Time Flies When You’re Having Fun

A smooth, well-thought-out timeline is crucial for any event to be successful. Without a great timeline, the event will be sloppy and the great details and creative pieces will be overshadowed by chaos and unpredictability. I used to think that all brides had been dreaming about their wedding day since they were 12. I have recently been proven quite wrong. When I started to discuss the teeny-tiny details of the day with two of my brides, I could almost see their eyes glazing over – on the phone!! We started talking about the importance of a solid, yet flexible timeline for the Big Day and I realized that they might need a little more guidance than most… so I sent them a template for a wedding day timeline which also included questions to help each of them determine the individual features of their day that they would have to include in the timeline. I thought that some of you might benefit from as well. Enjoy!

10:30am: Hair appointments for Bridal Party and Mother of the Bride

11:30am: Hair/Makeup for Bride & Bridal Party

2pm: Bride and Groom get ready in separate rooms
Flowers arrive
Photographer and Videographer arrive to start shooting

2:30pm DJ arrives to set up

3:30pm: Guests arrive at ceremony
DJ begins playing

4-4:30pm: Ceremony
Unity ceremony (wine pouring, planting seed, readings by family, pouring sand)

4:30-5:30pm: Cocktail Hour
4:30pm: Bridal Party photos
5:00pm Bridal Party joins cocktail hour

5:30pm: Guests enter into Reception

5:40pm: Grand Entrance:
Grandmothers are announced and wave from their seats.
Parents, Bridal Party, and Bride & Groom are announced and make entrance into ballroom and gather on dance floor

5:50pm Music continues and all guests are invited to Dance

6:15pm: Guests sit / Bride and Groom First Dance

6:20pm: All sit / Best Man Toast

6:25pm: Maid of Honor Toast

6:30pm: Father of Bride welcomes guests

6:35pm: Slideshow (while Dinner 1st course is being served)

6:35-7:35pm: Dinner

7:35pm: Bride & Groom thank guests

7:40pm: Father/Daughter dance

7:45pm: Mother/Son dance

7:50pm: All guests are invited to Dance

8:45pm: Cake cutting & service

8:55pm: Bride presents bouquet to her Grandma

10:30pm: Reception ends


• Which of your vendors will need payment on the night of the event?
• What, if any, special items (guest book, escort cards, etc.) need to get to the ceremony/reception site(s)?
• How will your special items get to the ceremony and/or reception site?

• Will you have programs?
• If so, how will they be distributed to guests?
• Will you have a guest book (or something for your guests to sign)?
• Will you have a gift table at the ceremony site?
• Will you have a “unity display” during your ceremony (wine ceremony, candle lighting, sand ceremony, etc.)?
• Will you have special items at your ceremony (parasol umbrellas, fans, bubbles, etc.)?
• Who is breaking down the ceremony site?

• Will you need escort cards (table assignments) at the reception site?
• If so, how will they be displayed to guests?
• Will you have a gift table at the reception site?
• Will you have other special features at your reception (a photo booth, a candy station, etc.)?
• Who will bring your gifts to you at the end of the night?
• Who will collect all of the special items (guest book, centerpieces, etc.) at the end of the night?
• How will the special items get to you at the end of the night?

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