Create a perfect Wedding Timeline

  • Publication date: 03/26/2022
  • Updated: 03/30/2023

To organize a wedding that runs smoothly, you need to plan ahead. A well-structured timeline ensures that everything is under control when the wedding day finally arrives. Try to create a timeline as accurate as possible to be certain that you did not miss any small but very important detail. This article outlines all key events you need to consider when developing a perfect wedding timeline for your celebration.

269672411_3262669120627536_279142779269072114_n.jpgPhoto by Emily Thomas Ganey

What is a Wedding Day Timeline?

A wedding timeline usually outlines all key events of your big day making sure that everything goes smoothly and according to the schedule. With so many people, deliveries, and important details going on, one small issue could start a chain reaction and cause multiple additional problems. Below you can find a list of all important details you should include into your wedding day timeline.

Photographers’ Arrival

The wedding day begins with the arrival of the photographer and their assistant. Since they need to take the pictures of the preparation, invitations, the ring, and the dress, they usually arrive 30 minutes before the bride is ready.

277474486_156568616789892_587734411754799108_n.jpgPhoto by Katherine Tyler photo

Bridesmaids Are Ready

While the bride is getting ready, the bridesmaids and the bride’s mother should be already prepared and dressed. They will pose in front of the bride’s prep photoshoot helping her to  get dressed.

156151182_2837996529752028_79020355705031965_n.jpgPhoto by Ashley Ice

Bride’s Hair and Makeup Is Complete

Before moving on to the dress, the bride needs to have her hair and make up done. Remember that the hairstylists and makeup artists need 30 minutes per person on average. This way, they’ll need at least 1 hour to complete hair and makeup.

277543867_491477632613596_7743854529575178433_n.jpgPhoto by Brandy Palacios

Bride Getting Dressed

When the bride is almost ready, it’s time to help her get dressed. Usually, the photographer captures moments when the maid of honor helps the bride to zip up her white dress and put on the shoes. And don’t forget that the bride’s mom should also get the part. She can help with the jewelry or adjust the veil.

150172776_469879244028040_5885585550013907378_n.jpg Photo by Ashley Ice

Bridal Portraits

After all the final preparations are ready, it’s time to take the portraits of the bride. Typically, the photographers shoot at locations near the wedding venue.

272637621_669144324118657_7208682694271493010_n.jpgPhoto by Kerry Jeann

Bridesmaids Photos

Once the photographer has captured the beauty of the bride, it’s time to move on to photos with the bridesmaids. These pictures are typically cheerful and fun as they reflect the joy of the upcoming celebration. If you want to have some special shots, make sure to discuss them with the photographer and have the props ready.

212618168_1146990145712275_8184022457405703694_n.jpgPhoto by Andrew & Melissa Aziz

First Look

The first look is a special and very intimate moment between the bride and groom, who see each other for the first time before the official ceremony begins. Oftentimes, the photographer is present during the first look to capture genuine emotions of the couple.

278831407_5324549830909892_500811544210011464_n.jpgPhoto by Adelyn Finley 278601024_448083157078215_3163267190931181030_n.jpgPhoto by Asteria Photo

Portrait Photos Together

After the bride and the groom have met each other, it is time to take a few portraits of the happy couple. The photos are usually taken at pre-scouted locations near the wedding venue.

59168553_387417775192190_8680316305059490648_n.jpgPhoto by Andrew and Milissa Aziz

Wedding Party and Family Photos

Wedding programs are impossible without family photos. Provide your photographer with a list of all pictures you’d like to have and ask one of the family members to help the photographer identify each of your relatives.

180147905_834151060521334_2926085132878572290_n.jpgPhoto by Kerry Jeanne


Wedding ceremonies can be either long or short depending on the type of the event. If you’re having a non-religious ceremony, it will take around 20 minutes, while a religious one can last up to 1 hour.

92457030_1081976258830728_705438062098593668_n.jpg Photo by Mary Pastuh

Sunset Photos

Make sure to allocate some free time, approximately 30 minutes before the sunset to take amazing portraits with your husband or wife. The setting sun provides fascinating natural lighting; thus, the photos will be magical.

Grand Entrance and First Dance

Try to move on from your grand entrance right into your first dance. This way you’ll combine the formal and fun parts, maintaining the festive atmosphere. You can either dance for the whole song or just for a few minutes, moving on to the toasts.

Welcome Toasts From Hosts

Traditionally, welcome toasts are the first two toasts made by the parents or family members of the bride and groom. The father of the bride is usually given an honor to speak first.


This is commonly the simplest part of  wedding planning when everyone has time to relax and enjoy delicious meals.

270229608_2075304852631074_7801469765196501237_n.jpg Photo Mary Pastuh

Bridal Party Toasts

At the end of the celebration, the maid of honor and the best man can offer their toasts. It is recommended to set a specific time limit for each toast to make sure that everything goes according to the schedule. Usually, 5 minutes for the toast should be enough.

Parent Dances

Experienced wedding planners suggest moving on to the parent dance right after the toasts. Once this last official dance is over, you can ask your band or DJ to play energetic music and invite everyone to join you on the dance floor.

Cake Cutting, Bouquet and Garter Toss

You should start with the cake cutting and then move on to the bouquet and garter toss. If you don't feel comfortable with the garter toss, you can always skip it or try an alternative. 

Open Dance Floor

Before all your guests enter the dance floor, make sure you thank them all for coming and express your appreciation for joining you on this big day. After the official part is over, just dance until the morning comes.

Grand Exit

Discuss the final song with the DJ or band, and when it’s time to leave, say the final goodbye. Ask your bridesmaids and groomsmen to organize the guests along your exit, and when your song plays, grab the hand of your partner and run towards your fantastic future.

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Natali Grace Levine Editor-in-Chief

Manages The Wezoree's content strategy
Writes and edits articles for the Inspiration Blog