Ultimate Guide to Wedding Day Format and Timings Running Order

For this Blog, I thought it would be rather nice to share our wedding day format and running order that we planned. Our wedding was a winter wedding so we had in place an indoors area for our wedding photos in the likely event of adverse weather. As it turned out, unbelievably for February, the weather was fresh, but very bright, sunny and dry so we were able to get outside for the photos and this took a bit more time in organising to get the relevant guests outside for their picture, but we had allowed for a scenario like this in our timings. We got married and held the whole day in the one venue which logistically worked brilliantly and our guests, many who had booked to stay for the 2 nights could just relax and enjoy the day without worrying about moving from A to B, parking, weather etc.

This obviously suited us and it worked brilliantly. Timings are crucial to the success of your wedding day and whilst I appreciate that most couples want their day to be nice and relaxed and chilled as indeed we did, this will be achieved by properly thinking out your timings and pre-planning them with the venue so that on the day it all runs like clockwork without rushing and squeezing to fit everything in. You can obviously plan your wedding day any way that you see fit as there is no right or wrong way.

One of the two main things that I always advise to couples is to have your wedding ceremony as early as possible if you have travelling involved, say, from church to venue, so 11am or 12 midday is not too early at all. If it’s all in the one venue, then, again, as early as possible and certainly no later than 1pm, otherwise it squeezes everything on and will impact on your night party timings, especially if the band and disco cannot set up their equipment until the room is cleared after the wedding breakfast.

Consideration needs to be paid to the fact that the average wedding breakfast with speeches can be two and a half hours. We needed the timings below to allow for everything including the essential wedding photos. The second main timing piece of advice that I give is to ask the bride and groom to have their evening food by 8.15pm latest. Then, by 9pm we are all ready for the first dance, for the Disco or band to start properly and party time. There is no point in expecting your guests to be in that party mood that we all want until around 9pm as by then, they’ve done their talking and socialising, they have a few drinks on board and are indeed ready to hit that dance floor. One or two of your guests may be impatient to show off their dance floor moves before that, but it’s usually inconsistent and the real impact is when all your guests have their eyes on the bride and groom for the first dance, then after this they are ready. The impact of the first song the DJ or band plays creates a terrific atmosphere and your guests are ready!!



Guests arrival – Beggars Reach Hotel, Burton, Milford Haven - 11.30am

Civil Ceremony – Orangery - 1.00pm

(Table plan to allow for 2 top tables of 11 & 9 plus 7 tables of 8-10 & one of 12 & for disco equipment to be set up the day before for background music and speeches as discussed).

1.30pm - Steve & Linda greet guests in the bar after ceremony – drinks & canapes.

2.00pm - Photographs in the orangery and / or outside if weather suitable. Photographer has suggested that photos could take 1.5 hours & if weather is good, we can maximise the winter light outside before it starts getting dark at 3.30pm

(Entertainment provided by John Rodge playing solo guitar and magician Luke Jugglestruck whilst photos being taken from 2.00pm ‘til 4.00pm)

4pm - Wedding Breakfast to be announced


4.10pm - Wedding Breakfast to start

6.30pm - Wedding Breakfast & Speeches anticipated finish time

After wedding breakfast & speeches, guests retire to bar / Orangery whilst room is re-set / dancefloor laid / ‘Symphony Sid’ band arrival & set up.

6.30/7pm ‘til 8.15pm - Paul Reggie guitar/vocalist to sing in Orangery.

8.15pm - evening food served whilst DJ plays background music.

9pm - cake cutting followed by first dance (DJ to play this & 1 more song after)

9.10pm - Symphony Sid & the Swing Kings first set ‘til approx 10pm followed by disco

10pm - Symphony Sid second set

11pm ‘til 12/12.30am - Disco




  • 17 Mar 2017