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Why Timing is Everything

Photos, getting hitched, getting dressed, getting undressed, eating, drinking, merriment, embarrassment… there’s an awful lot of activity to cram into your wedding day. So for that reason we’ve got timing hints from the professionals that see it all every day, to give guests and newlyweds alike the time of their lives.

The Preparation

Ask your make up artist and hair dresser (indeed if you’re deciding not to DIY) how long it’ll take to get you wedding-ready. Similarly, consider if any of your bridal party are getting the professional treatment too. As a general rule, you should leave a couple of hours for the bride’s hair and makeup, with between 45 – 60 minutes for each member of the bridal party.

Then of course there’s the dress! Katrina Otter suggests leaving at least 30 minutes for putting on the dress. It is the last one you’ll ever wear as a single lady after all!

And leave a little time to eat something too, and of course, sip a glass of champagne.

Additionally, If the bridal party does want to do their own hair and makeup, ask them how long it will take... and then double it. And then leave another hour – and that there is the time you need to be completely stress free with prep!

The Ceremony

Depending on the type of ceremony you are having, this can last between 20 – 90 minutes. And as for arrivals, the groom, best man and ushers should arrive 45 minutes before, the guests 30 minutes before, the groom’s parents 15 minutes before, the mother of the bride and bridesmaid’s 10 minutes before and finally, the bride and father of the bride 5 minutes before. Just be sure to check your route… heavy traffic will be less than appreciated from an anxious bride and groom!

The Reception

Between 90 minutes and 2 hours is ideal for the drinks reception, allowing ample time for mingling and plenty of photo ops. Get some shots planned out from the photographer in advance if you can, and note the photo combinations you’d like so you don’t miss any. Your bridesmaid’s might be handy here for rounding everybody up too.

The Party

It can often get a little messy at this point in the evening and there’s so much variance that can occur. However leaving 30 minutes to get from the drinks reception to the evening meal should be enough. Speeches should be 10 minutes each, and the meal around 2 hours for 3 courses.

And with all this talk of time, let us not forget that the memories (and the sleep-in the next day) – are timeless.

If you’re looking for more ideas or like what you read – these timings were taken from the fabulous Coco Wedding Venues blog.