Wedding Ceremony Timetable
Planning a timetable to follow for your wedding day must be customized to each individual situation. These guidelines below assume a church wedding…so they are just that, guidelines. If you are having a non-denominational wedding at an outdoor or indoor facility those items that don’t pertain are easily changed. The timetable pretty much remains the same.
Remember it’s your day. Whatever you choose to do is right…right for you…and in the end…that’s all that really matters.
Two and a half to three hours prior to ceremony
The bride, her mother, and attendants arrive and begin putting on their makeup, curling their hair (if not previously done by a professional salon) and dressing. This is expected to take about one hour, leaving the rest of the time for photos.
Two hours prior to ceremony
The florist should arrive with any flowers needed…bouquets, corsages, boutonniere’s, etc. The groom, his parents, and attendants will arrive and pin on their flowers. The brides father should arrive at this time if he didn’t come earlier with the bride and her mother. All flowers must be pinned on each member at this time. Photographs will also begin. These are especially nice as guest arrive for the bride and groom to see later.
One hour prior to the ceremony
Pre-wedding photos should be completed. The bride and her attendants will take this time to freshen makeup, hair, and just take a quick breather. Snack trays are a great idea in the dressing area, make sure to include items that will not stain or mark clothing. Fresh vegetable trays, forget the ranch dressing, are a great idea.
Forty-five minutes prior to the ceremony
The ushers need to make sure they know the seating arrangements and be available for early arrivers. The best man should make sure that the marriage license has been given to the person performing the ceremony.
Thirty minutes prior to the ceremony
The prelude music begins as the ushers escort guests to seats. (If you are having an outdoor wedding…keep the guest indoor until just prior to the bride showing up.) It’s still nice to have music playing while these guest are waiting indoor.
Ten minutes prior to the ceremony
Time for the guest to be seated outdoor. This is also a good time for a final “once over” for the wedding participants.
Five minutes prior to the ceremony
The head usher will escort the groom’s mother to her seat. The groom’s father follows a few feet behind the usher, then takes his seat beside his wife. Many also choose for the groom to usher his mom, or a brother, whether he is head usher or not. Of course, it’s up to you, I’ve also seen the groom’s mother and father walk together.
After they are seated, the brides mother is escorted to her seat. If the ushers are also part of the wedding party, they will now take their place with the wedding party. (Up front if not walking the bridesmaids, with the bridesmaids if walking with them down the aisle)
The minister, groom and best man step into their places at the front.
The wedding party enters, either as couples or bridesmaids only, if the groomsmen took their place at the front with the groom and best man.
The maid of honor follows behind the bridesmaids, and the flower girl and ring bearer behind her. As everyone takes their places at the front of the church, the music will change to the music chosen for the bride and her father’s entrance.
Everyone will rise in honor of the bride.