Pro Wedding Day Timeline -Made by Planners | Wedding Day Timelines for First Look and No First Look | luxenw.com

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Hi I'm Misty, the founder of Luxe and your Blog hostess. I'm a big city gal, special event producer, educator and mother.  

I’m a creative, an expert in lifestyle events and all things promotion, public relations and content creation, My passion is mentoring people on how to celebrate life's most valued moments. 

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Pro Wedding Day Timeline -Made by Planners | Wedding Day Timelines for First Look and No First Look

Photo by: Jenny Chok

How to build a wedding day timeline:

  1. Start is with your ceremony time then you will work backwards.
  2. Once you have worked your way from Ceremony start time back to the time you first get up, then you go back to your ceremony time and work forward to the end of the night when vendors have to be out by.
  3. Be sure to add all special events such as your grand entrance (after ceremony, if you’re having one, any toasts, first dance and family dances, cake cutting or dessert service, etc.
  4. After all special events are noted, go back to add in finer detail.
  5. Transportation times and “buffer times” are to be noted and accounted for.
  6. Personal floral like bouquets and boutonnieres must arrive before your first look or group photos. If you want photos of the reception and ceremony area (floral too) before guests arrive you’ll want to add those desires in the timeline as well.
  7. Set up and End of Night, note that it takes about half the time to tear down as it does to set up, however not always the case, so check with your rental and lighting vendors before you assume the set up and tear down times.

PRO TIP: After you layout your timeline, you can begin to see the gaps in vendor coverage so it’s best to make your Working Master Timeline first, before anything else. Each vendor you book will want to know your start times, end times, ceremony time and whether you will be seeing one another before the ceremony.

To give you a head start, we have laid out a few sample timelines we use with our own clients. First with a timeline built around the couple having a “First Look” (seeing one another before the ceremony for photos) and then the other is with no “First Look”. Copy, paste and save!

SAMPLE MASTER WEDDING DAY TIMELINE -with FIRST LOOK
8:00am             Hair and Makeup (depends on how many people are being serviced)

12:00pm             Rentals arrive for set-up (who is checking in rentals? Note that person here)

1:00pm             Photographer arrives (note location, venue or getting ready location -or both)

2:00pm             Couple’s attire photos (stepping into dress/buttoning up shirt, tie, suite etc.)

2:00-5:00pm      Vendors arrive for set up (block two – four hours of set up time before guests arrive)

2:30pm              First Look followed by Bride & Groom Photos (Note location here)

3:30pm              Wedding party photos (Note location here)

4:00pm             Catering arrives (Usually 2 hours before ceremony start time)

4:30pm             Family photos (Note location here)

5:00pm             Dessert arrives (Note location here)

5:15pm             Couple arrives to venue, tucked away (Note location here)

5:30pm             Guests begin to arrive

5:50pm             Guests are asked to take a seat for ceremony

6:00pm             Ceremony

6:30pm              Ceremony concludes (Always give a :30 buffer for ceremony, even if it’s less time)

6:30pm-7:30pm  Cocktail Reception, couple signs marriage license and waits for grand entrance

7:00pm             Grand entrance

7:30pm             Guests seated at assigned tables, dinner service begins

8:30pm              Toasts (Note who is speaking here)

8:45pm              Cake cutting/dessert & First dances

10:00pm            Event concludes, end of night transportation arrives, clean up begins

Midnight            All vendors out

SAMPLE MASTER WEDDING DAY TIMELINE -with NO FIRST LOOK

8:00am             Hair and Makeup (depends on how many people are being serviced)

12:00pm             Rentals arrive for set-up (who is checking in rentals? Note that person here)

1:00pm             Photographer arrives (note location, venue or getting ready location -or both)

2:00pm             Couple’s attire photos (stepping into dress/buttoning up shirt, tie, suite etc.)

2:00-5:00pm      Vendors arrive for set up (block two – four hours of set up time before guests arrive)

3:30pm              Wedding party photos without couple together (Note location here)

4:00pm             Catering arrives (Usually 2 hours before ceremony start time)

4:30pm             Family photos without couple together (Note location here)

5:00pm             Dessert arrives (Note location here)

5:15pm             Couple arrives to venue, tucked away (Note location here)

5:30pm             Guests begin to arrive

5:50pm             Guests are asked to take a seat for ceremony

6:00pm             Ceremony

6:30pm              Ceremony concludes (Always give a :30 buffer for ceremony, even if it’s less time)

6:30pm-7:30pm  Cocktail Reception for guests

6:30-7:30pm      Couple signs marriage license then heads out for couples’ photos and wedding party/family photos

7:30pm             Grand entrance

7:30pm             Guests seated at assigned tables, grand entrance then dinner service begins

8:30pm              Toasts (Note who is speaking here)

8:45pm              Cake cutting/dessert & First dances

10:00pm            Event concludes, end of night transportation arrives, clean up begins

Midnight            All vendors out

PRO TIP: Depending on the style of dinner service and how many guests you may need to make your dinner service more than 1 hour. Rule of thumb, if your guest count is 150 and under and you have a plated dinner (means all guest get served at the same time) 1 hour or 1.5 hours is appropriate. If your guest count is more than 150 and your dinner service is family style or buffet you will need to double your service time to a 2 hour window.

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