Creating Your Wedding Day Timeline

Making sure you plan the perfect flowing timeline on your wedding day ensures that your day flows seamlessly from one moment to the next.

So lets minimise your stress and get to working on the most perfect timeline to make sure we are all on the same page!


  • 9am — Start hair and makeup
  • 11am — Groom and groomsmen gather to get ready
  • 12pm — Put on your wedding dress
  • 12.30pm — First look photos (if you’re doing them!)
  • 1pm – Couple’s portraits
  • 1.30pm — Wedding party photos and family photos
  • 2pm — Allow for travel time to your ceremony location
  • 3pm— Ceremony begins
  • 3.45pm — Ceremony finishes, group photo with all your guests?
  • 5pm — Guests enjoy cocktail hour. If you didn’t have a first look, now is the time for some beautiful couple portraits
  • 6pm — Reception starts, wedding party entrance, and welcome toast
  • 6.15pm — Serve entrée
  • 6.45pm — Wedding party and family speeches
  • 7.15pm — Serve main course
  • 8pm —  First dance + Parent dances (bouquet toss is doing one)
  • 8.45pm — Cut the cake, Serve dessert
  • 9.15pm — Photographer leaves
  • 10.30pm — Last call for drinks
  • 10.45pm — Reception wraps up, guests head outside for your send-off
  • 11pm — Guests leave

WOWZA that was way too much info all at once wasn’t it!


This is something you’ll want to coordinate with you hair & makeup artists that you’ve hired, but typically a bride’s hair and makeup takes about two hours combined (on average). If you’re looking for a hair or makeup artist in the Sydney area, be sure to check out my favourite vendors here.


As a wedding photographer, I LOVE a first look!!. If you’re not doing a first look, you can transfer this time for photos to after the ceremony! Keep in mind, you’ll want about 1.5 hours for the bridal party & couples photos, and around 30 minutes for family formals.


Speeches typically don’t take longer than 15 minutes, but make sure the people giving a speech know that they have a time limit! Although speeches are super great and sentimental, there’s nothing worse than a best man blubbering on & on & on for 20 minutes about drunken memories!!


Don’t forget to make time for what’s important to you!! I wanted to provide this sample wedding day timeline as a guide for constructing your own – but be sure to prioritise the moments that are special to you + your fiancé. If you want to set aside 10 minutes to be alone with each other, then DO IT!!!. At the end of the day, it’s YOUR wedding don’t waste your day in the attempt to try to please others.

September 7, 2023

Jessica Hughes

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