If you’re working with a wedding planner, chances are he or she will draft a wedding day schedule for you. But if not, you’ll need to make one yourself. We’ve put together a free wedding day schedule template to help in planning your wedding day.
Everyone’s wedding looks a little different depending on what you’ve prioritized and what time of day you plan on saying “I do,” but the sample timeline below should be helpful in thinking through the schedule for an evening ceremony and reception.
Jaime of Coordinate This advises couples to “stay true to what you want” when putting together a day-of-schedule. “We all have visions of what we want our big day to be like, and as a wedding planner I believe it’s important to stay true to that.” For example, she says that many couples feel forced to schedule a first look when they’d rather wait to see each other while walking down the aisle. Communicate with your wedding planner and your photographer about your hopes and preferences for the day, so that your wedding day schedule reflects the wedding you want to have.
“We believe it’s the coordinator’s and photographer’s job to work together to make a plan to give the couple what they envisioned and not settle for less,” she says.
Sample Day-Of Schedule
9:00 AM – Hair & Makeup begins for bridesmaids, followed by bride.
9:00 AM – Wedding designer / rental company begins set up at reception location
11:00 AM – Groom and Groomsmen meet to begin preparing
12:00 PM – Lunch hour
1:00 PM – Flowers delivered to bridal suite, groom suite, and ceremony and reception site
2:00 PM – Getting ready photos of bride and bridesmaids (bridal suite) and groom and groomsmen (groom suite)
3:00 PM – First look photos (if applicable)
3:30 PM – Ceremony music starts. Guests begin to arrive. Ushers pass out programs.
4:00 PM – Wedding party all on location
4:30-5:30 PM – Ceremony
5:30-6:30 PM – Cocktail Hour / Family and Wedding Party photos
6:30 PM – Grand entrance of bride and groom and wedding party
6:45 PM – Dinner
7:30 PM – Toasts
8:00 PM – First dance, Mother-Son and Father-Daughter Dances
8:30 PM – Cake Cutting
9:00 PM – Bouquet Toss
9:45 PM – Last Dance
10:00 PM – Bride and Groom Send-Off
Of course, personalize this free wedding day schedule template for you! Adjust the times and the special moments to correspond with your own wedding day and share the schedule with your wedding party and wedding vendors.