Photography by Craig Mitchelldyer www.craigmitchelldyer.com 503.513.0550

There are a few secrets to a successful wedding. Organisation is one of these. Knowing when what is happening gives you, as the bridal couple, peace of mind and makes guests feel informed and comfortable. Here is a suggested outline for the order of events on the big day (this is for a wedding scheduled to begin at 15h00):

10h30 – Bride and bridal party get their hair done (wear zip-up or button-up tops so that you do not need to pull your clothing over your hair)

12h00 – Bride and bridal party have their make-up done (if one person is doing everyone’s make-up, allow more time)

13h00 – The bridal party should have a light lunch now that will not cause bloating or drowsiness

13h00 – An elected person delivers the flowers to the ceremony venue and the final bits of decorating are completed

13h15 – Photographer arrives to capture the bride’s preparation process

13h15 – The bride and bridesmaids begin getting dressed

13h45 – The groom, best man and groomsmen begin getting dressed

14h00 – The officiant / marriage officer, ushers and musicians arrive at the venue in which the ceremony will be conducted

14h15 – Begin playing prelude music as the guests are likely to start arriving from now on

14h20 – The bridal transport arrives to collect the bride and her party

14h30 – The groom, best man and groomsmen arrive at the ceremony venue

14h30 – The videographer arrives and sets up his or her equipment so that it is ready to capture the parents and bridal party

14h35 – The mother of the bride, flower girl, ring bearer and bridesmaids leave the preparation venue and head for the ceremony venue

14h40 – The bride and the person that will be giving her away (usually her father) leave the preparation venue for the ceremony venue

14h50 – The mother of the bride arrives at the venue at which the ceremony will be held

14h50 – The mother of the groom is now escorted to her seat

14h55 – the bride and the person giving her away arrive at the ceremony venue

14h55 – The groom, best man and groomsmen stand up and await the bride in their position at the end of the aisle

14h57 – The mother of the bride is escorted down the aisle to her seat

15h00 – The music for the bride’s entrance begins and the bridesmaids, flower girl, maid of honour and bride walk down the aisle

15h05 – The ceremony begins

15h45 – The ceremony ends

15h50 – The receiving line is formed

16h00 – The caterers arrive at the reception venue and make the final preparations for guest arrivals

16h30 – The bridal party go for their official photo shoot

17h30 – Cocktails and snacks are served to the guests arriving at the reception venue. Background music begins now

18h00 – The bride and groom arrive at the reception venue and form a line for guests to meet and greet them

18h30 – The entertainment arrives at the reception venue

18h40 – The Master of Ceremonies (MC) announces the new married couple

18h45 – Dinner is served and enjoyed

19h30 – Speeches begin and toasts are made

19h45 – Dessert is served

20h00 – The First Dance

20h00 – The bride and groom cut the wedding cake

22h00 – The tossing of the bouquet and the garter

23h00 – The bride and groom have their last dance to bid farewell to their family and friends

23h15 – The bride and groom leave the reception venue

00h00 – The musicians play their last number and begin packing up

Obviously, the times can change according to the time of day your wedding will be held and the time you want to leave between the ceremony and reception. Some bridal couples prefer to have the speeches before any of the food is served, while others prefer it after the main meal so that guests are not hungry.

Photo Credit: www.myweddingdance.co.uk

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