• Rebecca Belleau

5 Tips for Creating the Perfect Wedding Timeline

So you're all wrapped up in this wedding planning, the details are pouring in and you don't know what to do with them. The hair and makeup start at this time, reception starts at 4 and cocktail hour starts at 4:30 - but you don't know what to do with it all right?


There are a few really important things to consider when building your wedding timeline. I've got a few tips to help you organize your thoughts and craft the perfect timeline for your big day.


  1. One of the biggest things to consider when you're planning out your day: travel time. Are your ceremony and reception in the same location? Where are you getting ready and how far is that from your ceremony location. You have to factor in your travel time into the timeline.

  2. How long is your ceremony? If you are having your ceremony at a church with a full mass, it is often an hour or longer (if you plan to have a traditional receiving line). If your ceremony is at your venue or elsewhere, they are often shorter. You can ask your wedding planner or even your JP how long the ceremony may last.

  3. Will you be hosting a cocktail hour between your ceremony and reception? This is very common and something to consider planning into your timeline. It is often a time photographers use to capture family photos, wedding party photos, and even time with the couple for portraits alone with them as well. If you don't plan on having a cocktail hour, you will definitely want to plan time with your photographer into your timeline to capture those photos!

  4. How many members of your wedding party are getting ready with you? Wether bridesmaids or groomsmen, this is something to consider ahead of time - the more people, the more time it takes! If they are getting hair and makeup done, of course that takes even longer and you can talk to your artists about how much time they may need. Also keep in mind how much time it may take to gather those people together. As a general rule of thumb, I tell my couple to tell their wedding party they have to be ready 15-20 minutes before they actually need to be ready - things usually run late, so it gives some wiggle room!

  5. A fun little tip that works for me - when building timelines I often start with the reception time and work backwards! The reception time is usually decided upon first, and never changes so it is easy to work with that. From there the other details usually fall into place fairly easily by asking the questions above!

Keep in mind, each timeline differs based on the wedding day, location and amount of people involved! Photographers and wedding planners often love to be involved in the timeline building process because they know so well how long each part of your wedding day takes. So if you're feeling overwhelmed, reach out to your wedding planner, even coordinator or photographer for help!


If you are a Captured couple please please reach out to me when you're ready to create your timeline! I LOVE being a part of this process, and of course ensuring we have enough time for all of the gorgeous photos throughout your day! If I can take any bit of stress out of your day, that's what I'm here for!


Once your timeline is built and set, I suggest sending it out to your wedding party/families! That way they are aware of the day's set timeline and don't have any excuse for running late 😉



Stay tuned for more wedding planning tips! Until next time, live creatively friends!