How To Create Your Wedding Day Timeline

You have your sparkly ring, dreamy venue, and maybe even your perfect wedding dress. Wedding planning up to this point has been just magical, from day dreaming with your close friends to sharing emotional moments with your family. Then, all of the sudden, the questions start coming: What time does the wedding start? Where should I book a hotel? How many tables will you have? What time is cocktail hour?

My sweet Bride, you are now entering the uncharted territory of wedding logistics. Things that previously meant nothing to you (e.g. how much time you should allow for cake cutting) will now seem like a life or death decision about which your friends and family will have very hard opinions. Take a deep breath, because we are here to help. Hold tight to your fiancé and follow these tips on how to create a wedding timeline that will keep you sane and stress free on your big day.

Identify Your Values

When you think of your wedding day, what sticks out to you? A big, beautiful feast? The perfect music? Dancing the night away at your reception? There are so many traditional and non-traditional wedding activities, but unfortunately, you can’t fit them all into your 5-or-so hour event. Think about the parts of your wedding that you truly value and write them down. That way, when your friends and family start giving you well-meaning advice, you don’t lose sight of the big picture. Work your timeline around your values, not the other way around. Remember, this day is about celebrating your love and sharing your vision with the people who love you most.

Keep Your Guests in Mind

While your wedding day is all about you, the reality is that there are also 150 other people to consider when creating your wedding timeline. Keep the action moving and avoid long periods of no activity. Instead of having your guests wait for dinner while you take photos, provide a fun cocktail hour with delicious hors d’oeuvres and fun music. As you enjoy cake, entertain your guests with hilarious and heartfelt toasts from your Best Man and Maid of Honor. This strategy also helps you fit in as much fun as possible during your wedding!

Make Some Decisions (and stick with them)

The hardest part of wedding logistics is actually nailing down the details. Many brides make the mistake of waiting too long to make decisions, and the timeline becomes an overwhelming obstacle. For most brides, this is the first time they have had to make a wedding timeline, and they don’t know where to start. Below, we’ve provided a sample timeline just to give you a “jumping off” point.


Don’t let the stress of wedding logistics take away from your wedding planning experience. At Plantation on Sunnybrook, our wedding planners have done this a time or two. Whether you need a full wedding timeline or advice about how to get started, we are there for you. Call us at 540-561-0700 to book a tour and speak with us about bringing your dream wedding from words on a page to reality.