Curious September 2019 Manitoba

Wedding day timeline

Michelle, on 8/July/2019 at 14:59 Posted in Plan a wedding
My ceremony starts at 5:00pm with the cocktail hour from 6:00-7:00. Dinner is at 7:00pm. I’m trying to figure out the timeline for everything else (photos, toasts, cake cutting, first dance, father/daughter dance, and bridal party dance. I was thinking of having the bridal party and groomsmen photos done before the ceremony, and the family, bride/groom and full wedding party after the ceremony. Does this sound reasonable? How long should I allow for the bridesmaids photos? And since dinner is served at 7:00, does anyone have suggestions of a timeline for the toasts, dances and cake cutting?


  • Tina
    Curious July 2020 Ontario
    Tina ·

    My timeline is the same as yours, only we're doing all the formal photos before the ceremony. I plan to attend the cocktail so we can chat with our guests (about 80) so I'll have time to eat at dinner

    I've also put a buffer in the timeline. The ceremony will probably only be about 20-30 minutes, and i'm planning on it NOT starting on time lol! So if it starts around 5:15, then we still have loads of time for cocktail. Not doing an entrance since we'll be there already. First dance will be after dinner, around 9-ish (I'd like it to happen after the sun sets so we can get some moody lighting - there are lots of windows in our venue). We have our photographer until 10pm, so there's lots of time if things run late. I'm also putting speeches between courses and keeping them SHORT, about a minute each, and only about 4 of them. Cake cutting will probably be around 9:30/9:45, just before the photographer leaves (dessert is one of the dinner courses, so people won't have to wait). Of course, all this may change! But it's my current thinking.

  • Tamara
    Curious July 2019 Nova Scotia
    Tamara ·

    I would chat with your photographer about how much time they think they would need. Maybe have some inspiration photos that you like on hand when you have the conversation. Ours has been amazing in helping us with our timeline. If you are renting a DJ they should be able to also help you with timelines as well. These people do a lot of weddings, and I have found, are really great hidden gems of information.

  • Casey
    Featured October 2019 Ontario
    Casey ·

    Our ceremony is at the same time as yours! Are you having your ceremony and reception at the same space? If not, make sure you plan travel time in between.

    2pm - 4pm: First Look & Wedding Party Pictures

    Travel to Ceremony Space & Freshen Up

    5 - 5:30 PM: Ceremony

    5:30 - 6:30/ 6:45 ish: Cocktail Hour. We will be doing bigger family photos here

    6:45: Entrance to Reception, & First Dance

    7Pm: Dinner is served (First Course) ** Hopefully doing Father/ Daughter and Mother/Son Dances just after the first course is served while our photographer is around.

    I haven't planned out speeches yet, but cake cutting will be done just before dessert. Our photographer will be gone by this point, but my SIL is amazing at pictures and will have her take some for us

  • Vinod
    Featured August 2017 Ontario
    Vinod ·

    Creating a spreadsheet with timing of an agenda is the same you can do to make your timing for the wedding day and when and how long you feel should be spent for the getting ready, wedding entrance, song choices, pictures, reception entrance, cake cutting and first dance. It will help to know how many guests your having that day too.

  • Katelyn
    Devoted October 2019 Ontario
    Katelyn ·
    We are doing the groomsmen/bridesmaid photos before the ceremony as well. I would talk to your photographer. We planned for about an hour for each shoot. Also talk to your venue about the timeline and they might be able to give you some pointers.
  • Becky
    Featured September 2019 Ontario
    Becky ·
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    I would push the dinner by half hour and that way you have enough time for photos- then do the grand entrance at 7pm, then your first dance. You could either do all the dances back to back right then and then eat or do yours then and the rest the beginning of reception

  • Michelle
    Curious September 2019 Manitoba
    Michelle ·
    View quoted message
    The wedding and reception are at the same place. The ceremony will probably only be about half an hour. No receiving line. We were thinking of having the bridesmaids and groomsmen photos before the ceremony. Only having the whole wedding party and family, then bride/groom photos after the ceremony. We’re also thinking of having our first dance when we are introduced. I’m not sure when to do the dance for father/daughter and bridal party though.
  • Becky
    Featured September 2019 Ontario
    Becky ·

    I would do all of your groomsmen photos before hand along with your bridesmaid photos as well.

    The family photos, your couple photos, and then full wedding party photos during the cocktail hour. I would give yourself more than an hour though- do you have to travel to different locations or is it same area? Will your ceremony take a full hour or are you doing receiving line after? If its only half hour then gives you hour and half for photo's. Make sure everyone knows they need to stick around and time is important.

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