Posted: Monday September 14, 2015
When your big day arrives, you’ll want to waste no time. To help everything to run smoothly, we’ve put together this handy timings guide to give you an idea of how long to allow for key elements of the day. Every wedding is different, so feel free to adapt to suit your preferences as a couple.
1 hour: Wake up
You will most likely wake up very early because of all the excitement, but give yourself an hour or so to get out of bed, shower and have a light breakfast before everyone arrives.
2-3 hours: Hair & makeup
Your bridal party, hair & makeup stylists and photographer should all join you and then the preparations can officially begin.
Arrange for the hairdresser to begin styling your hair first, and then your bridal party afterwards. When you are happy with your style, begin to have your makeup applied. This is the perfect opportunity to sit down, relax and enjoy being pampered!
30 minutes: Get dressed
Putting on your dress and accessories will take longer than you think! Allow yourself up to half an hour for this. Your bridesmaids should also be ready at this point so this would be a good time to have a few photos together.
Remember to allow plenty of time for your transport, especially if your route is prone to heavy traffic.
45 minutes: Arrivals begin
The groom, ushers and best man should arrive at the ceremony venue around 45 minutes before the start time in order to greet your guests as they arrive. It is traditional for family of the bride to be seated on the left, and family of the groom to be seated on the right.
30 minutes- 1 hour: The Ceremony
Bridesmaids arrive at the venue, shortly followed by the bride and her father. It’s now time for you to get married! The service will last between 30-60 minutes, with civil ceremonies generally being shorter than religious ones.
1 hour: Photographs
Ensuring that your photographer has a detailed list of the combination of shots you would like taken will help keep things stress-free.
2-3 hours: The wedding breakfast
Guests should begin taking their seats for the wedding breakfast. A three course meal will generally last for 2 hours. Allow 30-45 minutes for speeches and the wedding toast (before or after eating).
5 minutes: The first dance
Next comes the cutting of the cake, before you head to the dancefloor for your first dance. If you’re feeling nervous, have the DJ invite your guests to join in halfway through.
3+ hours: Celebrating
This is when your evening guests will be arriving and timings often go out of the window here, especially if the drinks are flowing! Enjoy the relaxed atmosphere and dance the night away as guests mingle with one another. You may wish to serve some evening canapes during this time.