Planning your wedding timeline

Planning your wedding timeline

It’s quite likely that as you start planning your wedding, you’ll receive plenty of advice from family and friends, whether it’s advice on colours, dress style or even how you’re decorating, you’ll definitely get it.

One part of a wedding day that people don’t tend to share much advice on is your wedding timeline. What time do weddings start? What happens after we’ve tied the knot? Don’t worry, we can answer all of your questions to help make sure your special day runs smoothly. In this blog we’re helping you plan your wedding timeline.

Before we begin, if you’re after a stress free wedding day, planning is essential! Our wedding planners in Manchester can help to take the pressure off your wedding plans, allowing you to spend more time enjoying yourself. Our expert team have years of experience in the industry and have established connections with many wedding vendors to help make your day as special as it can be. We want you and your partner to relax and have a great time with your family and friends. For more information on wedding planning, you can check out our ultimate wedding planning checklist.

On the run up to your special day, it might be worth attending some wedding fairs so that you can find wedding ideas that may fit your plans. Visiting fairs can help you to select a wedding theme. You may have already sent out save the dates but an easy way to stay on top of your guest list is to create a wedding website where guests can RSVP. This means you can save time and money by not creating wedding invitations.

Planning the time of your wedding ceremony

Knowing what time you should get married is difficult and is dependent on how you want the rest of the day to go. If you plan on having a more relaxed wedding then maybe an early wedding may work best for you. Alternatively, if you’re planning on partying into the night then you may want your wedding to start a little later.

Of course, deciding the time of your wedding ceremony is ultimately down to the times that your chosen venue has available. Usually, weddings start at 11am, 1pm or 3pm. Ideally, when you come to book the venue of your wedding ceremony, they will have all of their time slots available so that you can make the decision yourself. Make sure that you book early for your selected date to avoid disappointment.

As soon as you know the wedding date, you should book your ceremony and reception venue, plan your guest list, and start making important bookings. Important bookings include your wedding photographer and makeup artist.

As your wedding day approaches, you will need to create a more comprehensive wedding checklist, including items such as wedding rings, your dress, your wedding suit, wedding shoes and wedding party gifts. Close to the date of your wedding, you will need to attend a final dress fitting to ensure that you feel comfortable in your wedding dress on your wedding day.

When planning your wedding, we would recommend creating a to do list so that you can stay on top of your wedding planning factors such as your wedding music, wedding gift list and wedding stationery.

Wedding day itinerary

The main difficulty that couples have when sorting a wedding day itinerary is that they are unsure about how much time specific events will take. Most wedding days feature these elements: wedding breakfast, speeches, cake cutting and partying, but how do you know how much time to put aside?

Wedding planning is important and can end up costing you quite a lot, so throughout your wedding planning journey, you may consider wedding insurance. The choice is yours to make whenever you see fit. Setting a wedding budget can also be a difficult task but it needs doing to ensure that you remain on top of your plans.

Some couples choose to have a wedding rehearsal dinner in the time leading up to the wedding. However, it may not be possible to have everyone present as some people may be out of town guests. Remember that this creates extra jobs in the wedding planning checklist such as creating rehearsal dinner invitations.

Wedding breakfast

A wedding breakfast is the term used for the meal eaten after a wedding ceremony has taken place. Despite being called a ‘breakfast’, it can be eaten at any time of day, so it doesn’t matter what time you choose to get married. Your wedding breakfast will typically be a sit down meal for each of the guests who attended your wedding ceremony. The breakfast will usually last around two hours.

Wedding speeches

Following the meal, speeches will begin from whoever you have selected to make one. Any speeches will ideally be around 10 minutes long, however it’s your choice to let people know if you’d like them to be longer or shorter. This is also when wedding favours will be distributed.

Wedding party time

After you’ve spent some time relaxing after your wedding breakfast, you’ll probably want to get on with the party! But before you do that, you should set aside some time to cut your wedding cake and get photos! Some couples choose to invite more guests to their evening celebrations, if that’s the case then you may plan to save cutting the cake until then. Either way, it’s up to you whether you cut the cake before or after the evening guests arrive.

Typical wedding timeline

This wedding timeline is based on a wedding set to begin at 1pm, remember that you may have further impacts such as travel time to cater for. You should plan these into your day immediately to ensure that you’ve left enough time to get ready without having to rush. This also follows a typical UK wedding planning, so if you’re having a destination wedding, you will need to take this into account.

The wedding morning

On your wedding morning, you will likely be feeling excited and nervous, make sure you have something to eat. From 8am until 12pm you should expect to eat breakfast and begin having hair and makeup completed while your photographer is around to document the process. You should organise for your wedding flowers to be delivered between this time and venue staff should begin their set up. Not long before you plan to leave for the wedding ceremony, the bride should get into the wedding dress and be ready for lots of photos with the rest of the bridal party.

Arriving at the wedding ceremony

In the morning, the groom and groomsmen will get ready into their wedding suits and at 12:30pm they should arrive for the wedding ceremony to greet guests and get settled in. Not long after, the bride and bridal party should leave for the ceremony. The photographer will remain with the bride for this time.

At 1pm, the wedding ceremony will begin. The length of time that your ceremony takes depends on the type of service and the location you have selected. The average UK wedding is around 30 minutes to an hour and a half long.

After the wedding ceremony

After the ceremony, you should expect to have photographs taken with your new partner. While you and your partner are having your photos taken together, guests will be invited for drinks and possibly a snack if you’ve factored that in too. At around 3pm, your photographer will begin selecting individuals and groups from your wedding party to join you in specific photos.

Next up it’s time for the wedding breakfast, this will begin at around 4:15pm and, with speeches, will finish around 6:15pm. Then you’ll be invited to cut your wedding cake and have more photos! If you have decided to invite other guests for your evening wedding reception, you may tell them to arrive at around 7:30pm. Then your wedding night is yours to enjoy however you feel fit.

Time to start the wedding festivities

If you plan on having a late night, you might want to consider offering guests a buffet later in the evening. This can include sandwiches and other nibbles. Speak to your venue to see if this is something they can offer you.

Ultimately, your wedding day schedule is completely up to you and your partner. This is your special day and you’ll want to do things your way. Having a wedding planner to help you along the way means you’ll have to spend less time worrying about your wedding timeline and more time having fun.

Wedding planning process

At Creative Venue, we don’t just offer extensive wedding planning services, we also offer wedding venue decoration in Manchester and across the country.

If you’d like any help planning your own wedding day, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with us, we’re more than happy to help. You can check out our simple guide to wedding planning here.


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