How do I create a timeline for the wedding day?

I don't know how long everything is going to take so how do I know how to plan out my day? I'm having a winter wedding so I want to do most of the photos before the ceremony. I want to get married during the "golden light" hours so at about 5PM so the reception can follow immediately after.

India M

Question Asked: 15/10/2021 Wedding Date: 23/06/2022

Most Helpful Response

Beatrice Poni

Sydney / Hunter Valley / Blue Mountains

(0) Posted: 19/10/2021

Hi India 

The best way to plan your day is to map out exactly what you need to do and schedule each item in your preferred order. If you find it difficult to do so, I suggest that you hire a professional to assist you, in order to avoid any errors. This will remove all of the stress off your shoulders and allow you to focus on creating memories rather than worrying about what's happening behind the scene.

I hope this helps



(0) Posted: 19/10/2021

Hey India,

Creating your timeline can be so tricky! My recommendation is to start with what you DO know (ceremony start time, reception start time, food service etc) and then start to build out from there.

Chat to your suppliers about how long they need for their elements (how long your hairstylist needs to do each head of hair, how long the florist needs to set up the venue, how long the caterers need between courses) and add their timings in. If you start nice and early and just keep adding to it, you'll see it start to come together as you get closer. 

I've written a blog about it on my website that might also help - 

And if you're feeling really stuck, you could consider reaching out to a wedding planner in your local area for help. 

All the best with your planning!

Kiera xx

Hunter Events NSW

Hunter Valley, Maitland & Newcastle

(8) Posted: 19/10/2021

Hi India,

The easiest place to start with creating your wedding timeline is with the ceremony and considering daylight hours - so you're off to a good start! Make sure to think about the duration of your ceremony and how much light you'll have at the end so the photos of your first kiss and bridal party exit aren't too dark.

The best advice we can give is to chat with each of your key vendors as to how long they usually take to provide each service. Your photographer should be able to guide you on how long they'd like for the photos before the ceremony, as well as how long they want for getting ready photographs. Then work backwards from there and use advice from your hair and makeup artists on how long they'll take with the number of ladies getting done. Your venue/caterers can advise on how long to allocate to each course depending on your guest numbers and service style so you can build your formalities around these timings. Make sure to allow enough time for the things that are important to you - if you really value dancing and want to have 3+ hours for this at the end of the night, make this a priority when creating your timeline. 

If you are still feeling stuck, consider reaching out to a wedding planner in your local area as they can often help create your perfect timeline, as well as be there on the day to make sure everything runs smoothly. 

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