How To Create A Wedding Day Timeline

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How To Create A Wedding Day Timeline

What better way to ensure your day runs smoothly, than with a wedding day timeline? Relatively simple to make, a detailed timeline will allow for a more stress-free day, from start to finish. Let’s face it, a few minutes misplaced can feel like a big deal on your special day.  Learn how to create your very own wedding day timeline, hour by hour, to keep your party, guests and vendors all on track.


Your Wedding Vision

First things first, you need to determine what will take place on the day of your wedding. To achieve this, sit down with your fiance and write down all of the basics as well as your must-haves. Basics would include the ceremony, dinner, cake cutting, first dances, and so on. Must-haves are any add ons that you in particular want, whether it be games, special dances, or any other unique ideas. Once this list is complete, and in a set order, you will fill in smaller details in between, which may include when everyone will meet to get dressed, entrances, and speeches.


Timing is Everything

Now that you know what your day will consist of, you only have to estimate how much time each will take. You can determine a start and finish time for each, or simply a start time and assume that it finishes when the next item begins. This is up to you. Start at the beginning of your day and go from there, hour by hour. Since there is no definitive way to ensure how much time is enough, err on the side of caution. Don’t forget to include any additional time for preparation, if you want a little alone time to relax, or travel time if there are multiple venues. 


Include Your Photographer

Unlike other wedding vendors you have hired, the photographer will play a significant role in dictating time blocks. If there is one piece of advice you take away, you need to include the photographer in finalizing the timeline. They, not you, will dictate how much time is necessary to get the photos that you have expressed interest in. If you do not heed this advice, you may end up having to compromise on which photos you have time for. By delivering your timeline to the photographer and requesting that they adjust it to suit their needs, you will avoid some serious stress and heartache.


Sample Wedding Day Timeline

In case you are still having difficulty defining time blocks, or feel as though you have left something out, we have created a sample of a typical wedding day for you. Keep in mind that these are only estimates, and depending on whether or not you have all of the following take place, times will vary.


Meet to get dressed/getting ready photographs- 11:30 a.m

Wedding party travel to venue- 2:45 p.m.

Pre-ceremony photographs- 3:00 p.m.

Ceremony start- 3:30 p.m.

Post-ceremony photographs- 4:40 p.m.

Wedding party travel to reception- 5:30 p.m.

Cocktail hour/hor d’oeuvres- 5:00 to 6:00 p.m.

Grand entrance- 6:00 p.m.

Dinner- 6:15 p.m.

Sunset photographs- 7:00 p.m.

Speeches- 7:30 p.m.

Cake cutting- 7:45 p.m.

First dances (3 total)- 8:00 p.m.

Garter/bouquet toss- 8:15 p.m.

Last drink call- 10:30 p.m.

Grand exit- 11:00 p.m.

Venue close- 11:30 p.m.


Once your wedding day timeline is finalized, the very last step is to deliver it to every person of importance. Whether this be the wedding party, your venue, a coordinator or anyone else, is entirely up to you. Remain firm on your timeline and stress to everyone the importance that they follow it. If the schedule has to be adjusted in the event of an emergency, select a person outside of the wedding party or your coordinator as the designated time keeper. They will do their best to disperse the new plan amongst those who it is relevant, to keep things running smoothly. This will ensure that people aren’t hassling you on your special day.


When you choose Pine Lake Ranch you are choosing a team dedicated to ensuring your wedding day will be the most exquisite and delightful experience of your dreams! We go over and above expectations to help you create memories that will last a lifetime. Trust our warm and attentive family to take care of the details, in order to accurately execute your vision. Contact us today to learn more and to book your event day. We can’t wait to get started!