Your wedding day is not an impromptu event. The key to a perfect day is perfect planning. Every important event and detail belong on a wedding day timeline. Let’s analyze a wedding day timeline that was created by a wedding planning professional for a little inspiration to create yours.
11:00 am on the Wedding Day Timeline
You will probably be nervous on your wedding day, but do not forget to eat a nice breakfast. Avoid social media and connect with your wedding party to make sure they are following the timeline. You should have a designated meeting location to prepare. Some brides rent a house for the night before to have the wedding party together the next morning for a brunch and a small toasting. Avoid drinking too early and too much. Allow enough time for showers and getting ready. Reach out to your hair and makeup artist, photographer and the transportation to make sure everyone is following the wedding day timeline as planned.
3:00 pm Commute to the Venue
Depending on the size of your wedding party, you might travel in a limo or a party bus. Some couples adhere to old tradition that prevents the bride and groom from seeing each other prior to the ceremony. If you want to step away from tradition, you could ride together with the entire wedding party in one bus. Allow time for travel. Add an extra half an hour for unforeseen traffic delays.
4:00 pm Arrival at the Venue
Arriving at the venue a couple hours in advance will give you a safe window of time to meet inside of your designated suite with your hair and makeup artist. Make sure you have properly booked your venue with the extra time to get ready onsite. If you choose to have your photographer and videographer follow your entire day, you will probably arrive with your camera crew. If your photography is commencing at the venue, the photographer should meet you upon arrival to capture your moments as you planned. Your wedding coordinator will greet and oversee the set up of the cake, DJ or band, officiant, caterer, guests and all the little details, which should be added to a more detailed version of your wedding day timeline. After the bride is dressed, the father of the bride usually gets a first look. If you are planning to have a first look with the groom, plan enough time before the ceremony and take advantage of the candid moments with wedding photography.
6:00 pm on the Wedding Day Timeline
After the prelude music plays and guests take their seats, the groom takes his place at the wedding arch and the procession begins. The ceremony usually lasts about 30 minutes. Some couples have special readings and prayers. Some add a handfasting ceremony, a sand ceremony or a unity candle ceremony. You could choose to add other important events that would increase the duration of your ceremony.
6:30 pm Cocktail Hour
This is the moment on the wedding day timeline that you dreamed about. This is where you will be announced as husband and wife, and make your exit beneath a confetti blast, rose petals or a saber arch. You will make your exit down the aisle with applause and be whisked away with your photographer for an hour of wedding photography and a private toasting with your spouse. This time period is called the cocktail hour. During cocktail hour, your guests will mix and mingle with drinks and appetizers while they await your grand entrance at the reception. Sometimes the bride and groom get a big reveal of the ceremony space before the guests are invited to the reception ballroom, but this will depend on the logistics at your venue.
7:45 pm Grand Entrance
Guests are usually invited to dine about fifteen minutes in advance of the grand entrance, but more time might be required for a larger wedding. The grand entrance is the place on the wedding day timeline where you will make your grand entrance into the reception space as husband and wife. If you are not hosting your ceremony and reception at the same venue, you will need to add travel time between the cocktail hour and the introduction at the reception hall. Most couples choose to immediately take center stage and dance their first dance on cloud effects.
The Reception Timeline
8:00 pm -Welcome toasts from the parents of the bride or the hosts (father of the bride delivers the first speech)
8:15 pm -Dinner is served
8:45 pm -Bridal party makes a toast (maid of honor and best man speeches)
9:00 pm -Father and daughter dance and the parents dance
9:10 pm -Everyone joins the floor to dance
9:45 pm -Cake cutting ceremony
10:05 pm -Bouquet toss and garter Toss
10:25 pm -Everyone joins the floor to dance until the end
11:50 pm -Last song
11:55 pm -Grand exit
Wedding Day Timeline Thoughts
There are few things to think about. Consider whether you will be having your ceremony and reception at the same venue or different locations. If you will be hosting the events at separate locations, you will need to include blocks of time on your wedding day timeline for transportation between places. Choosing a venue with a ceremony space and a reception ballroom provides an advantage when you do not need to factor in additional travel time and work around transportation issues. Plan blocks of time for photography.
Crystal Ballroom Saint Augustine
Plan your wedding day timeline with Crystal Ballroom Saint Augustine. Crystal Ballroom is an all-inclusive wedding venue with an in-house design team, planners, vendor connections and a day of event coordinator package to make your dream wedding come true just the way you planned it. Walk the red carpet to your fairy tale at Crystal Ballroom.