Debbie Elisa is a mini adventure elopement and wedding photographer based in VIrginia, traveling worldwide for lovers who want a little something different.

modern bride holding a small floral bouquet while wearing a white power suit in a field in Shenandoah National Park captured by Virginia wedding photographer

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5 Best Wedding Day Timeline

Debbie Perez

DATE:

December 15, 2022

Planning your wedding can seem overwhelming, especially when you try to pin point your timeline. Here are my favorite 5 Wedding Day Timeline Examples as a Charlottesville wedding photographer. Each will help your big day run smoothly, while giving you lots of time to celebrate!

Wedding Day Timeline Examples

As you read through these example timelines, remember that these are complete timelines for some couples. However, they can also be used as a template as a starting point, which you can add to.

MORNING WEDDING


7:00 AM – Hair & makeup / Getting ready
8:30 AM – Vendors arrive / Setup starts
9:00 AM – First look & couple’s portraits
9:30 AM – Family pictures
9:30 AM – Doors open/ Pre-Ceremony music starts playing / Guests enter
10:00 AM – Invite time
10:15 AM – Ceremony starts
10:45 AM – Ceremony concludes
10:45 AM – Cocktail hour starts/ Addition- al family photos
11:30 AM – Brunch starts
12:15 PM – Toasts
1:00 PM – First Dance
1:30 PM – Cake cutting/ Dessert
2:45 PM – Couple departs
3:00 PM – Guests depart
3:00 PM – Breakdown commences
4:00 PM – All vendors out

EARLY AFTERNOON WEDDING


9:00 AM – Hair & makeup / Getting ready
9:30 AM – Vendors arrive / Setup starts
10:30 AM – Getting ready photos start
11:00 AM РFirst look & couple’s portraits
11:45 AM – Family pictures
12:30 PM – Doors open/ Pre-Ceremony music starts playing / Guests enter
1:00 PM – Invite time
1:15 PM – Ceremony starts
1:35 PM – Ceremony concludes
1:40 PM – Cocktail hour starts/ Additional family photos
2:30 PM – Lunch starts
3:00 PM – Toasts
3:30 PM – First Dance
5:00 PM – Cake cutting/ Dessert
6:15 PM – Couple departs
6:30 PM – Guests depart
6:30 PM – Breakdown commences
7:30 PM – All vendors out

Wedding Couples running in a field together at Shenandoah National park

LATE EVENING WEDDING


1:00 PM – Hair & makeup / Getting ready
4:30 PM – Vendors arrive / Setup starts
4:30 PM – Pre- Ceremony photos
5:30 PM – Couple arrives
6:00 PM – Doors open/ Room ready for guests/ Pre-ceremony music starts
6:30 PM – Invite time
6:45 PM – Ceremony starts
7:00 PM – Ceremony ends/ Guests move to cocktail hour
8:00 PM – Guests move to dinner
9:30 PM – Cake cutting/ Dessert served/ Toasts
9:45 PM – Dancing
11:45 PM – End time/ Guests out
12:45 AM – Breakdown/ Vendors depart

COCKTAIL PARTY STYLE RECEPTION


3:00 PM – Vendors arrive for setup
4:30 PM – Doors open/ Room ready for guests/ Pre-ceremony music starts
5:00 PM – Invite time
5:15 PM – Ceremony starts
5:30 PM – Ceremony is complete, Initial Food set up/ Bar opens, Music starts
6:30 PM – Pre-sunset portraits
6:45 PM – Dinner rounds of food come out
7:07 PM – Sunset
7:15 PM – Toasts
7:30 PM – First dance
8:00 PM – Couple’s “Thank You” toast followed by cake cutting
9:00 PM – Couple and guests depart
10:00 PM – Breakdown done/ vendors out

SEPARATE CEREMONY & RECEPTION TIMES


9:00 AM – Hair & makeup / Getting ready
11:00 AM to 1:00 PM – Vendors arrive for ceremony setup
12:00 PM – Wedding party and family photos start 
1:30 PM – Doors open/ Guests begin to arrive/ Pre-ceremony music starts
2:00 PM – Ceremony invite time
2:15 PM – Ceremony starts
3:00 PM – Ceremony ends
3:00 PM – Vendors start to arrive for reception set up
3:30 PM – Guests gone from ceremony site
4:00 PM – Ceremony site cleaned up/ Vendors depart
4:30 PM – Doors open/ Guests begin to arrive/ Am- bient music starts
5:00 PM – Reception invite time/ Cocktail hour starts
6:30 PM – Move guests into dinner
6:45 PM – Buffet opens/ Dinner served
7:00 PM – All guests have food
7:15 PM – Toasts
8:00 PM – First dance
8:05 PM – General dancing music starts
8:05 PM – Second set of pre-sunset portraits 8:26 PM – Sunset
8:45 PM – Dessert
9:45 PM – Last Call
10:00 PM – Guests Depart
11:00 PM – Breakdown/ Staff departs

Ready to Book your Virginia wedding photographer? Reach out and let’s do this thing!

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