A small chalkboard with the wedding timeline written in white.

Wedding Timeline

Your Wedding Timeline

A guide to your wedding timings for the perfect relaxed wedding day

I must get asked on a weekly basis about how much time to leave for various things on a wedding day so I thought i would write a little about it for those of you still planning your big day. I can’t stress enough how important timings are, sorry to go all serious doom and gloom but getting the timings right can be the difference between a serene relaxed day and a stressful logistical nightmare, and trust me, no matter how good your suppliers are, the cracks will start to show!


This is where it all begins so its important to run on time in the morning, some churches will charge extra for every 15 minutes you are late and some registrar’s will leave if you are late as they may have another ceremony to get to, so forget the brides prerogative to be late and be on time!

Speak to the Make up and Hair artists and find out exactly how long you need for everything then aim to be ready 45 minutes before you actually need to leave the house/hotel. You can bet that it’ll always take slightly longer and that way you’ll have more than enough time for any last minute alterations plus if you have a photographer there they’ll be able to take a few photographs with your hair and make up finished before they head off for the ceremony.


Bear in mind when planning that the more venues you add to the mix, the more time you’ll need for travelling which can mean less time relaxing with a drink and more time squishing you and your big dress into a car and sitting in traffic. For example, if you’re getting ready at home then going to a church for the ceremony and then onto a Tipi in a field for the reception you might want to consider an earlier ceremony time to allow for all the travelling. Calculate how long those journeys will take and add that into your timeline, getting it right at the planning stage may mean you have extra time free on the day, but its better that way than being late as it all has a knock on effect.


If you’re travelling in an old/classic car make sure you ask before how long it will take, some cars can’t travel much faster than 40MPH so it may take you twice as long to get to get anywhere!


For most weddings, the bulk of your family/couple photographs are done after the ceremony and before the wedding breakfast so its important to leave enough time here. All photographers vary in how long they take, I advise couples to choose less than 10 family groups so these are normally done within 20 minutes. I also advise leaving around 20-30 minutes for portraits so that your photographer can take you away for some relaxed and romantic shots of just the two of you.

If you’re a fan of natural photography then the key is to leave enough time for your photographer to do this, around 2 hours usually gives plenty of time for you to relax and enjoy a drink with your guests and for your photographer to capture enough natural photographs around the family and couple portraits but do ask your photographer how long they need.

Lastly, when you have your timeline, make sure all your suppliers have a copy as knowing when everything else is happening helps them to plan when to arrive/set up etc and this will help everything run seamlessly so you can concentrate on having the most wonderful day!

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