We get asked a lot about how your day should run. What happens when, what time should you have photos, what's the optimum time for the wedding breakfast, what time should your evening guests arrive? So it makes perfect sense that we dedicate a whole post to the order of the day. As with anything wedding related like this, nothing is set in stone. You might've seen our wedding planning timeline or our wedding planning checklists. Same rule applies with those. Everything is just a loose guide. It's your day your way after all and not all weddings start at the same time so you need to take the elements that are applicable to you.
How To Put Together The Timeline Of Your Wedding Day
This round-up of how your day might pan out includes pretty much every eventuality, based over a 10 hour day. Your day may be shorter than that and so you can adjust the plan accordingly. For example, if you're not getting married until 4 you can just adjust the time scales to suit, you may only have one course of food so it's just a case of rejigging the basics below to fit your day. Same with if you're not having a separate evening guest list, you can remove evening guest arrival from your timeline. You're smart, you get the gist. Ok, here we go...
Wedding Order Of The Day
Almost everyone's wedding day starts with their ceremony. You can provide an order of service for your guests if you so wish. You can find out more about how ceremonies work here. The ceremony may be followed by the throwing of confetti. It may be that you want to specify a time for that (especially if you're hoping to catch it on camera) so that all of your guests can be present. Following the ceremony and confetti, you and your guests will make your way to the drinks reception. This may be at the same venue as your ceremony or it may not be. Factor in travel time if you need to get from one venue to another. Remember to make your guests aware of anything significant that you really want to highlight; drinks, canapes, photo calls, carnival rides, garden games etc. The next item on your agenda will be your wedding breakfast. It's important to set a dedicated time for this, so all guests are sat comfortably for your arrival. Generally, the speeches will follow dinner. Again if you plan to do speeches before you eat (some like to do this to give nervous speakers a chance to say their bit then relax and enjoy their dinner) or at a specific time during the breakfast then you can specify that - you might choose to do it before dessert for example. Traditionally there would be a cutting of the cake after dinner. Again include or omit this where applicable to you.
Wedding Evening Plan
Once all of your guests are fed and watered (beered/wined/coffeed), your evening guests are likely to arrive and shortly after that you might have your first dance. You can let guests know then if you have any planned entertainment for the night that you don't want them to miss. Perhaps you have a photo booth coming for two hours from 8 until 10 for example, it's nice to let guests know about that so that they can make the most of it. Or maybe you're planning on having sparklers at some point too. If you do have evening food planned then it's great to let guests aware of this too so they don't run off and grab a late night pizza (it has happened). If you had a first dance you could let guests know when the last dance of the night will be too and what time the bar shuts and/or when arranged transport arrives/what time they should vacate the premises. We have put together the handy order of the day planner below for you with every eventuality on it and a blank side so you can work out your own order of the day. You can pin it below or download and print it here.
And then all that's left is for you to decide how to display the order of your day. Maybe you want to use a peg board, perhaps you fancy following our order of the day palette DIY? There are loads of other great examples in the gallery below of order of the day wedding signs. We hope you enjoy piecing together the timeline of your day!