So he put a ring on it and since then your world has been consumed with thinking about venues, colour schemes, dresses, suits, florists, furniture, hell you've even in booked in the portaloos! But have you got round to planning your timeline for the day? Gloss over some of these hot tips to get the most out of your special day:


~ Always allow buffer time! Add extra minutes to everything you do, I guarantee you'll need them. There is no such thing as a clean segue to family photo's, Nana will find you for congratulatory kisses. But if she doesn't, then use your extra minutes to breathe and take in the moment together.

~ Bigger bridal parties need more time. It's not brain surgery folks. If you've got 10 bridesmaids and one loo, that's going to make you more than "fashionably late" to the ceremony. There's going to me a lot of organising and probability says you're chances for hiccups increase - this all eats into you party time. Plan accordingly.

~ Prioritize time for the things that are the most meaningful to you. If you want to have more time on the dance floor, or maybe a cocktail hour or swim with dolphins, then allocate time for these things and it will make the lesser things easier to let go of.

~ Have a ceremony rehearsal. If you are able to have a rehearsal prior to the wedding day, you can refine the ceremony deets to make sure you have your timing right. This has the advantage of helping everyone else know where they need to be on the day too.

~ Ask the experts! Luckily your vendors have done it all before. Tell them your parameters and ask them for an estimate on how long they think things will take. You don't want your band to be sitting idly while they wait for the extended speeches to finish, or for the photographers to leave before your first dance. Vendors love to share their expertise and an organised timeline is good for them too.

~ Work backwards from the time you finish up at your venue. Use your vendor estimates to plan a timeline reverse engineered from the time the celebrations need to be wrapped up.

Tadaaaaa! You have a basic timeline that you can adjust and re-adjust accordingly. Run it by some wise family members, they may have something helpful contribute. Share it with your vendors. Modify accordingly. Voila! Time to get married.

If you just can't wait to get into it and you need some estimates now, this next part is for you:


If you are planning to do make-up yourselves then you have the luxury of doing a timed trial run. If you are getting professionals in, then you can ask your make-up artist and/or hairdresser to bring an assistant to save you some time. Here is a guideline:

Make-up: Allow 30-45 minutes per bridesmaid, and up to 60 minutes for the bride

Hair: Allow 30-45 minutes per bridesmaid, and up to 60 minutes for the bride


Invariably, the boys makeover takes a fraction of the time the girls take. However, the boys often like to be on a go slow, and can happily fill in the time the bride is using for make-up to enjoy a fine whiskey and suck on cigars! In short, boys getting ready time = girls getting ready time.


Many brides overlook how long it takes to organise a large convoy of bridal vehicles. Start by consulting google maps for the time it will take to get you there. Add time for the following: an extra 5 minutes per vehicle in the convoy, an extra 5 minutes if you have a large dress or long train or big hair, an extra 2 minutes per child in the wedding party. Start reminding folks to visit the powder room well before it's time to leave and don't forget your bouquet!


Plan to start your ceremony about 15 minutes after the invitation time. In my experience, you can plan for a simple non-religious ceremony to take about 15 - 30 minutes, anything longer than this is going to start putting your guests to sleep. Religious ceremonies can last over an hour. If you've chosen the vows and readings then time yourself reading them to give you a starting point.


Guests will always want to congratulate you after you walk down the isle, I would recommend allowing at least another 15mins to pop some champers and commit to the congratulatory cuddles!


This time can vary significantly. I would allow 5 minutes for every large formal family photo, this time can be lessened if you have a good MC or a bossy photographer to help guests get their wiggle on!


Again, this can vary significantly depending on where you want to go, how many people in your bridal party, how many different locations you choose and how long you want to be away from your guests. Local photographers usually know the best spots and will be able to give you some accurate timeframes to use.


Stuck record here - consult with your vendors. They'll give you advice based on the size of your wedding, how many courses, plated or buffet. You'll add in some time for speeches, cake cutting, bouquet tossing, haka's and any other guest appearances that you have planned and then you'll all hit the dance floor to party the night away.

If you think I have left something out or if you are a vendor who has some more specific guidelines or helpful "recipes" for planning timeframes then please feel free to comment below.