Wedding Day Timeline

May 18, 2023

A wedding day timeline is a detailed schedule of all the events that will take place at your wedding. Trust me, you're going to need this!

Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life. From the moment you wake up until the last dance of the night, you want everything to be perfect. However, with so many things to do and people to see, it can be easy to lose track of time! 

This is where a wedding day timeline comes in.

A wedding day timeline is a detailed schedule of all the events and activities that will take place on your special day. It helps you stay on track and ensures that everything runs smoothly from start to finish. It’s SO important to have a wedding day timeline! Especially when it comes to things like getting your hair and makeup done, taking photos with your bridesmaids, toasts at the reception, cake cutting, and more. 

You want to have time for everything and if there’s a schedule to stick to, you won’t feel rushed! For all the ins and outs of what to include in your Wedding Day Timeline, how long each of those “activities” will take, and more check out these two resources- Wedding Planning Spreadsheets and/or Wedding Planning Crash Course!

In the meantime, here’s a few things to consider about specific parts of your wedding day that are vital when mapping out your Wedding Day Timeline

Getting Ready

Getting ready for your wedding is an exciting and fun experience. However, it can also be stressful if you’re running late. This is why it’s important to allocate enough time for things like hair and makeup, taking getting ready photos with your bridesmaids, getting dressed with your bridesmaids, and any other pre-ceremony activities. ALWAYS ask your hair & makeup vendors how long they realistically need for X-number of ladies getting their hair/makeup done. If you have more than 5 people, you’ll probably want a second hair stylist & makeup artist there too!


Your ceremony is the heart of your wedding day. Depending on the type of ceremony you have, it can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour to complete. Make sure you factor in the amount of time it will take your family and the entire wedding party to get down the aisle, exchange vows, readings, and rings, and sign the marriage license afterward


If you’re doing a “first look”, where you’ll see each other before the ceremony, then you can take most of your photos before the ceremony begins and save yourself quite a bit of time. If you’re leaving all of the photos for after the ceremony, however, you’re going to have to move QUICK to ensure that you don’t leave your guests hanging for too long in between your ceremony & reception! Rule of thumb is to give yourself 45 minutes for Wedding Party photos and 45 minutes for family photos- but this can vary depending on how many people you want to include! I also recommend providing a list of everyone you want a photo with to your photographer in advance so things run more smoothly day-of.


There is a lot that goes into your reception like your first dance, your meal, and cutting your cake. Having a timeline for this is so important because you don’t want to forget anything! If you have a band or DJ, I recommend providing them with the schedule ahead of time as well so they know when each of these “activities” should be taking place.

Don’t worry, I got you! 

Planning all of those details in advance can sound stressful, but that’s where I come in! Having a wedding coordinator is so helpful for this because we have done it all before. A good wedding coordinator will be able to notice potential problem spots in the schedule and will be able to keep you on track day-of! Being able to relax and enjoy your day makes this all SO worth it. Trust me! With a little bit of planning and preparation, your wedding day will be everything you’ve ever dreamed of and more.

If you’re not quite ready to hire a wedding coordinator, please go check out my Wedding Planning Spreadsheets and Wedding Planning Crash Course!! They are jam-packed with tips and information to not only just get you through this wedding planning process but to leave you happy and stress-free!

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I'm Katie! I'm a wedding planner, coordinator, and educator. I make it easy to plan your wedding, whether you're working with me directly, or planning on your own using the tools and resources I've created!

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