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Let’s talk timelines.  If you are a detail orientated bride you probably just got a shiver of excitement run up your spine.  If you are more like me, a big picture gal, your eyes have glazed over and you are about to go and find something more interesting to read; but I urge you to stay with me, because how to create a wedding day timeline is something you are going to want to know if you are planning your wedding yourself.


create a wedding day timeline

Why do I need to know how to create a Wedding Day Timeline

We don’t promise perfection around here (who wants to be perfect anyway!).  But, if you want a day that is (reasonably) stress free and smooth-flowing, a timeline is essential.  Why?  Because your vendors, your bridal party and any friends or family helping you out on the day need clear guidelines on what you want them to do and where and when they need to be doing it.   Without a timeline providing that framework for everyone involved, your wedding is going to be a hot mess and whilst perfection is a lofty goal we don’t recommend shooting for, no one wants a wedding that is a shambles either.  So you have to have a timeline!  And, even though I am that big picture girl, I admit that saving the ‘final version’ of that bad boy feels pretty good; its where you see the potential of the amazing day that has been created – really!  If you have a Wedding Coordinator, they will liaise with you and your Vendors about what is going to happen when and start putting the jigsaw that is your Wedding Day together for you.  If you don’t have a Coordinator, or if you would like to be a bit more hands-on and start working out some rough timings yourself, here is a step by step guide explaining how to create a Wedding Day Timeline.

How to create a Wedding Day Timeline in 5 kick-arse steps!

  1. Decide the big things first: this means designing the day from arrival at the ceremony to the time the reception ends and all of the key things to happen in between.
  2. Speak to your Vendors: Your dream team of Vendors are experts at what they do. Talk to them for suggestions about timings.  For example, your photographer will be able to guide you on the time it will take to get the types of shots you are looking for and your caterer is experienced in knowing what time people like to eat.
  3. Help your Vendors to give you their very best: Whilst timelines are being fine-tuned until the last week before your wedding it is never too early to get a rough outline done. Once you have this let your Vendors know what times things are occurring at so they can prepare in advance and avoid clashes with other weddings that day.
  4. Allow travel time: Always allow time for travel for everyone who needs to get from A to B to C on the day (and be realistic here – you know how hard it can be to break away from the fun; like champagne with your Mum and the girls when you are getting ready but should be on your way to the Ceremony).
  5. Details: All of the little details of your day that you have decided to incorporate need to be considered. Your On the Day Coordinator will be able to help with this, but if you are doing your styling and set up yourself, you need to list out what needs to be done and consider when it will be done.  Make sure you also speak to your venue/s to find out when you can access them to set up and pack down (or talk to us and we can take care of that for you).

We have created a handy FREE Timeline Template for you.  I want to stress this is just a guide. Your wedding is unique and there will be things in here that you may not be doing and other things you need to add. But this handy template, together with our tips above, will give you a framework from which to start building your own wedding day timeline.