There’s going to be a lot happening on the day you get married. Of course, the most important thing is to make sure that you enjoy every minute and don’t get too stressed out if things don’t go exactly to plan.

wedding timings bluelightsphotography

We’ve asked wedding planner and Wedding Ideas Awards judge, Alison Tinlin from Plans & Presents to help break down the timeline for a wedding day, just so you know exactly what you should be doing and when. Don’t feel you have to stick to it, though, everybody’s day is different but feel free to use it as a guide.

Organise your timings

Firstly, it’s important that you give a copy of your timings to key people in the wedding party. You’ll need to know when your suppliers are arriving and it’s useful to have a list of phone numbers, just in case.

nicolephotography big day timings

Plan some trial runs

Continue reading below…

It’s always an excellent plan to do trials of hair and make-up before your big day – not only to discover what style really suits you but also to establish how long this will take for all involved. Time how long it takes to get to your ceremony and reception venues and do it on the same day of the week as you’re getting married, as a Tuesday will have different traffic to a weekend.

A wedding rehearsal is always a good idea too, so you can see how long this part of the day takes. It’s also important, when working out timings, to give yourself some extra minutes in case of any unforeseen emergencies and mishaps.

A typical wedding day schedule

The following wedding schedule gives approximate timings for an afternoon wedding. You can adjust it depending on the actual time you’re getting married.

Getting ready

wedding day schedule robsandersonphotography

  • 07.00 – Wake up
  • 09.00 – Hair and makeup
  • 12.00 – Bridesmaids and the bride get ready
  • 12.30 – Photographer arrives. They may arrive even earlier depending on your Wedding coverage.
  • 13.00 – Groom and male attendants set off for the ceremony
  • 13.30 – Groomsmen arrive at ceremony venue
  • 13.40 – Bridesmaids and mother of the bride leave
  • 13.45 – Bride and father of the bride leave

The wedding ceremony

Wedding day timings mikiphotography

  • 13.50 – Bridesmaids and bride’s mother arrive at the venue
  • 13.55 – Ushers escort bride’s mother and groom’s parents to their seats
  • 14.00 – Bride and father of the bride arrive at ceremony venue
  • 14.05 – Ceremony starts. Guests will be invited to stand and processional music will start
  • 14.35 – Ceremony finishes

Drinks reception

wedding planning schedule sarahferrara

  • 14.40 – Photos at church and ceremony venue
  • 15.00 – Transfer to reception for guest, bride and groom, wedding party
  • 15.30 – Drinks reception and canapés
  • 17.00 – Guests seated for wedding breakfast
  • 17.30 – Speeches and the cake cutting can be before or after your meal as you wish

Wedding reception

  • 19.00 – Wedding Breakfast finishes
  • 19.30 – Evening guests arrive and are greeted by newlyweds
  • 20.00 – Evening entertainment starts and the first dance
  • 21.30 – Evening buffet
  • 22.00 – Return to entertainment
  • 23.45 – Last orders
  • 23.55 – Last dance
  • 00.00 – Finish