10 essential wedding day timing tips to ensure your day is stress free!

Along with the classic advice to ‘do it your way’, one of the things I hear most from brides and grooms after the wedding is that the whole day goes by so fast! It’s so important to find a few quiet moments together with your new wife or husband on the day. You’d think that would be easy… but as experienced wedding photographer Sean Gannon says, “everything takes longer than you expect on your wedding day“!

photo credit Energy Photographic Surrey (1)

Sean has written a fantastic article about wedding day timings and I’m ever so pleased I can share extracts of it with you here today.

It’s great to be able to share Sean’s advice from his experience of over 200 weddings, and I hope you find these wedding day timing tips really useful. My favourite part? Sean’s sample timings include this gem: “12.21 go to the loo. It might be the last chance you get for a while!

photo credit Energy Photographic Surrey (2)

10 Essential Wedding Day Timing Tips

This is an extract from Sean’s article – to see the full piece please click wedding day timing tips

photo credit Energy Photographic Surrey (3)

After photographing over 200 weddings, I have put together some help and tips on planning your wedding day covering all the key elements. Don’t let all the info in the article worry you. It’s just a guide to help you have a bit of extra time on your special day. One thing to bear in mind is that everything takes longer than you expect on your wedding day!

  1. Whatever time you think it might take to get into your dress, double it! Corseted dresses often need to be tightened twice and no one can ever figure out what to do with the spare ribbon.
  2. Be ready 20- 30 minutes before you need to leave. This will give you time with the family and friends, a chance to make any adjustments of your dress or make up and to get some fantastic images. If you are not rushed at this stage, you may well be much calmer getting to the ceremony.
  3. I have seen fathers of the bride driving 50 mile round trips because they assumed that there was a shirt in the suit bag for them! Check you have cufflinks, ties and shoes as well as suits.
  4. Ceremonies can last from 6 minutes to 90+! But one thing that is common is that they rarely start on time! See Sean’s average timings for different kinds of ceremonies on his wedding photography blog post.
  5. After a wedding, everyone wants to congratulate you! Lots of hugs, kisses, etc. this is a fantastic part of your day. Think about factoring in a bit of time if this happens.
  6. After the ceremony is a lovely time to mingle with family and guests and enjoy the afternoon. If I were to say that there should be one part of the day to allocate time to it would be this. I would recommend at least 2 hours.
  7. Venues also normally call about 15 minutes before the wedding breakfast is scheduled to start. This can mean loosing 20 – 30 minutes from the time you have allocated.
  8. Speeches are normally better after the wedding breakfast… an audience that is well fed and watered is a much, much more responsive one. I often ask a groom or best man how long their speeches are. The most common answer is ‘not long, only a few minutes’. This normally stretches to 15 or 20 minutes without realising it.
  9. Don’t have your first dance too early in summer. Time your first dance when it’s starting to get dark so guests stay in and hopefully join in the dancing.
  10. Read detailed sample timings as well as more wedding day timing tips at

photo credit Energy Photographic Surrey (4)

What do you think of these tips for planning your wedding day timings, and do you have any more to add? Whether you’re a bride or groom to be, or have had your wedding and are sharing your own “been there, done that” kind of tips, I’d love to hear from you!

Claire x

Thanks to Sean Gannon, Energy Photographic
photo credit Energy Photographic Surrey (6)

Claire Gould

Claire spends her days writing - either in beautiful calligraphy or online. She lives on the edge of the English Lake District only minutes away from the beach, where she loves to escape and unwind. Claire's calligraphy can be found at Claire launched the English Wedding Blog in November 2009 - it's been a top 10 UK wedding blog ever since, with a regional focus we hope you LOVE.



  • Prantl
    7 years ago

    Being ready half an hour before is one of the best tips I would say. That way you’re not rushing to go and you can make sure you have everything you’ll need, and look at you few times until you’re sure you’re exactly perfect.

  • Amy
    7 years ago

    What a useful article!
    We are 16 days away from our wedding day and everything is getting a bit real!
    Thanks for sharing this, I will be using it 🙂

    • Claire
      7 years ago

      Thanks for your lovely comment Amy and have an amazing wedding day xx

  • Louise Bjorling
    7 years ago

    Really good to read! Agree with you Sean, TIME is one thing that really disappears. “Where did time go?” or “This was the quickest day in my life” are some standard lines from couples. it’s good to always plan a bit of extra time for everything. Once any part of your day falls behind in schedule, then stress will suddenly be the strongest emotion – which definitely isn’t the most welcome feeling for your wedding day. x Louise

    • Claire
      7 years ago

      That’s a great point Louise – simple tips like Sean’s can help so much x

  • Julie Dawson
    7 years ago

    A great piece of advice. Everything does always take longer. Its much better to be calm and chilled than racing around. Am going to pop it on my facebook page to share.

    • Claire
      7 years ago

      Thanks for the share, Julie!
      C x

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