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How to Create the Perfect Wedding Timeline

A wedding timeline is a vital part of the wedding planning process. As a wedding photographer, I have noticed that one of the biggest differences between weddings that run smoothly and weddings that don’t is the detail of the wedding timeline. 

A lot of brides get stressed about the timing of things, but when it comes down to it, prioritization is the key to success. Think about the moments that matter the most and make sure you leave enough time for them to happen.

A detailed and specific wedding timeline will help eliminate confusion and keep everyone on the same page. Your wedding vendors, bridal party, and family members will be prepared for the day’s events. 

If you are not sure where to start or need a little guidance on how long each event generally takes your wedding planner, event coordinator or photographer are all really helpful resources when it comes to nailing the timing and transition of events. However, this blog post will also give you a general idea of what a wedding timeline looks like. 


Wedding Events Timetable

Every wedding day is unique and personal, but seeing an example timeline can help you consider your own needs and how long things generally take.

2 hours- Bridal party getting ready

20 mins- Bridal party photos

45 mins- Portraits of Bride/ Portraits of Groom

30 mins- First Look with the couple, portraits with the couple

30 mins- Guest seated and greeted

1 hour- Ceremony

1 hour- Formal portraits with family

1 hour- Luncheon/cocktail hour

15 mins- Grand entrance, reception begins

5 mins- First dance

40 mins- Dinner serving/speeches

15 mins- Father/ mother dances

20 mins- Open dancing

10 mins- Cake cutting/ dessert

15 mins- Wedding exit



A well planned wedding allows the couple to be present in the moment

Share the Timeline

Once you narrow down exactly how the day will go, make sure that everyone is informed of the plan. Write up an easy to read, printable timeline and give it to everyone that needs it. This includes all of your vendors: florist, caterers, DJ, photographer, videographer, officiant, venue coordinator, etc. Also give it to all of the bridesmaids, groomsmen, and important family members. 

A week before the wedding, double-check that your wedding timeline has not changed. If it has, update the timeline and discuss important changes with your vendors. On the day of your wedding, choose one person from your wedding party to keep you updated on the time of things so that you don’t have to check your watch. If you hired a wedding planner or coordinator, they will be sure to keep things on track! 



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