Every aspect of your wedding will affect the overall success of your big day, especially your wedding timeline. When planning a wedding, be aware that the timing is extremely important. If your timeline is even a tad off it could throw your entire wedding reception off course. The last you’ll want is for your guests to be ravenous by the time their first course finally graces it’s presence on their tables, or for the best man speech to take place before everyone has had time to find their seats. Follow this wedding timeline template, and the last thing you’ll have to worry about is a timeline train wreck on your big day.
5:00pm Cocktail Hour: Directly following the ceremony, it is customary for the newlyweds and bridal party to take photos, while their guests enjoy cocktails for an hour prior to the reception. Some couples choose to take formal wedding photos prior to the ceremony, if this is you, then enjoy a glass of champagne in your hotel suite (if you’re getting married at a hotel), or a quiet room. If your reception is at a different location than your ceremony, then you’ll have a relaxing limo ride to share a smooch and toast with your new hubby!
6:00pm: At this time the doors to the reception area are open and everyone should be encouraged to take their seats. Wine or champagne is served and dinner orders are taken if the dinners were not pre-ordered.
6:10pm: Newlywed Entrance/First Dance: The bride and groom are welcomed into the main reception area and perform the first dance. It’s not necessary but some choose to have the entire wedding party introduced prior to the bride and groom.
6:25pm: Serving of first course.
6:35pm: The parents of the bride welcome the guests and thank them for coming.
6:40pm: The best man makes his toast, and the maid of honor’s toast follows.
6:50pm: The main course is served and other family members are welcomed to make speeches in honor of the bride and groom, including the parents of the groom.
7:20pm: The dance floor is open to guests.
8:30pm: Best Man/Maid of Honor Dance, as well as the Father/Daughter and Mother/Son dance.
8:45pm: The cake cutting takes place.
8:50pm: At this time the servers offer guests coffee or tea, or more wine or champagne.
9:00pm: The servers place wedding cake slices on reception dining tables.
9:30pm: The tossing of the bouquet and garter toss.
10pm: Final dance for the entire wedding party and all of the guests.
There is countless wedding planning advice that you should keep in mind when putting together one of the most important days of your life, and sticking to a timeline is one of the most important, and could save you from wedding day disasters. If you need any more guidance on this topic, feel free to contact wedding coordinators if you haven’t already.