Planning your Wedding Day Timings
As if there isn’t enough to think about when it comes to preparing for your wedding day, such as where you will get married, who you will invite, picking your outfits! The list goes on! But one thing people don’t often consider is the big day itself and how that will work in terms of events, and timings to ensure it all runs smoothly and stress-free.
As we are fast approaching a very busy wedding season at The Manor House Hotel (our favourite time of year) We thought it would be great to put some of the top tips we have learnt over the years and the countless weddings we have been delighted to help organise that ensures your big day runs smoothly! It’s all part of the service.
We don’t expect you to know how the schedule works or how long to allow for timings of each event, after all, it’s not every day you get married! But you are not alone and we are here to help.
Wedding Day Timings
This is definitely not a ‘one size fits all’ every wedding is unique and of course, there are always unexpected things that may arise throughout the day, however, we have put together a guide on what to expect and the timings of each event so you can feel at ease and prepared.
Glow up time! Bridal Preparation
By including enough prep time in your wedding-day schedule, you’ll arrive at the ceremony venue relaxed and ready to go, maybe even with time to spare! As you can imagine if hair and makeup run late, everything else can end up behind schedule for the rest of the day, so it’s particularly important to consider the timings of your bridal prep! But most importantly so you can enjoy these precious and intimate moments leading up to your ‘I do’s with your loved ones.
If you are having your hair or makeup artist come to you at the venue, it works well to have two stylists. One to work on the bridesmaids, while the other works with the bride. Or have the makeup artist work on the bridesmaids, while the hairstylist works on the bride to make the best use of the time. If you are travelling to a salon add on additional time for getting to and from the stylist.
Book your photographer to arrive one hour before the bride is ready to leave for the ceremony, to shoot those all-important getting-ready, and creative detail shots such as your gown hanging, jewellery laid out, and any other wedding accessories.
Allow yourself around 3-4 hours for yourself and the bridesmaids to get prepared, this will of course depend on the size of your bridal party, and how much assistance you will have on the day.
Let’s get Wed! The Ceremony
Your wedding day timings will very much depend on the type of ceremony you have, with church ceremonies taking longer (around an hour depending on the type of service chosen). A civil ceremony here at The Manor House Hotel usually takes around half an hour to 45 minutes.
Usually, the first to arrive at the ceremony room is the Groom, the best man and any ushers to greet guests as they arrive. Usually around 30-45 minutes prior to the ceremony.
The next to arrive is the guests, usually 30 minutes before the ceremony.
Then the mother of the bride, and bridal party before the entrance of the bride and the person walking her down the aisle.
You will likely spend some time with the photographer straight after the ceremony of you walking back down the aisle as a married couple, shots of family and friends and of course the confetti shot! We advise you to speak to your photographer to see how long they suggest you allow for this.
You have said ‘I do’ Now it’s on to the celebrations!
Get Merry and Mingle – The Wedding Reception
The reception is the perfect time to treat your guests to drinks, and even canapes depending on the time of day! In this time you and your new husband or wife can mingle with your guests, unwind with a drink or two and relax into the moment. Your photographer will likely also use this time to get some of your main wedding photos such as group shots. A great way to keep organised is to communicate to your photographer in advance the different portraits and group shots you definitely don’t want them to miss!
We would usually suggest allowing around 1-2 hours for the reception depending on whether you would like a shorter or longer reception! There are many options for longer receptions to keep your guests entertained, such as; canapes, platters, pianists, guitarists, singers! The list goes on, depending on your taste and style.
Seating & Speeches
Speeches can be before the wedding breakfast or after. We suggest allowing an 45 minutes for 3 speeches.
When seating guests it is a great idea to designate members of the bridal or grooms party to direct guests to their tables!
The size of your top table will impact this, however usually a speech of around no more than ten minutes per person is a nice amount of time.
Let’s Eat! The Wedding Breakfast
Depending on the type of wedding breakfast, course size and amount of guests, we should be able to give you a good idea of how long we feel your wedding breakfast service will last once you have decided on the above.
As a general rule of thumb, we find allowing around 2 hours for a 3-course meal is a good amount of time.
Party time! The Evening Reception
Now it’s time to party! Who wants to hear about timings at this point? Not us!
However, we will take you through some things to consider, ahead of you dancing the night away.
The first dance
Cutting of the Cake
Throwing the Bouquet
Greeting evening guests who didn’t attend in the day.
But most importantly, enjoy! And treasure each moment.
While these timings are based on a more traditional wedding, remember it is your day! You may want to do it totally differently and throw some traditions ‘out of the window’. So while this guide is here to help you plan your day ahead of time, your wedding is completely unique to you and your fiancee.
When you choose The Manor House Hotel as your wedding venue, which we hope you do! We will be on hand at every step of the way. No questions are too small, we understand it isn’t every day you get married! So our wedding experts will be here to help you ensure your day is perfect both at the planning stage and on the big day itself.
To find out more, get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org
To download our latest wedding brochure: click here
About us: The Manor House Hotel is a luxurious and elegant hotel set in beautiful countryside, and located on the Staffordshire, Cheshire border. With leisure facilities, fantastic event spaces and a stunning restaurant set in the 17th Century Farmhouse which is attached to the hotel. We are sure that, whether you are looking for an intimate wedding ceremony with your nearest and dearest or a lavish celebration in our Ballroom with a capacity for 150 guests, you will fall in love with our venue and have the most perfect wedding day.