Planning the Wedding Day Timeline


Wedding Day Timeline

Your wedding day is not a leap into a cloud of spontaneity. This is never an impromptu event. What is the key to a flawless wedding day? The answer is always a well-organized and well-planned wedding day timeline. Let’s explore a template to help you create your wedding day timeline.


Think About Your Events


Think about all of the events that you want to occur in a list format, from ceremony to the wedding exit. Notate spaces in between for preparation and travel. The more detailed the better. While you begin a wedding timeline with a basic outline, it should always become a detailed itinerary. Your timeline will be broken down into blocks of time: prior to arrival at the venue, getting ready at the venue, the ceremony, cocktail hour and reception. All last minute errands should be accomplished before your wedding day, but you will need to allow time for hair, makeup, dressing and travel to the venue. Let’s explore wedding day timeline for a wedding that begins at 6:00 pm.

Wedding Day Timeline

11:00 am on the Wedding Day Timeline


Before you arrive at the venue, you will have a few things to do. Hopefully, you will have enjoyed a good night of sleep and are prepared for the day. You should always organize your dress and accessories the day before. Have all of your tasks and errands accomplished before your wedding day. This is not a day to wake up to stress and scrambling to get everything together. That will only lead to misplacing and forgetting things. Begin your timeline with a nice breakfast. Connect with your wedding party to make sure they are on the timeline and following the plan. You should have a designated meeting location to gather and prepare. Some brides rent a house for the night before to have the wedding party together the next morning for a brunch and a small toasting. Contact with your hair and makeup artist, your photographer and your transportation.


It’s 3:00 pm -Get the Stretch!


Depending on the size of your wedding party, you might plan to arrive in a limo or a party bus. Some couples adhere to old tradition that prevents the bride and groom from seeing each other prior to the wedding. If you want to step away from tradition, you could choose to ride together with the entire wedding party in one bus. Regardless of the arrangement, allow for enough travel time to arrive at the venue. This timeline is planning for a 4:00 pm arrival. Depending on the distance between your meeting location and the venue, you might need a little more time for travel.


4:00 pm Arrival at the Venue


This 4:00pm arrival is based upon a wedding venue that allows for arrival two hours prior to your event and has a bridal and groom’s suite on-site. Arriving at the venue a couple hours in advance will give you a window of time to meet inside of your designated suite with your hair and makeup artist. If you choose to have your photographer and videographer follow your entire day for a full documentary of your wedding day, you will probably arrive with your camera crew. If your photography is commencing at the venue, the photographer should meet you upon arrival to capture your photography as you planned. You should take several pictures with your wedding party. While you are getting ready inside of the suite, your entire vendor team will be setting up in the venue.

Wedding Day Timeline

6:00 pm on the Wedding Day Timeline


This is it! This is the time the ceremony is set to begin. The procession will kick off the long awaited moment. Depending on the rituals you add to your ceremony, this main event will last about 30 minutes to an hour. Some couples have special readings and prayers. Some add a handfasting ceremony, a sand ceremony or a unity candle ceremony. You could choose to add other important events that would increase the duration of the ceremony. For the sake of this wedding timeline, we are going to imagine a 30 minute ceremony.


6:30 pm on the Wedding Day Timeline


This is the moment on the wedding timeline that you dreamed about. This is where you will be announced as husband and wife and make your exit beneath a confetti blast, rose petals or a saber arch. You will make your exit down the aisle with applause and escape with your photographer for an hour of wedding photography and private toasting with your new spouse. This time period is called the cocktail hour. During cocktail hour, your guests will mix and mingle with drinks and appetizers while they await your entrance and introduction at the reception.


The Reception on the Timeline

  • 7:30 pm -Guests are invited to dine in the ballroom

  • 7:45 pm -Grand entrance and first dance

  • 8:00 pm – Welcome toasts from the parents of the bride or the hosts

  • 8:15pm -Dinner is served

  • 8:45 pm -Best man and maid of honor speeches

  • 9:00 pm -Father and daughter dance

  • 9:10 pm -Everyone joins the floor to dance

  • 9:45 pm -Cake cutting ceremony

  • 10:15 pm -Bouquet Toss and Garter Toss

  • 10:30 pm -Everyone joins the floor to dance until the end

  • 11:50 pm -Last song

  • 11:55 pm -Grand exit

Notes About the Wedding Timeline


Consider whether you will be having your ceremony and reception at the same venue or different locations. If you will be hosting the events at separate locations, you will need to include blocks of time on your wedding timeline for transportation between places. Choosing a venue with a ceremony space and a reception ballroom provides an advantage when you do not need to factor in additional travel time between locations. Once you have a basic idea about how much available time you have, you can start planning your wedding day timeline at the venue.

Wedding Day Timeline

Crystal Ballroom Charlotte


Let your wedding day timeline unfold at Crystal Ballroom Charlotte, and create your magical moments in a ballroom designed just for you. Crystal Ballroom is an all-inclusive wedding venue with an in-house design team, planners, and a day of event coordinator package to make your dream wedding come true just the way you plan it. Walk the red carpet to the fairy tale that awaits you at Crystal Ballroom.

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We invite you to discover the
Crystal Ballroom difference found in the unparalleled elegance and uniqueness written into the design of each of our venues. The themes are as limitless as your imagination.