How to Create a Wedding Day Agenda

This is Erin's actual agenda!  I went a step further and color coded everything!

This is Erin's actual agenda!  I went a step further and color coded everything!

Your wedding day is getting closer and closer, isn’t it?  And you’re realizing a lot needs to get done that day. And you’re starting to feel overwhelmed. What you need is an agenda for the day! Outline every single thing that needs to get done, and assign someone to do it. Don’t forget some key things, and you might want to consider re-evaluating some of your original ideas once you get it all down on paper!

Getting Ready

Hair and make-up for the bride and bridesmaids will take a while.  Plan on an hour for hair and at least 30 minutes for make-up.  Each.  If everyone is going to a salon, be sure that the salon knows that it’s a wedding day and that there will be a lot of people there.  Don’t forget to include travel time into your agenda!  If you are getting ready at someone’s house, make sure there is ample room for everyone (bridesmaids, bride, family etc.), their stuff (curling irons, make-up, clothes, etc.), and the photographer. 


Make a list of photos that need to be taken before the ceremony.  And give ample time.  If the bride and groom aren’t seeing each other until the ceremony, plan for the photographer to take 2 separate sets of photos (bride and then groom).  If the couple is seeing each other before the ceremony, get a lot of the pictures taken then!  Include the bridal party, family, friends, EVERYTHING!  Again, don’t forget to include travel time in the agenda!

Be sure to write down arrivals for everyone for everything that day!  Include the wedding vendors, bridal party, family, and anything else that pertains to the wedding.


Ceremonies typically last 30 minutes.  If the ceremony is a full Mass Catholic wedding, obviously, it will be longer.  Either way, check with the minister and wedding coordinator for an estimated wedding ceremony duration.


If there is going to be a band or a DJ, meet with them prior to the reception to see if they are capable of keeping the party going according to the timeline.  For my wedding, my DJ announced when it was time to cut the cake, toss the bouquet/garter, have my sorority sisters sing to me, father/daughter dance, mother/son dance, last call for the bar, etc.  He did all of this according to a schedule I Made ahead of time.  Set an estimated time for all of these things to happen before hand.  It’s also a good idea to have the day of coordinator or wedding planner ensure these things are being done when they should.  That way, when it’s time to leave, the special aspects of the reception have been done but everyone was also able to mingle and have a good time!

Post Reception

Don’t forget about clean up and returns!  Make sure that all of the special wedding items are collected from both the ceremony and the reception.  In fact, put some people in charge of this!  Also don’t forget that linens or tuxedos need to be returned by a certain time.

Having a timeline and an agenda helps the whole wedding day go smoothly.  Take the time at least a month before the wedding, and have a few people look over the agenda to make sure there are no questions.  And, to make sure that no details have been overlooked.  It’s better to take a few hours in advance of the wedding than to wish about it later.

Check out a few resources below, and there is also a link to my own wedding day agenda!

Erin's Wedding Week Agenda

Bridal Guide's Wedding Day Timeline Reception Timeline Tips