While we are still in this amazing process of planning your wedding, there are yet more factors to consider when putting together the pieces of this bridal puzzle.  One important piece is your timeline. Why? Well, let’s think a little bit about this. Let’s say you plan to get married at your church at 11am, attend your reception at 1pm and be on the way to your honeymoon at 6pm.  There might not be anything wrong to the naked eye, but for the ones who had worked weddings for living, the time jam is definitely an issue. A timeline for your wedding day must be very carefully drafted and prepared taking in consideration absolutely everything and everyone involved in the event.

Timelines are normally prepared towards the end of your planning when all your vendors are booked and you are practically done. In my experience, you should start looking into it right along the time when you are researching your vendors and discovering your ideal wedding day and style. Basically, what I suggest is that everything CAN be modified while is still on paper. If you book everything too close, or a package of limited amount of hours of service when you actually need a more wholesome package, chances are you are gonna have a very stressful wedding day.

So, let’s prevent throwing your wedding day off a cliff! Consider the following steps to keep Time On Your Side:

Getting Ready

  • Talk to your make-up artist and hairdresser and coordinate the exact amount of time needed to get you ready and add 20 minutes to it.
  • If your bridesmaids are getting ready with you, also coordinate their preparation time in order to make sure everyone will be ready on time.
  • Make sure everyone is on board on the “Sense of Emergency” department. Many of the issues on the wedding day prep time is the lack of sense of emergency from the bridal party. Also, fights, altercations, arguments, etc. are just drama adding to a possible delay on all activities for the day.
  • Give your preparation crew {bridesmaids, groomsmen, family, vendors} a checklist and timeline of the day  so everyone knows who is supposed to be doing what at all times.
  • Maid of Honor Got Real! This is when your MOH is to take charge and take everything under control, of course if you don’t have a Wedding Planner on your side that day.
  • If you are getting photographed at your prep location, talk to your photographer on how much time is needed to capture all shots and move your day up to fit this vendor’s request.

Getting There

  • If traveling with a Transportation/Limousine vendor: Talk to them about their routes, potential problem solving, and consider their recommendation on travel time regardless on how you would do it.
  • Make Maps for everyone!  No matter how many times you have traveled the road to your church or venue, make sure you give maps to your bridal party to prevent getting lost. And, do not trust your memory or your GPS, remember Murphy’s Law exists for a reason.
  • Have an additional car ready in case of a mechanical emergency; this way you are covered and prevent a delay. Be Proactive.
  • Once again, your MOH should recommend all drivers to make sure their vehicles are in working condition in order to prevent any delays “getting there”.

Getting Married

  • Coordinate with your Officiant all details of your ceremony making sure it fits properly in the timeline. An hour long ceremony may not leave time for travel to your venue unless you are not taking pictures at the church; do you really want that?
  • Again, the photographer. Provide a list of pictures you require post-ceremony, and fit the time frame in the timeline according to the photographer’s opinion.
  • If you are entertaining the idea of receiving line right after the ceremony, make sure you include at least one hour for this or consider mingle with your guests at a cocktail hour. Just remember you and your fiancè {then spouse} are the hosts and will need to welcome and greet your guests one way or the other.

Getting Reception

  • Coordinate your 4-5 hours of reception so your guests are not rushed and are able to enjoy your event. Talk to your venue about their timeline in regards to meal serving times and fit it to yours.
  • If you are preparing a special presentation, a favor to the guests, special dance or else, please make sure there is enough time left for your guests to dance, wine and dine.
  • Remember to include toasts, special dances, and other traditional wedding entertainment and fit it in your timeline.

When weddings are prepared thoroughly, considering every single detail, the results are definitely gratifying! An amazing event to remember for ever is not made in a rush nor taken lightly. Follow as many guides as you can, read as much as you can and jot down as many details possible and you will see how this precious moment comes to reality.  For now, Let’s keep Time on Your Side!

If you have questions or comments, please feel free to post one below. We’d love to hear what’s in your mind!

L♥ve you always, and remember Be Brava, Be You!






  1. reply Celia Milton

    One thing that can be said about weddings in general is that everything will take longer than you think. If you get to the ceremony late or WAIT FOR LATECOMERS, that lapse in timing is going to have to come from somewhere, and usually it will come from the reception time.

    In my area, NYC/northern NJ, reception costs can top out at 30,000.00 when everything is taken into account. This means that waiting for Aunt Sally, who is late for everything, can cost thousands of dollars in either lost reception time or missing photos.

    Just say no; stay on time; stick to your timeline and enjoy every minute.

    Celia Milton, Officiant

    • reply Brava Girl

      Celia, You are absolutely right! Nothing is ever set in stone, and there is always something to jolt the mood! Once, I had to sacrifice one bridesmaid to move forward with the schedule, otherwise, we would be still waiting for her; regardless, some picture time was affected then. However, sometimes, that’s what makes the story of a wedding come true. Just like you, I totally believe the show must go on and that we could wait minutes, but things have to continue happening in order to have a successful day! Thank you for your input, Celia!

Add message

Reply to: