6:00 pm – Pictures with bride and groom and wedding party

6:15 pm – Grand Entrance

6:30 pm – 7:30 pm – Dinner

7:30 pm – 7:45 pm – First Dances (bride groom first dance, father daughter dance, mother son dance)

7:45 pm – 11:00 pm – Reception / Dancing

9:00 pm – Bouquet toss/garter toss

10:00 pm – Late night snack (usually pizza)

 

Wedding Timeline Template In Detail

Below I’ll talk about the details of this wedding timeline template to give you an idea of what each event is all about.

 

9:30 am – 1:30 pm – Bridesmaids meet for hair and makeup

This is a time when the bride can hang out and relax with the girls.  You can have some bloody mary’s/mimosa/champagne and just have a good time.  This is about pampering the girls.

Hair and makeup for the bride and bridesmaids is usually a time consuming process depending on how many hair and makeup artists you are going to have.  Be sure to talk with who is doing your hair so you can adjust the schedule so they have enough time.

Often times the photographer will come by and get some pictures of the preparation.  Included in the preparation are many shots you will want in your album.  These include hair and makeup, gift opening, rope shots, wedding dress on a hanger, and of course the wedding dress zip up.

 

11:00 am – Groomsmen meet for lunch

Guys usually don’t require as much getting ready time.  So many groomsmen meet for breakfast/brunch/lunch before the day begins.  Sometimes they might even meet early in the morning for a round of golf or to just hang out and have a a beer.

 

12:00 pm – Groomsmen arrive at venue

Groomsmen should arrive at the venue or wherever they are getting ready.  If the guys are getting ready at a location other than the venue, be sure to plan for travel time to get to the venue.

It is also common for the photographer to get some shots of the groomsmen getting ready.

 

1:45 pm – Bridesmaid arrive at venue

Bride and bridesmaids arrive at the venue around this time.  Many venues will have a space where the girls can get ready.  In that case you won’t need to worry about this one because you will already be there.

 

2:00 pm – 2:30 pm – First looks (if you are doing one)

In the past, it has been traditional for the bride and groom to not see each other until the wedding ceremony.  I still love this tradition.  My wife and I didn’t see each other until she walked down the aisle.

You might wan’t to do a first look before the wedding begins.  I must say that this is a really cool thing to do.  This is a moment before you get married where you see each other for the first time.  This is the first time the groom sees his bride in her wedding day dress.  It’s a very special moment.

Sometimes you will read letters to each other or just take in the moment.

It is also common to have a father and daughter first look too!  This is also a special moment that you will want pictures of!

If you are not doing a first look then this time can be extra time in your schedule.

 

2:30 pm – 3:15 pm – Pictures with bride and groom (if you are doing first look)

If you are doing a first look, often times some pictures with the bride and groom or the wedding party is planned for right afterwards and before the ceremony.  This will allow for some extra time in the wedding timeline after the ceremony that can be used for more pictures or anything else.

 

3:30 pm – 4:30 pm – Ceremony

The big moment!  This one is pretty self explanatory.  I suggest budgeting an hour in to your wedding timeline for the ceremony.  Though you might be planning for a more short and sweet ceremony which is totally awesome too.

Regardless of your ceremony length, I would allow for the full hour or some extra time if you are doing a receiving line.

 

4:30 pm – 5:00 pm – Family Pictures

Family pictures usually come right after the ceremony.  This is the time when you will get some pictures with your parents, siblings, grandparents, and any extended family you want pictures with.  I always suggest you notify anyone you want in the pictures to stay in the ceremony area.  That way everyone is there and we won’t have to go searching for anyone after the ceremony.

 

5:00 pm – 6:00 pm – Cocktail Hour for guests

Many times a cocktail hour is planned for guests.  This is pretty much something to keep guests busy while the family pictures and formal pictures are being done.

 

5:00 pm – 6:00 pm – Pictures with bride and groom and wedding party

After the family pictures, it is common to get some formal pictures with the bride and groom and wedding party.  I like to get shots of everyone at the ceremony location first, then get some shots in the surrounding area.  If you have a bus or trolley scheduled we can use this time to go around to some favorite spots for some on-location photos.

 

6:15 pm – Grand Entrance

This is the moment the wedding party arrives at the venue.  The DJ will announce the couples and the bride and groom to the reception.

 

6:30 pm – 7:30 pm – Dinner

Dinner is served!

 

7:30 pm – 7:45 pm – First Dances

This is the time for first dances.  The bride and groom first dance is usually the first.  Then the father and daughter have a special dance together.  Lastly the groom and his mother will have dance together.

The dances are always one of the most special moments of the entire day.

 

7:45 pm – 11:00 pm – Reception / Dancing

Now it’s time to party!  Hang out with your guests and have fun!

If you want some night or sunset pictures, we can defintiely add that to the timeline.  The exact time will depend on the sunset time for your wedding day.

 

9:00 pm – Bouquet toss/garter toss

If you want to do a bouquet toss and garter toss this can happen pretty much any time during the reception.  Your DJ will be able to help you plan for this.

 

10:00 pm – Late night snack (usually pizza)

It is very common to offer a late night snack for your guests.  Usually this is Pizza.  It’s a much appreciated perk for all of your guests.  This can happen at any time during the reception and your caterer will be able to help you plan for this.

 

Let’s create your own Wedding Timeline Template!

I really hope you find this post useful.  You can feel free to print off this page and change things to better suit your wedding day plans.  I would love to help you with your own wedding timeline template!  Not only am I here to capture your special memories on your wedding day, I’m here to be a resource of knowledge for you.  I would love to help you with any questions you have, including your wedding timeline.

Check out my weddings page or click here to send me an e-mail and let’s talk about your plans!

 

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