Wedding ceremony timeline

Timelines, Wedding planning

Wedding ceremony timeline can differ depending on various factors, such as the type of the wedding, season, number of guests, etc. Some couples prefer having their wedding ceremony at sunset, some, however, want to have a ceremony in the morning, when the wedding ends already at 4 pm. Experts say that even after the creation of a detailed wedding ceremony timeline, the times when a particular wedding event should start, may change: some events are extended, some – cut in time. However, you should always know the exact time when your wedding starts and when it ends. Then you can easily add all the activities in between this period and create your perfect wedding ceremony and reception timeline.

Let’s suppose the wedding ceremony and reception take place at the same location. Below you will find the wedding ceremony and reception timeline.

In case you would like to have your wedding ceremony at 4 pm, all the first preparations for the couple should start at 10 am. In the morning, the bride and groom are getting ready, the bridesmaids are here, and the photographer and videographer arrive to capture the first moments of the wedding day.

The wedding ceremony schedule can be presented as follows: the ceremony usually lasts 20-30 minutes, so 4 pm would be the invite time for the ceremony, 4:15 pm is the time when the ceremony starts, and 4:35 is the end of the ceremony. After that, the guests have a cocktail hour and move into dinner, which usually starts at 6 pm. The reception includes various activities which are typical for a wedding – the dinner, toasts, first dance, entertainment and dancing for the guests, set of outdoor portraits of the couple or sometimes of the family, friends and other invitees. The dessert is served, the cake is cut, and usually after 4-5 hours after the reception beginning there is a breakdown, and all the guests and vendors depart.

In case you have decided to have your wedding ceremony schedule in the morning, at 10 am, you will need to have all the couple’s preparations starting at 7 am. After that, the vendors arrive, and the guests begin to arrive about 30 minutes before the ceremony start. After the ceremony, there are sets of portraits and family pictures, a cocktail hour and the beginning of the reception brunch (11:30 or 12 pm). This is the case when all the wedding events end at 4-5 pm, the vendors and the guests depart.

There are also cases of another wedding ceremony schedules: for example, the ceremony starts in the early afternoon, for example, at 1 pm. The first preparations may start at 9 am when the hair and makeup artists are working with the bride and the bridesmaids. After the ceremony, at about 1:45 pm the cocktail hour begins, following by the lunch at 2:30 pm. The reception ends at 6:30, the breakdown and all the final cleaning activities begin.

There are also cases, when the ceremony starts in the evening, after 6 pm. This is the case when you can start your preparation in the early afternoon, from 1 pm. Some brides prefer such a wedding ceremony timeline to have enough sleep and to enjoy their wedding day all night long. The reception dinner, in this case, starts at 7 pm, as soon as the cocktail hour ends (7 pm – 7:30 pm). The end of the wedding day is around midnight or even later if the venue allows.

In case the ceremony and the reception take place in different locations, make sure you and your guests have enough time to move from one place to another. This usually takes about 2 hours. Make sure all of your invitees have transportation. Sometimes some guests arrive at the reception earlier than planned, so think about organising entertainment activities for your guests, rooms to change or take a short nap. Also, you can organise music, drinks, or animation for the kids. The good idea is to organise professional photo sessions for your invitees while they are waiting for other guests to arrive. In this case, there is another wedding ceremony timeline: the ceremony ends at 3 pm, the reception begins at 5 pm and ends at about 11 pm.

So, there are various wedding ceremony schedules of your wedding day depending on your preferences, on the ceremony and reception locations, on the season and the weather, on the size of the wedding, etc. Make sure you have thought about the smallest details to make all your guests feel comfortable and have fun at your wedding.

wedding ceremony timeline

Wedding ceremony and reception timeline

The wedding ceremony schedules differ from wedding to wedding. Usually the wedding ceremony lasts from 30 to 45 minutes, depending on the vows, on the speeches and photo sets. The typical wedding ceremony includes the following order of events:

  1. The procession. Includes the bride, her father, the bridesmaids, the flower girl walking down the aisle and taking their places.
  2. Ceremony opening by the officiant.
  3. Officiant addressing the couple.
  4. Exchange of vows.
  5. The ring exchange.
  6. Pronouncement: “I now pronounce you husband and wife”.
  7. The first kiss as a married couple.
  8. Blessing and closing remarks by the officiant.
  9. Ceremony exit as newlyweds.

wedding ceremony and reception timeline

To better understand the duration and wedding ceremony schedule, you may find the wedding ceremony timeline provided by eazyplan by clicking here.

Wedding ceremony timeline download

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