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Simple Wedding Itinerary: A Stress-Free Guide to Planning Your Big Day

Wedding planning can be overwhelming, but your big day shouldn't be filled with stress. To help you navigate the wedding process smoothly, we've created this simple wedding itinerary. Use it as a resource to plan...

Wedding planning can be overwhelming, but your big day shouldn't be filled with stress. To help you navigate the wedding process smoothly, we've created this simple wedding itinerary. Use it as a resource to plan your wedding day, ensuring everyone is on the same page and minimizing any potential hiccups. This itinerary can be customized to reflect your unique style and preferences, making your wedding day truly memorable and stress-free!

Wedding Itinerary: Morning-Of

Having a well-structured morning-of wedding day itinerary sets the tone for the rest of the day. Here's what you should consider when creating your timeline:

  • Breakfast with your bridesmaids: Don't forget to eat! Schedule an informal brunch with your bridesmaids to start the day right and ensure you have the energy you need. A relaxed meal will help you maintain a stress-free mindset throughout the day.

  • Hair and makeup: Arrange for your hair and makeup to be done early on. This allows sufficient time for these preparations and ensures you're ready before getting dressed. Consider the time required for your bridesmaids' hair and makeup as well.

  • Getting-ready festivities: Capture precious moments by having a photographer document the "getting ready" process. This includes photos of your dress, rings, and shoes. Embrace the emotions and have some tissues handy for any teary-eyed family members or friends!

wedding day timeline: getting ready Photo by Lahzeh Photography

  • First look photos: If you want to have a special moment with your spouse-to-be before the ceremony, plan for a 15-30 minute session. This can be a magical experience, especially if you decide to exchange gifts.

  • Wedding photos: Discuss with your photographer the specific shots you desire and whether you prefer to take bridal party photos before or after the ceremony. Each posed shot typically takes 2-3 minutes, so consider this when planning your wedding itinerary. Collaborate with your photographer to determine the best approach for your special day.

wedding day timeline: wedding photos

Wedding Itinerary: The Ceremony

The ceremony is the heart of your wedding day and sets the stage for your lifelong commitment. Here's a typical format for a wedding ceremony:

  • Procession: The groomsmen and groom enter, followed by the bridesmaids, ringbearer, and flower girl. Finally, the bride, escorted by her father, makes her grand entrance.

  • Opening remarks: The wedding officiant welcomes everyone and addresses the couple. Depending on your religious traditions, they may share a short sermon or message about love and marriage.

  • Readings and vows: Incorporate special readings or music into your ceremony. This is also the moment for you to exchange vows, whether traditional or self-written.

  • Unity candle or symbolic element: If you plan to include a unity candle or another symbolic element, this typically follows the vows. It's a beautiful way to represent the joining of your lives.

  • Ring exchange: The officiant or groom retrieves the rings, symbolizing the commitment you're making to each other.

  • Pronouncement of marriage: The officiant officially pronounces you husband and wife, and it's time for your first kiss as a married couple!

wedding day timeline: the ceremony Photo by Render Photography

  • Closing remarks: The officiant concludes the ceremony with final words, often introducing the newly-married couple. Choose how you want to be introduced and make it a memorable moment.

  • Recession: You and your spouse leave the ceremony, hand in hand, followed by the bridal party. It's a joyous moment!

  • Receiving line: Consider having a receiving line to greet your guests after the ceremony. Allocate 12-15 minutes for 100 guests or 20 minutes for 150 guests. If you have more guests, visiting each table during the reception might be a better option.

Wedding Itinerary: The Reception

The reception is where the celebration truly begins. Careful planning ensures a smooth and enjoyable event for you and your guests. Consider the following format for your reception:

  • Cocktail hour: Let your guests mingle and enjoy drinks and hors d'oeuvres before the formal reception begins. This creates a warm and festive atmosphere while providing you with an opportunity for additional wedding portraits.

  • Wedding photos: If you didn't take wedding photos before the ceremony, now is the time to capture those special moments. Depending on your preferences, you can have an intimate session with just the two of you or include family and the bridal party. Discuss the options with your photographer to determine the best approach.

  • Introduction of the wedding party and newlyweds: The emcee announces the bridal party as they make their entrance into the reception hall. Finally, the newlyweds are introduced and take their place on the dance floor.

  • Couple's first dance: Kick-off the reception with a captivating first dance. Alternatively, you can choose to save the first dance for after the meal and toasts.

wedding day timeline: reception Photo by Rochelle Louise Photography

  • Meal: Ensure your guests are well-fed and satisfied by serving the meal. Typically, the head table is served first, followed by the guests.

  • Toasts and speeches: Take a moment for heartfelt speeches from the maid of honor, best man, parents, and anyone else close to you. This allows your guests to enjoy their meal while listening to touching anecdotes and well wishes.

  • Parent-child dances: Continue the emotional moments with special dances between the bride and her father and the groom and his mother. Choose meaningful songs that reflect your relationships.

  • Dancing: Open the dance floor and let the party begin! Celebrate your marriage with your loved ones through music and dancing.

  • Bouquet and garter toss: Take a break from dancing for the bouquet and garter toss, if you opt to include them. Additionally, your DJ may have other fun dances planned to keep the energy high throughout the night.

  • Cake cutting: The cake cutting ceremony is a sweet tradition and often serves as a signal to guests that the reception is winding down. Time this event accordingly.

  • Farewells: As the evening comes to an end, take the time to say farewell to your guests. Dance a little more, greet those you may have missed, and enjoy the final moments of your special day.

  • The getaway: Make a grand exit surrounded by your loved ones. Capture stunning photos as you leave for your honeymoon, accompanied by guests blowing bubbles or holding sparklers.

The (Free!) Ultimate Wedding Day Checklist

Planning your wedding day itinerary is just one aspect of the overall preparation. Fortunately, Kennedy Blue offers a free download of the ultimate wedding day checklist. This DIY wedding planning binder ensures you cover all the necessary tasks from your engagement to the wedding day. Keep your wedding planning stress-free with this helpful timeline and calendar. The binder serves as a valuable reference for everyone involved, eliminating the need for stressful questions. Make your wedding day truly unique by adding, swapping, or rearranging elements according to your preferences.

Planning a wedding itinerary can seem daunting, but with careful organization and attention to detail, you can create a memorable and stress-free day. Enjoy the process, and most importantly, have fun!