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How to nail a super fun wedding timeline!

Planning a wedding can be a very daunting and overwhelming task, so I thought I’d jot down some notes on each section of the day and give you some example timings that allows you to relax and enjoy the day.

First things first, I thought it would be useful to give you an example timeline of the day.

Example timeline for a Summer Wedding

For those getting married between May – September:

11:30am – Photographer arrives for Prep

1:30pm Photographer leaves for/ goes to venue/ceremony area for guest arrival

2:00pm Ceremony

2:30pm Ceremony ends – confetti!

2:30 – 4:15pm Drinks reception

3:15pm Group Photos

3:45pm Couple Portraits

4:15pm Food

6:00pm Speeches

7:00pm Downtime for fun in the evening/ evening guests arrive

8:00pm First dance

8:45pm Golden hour couple portraits* (check time of sunset as this time will vary)

9:00pm Party!

Example timeline for a winter Wedding

For those getting married between Oct – April:

11:30am – Photographer arrives for Prep

1:30pm Photographer leaves for/ goes to venue/ceremony area for guest arrival

2:00pm Ceremony

2:30pm Ceremony ends – confetti!

2:30 – 4:15pm Drinks reception

2:45pm Group Photos

3:15pm Couple Portraits

4:15pm Food / Sunset

6:00pm Speeches

7:00pm Downtime for fun in the evening/ evening guests arrive

8:00pm First dance

8:45pm Night time portraits

9:00pm Party!

How long does everything actually take?

I always advise to leave a load more time for things, trust me everything takes longer than you think! Here are my top timing tips to help your day run smoothly:

Getting Ready

Leave plenty of time for overruns, redos, packing a bag and applying tit tape! Ideally it’s good to be ready 30 mins before you need to leave so you have some time to relax, have a glass of fizz and enjoy the last moments.

The Ceremony

Most non-religious ceremonies last 20-30 mins so just enjoy! It’s worth asking your Vicar/ Priest / Registrar / Celebrant how long they anticipate the ceremony lasting.

You may also have to do an interview before the ceremony so make sure you allow extra time for this so things don’t overrun.

Confetti & Hugs Time

After the ceremony, it’s good to plan around 10 mins for the confetti and another 10 mins for guests to say hello and give congratulations hugs.

The Drinks Reception

I always recommend having a longer drinks reception (1.5 – 2 hours). Otherwise you’ll be rushed through chatting to your guests, group photos and couple photos and it’ll be a whirlwind. Plus, if you have a short drinks reception this doesn’t give your photographer anytime to get nice natural candid photos of your guests.

Serving food during your reception means you have longer to chat and time to enjoy the day as people probably won’t have eaten before the ceremony.

If you’re a bit tight on time, having a second photographer can help with getting candid photographs.

Group Photographs

6 – 8 group photos takes about 20-30 minutes and it’s best to do these during your drinks reception. To avoid the hour long line up read more about this on my other blog post here. Trust me when I say moving a load of guests around for photos (especially when they have had a glass or two to drink) can take more time than you’d think!

Couple Portraits

I like to spend 15-20 mins with you before dinner, and 10 mins after dinner at some point to get some lovely photos of you both.

Speeches

I always advise allowing an hour for speeches, just incase!

Evening Time

Having a bit of time between your meal/ speeches and your first dance is always advised so you can welcome any evening guests, freshen up, speak to those people you might have wanted to chat to earlier but didn’t have a chance too.

There you have it! My top tips for nailing a super fun wedding timeline.

I hope you have found this blog post about how to nail a super fun wedding timeline helpful, for more hints and tips about wedding planning, you can check out my blog here

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