The wedding day timeline is such an important key to success if you want to have a smooth and entertaining event! We will share some tips with you based on our experience.
It may seem a little bit excessive, but your wedding day must be planned from the first minute to the last. Of course it can happen that there are unforeseen moments, but following your timeline is essential to keep a good dynamic.
What is a good dynamic?
Always put yourself in your guests shoes!
From the moment they’ll arrive to the moment they leave, it is important to make them feel welcomed and entertained.
It’s never good to see your guests yawning, looking at their watches and ask when dinner is going to be served.
How many weddings did you attend where you felt bored and couldn’t wait for the cake to leave.. How many never ending speeches and lasting forever meals??
This will never happen if the event is timed to perfection.
Music and what we call “key moments” are also great ways to give a good dynamic and a nice vibe to your event.
You can find below a timeline for your wedding including the wedding preparations which is also an important part to get right.
First step: getting ready (11am- 5pm)
This is a fundamental step in your day, it is this unique moment that you share with your friends and family.
It should be a moment of anticipation building up the emotion before you say ” I do “. It shouldn’t be rushed nor feel stressful.
Plan on having some nibbles and a glass of Champagne (but don’t have too many drinks! We want you to walk straight down the aisle!)
Take your time and enjoy, it is not every day that you get your hair and makeup done by a professional after all.
Some pictures with your bridesmaids, ushers and family can be taken at this time and before the guests arrive.
More and more brides and groom plan on having a “first look” before the ceremony.. But this will be a subject of an other blogpost!
Second step: the ceremony (5-6pm)
4:30 – Arrival of you guests. It is important that your guests don’t wait are than 30 minutes maximum before the ceremony starts.
Welcome them with music wether it’s live or a playlist. It will be nice for them to discover the venue and feel welcomed.
Serving a welcome lemonade and having someone leading them to their seats is always a plus. Using welcome and direction signs is also a way to make them feel taken care of.
The ceremony is the highlight of your wedding, the emotion is at its peak, the joy too!
We recommend not exceed one hour for the ceremony length. It is long enough to make your entrance, to exchange your vows and speeches, and short enough to keep your guests’ attention all the way through.
The songs you will choose for your entrance and your exit as a newly married couple are really important for the emotion and the dynamic of this moment.
Third step: the cocktail (6-8pm)
After having experienced so much emotion, the moment that everyone is waiting for : Champagne!
The cocktail should always be accompanied by music, live preferably, and mark the beginning of the festivities.
Everyone gets together, chats and appreciate the sweet summer vibe.
Usually, family and group pictures are taken at that time. Make sure it’s not too overbearing for your guests. They also want to enjoy the canapés and drinks.
For the couple picture your should allow yourself 45 minutes towards the end of the cocktail time to enjoy the “golden hour”, trust me, it’s the best light, and it leaves you 1h15 to enjoy the cocktail.
2 hours is the perfect length for the cocktail, enough time to enjoy and start to get hungry, then move on to dinner!
Fourth step: The dinner (8-10pm)
You might not realize it, but dinner is one of the most difficult time to get right.
We have to work together with the caterer and the entertainment wether it is music or speeches.
Leave enough time for the guests to eat, but be careful not to bore them. They shouldn’t be waiting too much for their meal nor yawn during a speech that never seems to end.
We recommend to avoid using PPT presentation and any animation that would last more than 5 minutes
The timeline of the dinner I recommend is as follows:
The grand entrance of the bride and groom: Key moment! If you choose the right music you will get your guests on fire.
1 or 2 speeches of maximum 5 minutes before the starters arrive, when everyone is seated and ready to listen.
Starter: (30-40 minutes)
Nothing before the main if possible | background music or live band
Main course (45 minutes )
1 or 2 speeches of 5 minutes maximum
5th step: The party and the cake (from 10pm)
And let the evening begin. In general it is at this moment that you will exchange your wedding dress for your second outfit, more adapted to the party, and of course make some make-up/hair touch-ups. This can be before or after the cake.
The arrival and cutting of the cake is also a highlight of the wedding, it marks the end of the meal and the beginning of the party, it is recommended to do it at 11pm maximum. There should be a specific song fr the arrival of the cake.
And of course let’s not forget the first dance of the bride and groom. It is without a doubt the most emotional moment after the ceremony.
Then the kick of the party must be launched! Pick up a tune that will get everybody on the dance floor!!
An end of the party tune must also be picked up.
The ” Key moments” of your day:
- Arrival of the bride and groom at the ceremony
- Entrance of the bride and groom into the reception hall
- The speeches (attention 5 minutes max)
- Arrival of the cake
- 1st dance
- Beginning of the evening
- End of the party
We will talk about it again in a future blog post, all these moments must be accompanied by music, it is a detail which has its importance.