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Creating A Wedding Timeline featured image

Creating A Wedding Timeline

May 15th, 2014

Having a timeline for your wedding day is one of the best ways to ensure that your big day runs smoothly! A detailed timeline is such an asset for you, the bridal party, and all of your vendors. We get many questions about what a “typical” schedule should look like for your event. Below are a couple of things to think about when creating your wedding day timeline.
Drew Brashler Photography

~Time of Year
This is a BIG one! Mostly because of the amount of sunlight you will have for pictures. If you are getting married in the winter you will want to start your ceremony earlier because of the limited sunlight, where as in the spring you will have extended light. If you are getting married in later Spring or Summer, you will also want to take into account that about 4pm is the hottest part of the day.

~Day of the Week
If you are planning a weekday wedding, be sure not to start you ceremony too early. Many guests will be working and need time to get to the venue. If you are planning a Sunday evening wedding, remember that most guests will not stay as late as they might for a Saturday evening wedding because of work the next day. You may want to start your ceremony a little early in this case.

~First Look
Are you and your fiancé planning on a first look? If so, you will want to plan for at least an hour for photos before the ceremony even begins. Remember to give yourself about a 45 minute buffer after first look pictures to hide from arriving guests and to touch up makeup.

Most ceremonies take about a half hour, although some can be longer and some shorter. If you are planning on having a unity candle/sand ceremony, readers, music, etc, be sure to factor this time in.

~Number of Guests
Are you planning on an intimate affair with 75 or less, or are you having 200 guests? The less people the shorter the reception needs to be, the more people, the longer the reception needs to be.

Are you planning on having an open bar? If so, keep in mind your reception time will likely be a little longer.

~Buffet or Sit-Down Dinner
Buffets typically are quicker than a sit down dinner service. Keep this in mind when thinking about how long dinner will take.
Drew Brashler Photography

Sample Timeline (based on 100 guests)

5:00pm – 5:30pm  Ceremony
5:30pm – 6:30pm Cocktail hour
6:45pm – Grand Entrance
6:50pm – First Dance
7:00pm – 8:00pm – Dinner Service
7:45pm – Toasts
8:00pm – Father/Daughter Mother/Son Dance
8:15pm – Open Dance
8:45pm – Cake
9:00pm – Open Dance
9:15pm – Bouquet/Garter Toss
9:30pm – Open Dance
10:00pm – Last Dance, Congratulations!
Pinkerton Photography