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How to Plan Your Wedding Day Timeline

How to Plan Your Wedding Day Timeline

Source: Eve Styling/Shutterstock

Planning a wedding is no easy feat. There’s a lot you and your soon-to-be spouse will have to consider. In particular, you’ll most likely have to set a schedule for others, including: when guests should arrive, when the photographer should show up, when you should have your first dance, when you’ll cut the cake, and more. You’ve already got enough questions on your mind, like “What hand does the wedding ring go on? So, how do you establish the perfect wedding day timeline? 

Here’s what to expect if your wedding ceremony is set for 2:30 p.m.: 

11:00 p.m.: Get hyped (and ready). 

Early in the day, you and your bride’s parties will be getting ready. From blasting music to getting dressed, you’ll be pumping yourself up while preparing for the big event. 

Start off your wedding day by giving yourself plenty of time to get ready with your wedding party. Throw on your custom robes, blast a getting-ready playlist, and enjoy the glam process. A larger group means you’ll want to block off more time to prep.

11:15 p.m.: The bride prepares.  

Now comes the time for your bride to prep. She’ll get dressed with the help of her bridesmaids, already having her hair and makeup done in advance. 

12:00 p.m.: Capture your style. 

The photographer now enters the scene, taking separate solo portraits of you and your bride, capturing your essence on the big day. 

12:30 p.m.: Let your family and friends join. 

Now you’ll be joined by your groomsmen, getting some fun photos taken together. Also get some solo photos with parents and siblings, if you want. Gather your crew for wedding party photos. Don’t forget to include your parents, your partner’s parents, and the kids in the wedding party for this portion too. 

1:00 p.m.: Get emotional at the first look. 

Now is the big moment: your first look at your bride. Don’t be afraid to shed tears for the camera. The toughest men cry when it comes to love. Just don’t weep uncontrollably. No one wants a weeping groom. 

1:30 p.m.: Make it to the ceremony venue. 

Give enough time for everyone to travel from the initial meet up spot to the venue where you’ll be married. 

a bride and groom holding hands while walking down the aisle

Source: Jan Faukner/Shutterstock

2:00 p.m.: Guests arrive, music begins. 

The ceremony is about to start. People are getting in their seats, the music has set the atmosphere, and you and your bride are about to make it official. 

2:30 p.m.: Ceremony. 

The length of your wedding will vary on what you have planned, especially if you are having a traditional religious ceremony. We recommend setting aside an hour, as you never know when things will go awry during your big day, from someone being late to some snafu causing issues. Whatever your plan, you and your partner will finally be able to trade your rings. And think how killer you’ll look when you both finally have your wood rings wrapped around your fingers. 

3:30 p.m.: Family photos and travel to reception 

Make sure you have ample time after the ceremony to get all of the photos you and your family want, as well as having enough time to travel to your reception venue—if it’s somewhere else. Besides getting photos, some guests might feel compelled to get a bite to eat in the meantime, as dinner is still a ways away.  

5:00 p.m.: Cocktail hour. 

Once photos have been taken, let everyone relax. Grab a drink (or two or three), put on some music, and allow people to mingle, laugh, and cry with joy. 

a group toasting at a wedding

Source: Stakhov Yuriy/Shutterstock

6:00 p.m.: Kick it off!

Once everyone has settled in, you and your spouse will join the party, making your entrance, being announced, and having your first dance. 

6:15 p.m.: Time to dance.  

All other guests will be invited to the dance floor. Show off your sickest moves to meemaw. 

7:00 p.m.: Dinner is served. 

Relax, kick back, and finally grab a bite to eat with the first course. 

7:15 p.m.: Time for a toast.  

After you’ve given your welcome speeches, toasts from your party will be in order, particularly your parents and others.  

7:45 p.m.: The main course is ready.

Simple, straightforward. Grab a bite and enjoy. 

8:00 p.m.: More speeches follow. 

The best man and maid of honor will be invited to offer their speeches. Pray your best man doesn’t spill too much tea about your past. 

8:15 p.m.: Dance with family. 

Now the time has come to dance with your parents. Savor the moment as much as your parents do. 

8:30 p.m.: Let them eat cake.  

Things are winding down. Now is the time to cut the cake. Serve it and any other desserts, allow guests to grab another drink, and get back to the dance floor if you want. 

9:30 p.m.: Wedding exit. 

Your times will vary, but it’s likely that you’ll be wrapping up your wedding at this point. If you want to keep the party going, feel free to do it as long as your venue allows. Otherwise, consider calling it a night so you and your spouse can finally make the night your own. 

Discover Even More Boss A** Wedding Bands at Manly Bands

With a precise schedule, you can perfectly plan ahead to ensure that your wedding goes off without a hitch. The only hitch should be the one you two are performing! Unsure of what ring is right for you? Consider creating your own ring to make it as personal as possible.