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Before you start planning the details of your ceremony, you need to decide what time of day you are going to get married- and for that matter, when everything else is going to happen.  

There are a lot of things that will influence your schedule.  First decide what kind of wedding you want to have, most people have an afternoon ceremony followed by cocktails, dinner, and few hours of dancing, but you should think what is most important to you. 

A good host, you should be mindful of your guests.  If you are having a wedding with mostly young guests. You might the able to get away with a letter start time, but older guests may want to be home early- especially if they will be driving. 

We at Glenda Sierra Event planner we are sharing this timeline as a reference.

Sample Wedding Schedule

Here’s an example of how an evening wedding might flow. Adjust the hours as needed based on your ceremony start time and add time between the ceremony and the cocktail hours if you are moving to a second location and or making group pictures.

Note that religious ceremonies tend to run longer than the twenty minutes allotted here for a secular ceremony:

12: 00 pm            Brides and bridal party begin hair and makeup, wedding parties have lunch

01:00 pm             Vendors arrive at ceremony site to set up

04:00 pm             Pictures are taken with wedding party and family

05:30 pm             Doors open and early guests arrive to ceremony

06:00 pm             Time listed on invitation and when most guest arrive

06:15 pm             Ceremony begins

06:35 pm             Ceremony ends

06:45 pm             Cocktail hours begins, couple takes additional picture

07:30 pm             Couple joins end of cocktail hours

07:45 pm             Dinner Begins

09:00 pm             Toast

09:45 pm             First dance and other protocol dances

10:30 pm             Cake Cutting

11:45 pm             End time (guests depart)

12:45 pm             Breakdown complete and vendors depart