Wedding Day Timeline

January 28, 2022

A wedding is full of events that brighten the occasion. There are multiple tasks to complete, enough to accomplish, from arriving in elegance to perfecting your location, engaging programs, pictures, delicacies. A wedding planner would ease your occasion, a wedding schedule will ease your day. Working with a fixed schedule along with a planner is recommended.

A wedding day schedule timeline can help you split responsibilities into manageable chunks while staying on track. In the end, planning and organizing prove to be beneficial. So, to make things a little simpler, we’ve put together a day-of wedding timeline timetable that will suit your wedding style.

How long should the wedding be?

Weddings typically last 4 to 5 hours or less than that, depending on the kind of wedding that is taking place. A traditional wedding tends to last a little longer than usual.

A typical wedding timeline!
There is no universal list that will fit every wedding. Every wedding has its timeline curated specially for the specific event.

However, some of the priorities are listed down below.

Wedding logistics
The logistics are an integral part of your wedding schedule plan. There should be reliable transportation available depending on your locations, activities, and accessibility to one another.

If the ceremony, reception, and after-party sites are all different, arrange for separate transportation for the couple. Create alternate transportation for your guests from all of your venues to their hotels to help them in exploring the city.

Start Early
Planning early is the key to a smooth wedding. This will allow you to spend more time with your guests, and be part of the fun. There will also be more time for wedding photos. Being in bed early enough or cutting down on activities at the rehearsal dinner are both effective ways to save time.

Photographers and videographers
Photographers and videographers are two of the essential vendors on your big day. They help catch and preserve beautiful memories. They charge by the hour, so if you want them for a full day, choose a package that suits your wedding duration. Prioritize by doing all photo-shoots immediately before the reception.

Avoid making the guests wait
Keep your photos, speeches, and dances brief. After the actual ceremony, you can move the meal hour up. It will offer you plenty of time to do other things. Assure that your visitors don’t wait hungry.

Last stage of the wedding
The final stage of the wedding is sending out your timeline to everyone involved in it. In case of changes, your vendors, bridesmaid, and wedding coordinators should receive it two to three weeks before the wedding.

Wedding Day Timeline Blocks

During weddings, timing is everything. Before you start planning your wedding day timeline, it will be helpful to get a sense of how long each task takes in general. Every wedding is unique to the couple, so the timetable will be unique to their wedding day. It will be influenced by suppliers, venues, families, and other factors, so start from the beginning when planning your big day.

Ask simple logistical questions before analyzing the timeline.

  • Would you be getting ready at the venue of the ceremony or someplace else as a hotel?
  • Your wedding ceremony and reception are taking place in different locations? In that case, you’ll need to include travel time in your wedding schedule.
  • Will you provide transportation for the members of your wedding party or guests? If this is the case, traveling will be a little easier and faster.
  • Do you like your first look or wedding photographs to be taken at a certain time, for example, golden hour or dawn?
  • What will the length of your ceremony be? This will need a meeting with your officiant.

Getting up early is the key
Weddings are fun but can be a little long, so waking up early is beneficial. It must seem a little insane to wake up early for an evening wedding, but the bride and the bridesmaids need at least 3 hours to get ready. Put on your party robes, listen to some music, and then get ready for the day. Take into account the make-up, hair, and other details.

Photographer and videographer
Photographs and videos are an integral part of the wedding, so the photographers and videographers must be present 30 mins before the bride is ready. During this time, the photographer can take photos of the dresses, rings, invitations, decorations, for an aesthetic vibe!

Everyone must be ready by 2 pm
The last thing a bride would want to feel is rushed onto things. The bride should be dressed and accessorized by 2 pm.

Solo portraits and wedding party photos by 2:45 pm
It will take at least an hour to complete the solo shots and pose with your wedding party. You need to pay for at least eight hours of coverage if you want your photographer to shoot your whole wedding day. Consider how much time you have with your photographer and videographer and plan accordingly.

The first look at the couple
The first look of the couple is a special moment. The bride and groom see each other for the first time. This time is crucial for the photographers and videographers as this window of time is perfect to capture intimate pictures of the couple.

Family photos by 5 pm
At around 4 p.m., have your family assemble at the entrance of your venue, clothed and ready. Assign a family member to assist the photographer in identifying everyone. Make sure your photographer has a shortlist of every family combination you want to be recorded.

Start your wedding by 5:30 pm
Plan on starting your ceremony 15 minutes later than the time on the invitation. This allows visitors to arrive and settle comfortably. It’s also good to play some music in the background to lighten up the ambiance of the ceremony.

Ceremony: 6:15 pm, Grand Entrance and First Dance
The ceremony will begin around 6 pm. Depending on the kind of ceremony, it will take around 30 minutes to 1-2 hours.

Cocktail Hour will start post-ceremony!
Invite your guests to a cocktail hour while you and your photographer take some post-ceremony shots. This will offer you a much-needed pause to re-energize for the remainder of the night, and depending on how many photographs you want to take, you may either attend cocktail hour halfway through or spend some time in the bridal suite discreetly enjoying appetizers and beverages.

7:35 – 7:45 p.m. Welcome Toasts From Hosts
The first two toasts in the wedding reception timeline are called welcoming toasts, given by the newlywed’s parents or a family member.

7:45 – 8:30 p.m.
The best man and maid of honor might give their toasts at this time in the wedding schedule. All the toasts should be given under the advised time, a maximum of 5 minutes.

After the toasts, the guests are asked to take their seats, and dinner is served.

9:30-45 pm, cake cutting, and dances
The cake cutting comes first, followed by the bouquet toss and garter toss. This is also an excellent opportunity for the newlyweds to speak a few words and express their gratitude for their guests’ presence.

Parent dance
It is recommended to do them right away and then transition to an open dancing floor and end it by 11 pm. Switch to high-energy music after the last official dance and have your band or DJ encourage everyone to join you on the dance floor.

Grand exit by 11 pm.
The bride and groom receive their final hugs, goodbyes, and a grand exit by the members of the family.


As a Sydney wedding photographer, it would be an honor for me to capture your wedding. My job is to capture timeless pictures, bind them in the most naturalistic way. I’ll produce beautiful pictures capturing your most special day.

You are welcome to browse through my portfolio of past couples via my portfolio, discover each of my investments here, and if you’d like to get in touch please do so via my contact page.