Wedding Timelines – A Brief run through of a Wedding Day

Today I would love to share some advice on Wedding Timelines , with a brief run through of a Wedding Day.

This is by no means set in stone, each wedding is individual but it gives points to consider.




It’s not often that a Wedding runs completely to time.

Even with meticulous planning we sometimes can’t forsee outside elements that can send timing a bit off kilter.

However if there is a base structure of how the day should roughly happen then we can do our very best to ensure that the run of the day is smooth.


It’s important that you give a copy of your timings to key people involved in the Wedding Party.

For example: mother of the bride, bridesmaid and best man.

If you have a wedding planner they will normally provide timelines for you.

You need to know when your suppliers are arriving and it’s good to have a list of Phone numbers in case of late arrival.

It is always good to do trials of hair and make- up and establish how long this will take for all involved.

Also do trials of distance to ceremony and reception venues to know if you have to alter timings in any way, and do on the same day of the week as your ceremony will be on as traffic on a Tuesday may be different to at the weekend.

Also good to have a Wedding rehearsal to give yourself an idea of how long the Wedding Ceremony will last approximately.

You may find that in a Winter rather than Summer Wedding the timings (particularly of the Ceremony) will have to be earlier rather than later due to the impact of light of Wedding Photography.

It’s also important when working out timings to give yourself a cushion on timings in case of any unforeseen emergencies and mishaps.


The following timeline gives approximate timings for a 2pm Wedding.

This timeline can be adjusted forwards or backwards dependant on actual ceremony time.


7.00 – Wake up – Cup of tea.

It’s always nice if someone can bring you breakfast in bed. It’s not often that you get a chance to get pampered in this way but it is a special day.

Even if you are nervous and you will be it’s very important to have breakfast, you don’t want to faint during the Ceremony.

9.00 onwards – Hair and makeup to start. This is only a guide as it will be very dependant on how many Bridesmaids/attendants you have.

You may have to start earlier, especially if at a salon and not at home. Don’t think your hairstylist/make- up artist is bonkers if suggests an earlier start.

12.00 – Bridesmaids and Bride get ready. Usually the Bridesmaids first so they can help Bride into her dress.

It’s kind of important that someone that will be there in the morning is at last dress fitting, especially if tricky buttons/fastenings, ties to secure on Bridal gown.

At the Grooms House he and the ushers, best man should be doing the same.

12.30 – 13.00 – Photographer arrives to capture some portraits. He/she may arrive even earlier dependant on your Wedding coverage to capture the preparations/getting ready.

13.00 – Groom and male attendants set off for ceremony, arriving at least half an hour before.

13.30 – Groom, Best man/ushers arrive at Ceremony venue.

This gives plenty time for the Groom to relax, meet Officiant,  and so that the Ushers can welcome guests and hand out order of service if need be and direct guest to their seats.

The Photographer will usually arrive at Ceremony Venue at a similar time to take some Photographs of Groom, best man and await arrival of rest of Wedding party.

Wedding Cars will roughly arrive at Brides House at this time.

13.40  – Bridesmaids and Mother of the Bride will leave for ceremony.

13.45 – Bride and Father of the Bride will leave for the Ceremony.

Leaving times from House to Ceremony will largely depend on distance between and timings will have to be altered accordingly.

13.50 – Bridesmaids and Brides Mother arrive at church or ceremony venue

13.55 – Ushers escort Brides mother and Grooms parents who should now have arrived to their seats.

Registrar, celebrant, Minister takes their place at front and gives out any announcements.

13.55 – 14.00 – Bride and Father of the Bride arrive at Ceremony Venue.

Photographer/Videographer takes pictures of Arrival

Celebrant will then usually go to see Bride, Father of Bride and Bridesmaids to give reassurance before Bridal entrance.

14.05 – Guests will be invited to stand and processional music will start.

Ceremony will start.

14.35 – Ceremony finishes.

14.35-15.00 Photos at church, ceremony venue

15.00 – Transfer to Reception for guest, bride and groom, wedding party

15.30 – Drinks reception, canapés if applicable.

Sometimes it’s good to have some entertainment on at this time like string quartet/magician/caricaturist/lawn games and a bouncy castle always goes down well with the kids.

Bride and groom have portraits done.  Group shots if applicable.

It’s always good to have an usher on hand with a list of shots you wish if having group shots so they can round up guests, and this list is always best for your Photographer to have beforehand too.

16.45 – Receiving Line (if applicable)

17.00 Guests seated for meal

17.00  – Speeches can be before or after your meal whichever is your personal preference.

Cutting Cake can be before or after your meal whichever is your personal preference.

19.00  – Meal Finishes. This is a good time for the Bride and Groom to take a wee bit of time out and to get freshened up.

19.30 – Evening Guests arrive.

Bride and Groom can greet their evening guests.

20.00 – Band/DJ/Evening entertainment starts and First Dance

21.30 – 22.00 – Evening Buffet

22.00 Return to Entertainment

23.45 Last orders

23.55 Last Dance

00.00 – Finish

This is a standard time for finish but is governed largely by Venue and you also have the option of obtaining a late licence but this mainly does not go past 1am.


A brief summary of Plans and Presents Wedding  Timeline is featured on the Wedding Ideas Magazine website.

Photo Credit: Clock


UK Wedding Blogger with an eclectic style based in Glasgow


  1. Reply

    This is so helpful, Thank you very much for posting this. 🙂

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