Timeline Tips from Maui Love!

So you’re getting married and need some advice on how to ensure your day flows seamlessly. Look no further, as we will go over all things to consider when creating your wedding day timeline!

First, compose a list of all the formalities you’d like to incorporate throughout the day (i.e. first look, parent dances, bouquet/garter toss, cake cutting, send-off, etc.). Then determine what is important for your media team to capture. Lastly, look up the sunset time for your wedding day. As funny as it seems, the sunset will determine the timing of your ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception. Your media team will want to get photos during sunset. Typically, an hour before the sun sets is golden hour. This is the best time to begin your romantic sunset photos.

Once you’ve completed these steps, you’ll be able to piece together your timeline!

You will first choose your ceremony time. Normally, ceremonies are no longer than 20-25 minutes long. Therefore, it would be safe to block off 30 minutes just in case.

For cocktail hour, it is usually an hour long. You will not want to exceed more than an hour and a half. Some things to think about:

  • Do you want to enjoy cocktail hour?
  • Are you OK with skipping the entire cocktail hour for photos (family photos, wedding party photos, and romantic photos)?
  • Would you be opposed to allowing your guests to begin dinner service while you’re taking photos? This works great if you have a large party and are offering either a buffet or plated dinner.

If you’d like to enjoy half of the cocktail hour, you may want to consider doing family photos and wedding party photos prior to the ceremony. 20-25 minutes should be sufficient for family and wedding party photos. However, this could vary based on how large your family and wedding party is.

For your reception, you will want to decide if you’re doing the following formalities:

  • Wedding party grand entrance
  • Newlywed grand entrance
  • Welcome speech/blessing of food
  • First dance
  • Parent dances
  • Speeches and toast
  • Thank you speech
  • Cake cutting
  • Garter/Bouquet toss
  • Grand exit

Once you’ve decided on the program, you will then want to allot about 5 minutes for each event. Pro tip, try not to have too many speeches (2-4 speeches) and encourage those giving speeches not to exceed 5 minutes each.

End the program with open dancing (1.5 – 2 hours) and choose a fun song to get everyone on the dance floor!



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