It’s easy to run behind on your wedding day–there are so many things to do and lots of moving parts (all of a sudden, EVERYONE will have a reason to text you!). Without careful planning, you might find yourself lagging behind, which can lead to you hurrying through your hair and makeup or your bridal portraits (which are all things you should enjoy. Plus, as they say, it’s never a good idea to rush art). We’ve broken down a sample timeline of a 4:00pm wedding to help you stay on track. You can easily tweak this to fit your wedding, no matter what time it begins.
10am: Hair & makeup begins
Rise and shine, sleeping beauty! You’re getting married today! You probably spent the night in a hotel suite so all you have to do is throw on a cute bridal robe or getting-ready romper and slip into that makeup chair. Send a bridesmaid on a Starbucks run and eat some Greek yogurt…you’ll want that energy boost!
11am: Vendors start setting up, photographer arrives
Your photographer will capture some getting ready shots of you and your bridesmaids. Have your MOH show your photog where your wedding gown is, your invitation suite, and your accessories (including those perfect shoes you shopped everywhere for). You’ll want gorgeous shots of all these fashion details. Simultaneously, your bridesmaids will want to get dressed and ready to help you into your gown.
12pm: Put that wedding gown on!
Wait until the last minute to put on your bridal dress. Not because you don’t love it–but because you’ll be wearing it for a long time so you’ll want to relax for as long as possible. Have your mom or MOH do the honors of buttoning or lacing up the back and make sure your photographer is around to get those reactions shots of everyone seeing you in your dress for the first time. You may want to keep tissues handy.
2pm: Smile! It’s time for bridal party photos
Assemble your squad! Everyone is looking so pretty. Before you leave the bridal suite, do a quick mental rundown. Do you have your bouquet? Your veil? Have you put on your bracelets, earrings, and necklace? What about your garter? Now is the time to make sure you have everything so you aren’t running back to the suite last minute!
**If you are doing a first look, it should occur at 1pm**
3:30: Doors open for ceremony seating
Your guests are here and they are so excited! You, of course, will be tucked out of sight but you’ll feel their anticipation long distance.
4:00pm: Ceremony begins–AND YOU GET MARRIED!
You take a deep breath, step out onto the aisle, and meet eyes with your guy. Savor every moment, from the vows to the kiss and, before you know it, you’ll be hearing, “I now pronounce you husband and wife!” Look at you! You just got married! Your new chapter of life begins now–and you have the feeling that it’ll be one of the most beautiful yet.
4:45pm: Cocktail hour starts and you take bridal portraits
It’s photo time again! Only now its just you and him. Kiss! Hold hands! Cavort! Tell each other how much you love each other. This is your very first hour as husband and wife. How special is that?
5:45: Guests move into the reception space and the bridal party starts assembling for their entrance
Get that party started! Prepare for your entrance–and to see your reception space. This may be the first time you’ll see it all styled. After you make your way over to the sweetheart table, take a look around. Soak in all the details of the centerpieces, settings, and linens. You are finally seeing all that planning in action. 6:00pm: All the noms
A 6:00pm dinnertime is just what your guests will be expecting (and wanting). Being a bride is hard work. Make sure you actually sit down and eat your full meal. There will be plenty of time for socializing later but for now, dig in! That filet mignon will never taste better. Also, drink water so you can stay hydrated and ready for a night of partying.
6:30pm: Toasts, official dances, and opening of the dance floor
To the newlyweds! Sit back and listen to the kind words of your friends and family. They’ve been with you for every step of the way and this night is almost as exciting for them as it is for you. Then get ready to work off that dinner with the first dance and father-daughter dance. After the official dances end, it’s a great time to have your DJ invite everyone onto the floor.
8:30pm: Cut the cake
Your cake is pretty to look at but even more delicious to eat! Your photog will be on hand to capture the moment (and any cake face smashing that may happen).
10:00pm: Send off
What a day. What a night. If you’re putting on something shorter for your exit, slip into it and get ready for the send off of a lifetime. Grab the hand of your honey, thank everyone, and let them cheer you as you jump into the car and drive off into the night.
The evening is over but your lives together are just beginning!
Photography KATELYN JAMES PHOTOGRAPHY//Venue, Coordinator, Catering THE MILL AT FINE CREEK//Dress Designer MATTHEW CHRISTOPHER//Dress Store DESIGNER LOFT NYC//Florist PHOTOSYNTHESIS FLORAL DESIGN//Hair + Makeup HELLO DARLING BEAUTY//DJ DEBONAIRE ENTERTAINMENT//Cinematography SHAINA KOREN//Cake PIERRE MICHEL’S WEDDING CAKES//Bridesmaid Dresses AZAZIE//Invitations MINTED//Favors CANDLE WITH A CAUSE//Popsicles KING OF POPS//Rentals PAISLEY AND JADE//Quartet STRING OF PEARLS