How to make the most of your wedding day timeline and achieve a smooth schedule


Every couple wants their wedding to go as smoothly and hassle free as possible and one of the key components in achieving this is making sure you have a solid schedule on the day. No one wants to feel panicked or rushed on the day so whether you have a wedding planner/coordinator or not, it’s important you put together a timeline for the day so that everyone knows what they should be doing, when they should be doing it and where. Here’s a few things to consider when putting your wedding day schedule together so you can have a wedding day that you live and experience through rather than breeze through.

Schedule enough time for prep

This one often applies at the start of day and if you have any changes in the course of the day. As you prepare for any hair, makeup or grooming, make sure to allow for enough time to get ready. Ideally you should have a trial before the Big Day but factoring sufficient time for these things means you can accommodate any tweaks or adjustments as well as getting you relaxed and comfortable for the rest of the day. Plus your overall look comes out better too!

Don’t make your ceremony too long 

As a rule of thumb, try not to make your ceremony more than an hour. Anything longer means guests will start to get restless and slightly disengaged which is no fun at all. It also has a knock on effect as the timings of everything else to follow is dependent on when the ceremony finishes and the later it runs, the further back everything else happens. 

Work with your photographer to create a shot list

I cannot stress how important it is to create a shot list for your pictures. If you’re not familiar with what a shot list is, essentially it’s a list of the different shots you would like your photographer (and videographer in some cases) to capture on the day. From accessory and stationery flatlays during morning prep to pictures with different groups of people after the ceremony, having a shot list beforehand is key to being prepared. This way your photographer can work through the list quickly which saves time.


Prioritise the important elements of your day

Decide beforehand with your partner the sections of the day that hold special significance to you and prioritise those moments. If you’d much rather get the chance to mingle with your guests and say thank you than do a bouquet toss, give the former more time than the latter. It’s crucial that you carve out time during the day for the things that are really meaningful to you as those moments are the things you’ll remember strongly making it even more memorable.

Be flexible

Let’s be honest, sometimes life doesn’t go as planned and wedding days are no different. That’s why it’s important that you have an open mind and allow some room for flexibility on the day. What this means is that you may likely have to make some adjustments to your schedule but try not to get too caught up in the fact that things aren’t going in a certain way or at a certain time because the truth of the matter is that sometimes, these things are beyond your control (eg traffic or bad weather). As long as you, your partner and your guests are enjoying the day, more than likely your planner/coordinator and other wedding suppliers are doing their best to make sure things are being taken care of.

Delegate the small, unobvious tasks

It may seem like an obvious point but the reason I add this is because the small details often get overlooked. Things like ensuring someone calls the transport in enough time prior to the bride’s departure to the ceremony or making sure someone has the couple’s evening outfit ready for them to change as soon as their cake is cut are things that could potentially save you time and minimise extended waiting periods.  These are the types of logistical details your wedding planner/coordinator should cover for you but if you aren’t having one, get your bridal party/close loved ones to step in.


Wedding Timeline Breakdown

Generally a wedding day timeline should include the breakdown below but please always remember to make the day your own and incorporate the parts that matter to you!

  • Couple and bridal party prep
  • Individual couple and Bridal party portraits 
  • Accessory and Stationery Flatlays
  • First look
  • Ceremony
  • Family/Group pictures
  • Drinks reception/Reception details
  • Room reveal 
  • Entrances
  • Wedding Breakfast/Meal
  • Reception (including games, entertainment, speeches, cutting of the cake, first dance, bouquet toss/garter)
  • Evening meal/dancing
  • Carriages/ Depart


All in all your wedding is exactly what you make of it. Of course, you want to make the day as authentically yours and exact timings will vary depending on what you have planned for the day but having a structure in place comes in handy so that you can ensure the parts most important to you aren’t hurried. When supporting my couples, I guide them to fully enjoy their day and remain in the moment, which is the most important thing any wedding planner should aim to achieve on a wedding day. My team and I are extremely well prepared, and work effortlessly to make the wedding flow seamlessly. You can read about the PV Experience from our previous couples and if you’d like to talk to me about any our our services, simply fill out the enquiry form.

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