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The Bride’s Survival Guide: Wedding timetable

No one likes going to a wedding that takes too long to start or one that is too rushed; you barely get enough time to eat or dance. As a bride, the biggest dream is having the day turn out just perfectly and see your guests enjoy themselves. Time is essential in making sure the day runs smoothly. For this, you need to have a well-organized wedding timetable. The more details indicated on the timetable, the better it will be for you. All the parties involved in the ceremony should have a copy of this timetable. It is important to have enough time allocated to each part of the wedding.

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Let us look at the factors that you can consider when creating the wedding timetable.

Your wedding and the logistics involved.

Creating your wedding timeline needs to happen once you have made almost all decisions regarding the wedding. Many parts of the wedding will affect how the timeline is made. These are:

  • The location of the wedding as well as the where you have planned to get the preparations done. It could be at the venue.
  • If the ceremony and the reception are happening in different locations, you need to allocate time for travelling to and from those locations. If you are offering transports to the guests or bridal party, it can save time.
  • The time that you are planning to have the photos taken can affect the timeline.
  • You can talk to the officiant to determine the length of the wedding ceremony.
  • It is good to determine when the cocktails will be offered. It could be done between the reception and the ceremony or even before the ceremony begins.
  • You need to determine if the chosen venue has a curfew time. This could determine when you need to end the reception. It could also constrict the timeline if a curfew exists.

This logistics will play a very important role in deciding how you will create the timetable.

The First dance

As a bride, you want to have enough time allocated for the first dance. This is an important memory that you want to have for your wedding and as it also gets the party started. You can have your song selected for the wedding.


You need to factor in the time for each speech. They can be done before or after dinner. Remember, if the speeches are done before dinner, they need to be kept short. You can rehearse with the guests making speeches before dinner.

The time included in your vendors’ contract

This is an important factor that will play a significant role in choosing when the wedding will start and end. Your wedding vendors include caterers, DJs or band, makeup artists, photographer and videographer. You can look at their contract to determine how much time they have allotted to the wedding. Besides, when it comes to entertainment and photography, you do not want to leave anything to chance. Enough time for the photographer will mean more time for capturing this special occasion. You can have the DJ or the band set up for the reception and the after-party.

The Dinner

It is not advisable to have your guests wait too long before they eat. It is recommended that you serve the dinner within an hour of starting the reception. There are many ways that you can use to serve the meals which can be determined by the venue or the caterer. You can decide to have speeches and toasts and dances in between the meal courses. Alternatively, you can do it the traditional way and serve the entire meal before the speeches and dances begin.


You want the best memories captured throughout the event. A professional wedding photographer will know the best way to take photos throughout the wedding. However, you need to allocate time for formal photographs. These photos include group photos as well as the couple portraits. Group photos will consist of friends and family members. You need to decide whether these photos will be taken as soon as the ceremony ends or any other time of your choice. It can take time to round up the people and organize these photos. The couple portraits are also important. You need a professional photographer to have creative photos. They advise that you allocate about 45 minutes for this exercise.

Distribute the wedding timetable

You have taken time to look at the wedding timetable in all angles and settled on a working timeline. Now, it’s time to share the timetable widely starting with your vendors, guests and the wedding party. Also, include a schedule for the rehearsal dinner. This will ensure everyone is aware of what is expected of them. The wedding planner can keep time and keep things flowing as they should. You can choose a member of your team to check the clock and ensure things are running smoothly.


Photo by

Carli Jeen

Jordan Arnold


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