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Wedding Ceremony Order: The Easiest Breakdown To Follow

9 mins read time
Wedding Ceremony Order: The Easiest Breakdown To Follow

Planning your wedding day can be exciting. However, as you start to immerse yourself in the process of contacting vendors, managing bachelorette events, dinner parties, and officiants, you can start to become overwhelmed.

As you start to dream about your wedding day, you may have a few ideas for how you want the day's events to look. Still, getting some inspiration for breaking down your wedding day hour-by-hour can help you release your stress and feel the anticipation of celebrating with those you love.

Details To Think About Before You Plan Your Wedding Day 

If you're someone who prefers things to be to your standards, you may want to consider a few details before you design your official wedding day timeline

  1. Will Your Photographer Have a Schedule? If you're hiring a well-known photographer, they may have expertise and advice on designing your wedding day timeline. They've had ample experience, and they may ask you to allow a certain amount of time for each photo moment you'd like included in your day.
  2.  Will You Book a Makeup Artist? Sometimes, brides and grooms have their wedding party do their own makeup and hair. Other times, they may hire an artist to enhance your party's natural beauty. If you're hiring a makeup artist, speak with them about how much time they estimate they'll need for each person.
  3. Is Anyone Traveling From Out of Town? If you have loved ones traveling from out of town, you may want to consider their travel time before planning your timeline. For example, if you had planned on having brunch with your out-of-town grandparents the morning of your wedding, you might want to change the time from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. to make time for a comfortable arrival. 
  4. Are There Any Meaningful Moments You Want To Incorporate Into Your Day? Let's say you want to make room in your schedule for a sentimental walk with your parents before the ceremony begins, or you want some time to write in your journal and reflect on the day. Activities like these can help you feel present on your wedding day and create lasting memories. As you sit down to create your ideal timeline, consider factors like these that may require special planning.

Wedding Day Broken Down Into Blocks 

Every person is unique, so your wedding day will look unique regardless of how you plan it. While you consider the non-negotiable events of your tailored wedding timeline, you may want to read over some inspiration for the rest of the day's events. Here is the most straightforward breakdown of your wedding day, from getting ready to the reception.

Schedule Two Hours for Wedding Party Hair, Makeup, and Laughter 

One of the most enjoyable parts of your wedding day is spending time with your wedding party getting ready for the day's events. To ensure you can soak in every sentimental moment, you'll want to allow around two hours. As we mentioned, if you have professional artists coming to do hair and makeup, you may want to have an even more detailed schedule within these two hours to ensure everyone feels beautiful.

Allow 20 Minutes for Putting on Your Wedding Dress 

When it's time to put on your wedding dress, you may want to allow 20 minutes for putting it on. It may be complicated to get all the details affixed depending on your dress. Allowing this much time for your dressing can also help you savor the unique moment with those closest to you.  

Allow 45 Minutes for Bridal Portraits and Meaningful Shots 

Once you're ready, you'll want to allow around 45 minutes for bridal portraits, including your gorgeous engagement ring and bouquet. During this time, you may wish to incorporate specific shots with your parents or guardians, capturing the intimate moments before you'll walk down the aisle. Allowing sufficient time for these shots can help you guarantee that you can look back on your favorite moments later. 

Plan 30 Minutes for Photos with the Wedding Party 

We all know how celebratory photoshoots with a wedding party can be. When it's time to get photos with your wedding party, you'll want to schedule at least thirty minutes for all the various shots your photographer may suggest. 

Plan 30 Minutes for First Look Photos 

Some couples adore the idea of spending a quiet moment with their beloved before they walk down the aisle. If you'd like to have a first look with your partner, allow 30 minutes to get the romantic photos you desire and spend the rest of your time enjoying each other's presence. 

Schedule 30 Minutes for Travel to the Ceremony Destination 

Are you getting ready away from your venue? If you have a large wedding party, it's crucial to factor in more than enough travel time to your ceremony's venue. Even if you're only a few minutes away, the extra time can be useful in moments of forgetfulness or running behind schedule.

Plan for Music To Begin and Everyone on Standby 30 Minutes Before the Ceremony 

When you're planning the details of your wedding ceremony, you'll want to communicate with your musicians, attendants, and officiants about their arrival expectations. You may want to have them arrive45 minutes before the ceremony begins to set up their equipment and be ready in their places when people begin to arrive.

Allow an Hour for the Ceremony 

Some wedding ceremonies may be shorter than an hour. However, if you plan for a 45-minute ceremony, that leaves time for you to have meaningful moments included in your ceremony that you might not have with a shorter timeframe. The extra time can allow for late arrivals to take their seats.

Tips for Your Reception 

When you've said, "I do" and announced yourselves as a married couple for the first time, the celebration begins. Whether you include line dances, an open bar, or a bouquet toss is entirely up to you; the events of your reception should reflect you and your spouse's desires. As you begin to plan your reception, a couple of tips can help the evening run smoothly. 

Have a Cocktail Hour While You Take Family Photos

If taking photos with your family is important to you, consider having a cocktail hour after your ceremony ends. This time of drinking and enjoying hors d'oeuvres can help keep guests entertained while you steal meaningful moments with your loved ones. 

Have a Private Meal With Your Spouse To Savor the Moment 

Planning a cocktail hour can also help keep guests busy while you take time to yourself to revel in the ceremony and the excitement of the day with your beloved. Consider having a small meal and drink with them in private to enjoy an intimate reflection time together before the reception. 

Make Every Moment Memorable 

As you plan the significant photo opportunities and meaningful moments throughout your wedding day, remember to include the elements that bring you joy. Whether those elements are time spent with a loved one or wearing a breath-taking piece of wedding jewelry, you deserve to experience awe-inspiring details during your wedding day. 

At Noémie, we're dedicated to helping you create timeless memories with exquisite wedding jewelry. When it's time to find the bridal jewelry you'll wear as you promise your love to your partner, we're here to help you find the pieces that add the perfect elegant touch to your day to remember.


A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Your Wedding Day Timeline | The Knot

11 Dos and Don'ts for Getting Ready the Morning of Your Wedding | The Knot

32 Getting Ready Photos You Can't Forget to Take | Brides