You’ll want to make every second count on the big day, so it’s essential to get your timings and wedding day schedule bang on!
Follow our handy, hour-by-hour plan and everything should run like clockwork. Remember this is only a guide – in this scenario, the wedding is starting at 2pm – and you should build in extra time in case of bad weather.
You’ll probably be awake way before this time with excitement anyway, but 9am is a good time to rise and have breakfast. Nothing too stodgy but certainly something that will fill you up – perhaps wholemeal toast and a banana? One glass of Champagne is allowed but don’t overdo it too early on!
The bridesmaids should be with you now. They should all be wearing button-through tops that can be easily removed without ruining make-up or hairstyles. As the bride you should be having your hair done first so the style can be perfected. Try to avoid having too many people in the room – only the bride, bridesmaids, photographer, make-up artist/hairdresser and perhaps mum should be with you now. Now is the time to be calm and relaxed so if anyone is stressing you out, they’ve got to go!
Have a small snack to keep your blood sugar levels up – you don’t want to be fainting at the altar! Now bridesmaids should be having their hair done while your make-up is being applied.
12 – 12.30 midday
All hair and make-up should be done now and it’s time to get into your dress. Slinky sheath dresses should be put on over your head, taking care not to smudge your make-up. Big dress? Step into it. Make sure whoever is doing up your dress has clean hands! This is the time to give your bridesmaids their presents, especially if you’d like them to wear their gifts on the day. Your photographer will want some time to take shots of you and the girls before you leave for the ceremony, so now is the best time. Delegate someone to be the main point of contact with the co-ordinator at your venue, and give your phone to that person – last-minute issues are not your problem now! As everyone else is getting ready to leave for the ceremony, have a quiet few moments alone with your Dad – try not to cry and ruin your make-up!
Groom, best man and ushers arrive at the ceremony, welcome guests. Bride’s family sit on the left, groom’s on the right.
Bridesmaids arrive at the ceremony, shortly followed by the bride and her father. It’s ceremony time! Your co-ordinator signal for the processional music to start and then it’s time to make your entrance. A little shy? Send your bridesmaids in first! This is also a good idea if you’re having flowergirls or page boys, as they can walk in ahead of you and sit with their parents instead of standing on your train!
Confetti and post-ceremony pictures. Make sure your photographer has a detailed shot list so no special pictures are forgotten.
Drinks reception begins. Couple and main bridal party have their formal pictures taken (30-40 minutes). Wedding guests will be mingling at this point.
The wedding breakfast is served. If you’re having a three-course meal, allow around an hour and a half for service.
Speeches! Father of the bride goes first, then the groom and then the best man. If you want to make a speech it’s best to go after the groom. Everyone should have a glass of Champagne or similar for the toasts.
The cutting of the cake – to be served with coffee. This is a good opportunity to sneak away and refresh your hair and make-up before your evening guests arrive.
The first dance. If you’re nervous, ask the DJ or band to invite friends and family on to the dance floor half way through.
Evening buffet should be brought out, if you’re having one. Only cater for 80 per cent of the guests as the day guests may still be full from their earlier meal.
Find your husband – yes, you will get separated throughout the evening – and take a few moments to soak up the atmosphere and enjoy the wonderful day that you have created.
Bride and groom depart. Your carefully decorated reception room will not be a pretty sight when the lights come on, so leave while the party is still on a high. Goodnight, Mr and Mrs!
Are you sticking to a wedding day schedule on the big day? How would you change it? Or are you just going to wing it?
Let us know! x