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  • Writer's pictureKathryne

Things To Consider For Your Wedding Day Timeline That Will Make It A Day To Remember

Updated: Dec 19, 2023

Your wedding day will be a day to remember. Planning the steps and details from the beginning of the day to the last moment is extremely important.

Your Wedding Planner can support you with each moment of the wedding day timeline. It was an honor to support C&D with their wedding and to spend time discussing all the details, considering all of the options and organizing the timeline to their preference!



Torpedo Factory, Alexandria, VA

flat lay - couple's items laid out - rings, ring box, boutonniere, bow tie, invitation, vow books, shoes, ribbon. This is called a flat lay and is done during the getting ready portion of the wedding day timeline

Here are some things to consider during your planning journey regarding your wedding day timeline.

Getting Ready Location

Consider where you and your future spouse will be getting ready. Is there a getting ready space for you both at the venue? You can consider hotels near the venue in a suite (separately or together), in an Airbnb, at a family member's home or at your home. The options are plenty. Especially if you hope to do a First Look and other photos before the wedding. Just make sure you discuss with your planner all transportation and logistics details. Your planner can support you with making sure the details and appropriate amount of time are identified in the wedding day timeline.


How you will get to and from the ceremony, reception and photo locations are major factors in the wedding day timeline if you must travel at some point during the day. This couple chartered the King Street Trolley to transport their wedding party, their guests and themselves for the day. The couple and the wedding party were the first pick-up and drop-off to start the trolley service to be taken to the waterfront for photos. Guests were then picked up and transported to the venue for the ceremony and reception. The trolley pick-up and drop-off times were extremely important to identify in the wedding day timeline because it got the couple to their photo location. Having a detailed plan for when and where the trolley needed to be was discussed in planning meetings. The trolley was with us until the very end of the night. And we had time for rounds of photos with the couple and the wedding party.

Also we did get a spot of rain right before the couple got on the trolley, but it quickly stopped.

Here is a small portion of the actual wedding day timeline we used on April 15th.

actual wedding day timeline

"Breaking down your entire wedding day into an organized timeline helps to keep everything on track when the big day finally arrives. The more detailed you can make the plan, the better." – The Best Timeline For Your Wedding Day

Cocktail Hour & Photos

Consider how you would like the time after the ceremony, cocktail hour, to be designed. Typically cocktail hours are 60 minutes, but they really can be any time you like. Some couples choose to have a cocktail reception and not have a cocktail hour at all. It is important to remember to take small opportunities throughout the day to just be with each other. Since you are married at this point of the day, you will want to make sure to cherish a few moments alone.

During our planning sessions we spoke about every moment of the day. When we discussed the photos and cocktail hour, the couple decided to extend the cocktail hour to 90 minutes so that they could have some time alone together and also join their guests before dinner. After the ceremony the couple ate dinner & appetizers alone together and they decided not to do sunset photos later in the evening and instead, took their newlywed photos with some guests and a few shots alone after dinner.

bride and groom portrait; wedding day timeline


During planning, you can discuss the order of events for the reception. There are traditional ways to do it, but feel free to do what you both want. When deciding on this portion of the wedding day timeline, consider if you are doing dances, where are the dances happening, if people need to move from one space to another or if everything is in one space. The traditional wedding happenings - first dance, parent dances, tosses (bouquet & garter), cake cutting are all optional. If you don't eat cake you can do a champagne tower or other alternative. You can nix the tosses and have a longest married dance for all the married couples and give the bouquet to the couple married the longest or the couple that may have an anniversary. You can do a family dance instead of parent dances. There are plenty of options, so speak with your planner to determine the logistics and how alternatives can be scheduled into the timeline.

Since the couple ate dinner together and had their private moment alone, they were able to enter into the reception and be with their guests for the remainder of the night. They considered when they wanted to do their first dance (they did it later to open up the dance floor which was on the other side of the building). They cut their cake while guests were still seated at the dinner tables and they were able to go around to each of the tables during dinner to great all of their guests. Dancing began after toasts on the dance floor.

The Details Are Important

Considering all the details is important and it takes time. Take the time to decide what is important to you both for the wedding day and celebrating with your family and friends. Use your planner as a resource to consider all the options and take opportunities to be creative. In the end, I hope you have a beautiful wedding day. Have fun planning and creating your wedding day timeline!

Feel free to schedule a consultation with me to talk about your wedding day timeline.

Kathryne with the newlyweds at the Torpedo Factory; wedding day timeline

4.15.23 Wedding Vendors:

Caterer | Classic Catering

DJ | Washington Talent Agency DJ Chris Laich

Hotel | The Alexandrian Hotel Old Town Alexandria, VA

Rentals | Party Rental Ltd

Transportation | King Street Trolley

Videographer | FRNF Media

5 gold stars, google review, wedding day timeline

This wedding has been featured on Brides & Weddings Of Northern Virginia.

grace and virtue events logo DC Wedding Planner, wedding day timeline

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