Tessa Lyn Brand is a California-based wedding planner and owner of Tessa Lyn Events. She has planned over 180 weddings.
“If you are doing father-daughter and mother-son dances I recommend doing them immediately after the toasts, and then transition into an open dance floor. After the last official dance, switch to a high-energy music and have your band or DJ encourage everyone to join you on the dance floor,” says Brand.
If you’re opting for a classic wedding day timeline, the general running order of a winter wedding will go much like a summer one, but you do need to chat to your photographer about daylight hours, and make sure you get your photos in before it gets dark (which is as early as 4pm in December). You may decide to do a first look before your ceremony, so you can get some pics in then, but if not, have your ceremony early so you leave yourself lots of time for snaps! Again, change this timeline up slightly if you’ve much of a drive between the ceremony and the reception venues.
7:45pm Cut the cake
CAN WE TAKE OUR PORTRAITS AFTER THE CEREMONY INSTEAD?
Afternoon weddings are a happy medium, and they can work especially well for all-outdoor events. Not only do you not have to get up super early, but afternoon weddings still leave enough time for just the two of you to go out for dinner. (Seriously, if your reception is a meal other than dinner, and you’re not planning on hanging out with your guests later, please build room in your budget to take yourselves out to a lovely meal somewhere.) This is also a very kid-friendly wedding timeline, which may be important to you if there are lots of small people in your life:
There are going to be some little (but important) details that you may forget to include in your wedding timeline—including eating breakfast (super-important!), signing the marriage license, and more. Your wedding planner or venue event manager should know what these are and can help you schedule them in, but make sure that your schedule allows for lots of cushion time. If there’s any form of transportation involved (to the ceremony or from the ceremony to the reception), be sure to allow at least a 15-minute buffer in case there’s unexpected traffic or other delays. You’ll be glad you planned ahead!
3:00 p.m. Ceremony ends
10:00 a.m. Setup for hair appointments