While every wedding is different, it can be helpful to have a list of events to consider when you’re creating your own wedding timeline. Of course you don’t need to include all of these events – I love personal weddings and I’ve written about wedding traditions to consider & wedding traditions to question. I always spend time with my couples, getting to know them, understanding what’s important to them and helping them build a bespoke wedding timeline. But here I’m sharing a wedding timeline template for you to use as a basis, adding or removing items to create your own wedding timings. 

wedding timeline planning

Example Wedding Timeline

Old Marylebone Town Hall wedding London

  • Hair & makeup artists arrive 
  • Photographer arrives – if you can, have your flowers, perfume, jewellery, outfit, shoes & one of your invitations ready to be photographed
  • Get dressed – in time for portraits before your photographer heads to the venue
  • Arrival time at venue – make sure to build in time for speaking to the registrar if you’re having a civil ceremony or for a first look if you’re planning to walk in together
  • Ceremony start & end time
  • Confetti – I’d recommend allowing at least 10minutes for this, unless you ask your guests to throw it as you are walking back up the aisle at the end of the ceremony
  • Travel to reception venue
  • Drinks reception
  • Group photographs – I’d recommend allowing at least 3minutes per group, and doing these at the start of the drinks reception where possible. This is especially true if you’d like a full group shot of everyone – in which case allow 10minutes to organise this
  • Couple photographs – depending on where you’d like to take these, ensure you build in time to travel to/from/between these locations – and allow at least 20minutes for the portraits themselves
  • Receiving line
  • Wedding breakfast
  • Speeches – if any of the people giving a speech are anxious about it, consider doing these before the meal or even spreading them out between courses
  • Evening guests arrive
  • Sunset wedding portraits – I always keep an eye on the weather and light, but aiming for 10minutes of portraits in the hour before sunset can let us create stunning golden hour portraits. As sunset changes a lot through the year, I recommend checking the sunset time for your wedding date and location
  • Cutting the cake
  • First dance

(You’ll find a photo version of this timeline at the end of the blog)

Top Tips for Wedding Planning

Mr and Mrs wedding timeline planning

Below I’ve pulled together all my top tips for wedding planning:

Wedding Photography relaxed first dances to match your personality

If you have any questions, if you’d like to talk to me about how I can capture your wedding day or if you have ideas for what you’d like me to cover next, please drop me a message – I’d love to hear from you.

Photo Version of Wedding Timeline

Natural wedding make up

Hair and makeup

Emmy London wedding shoes and blue veil

Photographer captures details

pembroke college wedding Cambridge

Get dressed

Essex wedding photographer

Individual portraits

wedding traditions to question first look photography

First look or arrive at venue

church wedding venue


Wedding guest list tips wedding party


bride and groom in horse and carriage

Travel to reception venue

Ditton Manor wedding outdoor celebration with music

Drinks reception

Bridesmaid and bestmen group photography

Group photos

woodland wedding portraits


pembroke college wedding Cambridge

Receiving line

Christmas wedding in Cambridge Clare College

Wedding breakfast

wedding speeches at Fennes


Lapstone Barn wedding

Evening guests arrive

Golden hour wedding photos

Sunset portraits

cutting the cake wedding photo

Cutting the cake

alternative wedding first dance wedding photography inspiration

First dance

If you’d like to see more of my wedding photography click here and if you’re planning your wedding, I’d love to talk to you about how I can tell the story of your wedding day – please send me a message.