Generally speaking, there are two different wedding day timelines. One for your on-the-day planning and one for your guests to know exactly what’s happening.
First up, we’re going to look at sample timelines for you, your partner, the wedding party and suppliers. Next, I’ll share my timeline template free download for you to customise and print. Before sharing some timeline display ideas. Oh yes!
Ready to organise your timings? Let’s dive in!
Photo: Jenna Kathleen Photographer via Autumnal Garden Wedding
Example Wedding Day Timelines 1pm & 3pm Ceremony
How Long Will Things Take?
Timeline Template Download
Timeline Sign Inspiration
Example Wedding Day Timeline
When it comes to working out your wedding timeline, there really is no one size fits all. I’ve put together an example of a wedding day with a 1 pm and 3 pm ceremony. It goes without saying that the below are example templates and could end up being totally different for your day. But it’s a great starting point in getting your bearings together.
1 pm Ceremony Timeline
7:00 – Rise & Shine
7:15 – Exercise/Meditate
8:00 – Breakfast
8:30 – Clean Teeth
8:40 – Shower/Skincare/Robe
9:40 – HMUA Arrives
9:45 – Wedding Party Hair/Makeup
10:00 – Photographer Arrives
10:15 – Gift Giving
10:30 – Flower Delivery
10:45 – Hair/Makeup For Bride/Groom
11:45 – Get Dressed
12:00 – Portraits
12:30 – Leave For Ceremony
12:45 – Greet Guests As They Arrive
13:00 – Ceremony
13:45 – Confetti Toss & Greet Guests
14:45 – Drinks Reception (Group Portraits & Couple Portraits)
15:45 – Seat Guests
16:15 – Dinner Served
17:45 – Speeches
18:30 – Evening Golden Hour Portraits
18:45 – Outdoor Games
19:00 – Evening Guests Arrive
19:15 – Cake Cutting
19:30 – First Dance
20:00 – Band Set
21:00 – Evening Food Served
21:30 – Sparklers/Fireworks
22:00 – DJ Set
23:45 – Last Dance
00:00 – Transport
3 pm Ceremony Timeline
9:00 – Rise & Shine
9:15 – Exercise/Meditate
10:00 – Breakfast
10:30 – Clean Teeth
10:40 – Shower/Skincare/Robe
11:40 – HMUA Arrives
11:45 – Wedding Party Hair/Makeup
12:00 – Photographer Arrives
12:15 – Gift Giving
12:30 – Flower Delivery
12:45 – Hair/Makeup For Bride/Groom
13:45 – Get Dressed
14:00 – Portraits
14:30 – Leave For Ceremony
14:45 – Greet Guests As They Arrive
15:00 – Ceremony
15:45 – Confetti Toss & Greet Guests
16:45 – Drinks Reception (Group Portraits & Couple Portraits)
17:45 – Seat Guests & Evening Golden Hour Portraits
18:15 – Dinner Served
19:45 – Speeches
20:30 – Evening Guests Arrive
20:45 – Evening Food Served
21:00 – Cake Cutting
21:15 – First Dance
21:30 – Band Set
22:30 – Sparklers/Fireworks
23:00 – DJ Set
00:45 – Last Dance
1:00 – After-Party & Fire Pit Gathering
Wedding Timing Top Tips
Most wedding ceremonies in the UK start between 12 pm-3 pm. However, of course, there are wedding ceremonies that start earlier and later than this too.
When compiling your timelines, start at the time of your ceremony and work backwards to work out what time to start getting ready. Then do the same for the evening. Begin with your end time and work backwards to fit in all your planned activities and events.
Remember these key times to work around:
Evening guests arrival
Photo: Sally T Photography via Wrays Barn Whinstone View Wedding
Next, you’ll need to speak to your wedding suppliers. Here are the suppliers you should speak to before compiling your timeline:
Of course, it really is dependent on who is involved on the day of your wedding as to who you need to discuss your timings with. If you have time to set up the day before for instance, you won’t need to worry too much about arranging timings for your decor set-up on the big day.
But if you are having a DIY wedding, you may wish to have a day-before timeline or a timeline for those helping on the day. Don’t forget to do a practice run and time yourself for the best accuracy too.
Allow time for chatter, things going wrong, traffic or any other unforeseen circumstances that may delay you. You may also wish to have a timeline for each of you, your wedding party and your suppliers.
How Long Will Everything Take?
If in doubt, ask the pros – your suppliers! But this is a good guide to get you started.
Wedding Prep – 3-5 hours depending on complexity and number of people
Portraits – 15 mins-1 hour per session
Ceremony – 30 mins-1.5 hours depending on the ceremony type
Drinks Reception – 1-2 hours (portraits can be incorporated)
Seating Guests – 15-45 mins
Wedding Breakfast – 1-2 hours
Speeches – 30 mins-1 hour
Cake Cutting – 5-20 mins
First Dance – 3-10 minutes (depending on the song you choose)
Sparklers/Fireworks – 10-45 mins
Don’t forget, you’ll never 100% get your timings right. Things will go quicker and slower than anticipated – don’t worry! Be sure to have someone on the day keeping an eye on the clock. Plus, remember those key times; your departure, the ceremony, the meal, the evening guests and the end time. Everything else will find its way.
Wedding Timeline Template – Free Download
To make things oh-so-easy, I have created a fully-customisable timeline template. Simply download, edit, print and share!
The template is on google docs, so all you need to do is enter your details below and keep an eye on your inbox. The template is best used on google docs laptop/desktop for the cool features to work fully. But it can totally be used on mobile/tablets too. Make sure you read the instructions on the first page of the download on how to use it.
Dropdown status bar
Things to remember to include
Wedding Timeline Inspiration – Signs & Stationery
Now you have your timings all set, shall we have a peek at how other couples displayed theirs to guests? Your guest timeline sign or stationery won’t need to cover all the intricate details, but more of an overview of your day.
That way you won’t be fielding lots of questions on what, where and when. Keep it simple and include moments such as:
1. Colourful Chalkboard
Go bold and paint a chalkboard in bright colours.
Photo: Katherine And Her Camera via The Wholehouse Wedding
2. Elegant Symbols
Use symbols to guide guests super speedily.
Photo: Sian Hall Photography via Burnt Orange Wedding Stationery: h2
3. Painted Wood
Upcycle old wooden boards with paint and pretty lettering.
Photo: Natalia Case Photography via Frickley Lake Wedding
4. Floral Table Cards
Add your order of the day onto your wedding tables.
Photo: Sasha Weddings via Colourful Woodland Humanist Wedding
5. Pink Curve
Break the mould with a cool curved sign.
Photo: Holly Rose Weddings via Magenta Pink Wedding Stationery: You Had Me At Hello
Show off your personality with fun wording.
Photo: Honey and the Moon Photography via Titchwell Manor Wedding
7. Wooden Pallet
For a rustic wedding theme, what else will do but a wooden pallet?
Photo: Livvy Hukins Photography via Moors Valley Country Park Wedding
8. Say It With Clocks
Think outside of the box, such as this cool clock sign.
Photo: Will Patrick via Bonhams Barn Wedding Sign: Made by Sian
9. Mirror Sign
Paint a mirror and add your wedding theme into the mix.
Photo: Amy Lou Photography via Wylam Brewery Wedding
10. Felt Board
Pick up a felt board to use. The great thing is, you can adjust timings even on the day as and when they change!
Photo: Oxi Photography via Pennard House Wedding
11. Elegant Rustic
I love how this timings sign has elegant lettering teamed with rustic wood. So chic.
Photo: Martin Venherm Photography via Falside Mill Wedding
12. Pretty Print
How about a print that matches your stationery? It’d make for a fab keepsake too.
Photo: Angela Ward Brown via Clock Barn Wedding Sign: Emmy Designs
And so there we have it. Your wedding timeline is sorted, plus you now have your free template tool, tips and sign inspiration to boot. Yay!
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The post Wedding Day Timeline Template Examples & Free Download Tool first appeared on Whimsical Wonderland Weddings.