They key to your wedding day running smoothly is having a thorough wedding timeline. It’s important to get this step done a couple weeks ahead of time to ensure all of your vendors are on the same page. If you hire a wedding planner, then this step should be easy as it is usually help you out in great detail. However, it’s always great to know what should be on there in case some details may have been left out. Here are five important things you should include in your wedding timeline!

Getting Ready + Details

Kicking off your morning staying on schedule will only set the rest of the day up for success! When detailing out your plans to get ready, make sure to include things such as what time your hair and makeup should arrive, who is bringing breakfast (highly important because a girl’s got to eat!), what time everyone needs to be finished by, when the limo is coming to pick you up, etc. This not only helps you personally stay on schedule, but also allows your wedding party and vendors know exactly where they need to be and at what times.

Plan for Photos

It would be one of the worst things to run behind and not get all of the photos you were hoping for. Nobody wants that! Instead, plan for all your photos. First, take into account the number of hours you’ve signed your contract for with your photographer. If they’re coming in the morning, make sure you have everything they will need for detail shots and plan accordingly so they can get the poses you want as you get ready.

The next thing to consider where the photos are being done. For example, are you taking group photos after the ceremony on the venue or traveling elsewhere? After taking into account travel time and the locations and photos you’d like, your photographer and wedding planner will be able to give some advice to best optimize your time!

Lastly, think about who you need for the photos. Make a list of what group photos you want to get. For example, “bride and groom with parents, bride and groom with siblings, bride and groom with grandparents, etc.” This also helps those individuals know where to be too!

Invitation Stated Time + Ceremony Start Time

It’s true, the wedding wouldn’t start without both the bride and the groom. However, having the ceremony start on time is not only courtesy for your guests, but your venue could be strict on time and you don’t want to incur any other extra fees for something that could’ve been prevented.

Cocktail Hour

Most of the time while your guests are at cocktail hour, you’ll more than likely be snapping photos with your photographer. However, some brides opt to going to cocktail hour with their guests. Either way, having this part of your timeline will help you know how much time you have before the wedding reception introductions. It will also serve as a good guide for your vendors who are setting up that everything needs to be good to go by this time, if not done well before.

Reception Formalities

Your entrance as newlyweds is so exciting! There are a few things to think about, though before your big day! Things you should include information about in your wedding timeline in regards to the reception are:

Bridal Party Entrance

Couple Entrance

Welcome Toast

First Dance



Father + Daughter Dance

Mother + Son Dance

Cake Cutting  

Last Dance 

Last Call


Most of these can be changed into an order that you like, but having these details nailed down will help the evening go smoothly!

If you’re ever unsure of times, add in a little wiggle room. It’s better to be done early than running late. I always help my couples not only plan their wedding timeline, but it’s also my job as a wedding planner to help them stay on track throughout the day!

Couples are a less stressed when they don’t have to worry about the wedding timeline and timing. They can simply enjoy their day and let us take care of the rest! Think this is something you’d like for your wedding day? Let’s chat! See our services and let us know how we can help!

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