Planning a wedding is so exciting, but when it comes time to put all the details together, things can get a little hectic!
After all, between your vendors and members of your wedding party and family, there are a lot of moving parts that need to be coordinated for you to get hitched without a hitch. This is where a solid wedding day timeline can really come in handy.
If you’re working with a wedding planner, you’re already aware of the importance of a wedding day timeline to organize your big day. In this guide, we’ll provide you with a wedding timeline template that can be adapted to any season as well as tips on how to squeeze all those details into the hours available to you.
Don’t worry! You’ve got this!
Once you arrive at your San Antonio wedding venue, you’ll have to hit the ground running! So don’t forget to spend some leisurely “you” time and enjoy the anticipation of your special day.
Indulge in a bubble bath, have your favorite breakfast, or simply enjoy a cup of coffee and get excited! In just a few short hours, you’ll be walking down the aisle!
Your wedding planner will arrive bright and early to supervise deliveries, ceremony and reception décor, and make sure everything is exactly how you want it.
At Kendall Point, we typically have the bridal party arrive early to make sure everyone has time for hair and makeup. A good rule of thumb is to estimate 45 minutes for each service. If each person is having their hair and makeup done, this will take approximately 90 minutes per person.
For large bridal parties (or very elaborate hair and makeup), you may need more than one stylist or makeup artist to make sure everyone is dolled up in time for the ceremony.
We get it! Lots of couples are way too excited to think about a hearty lunch on their wedding day. But remember, your ceremony is still hours away. You (and your wedding party) will need to eat something to last through all those photo shoots!
Wedding photographers typically arrive about three hours before your wedding ceremony starts, so keep this in mind if you want pictures of you getting ready!
They’ll likely start in the bridal suite and the groom’s suite as the two of you get ready, then spend about 15 minutes getting “detail” shots of your wedding dress, invitations, rings, etc.
From bouquets to boutonnieres, flowers add a special touch to everyone’s wedding day look! Your wedding planner or venue team will make sure every arrangement ends up in the right place.
Now that the flowers have been delivered, it’s time to get dressed, take care of those final touches, and take your formal portraits!
This is when most couples will do their “first look”, but if you’re adhering to tradition, this is a good opportunity for photos with your bridesmaids and groomsmen.
Yay! It’s finally time for you to say “I do!”
We recommend that you allow roughly 30 minutes for the ceremony, but speak with your officiant to be sure. If you’re incorporating any additional songs, readings, or cultural customs, you may need to allot more time.
Here at Kendall Point, guests are ushered up to the veranda for cocktail hour while the bride and groom take family portraits and post-ceremony photos.
Most photographers prefer that this photo shoot takes place during Golden Hour, and will likely suggest a ceremony start time based on this.
After your guests are seated for dinner, your band or DJ will announce the new couple as you make your grand entrance into the reception.
Some couples choose to do the first dance at this point, since eyes are already on you! Otherwise, this is a good time to offer a blessing and/or prayer before dinner is served.
It’s customary to allow about 1½ hours for dinner service, but this varies from wedding to wedding.
Generally speaking, buffets take longer than plated dinners, since guests are released one or two tables at a time. You should also allow more time for weddings with a long guest list. Even with tableside service, it takes time to bring a plate to every seat.
Toasts from your parents, best man, maid of honor, and other family members are often the most heartwarming moments of your wedding reception.
Once your guests start dancing, it’s hard to get them back into their seats, so we advise couples to do their cake cutting right after dinner. This also lets guests who want to leave early a chance to grab dessert before they go.
Kick things off with the father/daughter dance and mother/son dance. Then, once everyone is good and weepy, open up the dance floor and let loose!
We like placing the bouquet and garter tosses in the middle of the reception, as a nice “intermission” from dancing. If you’re looking for a more alternative wedding tradition, consider playing the Wedding Shoe Game or having an Anniversary Dance instead.
The night is winding down, and as the guests are lining up outside for your grand sparkler exit, we love to see couples share a private last dance together. These moments make for jaw dropping pictures and are often a couples’ favorite part of their big day.
Your wedding day might be over, but this is only the beginning for the two of you! (And hey, if you want the fun to keep going, you can always plan an after party.)
With sweeping views of the Texas Hill Country, we highly recommend that Kendall Point couples take advantage of the soft, romantic lighting and plan their ceremony time around their post-ceremony photos (not the other way around).
Keep in mind that sunset times will vary depending on your exact wedding date. Each of the “Golden Hour” times listed here is based on an average for the entire season, so make sure to do your research.
Golden Hour: 6:45-7:45
Suggested Ceremony Start Time: 6:00
In spring, the days are starting to lengthen, giving you a bit more daylight, which means more time in your wedding day timeline!
Golden Hour: 7:30-8:30
Suggested Ceremony Start Time: 6:30
Longer days mean ceremonies can start later, which is good news if you have a lot of photos to get through! Here in Texas, late summer ceremonies are actually best, helping you and your guests avoid the hot afternoons.
Golden Hour: 6:30-7:30
Suggested Ceremony Start Time: 5:30
Shorter days and cooler temperatures make fall weddings some of the best—at least in our opinion!
Golden Hour: 4:45-5:45
Suggested Ceremony Start Time: 4:00
Winter doesn’t leave you with much daylight, so opt for an earlier ceremony time, around 4:00 pm. If you’re having an early dinner (and late reception), leave time for some late night snacks during the dancing hour.
Regardless of which wedding date you pick, it’s very common for couples to struggle with squeezing everything into their wedding day.
For example, most wedding reception timelines only last for about 5-6 hours, and if you want to leave plenty of time for dancing, you might have an issue with fitting other traditions in.
While hosting your wedding ceremony and reception in one location (such as Kendall Point), can save quite a bit of time, there are other things you can do to save time in your wedding timeline.
For example, most guests don’t mind cutting out traditions such as the cake cutting and bouquet/garter toss. Another option is to save things like toasts and speeches for the rehearsal dinner, which saves time during the wedding without causing anyone to feel slighted.
Having a solid wedding timeline will make it easier to organize and coordinate every aspect of your big day. Just make sure to adapt this wedding timeline template to your unique wedding date.
From spring and summer to fall and winter, we’ve seen absolutely gorgeous weddings happen all year long! If you’re looking for a classic Texas Hill Country wedding venue that’s packed with amenities, we’d love to show you around! Call today to schedule your visit and get a sneak peek at your wedding.