A Wedding Day Timeline by Absolute Wedding Perfection


Absolute Wedding Perfection

Wedding Day Timeline

Creating a timeline for your wedding day is such an important part of keeping the day running smoothly. Wedding planner, Angie Froemel, of Absolutely Wedding Perfection, has created a basic wedding day timeline to help brides organize their day so it is stress-free and enjoyable for everyone involved. The timeline below is based on a wedding ceremony that begins at 5:30. A big thank you to the talented Julie Roberts Photography for all of these amazing photos!

Detailed Timeline

12:00 Begin hair and make-up with you and your bridesmaids.

2:00 Getting ready pictures begin. This is based off an 8 hour photography package.

2:30 Put on your wedding dress.

3:00 First look with your groom and couples photos.

3:45 Pictures with your wedding party.

4:15 Pictures with both sides of your family.

5:00 Freshen up while prelude music begins.

5:25 Seat grandmothers and mothers.

5:30 Ceremony Begins

6:00 Guests enjoy cocktails while your photographer takes a few last minute photos.

6:30 Your grand entrance and first dance.

6:45 A toast from dad or a blessing from the minister, then dinner is served.

7:45 Toasts from maid-of-honor and best man.

8:00 Cake Cutting

8:15 Parent dances and guest dancing.

9:00 Bouquet and Garter Tosses

9:50 Last Song/Dance

9:55 Grand Exit!

Everyone’s wedding timeline will vary from what you see above, so Angie created this hour by hour timeline below to make it easier to create your own timeline based on when your wedding begins!

Getting Ready 

2-3 hours: bride and maids at salon (or wherever) get their hair and makeup done (depends on how many girls there are and how many stylists/artists there are)  Don’t foget to eat lunch!

30 min: travel to ceremony site

30 min: bridesmaids get dressed, put on shoes, jewelry etc.. they should be completely ready before the photographer arrives

** photographer arrives, photos begin!

30 min: bride puts on dress with help of maids (this can take longer than you think though!  Feel free to add on extra time if your photography package allows)

** groomsmen are getting ready at this time, wedding coordinator pins on boutonnières 15 minutes before their pictures

** flowers arrive at least 30 minutes after photographer

Group Photos

30 min: pics of bride and maids

15 min: pics of bride and her family

** wedding coordinator makes sure bride/groom switch without seeing eachother!  Or if they do a first look, the order changes to: first look, wedding party, family shots

30 min: pics of groom and groomsmen

15 min: pics of groom and his family


30 minutes prior to ceremony start time: bridal party hangs back while guests are being seated.  Deep breath – you’re about to get married!!!

30 minutes: Ceremony

More Photos

15 minutes: formal pictures with family

15 minutes: bridal party pictures

15 minutes: shots of bride & groom


3-4 hours: reception (reception technically begins right after the ceremony, so guests are waiting while you finish pictures.  I like to keep those pictures as quick as possible by rounding up family members and the wedding party for the photographer)

– This is my suggestion for the reception flow, but this is totally up to you!

– 45 minutes: cocktail hour while you take pictures

– wedding party and bride/groom’s grand entrance

– bride/groom’s first dance

– bride’s dad gives speech to begin dinner (dinner takes 45-60 minutes depending on your guest count)

– Maid of Honor/Best Man Toasts

– Cake Cutting (takes about 15 minutes)

– Open up dance floor to guests

– About 30 minutes before the end of the reception: bouquet and garter toss

– 5 minutes before the end: last song

– End with the big getaway (sparklers, bird seed, etc…)

“Again, this is just a starting point, and every wedding is different!  But once you have the basics, you can start working in all the little details.  My timelines usually end up being several pages long and include detailed notes about who is who and who goes where.  But once it’s created – it’s smooth sailing from there!  All you have to worry about is saying I Do!”

If you don’t want to tackle this timeline on your own, contact Angie for a little help!

Photos by Julie Roberts Photography


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