May 7, 2024

Planning Your Wedding Day Timeline Made Easy

So you’ve booked your venue and all of the vendors needed for your wedding, and now you find yourself lost as to how to schedule out your wedding day. Having a timeline is an absolute must to make sure the day runs smoothly, and so your guests and vendors know when and where they should be throughout the day!

Before I begin, I want to mention that weddings are not a one-size fits all situation, while most weddings do have a similar schedule, it doesn’t mean you are required to follow the crowd, if there’s anything unique you want to do for your wedding day, absolutely do it!!

With that being said, here’s some tips to make planning your wedding day timeline easy!

Start With the Big Picture

Begin your timeline by identifying the key milestones of your wedding day—the ceremony start time, reception kickoff, and any special events like the first dance or cake cutting. These anchor points will serve as the framework around which you’ll build the rest of your schedule.

Consider Your Vision

Think about the atmosphere and vibe you envision for your wedding day. Are you dreaming of a relaxed, leisurely affair or a fast-paced, high-energy celebration? Tailor your timeline to reflect your vision, ensuring that every detail aligns with the overall mood you hope to create.

Factor in Travel and Logistics

If your ceremony and reception venues are at different locations, or if you’re planning transportation for your wedding party or guests, be sure to account for travel time in your timeline. Factor in extra minutes for traffic, parking, and any unexpected delays that may arise.

First Look

Whether you decide to do a first look or not plays a huge factor in how the day is scheduled before the ceremony. If you decide to do a first look, I would suggest doing it at least a couple hours before the scheduled ceremony time, because from there you can also do couples portraits, individual portraits, and wedding party shots. If you are seeing each other for the first time at the ceremony, these would then need to be done after the ceremony during cocktail hour.

Family Photos: Generally, family photos would come after the ceremony during cocktail hour as everyone needed for the images will be there at this point. However, if your family members arrive early before the ceremony, there is the option to do them before the ceremony if enough time is alotted.

Getting Ready: Now that you’ve figured out the scheduling for the first half of your wedding day, it’s time to figure out when you’ll begin to get ready! A good rule of thumb if you’ve hired a hair stylist and make-up artist would be to allot for an hour per person.

Reception/ Remainder of the Day

This covers the rest of the evening, such as dinner time, speeches, dances, cake cutting, bouquet toss, and other events that you need to have a set time frame for. Want to do golden hour portraits? Is that even a question, of course you do! Make sure to check ahead of time to see when the sunset time is the day of your wedding so you can plan that into your schedule. If you’re ending the night with a sparkler send off or something along those lines, make sure to schedule that in as well!

At this point, we’ve covered all the general events that happen on a wedding day! The question now is, is there anything else you want to happen on your special day that is fun and unique to you?! Get to brainstorming!

Lastly, make sure to allot more time for things than you think you’ll need, there’s so many moving pieces on a wedding day, so I absolutely suggest taking pre-cautions, so things don’t fall behind schedule!

Most importantly, promise me you’ll have fun on your wedding day, okay? You’ve spent a lot of time and money planning this day, so make sure you have a drink with your friends and family during cocktail hour, have a moment alone with your partner to relax and breath a little, and finish things off by dancing the night away with your favorite people!

If you’ve made it this far, you’ve now got the tools to plan your wedding day timeline easy! If you are engaged and planning a romantic wedding in Canada don’t forget about your engagement photos! It’s a fun and unique way to capture the magic of your relationship and get ready for your big day.

As a Winnipeg wedding photographer, I capture each part of the process from engagement to your wedding day. If you are looking for a photographer, take a look at my engagements gallery and reach out with any questions!

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