A wedding day is one of the most special occasions in a person's life. It's a day that's filled with love, joy, and celebration. To make sure everything runs smoothly, it's important to have a general idea of how the day will go. In this guide, we'll break down the wedding day timeline step-by-step, from getting ready in the morning to dancing the night away.
12 Easy Steps
- Bridal party gets dressed - The bride and her bridesmaids get ready in their designated dressing room, applying makeup and fixing hair.
- Bridesmaid photos - The bridesmaids gather around the bride, and a photographer snaps some candid and posed photos before the ceremony.
- First look - The bride and groom see each other for the first time before the ceremony, usually with a photographer capturing the moment.
- Wedding party and family photos - After the first look, the photographer gathers the bridal party and immediate family members for posed photos.
- Ceremony "start" time - Guests are informed to arrive and be seated before the scheduled ceremony time.
- Actual ceremony start time - The officiant and groom are in position, and the ceremony officially begins with the processional.
- Ceremony - The bride walks down the aisle, the couple exchanges vows and rings, and the newlyweds share their first kiss as a married couple.
- Cocktail hour - Guests are ushered to a designated area for drinks and light snacks while the wedding party takes photos.
- Invite guests to dinner - A designated person ushers guests to their tables for dinner as the wedding party is introduced.
- Reception - The newlyweds share their first dance, speeches and toasts are made, and dinner is served.
- Dancing and festivities - After dinner, the dance floor opens, and guests celebrate the newlyweds.
- Farewell - The couple says goodbye to their guests, usually with a sparkler or bubble send-off, before departing on their honeymoon.
What are some of your wedding must-haves? What traditions do you plan to include or leave behind? We'd love to hear your thoughts on creating the perfect wedding day. Share your comments and ideas below, and let's keep the conversation going!
What is a first look, and should we do one?
A first look is when the bride and groom see each other for the first time before the ceremony, usually with a photographer capturing the moment. It's a personal choice, but many couples find it to be a special and intimate moment to share before the chaos of the ceremony and reception. It can also help calm any nerves and make for more relaxed photos later on.
What is a cocktail hour, and why is it important?
A cocktail hour is a designated time after the ceremony for guests to mingle, enjoy drinks and light snacks, and await the arrival of the wedding party. It's important because it gives the newlyweds time to take photos and prepare for the reception without leaving guests bored or hungry. It's also a great way for guests to socialize and get to know each other before the festivities begin.
What is a wedding party, and who should we include?
A wedding party typically consists of the bride and groom's closest friends and family members who will stand with them during the ceremony and serve as their support system throughout the planning process. The size and composition of the wedding party is entirely up to the couple, but it's important to choose people who are reliable, supportive, and willing to help out as needed.
How can we make our farewell send-off special?
A farewell send-off is a fun way to end the night and bid farewell to your guests. Some popular options include a sparkler exit, a bubble send-off, or a grand exit in a vintage car. It's important to check with your venue to make sure they allow your chosen send-off option, and to coordinate with your photographer and wedding party to make sure the moment is captured beautifully.
What should we include in our reception festivities?
The reception is a time for guests to celebrate and have fun, so it's important to include activities and entertainment that everyone will enjoy. Some popular options include a photo booth, lawn games, a DJ or live band, and a dessert or candy bar. It's also a good idea to plan for speeches and toasts, as well as any special dances or performances you may want to include