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Creating A Wedding Timeline

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If you are a DIY bride and plan on handling most of the logistics yourself, you will need to create a wedding timeline once you get close to your big day. Each vendor will want a copy of this, and it is a good idea to give them to your bridal party as well. This will help everyone stay on track throughout the day and make sure things are getting done when they should. At some point things will likely be a bit behind, but it’s always good to know what needs to happen next.

When creating your wedding day timeline, remember to leave some buffer room around each piece. Also, be detailed. Instead of having “stylist arrive” at 10am, separate it into “Brides makeup”, “Bridesmaids makeup group 1”, “Bridesmaids makeup group 2”- this will help separate the day, and most importantly make sure the Bride is where she needs to be for everything else.

This list will include all of the details leading up to the walk down the aisle, next week will be everything after.

Brides Makeup

Typically this will take around 50-60 minutes. You will have likely had a trial before hand to have a better idea, but an hour is a great amount of time.

Brides Hair

Same as above for the trial time, but an hour is a perfect amount to allow for any changes.

Bridesmaids Makeup

30-45 minutes depending on type of makeup. If they are getting airbrush the amount of time will be different than the normal makeup. Also, think about eyelashes.

Bridesmaids Hair

45 minutes. This may be even less if they only have their hair lightly styled, but count on 45 minutes a girl on your timeline.

The Bride should also go first for makeup and last for hair. The photographer and videographer can catch the last minute steps of the hair styling when they arrive. If there are more than 3 people having makeup or hair done, ask the stylist to bring an assistant, even if it is only for cleaning brushes.

Getting Ready Shots

After all of the bridal party is finished, the Bride can get into her dress.

Depending on location, this is either a time for the bridal party to go to the venue for photos, or if they are already there, leave 30 minutes for photos before the groom and groomsmen arrive.

First Look

Leave at least 20 minutes for this. If not, make sure the bride is hidden during all of the photos with the men of the wedding.

The time prior to the ceremony is also a good time for the bride and groom to have shots with their respective families, before everyone becomes one single family.

Typically a ceremony will begin 15 minutes after the time on the invitation. Count on guests beginning to arrive 30-40 minutes prior to the start time, and 15 minutes later than the start time.

I will be back next week with timing for the rest of the day!


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is an Event Manager turned Lifestyle, Wedding, and Travel blogger who got married in 2015. You can read her wedding planning posts here.