Sample Wedding Day Timeline

Savor. Take it in. Don’t miss the moment. Enjoy the people you love.

THIS is what I would encourage you to do on your wedding day. While that may seem obvious, what may not be obvious to you (probably because you’re not a wedding planner) is that this doesn’t come naturally on a wedding day. In fact, I would venture to say it’s the opposite end of the spectrum. I would go so far as to say that if you’re not intentional about planning for a wedding day that includes moments to… Savor. Take it in. Don’t miss the moment. Enjoy the people you love… 

You won’t.

I was told recently by a dear friend and bride that I shouldn’t be afraid to scare you (after I said I didn’t want to scare couples) so I’m going to do just that. I hope this scares you just a little bit…. Not because I’m super mean but simply because I’ve seen it go wrong too many times and I want to see it go right every time for every couple.  

What NOT to do

Here’s the warning. When you’re planning your wedding. You have a lot more to do than you realize. You’re working on the small and big details for months and even years and whether you think it will or not it takes a really hard time to turn that off. So you get to your wedding day and you still have a few small things to check off. You’ve been working on this nonstop but you’re killing it and you’re going to get. It. done. 

You end up having to get a few things done after the rehearsal the night before and you’re only a little irritated that your fiancé just seems to be enjoying life and not working nearly as hard as you are… must be nice. 

The next morning you’re pretty much done! You’re racing through your to-do lists in your mind and asking bridesmaids if they know if the centerpieces are getting delivered or if they’ve arrived where they’re supposed to be yet? You’re double-checking vendors, checking up on making sure everything is looking great, you’re worried that all the details are going to be what they need to be, and that everyone is doing their job… checking your watch constantly. Your wedding professionals are telling you everything is under control but you’re still a little worried. You check your watch again, and you’re trying to remember if you forgot something…? Your mind is racing so much is going on… and before you know it you’re married. 

Wait, how did that happen?

How to plan the perfect day

Picture this instead. You decided that you will work really hard up until two weeks before your wedding day but at that point, you’re going to be completely DONE. Why? Because believe it or not you actually need time to let your mind rest from all those details. You cannot physically work until midnight the night before your wedding day and then be in savor mode the next day, it’s just not happening.  

You need those two weeks to rest, to enjoy your friends and family, to get excited. To do anything but wedding plan. 

Your wedding day is filled with quiet moments, important people, and things that matter to you. Do you love breakfast? Plan to have a great one brought so you and the girls can enjoy it. Do you love golf? Plan to get up early and hit the course before your day gets going. Does yoga make you feel alive and rested? Plan for an early morning session and a shower first thing in the morning. 

Everything on your wedding day will take more time than you think. You do not need to worry about being late or looking at your watch. Give yourself enough time from one moment to the next the absolute best tip I can give you for your wedding day timeline is this: 

Add buffer time to your day

For a full rundown on the best way to plan your wedding morning, you might want to have a look at our [Wedding Morning Timeline Guide] but the bottom line is this: your wedding day really is supposed to be the best day of your life. Plan it that way. 

Sample Timeline


Seasonal notes

Keep in mind that timelines and your overall timing will vary radically depending on the season that you choose to plan your wedding in. A summer wedding might have a start time of 6 pm where a winter wedding might be starting at 2 pm depending on the venue and what’s planned for the day. This one of the many reasons that do custom timelines with our couples, your wedding day is unique. We need to plan accordingly. 

Choose professionals who get it

Choosing a team of wedding professionals who have the talent and skill to bring your wedding vision to life is going to be really important. I’m passionate about helping couples know how to choose the right team around them and if you need more information on that please do reach out, I’ve seen one too many brides devastated because they weren’t working with the right people. I think that your early morning team is pretty high on the choose-the-right-professionals-so-your-day-is-perfect list. Your hair and makeup artist set the tone for a lot of your day, both in their demeanor and professionalism, but also their timing. 

  • Let me explain, on your wedding morning you’re probably going to be nervous! Having a team of people around you that day that are true professionals, who know how to be a calming presence, and help keep things running beautifully can do wonders for your overall start to the day. I’ve unfortunately seen things like a bride and her mother having a super sweet emotional moment (tears flowing) when the makeup artist jumps in and stops them from talking because she wants to get a “quick selfie” with the bride. Yikes. You want someone who knows he or she is there to serve your moment and help guide you through the process. 
  • Secondly, your hair and makeup will be your look, all day long. You need professionals who can do an incredible job creating a look that can hold up through hours of crying, hugging, and sweating on the dance floor! I interviewed a makeup expert on this here, if you’d like to read more. 
  • Lastly, you need professionals that understand punctuality. When we have a makeup artist that says she’ll need an hour, but actually takes closer to two hours it’s now 10 am and our entire day is a full hour behind schedule. This sets a frantic pace that is so frustrating to catch up on and puts the whole day at risk. With the right team, I can assure you it’s possible (although not easy) and we have recovered these days without the bride ever even knowing how far behind we were… Great wedding vendors that work early in the day understand how much depends on them and take it very seriously. They’re amazing to work with! 

The point of it all

If you spend more than two seconds with me you’ll hear me talking about savoring and being present. I think we all know that it’s easy to be in a room and yet somewhere else in our mind, it can happen easily when we’re stressed or distracted. Don’t let that happen on your wedding day! You’ll be spending your wedding day with the people that matter the most in the world to you, you want to be present with them. You really have no idea how you’re going to feel the day of, if you have an unexpected teary moment with dad or a hysterically laughing moment with a maid of honor, you don’t want your planner to have to tap you on the shoulder because you’re running behind. Those are the moments that your day is all about, make sure you leave room for them. 

error: This image is Copyrighted and is owned by Dragonfly Photography.