Wedding Reception Timeline
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Wedding Reception Timeline

Timeline for wedding reception starts with the hairstylist, makeup artist, photographer, and videographer who are the first ones to arrive.

Wedding reception timeline tamplete

The wedding is expressed not only in a pleasant and joyous occasion, but also the diligent effort of all stakeholders in its organizational process. A lot of assistants are involved in implementing your perfect day from dawn till dusk. A well-defined timeline and clearly arranged area of responsibility would eventually prevent a little hiccup or all-consuming shifts of the big day plan.

Wedding coordinators, planning books, and wedding apps could be precious deputies to deal with force majeure. And if you decide to concern a wedding matter independently then our detailed wedding reception timeline template will be a fundamental source.

Bridal Squad Arrival (2 hrs)

Timeline for wedding reception starts with the hairstylist, makeup artist, photographer, and videographer who are the first ones to arrive. While the camera crew is shooting the wedding props and the whole process, the makeup artist will prepare your makeup, and the hairstylist will dress your hair. An hour later, close family members with bridesmaids arrive, so take time separately to shoot wearing the wedding gown - it's really touching. The best option, of course, will be a room specially allocated for this in a studio or hotel with ready-made decorations and perfect light, though the bride's cozy house takes precedence most frequently. To create a romantic mood, put on pre-wedding songs for getting ready with your bridesmaids in the background.

For the bride's morning photography session, prepare negligee, silk gown or any preferable clothes options regarding the stylistic. Discuss the list of wedding props with Los Angeles wedding videographer, decorator, and florist in advance, so to make an incredibly attractive picture of the bride's morning.

Wedding Morning Portraits (30 mins)

One of the most beloved wedding parts, especially among brides, is morning portrait shooting. Figure out all the shooting details with the photographer beforehand, he or she will tell how and when it's better to arrange so that there's suitable light and you feel comfortable. Premeditate where the guests should be at this moment in order to follow the normal timeline for a wedding reception without a break.

First Look (5-10 mins)

If a bride and groom are getting ready for the wedding ceremony separately, then set up a meeting is by default matter. The first-look emotions must necessarily be captured by wedding videographer and snapper, since the sincere rapture, love with tenderness reflected in the groom's eyes are priceless.

Wedding Party and Family Photos (1 hr)

Given the location of the wedding, take care of the transfer for guests and prompt snacks.

This is the core of a good mood that creates an atmosphere of caring for the guests, and assistants as well. Assign a trustee to coordinate the photographer during the family photos process. This is particularly important to help the snapper take the needed number of wedding party photos with everyone alternately, in a relaxed atmosphere, without distracting a bride and groom.

If DJ, cover or orchestra band will perform at the wedding, please, keep in mind that equipment connecting and checking takes about two hours. Be sure to specify the lunch break in the timeline for the artists, and the person responsible for it.

Wedding Invitation Start Time (15 mins)

What time should a wedding reception start? It's only up to you, but ask the guests to stay together because after the photo session the host will invite everyone to go to the hall and take their places. Give an extra 15 minutes in case of confusion with the seats, for example, even if the wedding ceremony and reception the same place.

Ceremony (30 mins)

The classic ceremony lasts around 20-30 minutes. This time includes the entrance of the bride with her father, marriage registrar's speech, marriage vows, and exchange of rings.

Separately, you should take into account the time of the seating plan, the entrance of the groom's friends and bridesmaids, if envisaged by the wedding scenario.

Cocktail Hour Starts (1 hr)

Take about 20 minutes after the ceremony for guests' greetings, gift-giving, and general photo session. Besides the parents and close relatives, other guests will share greetings as well, so this part may take more time. Depending on your desire, you can use this hour to relax before the most energetic part of the evening, while guests are busy with an aperitif and sharing of impressions at the standard wedding reception part.

Move Guests Into Dinner (1 hr)

It's time for a buffet wedding reception.

Bridal Party Toasts (20 mins)

Most toasts are usually spoken between the main course and the dessert. Since short congratulations often turn into long nostalgic memories or philosophical considerations, it is better to discuss this point in advance with the host and relatives who are planning to say a toast so that the time limit won't be a surprise. All the wedding reception events should have a strong time frame.

First Dance (5-10 mins)

Is first dance before or after dinner? Let the first pause last no longer than 20 minutes: guests are not yet ready for active entertainment and dancing. Give them time to enjoy delicious food and socializing. To "stir up" the guests a bit, plan the first dance of the newlyweds at this time.

Second Set of Pre-Sunset Portraits (30 mins)

The perfect time when videographer records small wishes of guests, while you can prepare for a photoshoot at sunset, correct your hair and make-up. If the location involved a luminous decor, candles, bulbs, then at this time it is turned on. Previously consult cinematographer and snapper regarding the pre-sunset portrait/scene ideas.

Golden Hour (20-30 mins)

Find out when the sun will set on your wedding day. Be sure to pre-visit the place you have chosen for the ceremony or photoshoot. Since modern wedding reception may be on the oceanside, in the forest and even on top of the mountain, it's important that no buildings, trees, and structures won't block you from the rays of the sun, but at the same time, the light should not blind you or the guests. As a rule, sunset-part timeline ideas include a lot of candles, garlands, and lanterns in accordance with the wedding style.

Bouquet and Dessert (30 mins)

When the entertainment program comes to an end, the bride is invited to throw a bouquet, giving the luck to one of her unmarried friends to marry the next. If you want to keep the bouquet after the wedding, it is better to order the duplicate bouquet for throwing.

Typical wedding reception timeline shows that preparing a beautiful finale with music and special lighting really takes time, not 10 mins as may seem. After a beautiful ceremony, you will need to share the cake among all the guests and give them time to enjoy the treat, so do not plan such a final too late.

Open Dance Floor (2 hrs)

A good wedding timeline is when all the participants did not get tired until the most energetic part of the evening and are ready to blow up the dance floor. Consider the age range of the audience and try to choose music so that everyone has fun, from children to adults. This is the time when contests, games, and competitions of the bride and groom teams fit perfectly, so show your best!

Grand Exit (10-15 mins)

A wedding day checklist is almost done. You can end the evening in different ways, but it should be a point that guests and you will remember for a long time. For example, a bride with groom approaching through a shower of rose petals, or guests form a corridor, holding sparklers, so the bride and groom pass through them to their favorite song. The bride and groom should say goodbye to the guests and thank them for their presence and congratulations. If you are planning a second wedding day, do not forget to invite guests while saying goodbye.


To properly plan the wedding and not to miss anything, consider the length of the day, weather conditions, the length of the road, the possibility of traffic jams and other unforeseen circumstances. Though frankly, even the best timeline may not work, so the most important recommendation is to relax and enjoy the moment. This is a win-win scenario to make your day happy and successful!

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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