What is a timeline?

If you are organising a wedding it can be exciting and overwhelming at the same time. Once you share the news of your pending nuptials, you should be ready to expect unsolicited advice and endless questions about everything from the color schemes to advice about the guest list. Combine that with the sheer amount of work that goes into wedding planning, and it's easy to worry about getting it all done on time. So don't worry! The key to hosting a good event is to stay organised.

That's when a well thought out wedding timeline is instrumental. It’s a well thought out checklist that covers everything that needs to be done at the right time.

It also provides the information in manageable sections, pointing out what needs to be done and when. Breaking up information in small tasks makes the entire wedding planning process seem more manageable.

If you have a event organiser or a wedding planner good on you. I have played for a lot of weddings where the bride & groom will take it upon themselves and rely on family & friends to help out on the day. So here are some key things for you to consider when organising your timeline of the day.

Ceremony Start Time: Typically, guests will start arriving at a wedding about half an hour before the invitation time. For example, if you have 4:00pm on the invitation, you can expect people to begin arriving at 3:30pm. Be sure to have the venue open and music playing when the first guests arrive.

You'll also inevitably have some stragglers that will arrive a few minutes late. So, plan on starting the processional 10 to 15 minutes after the invitation time. Talk to the officiant to find out how long the ceremony will last. Account for about five minutes in the timeline for the wedding party to exit once it's over.

Welcome toast:

Cocktails: Drinks can last for about an hour, which will give the bride & groom a chance to take last-minute photographs and have a little time together. If you're having the ceremony and reception at two locations, it also gives people a chance to get to the second destination.

Entrance: Do you have a song in mind for the entrance.

First dance: If you have a particular song please send me a clip of the actual song, artist version.

Father/daughter dance:

Mother/son dance:


Dinner: Do you want to have any particular type of background music?

Toasts: Are you in need of any corded/ cordless microphone.

Guests invited to dance: Do you want to start the evening with a slow or fast song?

Cake cutting: Is there a song you would like to be played?

Bouquet and garter tosses: Which are you intending having first? Have you decided on a song?

Farewell: If you're doing a sparkler farewell, for example, have guests start lining up about 10 minutes before you plan to exit.