Day-of-Wedding Timeline

What to Consider for Day-of Events

There are a lot of things to consider when putting together you day of timeline. To make things smoother, have your venue send over what they see happening first. This will save you from having to do things twice. Below are some other considerations that need to be a priority.

💍 Here Comes the Bride!

What time do you expect your guests to arrive for your ceremony? Remember, there will always be those who arrive late. We recommend allowing 30 mins for your guests to arrive before your ceremony is set to start.

ie: If ceremony is at 5:30pm, we recommend putting 5:00pm on your RSVPs.

Open Bar Dude...

No, weddings are not about the alcohol but your timeline maybe dependent on your allowed bar package.

For example, if you have a 4-hour bar package, 1 hour is going to be for cocktails and the other 3 hours will be for during dancing after dinner.

Based on the previous example with the ceremony starting at 5:30pm…

Your cocktail hour will start at 6:00pm and go until 7:00pm in which the DJ will make an announcement (around 6:50pm) for guests to take their seats before lining up the wedding party.

The bar will then reopen towards the end of dinner around 8:30pm and remain open until 11:30pm. The reception will then end at midnight in this example.

Concorde Banquets Kildeer Wedding

No One Wants a "Hangry" Bride!

Next is your dinner. Sometimes venues start serving as soon as your wedding party is introduced. Most in the Chicago area allow 30 minutes between wedding party intros and dinner. This is the time to get cake cutting, toasts, and blessing done so your Maid of Honor can finally breathe after getting her fear of public speaking over with. To her calm her nerves you can share our Toasting Tips video come wedding time!

First Dances & Group Photo

Once dinner has concluded it’s time for the first dances. The order of these dances are as follows.

  1. First Dance (this is sometimes done before dinner)
  2. Father Daughter Dance (ladies first!)
  3. Mother Son Dance

After these are done, there is one more important event that needs to happen… THE GROUP SHOT! Yes, you need to get one of these at your wedding because it maybe the only time you get all your guests in one photo. Plus, how can you not want a photo like these?

Makray Wedding DJ
Venuti's Wedding DJ

Bouquet and Garter Toss

Let’s be honest, 60% of our weddings opt-out of the bouquet and garter toss but if you are still looking for the moment to toss your bouquet at your Maid of Honor, well get it done!

We like getting our tosses done about 30 minutes into dancing to give your guests a chance to get the blood pumping on the dance floor. It is very important you don’t have your guests waiting too long to get dancing going, as you don’t want them getting sleepy. We also want to make sure it’s not too late so your photographer misses the shot because the left before you did it.

Pro Tip: If you want to do something different, we can also fill 40 balloons, put the garter in one of them, and have the single men pop the balloons until they find the garter. Just an option but it’s different!

Indigo Hotel Wedding

The Grand Finale

After the party is just about over, your DJ has to remind your guests why they are there. We like to get all the guests around you and your spouse for the last song of the evening before turning up one last time.

If you are wanting to take it one step further, check out our Experience Package. The owner of Amp, Ken Murphy does something that you will never see at another wedding. Check out the video for a little teaser of what to expect for the Ken Murphy Grand Finale that will bring you to tears in one song.

99% of Our Timelines Look Like This

(but we cater the timeline to you)

5:15   – Guests arrive for Ceremony (at hall if applicable)

5:30   – Ceremony Starts at banquet hall (if applicable)

6:00   – Cocktail Hour begins

6:50   – DJ lines up Wedding Party/Guests take their seats

7:00   – DJ introduces the Bridal Party

7:05   – Cake Cutting/Freeze Frame Table Shots

7:10   – Best man/Maid of Honor Speeches

7:25   – Blessing/Prayer

7:30   – Dinner Begins

8:40   – Dinner Ends

8:50   – Dessert is Served/Newlywed Game takes place

9:00   – First Dances Begin

9:10   – Anniversary Dance with married couples

9:15   – Dancing begins for all guests

9:45   – Bouquet and Garter Toss

9:50   – Dancing Continues

12:00 – Reception Ends (this comes fast, enjoy every minute!)

How Do We Know This Works?

We learned all of this from our 1000+ events since we opened in 2004. During this time we have used all kinds of timeline layouts but this has been proven to be smoothest time and time again. Being able to adapt to your specific needs is also very important and not overlooked. Together, we will build a timeline that will be catered to you with our guidance. Consider this a starting point to planning your perfect day.

So if you are still looking for your wedding entertainment, please reach out to us by clicking the button below. We would love to make your day special! Together, let’s create an experience catered to you!

Photo Credit