Catholic Wedding Timeline
Planning your wedding can be time consuming, so here is a guide to a Catholic wedding timeline that will help you make the arrangements, so take a deep breath and relax!
When the big day finally arrives, there is going to be a lot of excitement! With so many activities and events, it is going to be impossible to be everywhere at the same time, and as the bride, you can’t be expected to. So having a timeline in place will help ensure that your wedding day goes as smoothly as possible. Your timeline of wedding day events should be handed out to your bridal party, vendors and parents so that they all can help assist in making sure everything is going according to plan and so you can stress less and enjoy more. Here you find wedding day timeline templates for various types of weddings that you can use as a reference to create your own timeline.
Morning weddings use to be the norm when it came to getting married, and it is slowly making a favorable come back since morning weddings can save the bride a groom a bundle in their venue and ceremony budgets. This timeline gives you a basic breakdown of morning weddings where the guests begin to arrive around 10 am at the ceremony and the reception ends around 3 pm.
6 am - Wake up and get some breakfast! You will want to be fueled for the early start.
6:30 am - Hair and makeup, you want to give at least 2 hours for this.
8:30 am - Vendors should be arriving at the ceremony/reception site to begin setup.
9 am - If you are doing fist look photos this is when they should take place.
9:30 am - Family photos.
10 am - Guests should have all arrived.
10:15 am - Begin the ceremony.
10:45 am - Ceremony ends.
11 am - Cocktail hour and additional family and bridal party photos.
12 pm - Everyone takes their seats for Brunch.
12:15 pm - Toasts.
1 pm - First Dance.
1:30 pm - Cake cutting and serve dessert.
1:45 pm - Dancing commences and bride and groom begin the first dance.
2:45 pm - Couple makes their departure.
3 pm - Guests depart.
3:15 pm - Vendors begin to breakdown and cleanup begins.
4 pm - All vendors and clean-up crew should be done and out of the space.
If you are having an outdoor wedding, then you will benefit a great deal by having an early afternoon ceremony. This wedding day timeline template is perfect for weddings that are kid friendly as well and is based on the ceremony and reception being held at the same location.
9 am - Start hair and makeup.
9:30 am - Your photographer should arrive to take getting ready photos.
10 am - Vendors should be arriving to set up.
11:30 am - Couples first look portraits.
12 pm - Family portraits.
12:30 pm - Guest should start arriving.
1:15 pm - Begin Ceremony.
1:45 pm - Ceremony Ends.
2 pm - Cocktail Hour begins, more family photos and bridal party photos.
2:45 pm - Guests begin to take their seats for a meal.
3 pm - Toasts.
3:45 pm - First Dance.
5 pm - Cake cutting serve desert.
6 pm - Couple Departs.
6:15 pm - Guests depart.
6:30 pm - Vendors begin break down and clean up begins.
7:30 pm - All vendors and clean-up crew should be done and out.
Late afternoon weddings are the perfect time for those who don’t want to rise too early or stay up too late. This timeline can be suitable for kid friendly wedding and can easily be adjusted to fit your wedding day events.
11:30 pm - Begin hair and make-up.
12 pm - Don’t forget to eat a light lunch.
1 pm - Vendors should be arriving to set-up.
2 pm - First look photo and bridal party photos.
2:30 pm - Bride and groom arrive at the location.
3 pm - Guest should have all arrived for the ceremony.
3:15 pm - Begin ceremony.
3:45 pm - Ceremony ends.
4 pm - Begin cocktail hour.
5 pm - Guests take their seats for an early dinner.
5:30 pm -Toasts.
6:30 pm - Cut cake and serve dessert.
6:45 pm - First dance.
8 pm - Couple Departs.
8:15 pm - Guests depart.
8:30 pm - Vendors begin break down and clean-up begins.
9:30 pm - All vendors and clean-up should be done and out.
Evening weddings are among the most popular times for a wedding but are not really the most kid-friendly affairs since you can't include activities for them to keep them occupied. The best part about evening weddings is you get enough sleep in on the big day! This wedding day timeline template serves as a great guideline on how the activities should unfold.
1 pm - Start hair and makeup.
4:30 pm - Vendors should be arriving to set up.
5:30 pm - Couple should arrive.
6 pm - All guest should be seated.
6:15 pm - Begin ceremony.
6:45 pm - Ceremony ends.
7 pm - Cocktail hour begins.
8 pm - Guest should take their seats for dinner.
8:30 pm - Toasts.
9:30 pm - Cake cutting and serve deserts.
9:45 pm - First dance followed by other special dances.
11 pm - Couple departs.
11:15 pm - Guests depart.
11:30 pm - Vendors begin to breakdown and clean-up begins.
12:30 am - Vendors and clean-up crews should be done and out.
Cocktail weddings can be held at any time of the day but are most commonly held in the later hours of the day after dinner. They tend to be shorter since you can forgo the formal sit down dinner. This can be a perfect fit for any size wedding but not recommended for couples who plan on having kids in attendance. This timeline is based on an evening cocktail party with the ceremony and reception being held in the same place.
4 pm - Eat an early dinner.
4:30 pm - Hair and make-up should begin.
6 pm - Vendors should be arriving to set up.
6:45 pm - First look photos and bridal party photos.
7:30 pm - Bride and groom arrive for the ceremony.
8 pm - Guest should have all arrived for the ceremony.
8:15 pm - Ceremony begins.
8:45 pm - Ceremony ends and guest begin to move to the reception area.
9 pm - Begin the passed hors d’oeuvres or open food station.
9:30 pm - Toasts.
10 pm - First dance.
10:45 pm - Cake cutting and deserts are served.
11:45 pm - Couple Departs.
Midnight - Guests depart.
12:15 am - Vendors begin to breakdown and clean-up begins.
1 am - Vendors and clean-up crew are done and out.
If your ceremony and reception are in two different locations, then this is the Wedding day timeline template, you will want to make your own. You will need to adjust it accordingly to make sure you have enough travel time planned in for you, your bridal party and your guest to go from location to location. Double check to make sure your wedding day isn’t coinciding with a major event in your area, like a concert or sports game, which will have an impact on the traffic for that day.
12 pm - Begin hair and makeup.
3 pm - Vendors should be arriving to set up.
3:30 pm - Couple should have arrived at ceremony location.
3:45 pm - All guest should have arrived for the ceremony.
4 pm - Ceremony begin.
4:45 pm - Ceremony ends.
5 pm - Guest make their way to the reception as the bride, groom, bridal party and sometimes parents of the couple, take part in the post-ceremony pictures.
5:30 pm - Cocktail hour begins. The start time will depend on how far the ceremony location is to the reception location.
6:15 pm - Guest start to take their seats for dinner.
6:30 pm - Newlyweds are announced. Speeches and toast will begin as dinner is being served
8 pm - First dance and other special dances take place.
8:45 pm - Cake cutting and desert is served.
9:30 pm - Couples departs.
9:45 pm - Guests depart.
10 pm - Vendors begin to breakdown and clean-up begins.
11 pm - Vendors and clean-up crew should be done and out.