The wedding day | This is what a wedding day is like

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The wedding day

An average wedding day has a long, extensive programme. It starts early in the morning and often ends late in the evening. Of course, you arrange the day's programme according to your wishes!

Wondering how this special day (usually) shapes up? In this article you can read about the general script of a wedding day.

Sample daily wedding schedule

  • 08:00 | Hair & make-up
  • 09:30 | Dress or suit
  • 10:00 | First Look
  • 10:30 | Photo shoot
  • 12:30 | Ceremony
  • 13:30 | Bubble blowing
  • 13:45 | Group photo of everyone
  • 14:00 | To wedding venue
  • 14:30 | Reception
  • 15:00 | Cutting the cake
  • 15:30 | Group photos
  • 16:15 | Rest / activities / speeches
  • 18:00 | Dinner
  • 20:00 | Exit
  • 20:30 | Arrival of evening guests
  • 21:00 | Entrance + Opening dance
  • 21:30 | Wedding party
  • 22:00 | Bouquet toss
  • 24:30 | Valve
  • 01:00 | End

Final preparations
( 2-3 hours )

Before you say yes to each other, the final preparations will be made. Remember: the wedding day is about love and fun, not stress! Therefore, get up on time to avoid rushing. This way, you can shower and have breakfast in peace.

Preparing the bride
( 2 hours )

On the wedding day, the bride gets ready in her home, her parents' house or in a separately booked (hotel) room. The bride is made up first, after which her hair be styled. Plan a good two hours for this to avoid rushing. If the bride applies her own make-up, it is advisable to take longer for this. This will avoid stress and leave room for a short break. Next, it is time to put on the dress. Do not underestimate this: also getting all the buttons buttoned, smoothing the skirt and putting on all the accessories can take quite some time.

Preparing groom's wedding day

Preparing the groom
( 30 minutes )

The groom enjoys a quieter morning. He gets ready (often) in a booked (hotel) room or at his parents' house. His hair is styled by himself. Then it's time to put on the suit and style it with any watches or other accessories. Voilà: ready for the next step of the wedding day!

Firstlook wedding day

The 'First look'
( 15 minutes )

Some couples choose not to see each other until the ceremony. In this case, that is the moment of the 'first look.' Other couples choose to have this moment on the wedding day before the ceremony. During this special moment, the bride and groom see each other for the first time, fully styled and ready to get married. It is a emotional moment that many couples have recorded by a wedding photographer.

The photo shoot
( 1.5 - 2 hours )

The photo shoot often takes place after the 'first look' moment, before the ceremony. Of course, you can arrange this as you wish and it can also take place after the ceremony. During the photo shoot, you go to your chosen photo location(s), where fun, memorable pictures will be shot by a professional wedding photographer.

After the shoot, you freshen up, eat something small and it's time for the official ceremony.

Wedding day ceremony

Ceremony
( 45 min - 1 hour )

The time has finally come! Your love is officially recorded at this moment. In the presence of family, the bride walks to the altar, where the groom awaits her. Here, the vows laid out. These can be self-written, or existing. After this, under the guidance of the master of ceremonies, you will give each other your wholehearted 'yes'. Finally, you lovingly slide the wedding rings on each other's finger. The circle is now officially complete! You give each other a kiss and walk out of the room.

Ceremony abandoned
( 15 minutes )

Outside, you will be awaited by your acquaintances, friends and family. According to tradition, guests throw rice at this time; the symbol of love, fertility and happiness. Nowadays, many couples skip this tradition because it is not allowed to throw it on the wedding day. Instead of rice, confetti or flower petals are sprinkled.

Wedding Day Master of Ceremonies

Reception
( 2.5 - 3 hours )

Finally, it is time for delicious drinks and congratulations from friends and family. How this reception shapes up is entirely up to you. It can take place in the ballroom, or at another location.

Bohemian wedding cake

Cutting the cake
( 15 minutes )

As people are often full after dinner, many couples choose to have the cake during the reception. This will prevent hungry bellies in the afternoon as well as large pieces of leftover cake in the evening.

Wedding Day Activities
( 2 hours )

Of course, having drinks and chatting is a fun activity in itself. Other activities are therefore not necessary. Nevertheless, you can choose to schedule additional activities during the reception. Think about preparing board games or colouring pages for the children, or opt for bigger Dutch games that guests can play with each other on the wedding day. It's completely up to you!

group photo frame wedding

Group photos
( 45 minutes )

The reception is an ideal time for fun group photos with family, friends and loved ones. Of course, this can continue on the wedding day during the party.

Speeches
( 10 - 30 minutes )

Often, friends and family members have speeches, acts or songs prepared. We recommend scheduling these (partly) during the reception. At the end of the day, many people are tired and concentration lapses. The reception is therefore the ideal time for (the first) speeches.

wedding day dinner

Dinner
( 2 hours )

After the reception, it is time for dinner. How you design this is of course personal. You can choose a (themed) buffet or a menu. Here you can offer guests a set menu, or let them choose à la carte. It is important to take into account any dietary requirements of guests. Consider vegetarian, vegan, gluten- and dairy-free options. Ask your guests to let you know these wishes before the wedding day.

More speeches!
( 10 - 30 minutes )

Dinner is also a good time for speeches and addresses. That way you distribute them well throughout the evening. People sit quietly at the table and have plenty of time to listen.

Performances
( 30 minutes )

In addition, you can choose to book a special 'dinner show'. Make this as grand as you like! Think of an entertainer or a special performance by your favourite band.

Photo show
( 15 minutes )

No need for performances? Then present a fun photo slide show on a large white canvas. Here, present old friends' photos, funny childhood and baby pictures and more recent photos of fond memories.

Wedding party
( 3.5 hours )

There is no time for bellyaching. It's time for good music and a full dance floor!

Opening dance at the Coach House

Opening dance
( 10 minutes )

Before the dance floor opens for guests, it's time for your opening dance! Together, you will walk onto the dance floor and present the dance you have been practising for weeks. And nay, this doesn't have to be a slow dance. It's the 21e century! Make it as crazy or funny as you want on the wedding day.

Of course, nothing is compulsory. Isn't dancing something for you? Then skip or replace the dance. Think about playing or singing a song or giving a speech to the guests.

Bouquet toss
( 10 minutes )

Time for the age-old tradition: throwing the bridal bouquet. In doing so, the bride throws the wedding bouquet backwards into the ballroom. According to legend, whoever catches the bouquet will be the next bride. Throwing away the wedding bouquet is the perfect time for fun, memorable girlfriend photos.

wedding day party

Dancing!
( 3 hours )

The traditions and speeches are over. Time for silliness, fun and celebration! Guests enjoy good music, dancing and fun conversations.

Closing
( 20 minutes )

After the party, you walk out of the hall. You can round off this moment nicely by handing out confetti, bubbles or stars to your guests. This way, the group will wave you goodbye. As an extra, some couples choose to give their guests a small gift or memento of your beautiful day. Think of a plant, nice polaroid photos or a bag of chocolates. After this, you get into the car together and your wedding day is officially over. Time for the wedding night!

End of wedding coverage

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About the Author: Justin Manders

Thanks for reading this article! Above all, let me know what you want to see. You can see my entire portfolio view. In my opinion, I have the most fun profession in the world. Together with Nathalie, I have been photographing for just over seven years now and I have learned the most by getting to know many people. I think the camera is just a tool and it is the people who make the photo.
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