Your Perfectly Planned Wedding Day Timeline –Tips for Keeping you Organised and Your Day on Schedule
As you begin to plan your wedding day, it’s often the fleeting moments that come to mind – the joyous look on your father/person giving you away’s face as they see you in your wedding outfit for the first time, the emotions that surface as you walk down the aisle, the first kiss and the magic of your first dance.
Although it may seem like these special moments just happen naturally at some point in the day, the truth is that a bit of planning is required to ensure that everything falls into place seamlessly.
With so many moving parts involved in your wedding, it’s important to carefully consider each detail. A well planned timeline will help you stay organised and ensure that everything runs smoothly from the moment you start to get ready until the end of the night. But the effort into planning absolutely pays off, making it all worthwhile.
Read on for all the essential details to make sure your whole wedding day goes off without a hitch.
1.Plan Your Morning
It may not be the most glamourous idea to plan a timeline for the morning of your wedding, however there’s lots of prep to get done and it’s quite often one of the busiest parts of your wedding day.
Too many couples to be and even mothers of the bride/groom skip breakfast, but I urge you not to. Having something light isn’t going to impede on you fitting into your wedding outfit, it’ll ensure you have lots of energy for the parts of your day to come and means you can just focus on the joyous moments to come rather than be distracted feeling light-headed or just hangry.
If having a hairstylists most will ask that you wash your hair the night before so that it’s clean, dry and ready to be styled so this will save you some time. For the grooms, if you have a hairstyle which is high maintenance and want it to look slick on the day or if you have a beard and want this to be as slick as your hair, it’s best to factor this into your wedding morning routine too. Make sure that you’re showered before you get to your preparation location, the last thing you need is everyone running late because there’s a queue for the bathroom.
If you plan on hiring a professional to take care of your hair and makeup on your wedding, they’ll typically tell you the best start time for their services. However, if you’ve decided to do it yourself or ask a friend to help, you need to factor in enough time to ensure everyone looks their best before you head out.
Typically, the bride will need approximately 45 minutes to an hour for hair styling and then the same for makeup application. Bridesmaids, on the other hand, usually need less-time, averaging around 30-45 minutes each. Don’t forget about the mother of the bride too, who may also require some attention too.
If your bridal party includes any children, it can be hugely helpful to plan their day out in your timeline too. With so much going on around them and lots of stranger coming and going, it can be difficult for any smaller children on the big day. Little things, like giving them some special responsibilities to practice in the morning can keep them occupied and feeling important too.
2. The Ceremony
All wedding ceremonies are unique, but there are a few factors in all of them that will add time to your day. Whoever is performing your ceremony, whether it’s a religious service or civil ceremony will let you know how long it’s expected to last, so it will help you to work out your wedding timeline for the rest of the day.
The length of your ceremony will largely depend on the type of ceremony you choose. Religious ceremonies are often longer, allowing for hymns, prayers and sometimes even a brief sermon. These usually range from 30 minutes to an hour depending on the number of hymns and readings you decide on. Civil ceremonies are usually shorter, lasting anywhere from 20 minutes to half an hour. Again, these can be longer depending on the number of readings you decide on having.
Timings to consider for this part of the day include photographs of arriving and before you head into the ceremony so you are able to ensure your photographer is ahead of you. You’re also probably going to want to have some more photographs after the ceremony too, particularly if you are planning on any confetti shots.
A great tip for this part of the day is to consider transport from your ceremony to your reception. If you are having it all in one place, its super simple but if you are hosting your reception elsewhere it can be a little more complicated. Guests can hang around and chat in between making it over to your reception, they’ll want to congratulate you and mingle amongst themselves too. Plan to do the confetti shot and get in your car as soon as possible once the ceremony itself is over – that will encourage the rest of your guests to follow on.
If you are putting on any transport for guests you can also control the timings a little easier but if not, consider how easy your guests can find parking.
3. Drinks Reception and Photos
This is probably the most standard section of your wedding timeline, most weddings will take between an hour and an hour and a half for the drinks reception, which is also the time you’ll be having your photographs done.
If you can, this is a lovely time for you and your new spouse to take a moment together. No photographs, no well-wishers just a nice quiet moment together to reflect on being married. It’s a special moment and space to yourselves before going back into the happy, bustle of your celebrations!
One of the best tips I can give is to make use of your bridesmaids and groomsmen in this part. One thing that slows down the photos is not having the right people in the right place at the right time. So make use of your wedding party. Give a list of group photos and make sure you have someone from each side of the family involved so collectively they’ll know who everyone is. This by far is one of the best ways to keep your day in check and keep your wedding timeline on track!
Usually providing some nibbles or canapes at this part of the day keeps your guests where you need them to be too!
That’s Part One of my wedding planning timeline tips. Pop back and check our Part Two when it lands shortly where I’ll be covering other key parts of the day and sharing my inside knowledge on keeping your wedding day timeline organised and on track.
Arron & Russell Wedding- Photographer: The British Photographers
Olly & Ivana Wedding - Photographer: Jessica Coates Photography