Timing Schedule Guidelines


Your timing schedule can sometimes be a daunting task, but we’re here to help you through it.


Firstly, some important points to consider…

– Speeches are the most common element to cause delays in reception timing, be realistic and discuss the length of speeches in detail with the people who will be making them. Get them to practice their speech and actually time themselves, so you know its accurate.

– If you think speakers will be nervous, it’s worth considering placing speeches before your meals, so they can get them over, then relax and enjoy the night.

– What time will you be booking your photographer/videographer to arrive/leave, and which elements of your event do you want to be covered during that time?

– What time your photo tour concludes, and what time you would like to arrive at your Reception (I.e. would you like a break in-between, or will you go straight from photos to Reception)?

– What time will you have your entertainers start/finish, will you require a source for music before and/or after this time, and how will this affect the mood of the evening?

– Who would you like to be the decision maker on the night, with regards to increasing bar tabs or dealing with anything unexpected? We recommend having a close family member or friend in charge who you trust to make these decisions for you. It can of course be yourselves, but it’s more ideal to free yourself of any unnecessary logistics so you can truly enjoy the night.

– You need to choose a trustworthy and confident MC. Someone who’s comfortable with public speaking, handy for a few jokes, and knows you both. At the following link we have some tips and guidance for selecting your MC, as well as assistance for your MC when planning the night www.hamiltonislandweddings.com/need-to-know/planning-advice/mc-tips-guidance/

– Would you like your bridal party arrival to be officially announced by your MC?

– In what order will your bridal party arrive into the room (Usually it’s the same order as the Ceremony procession)?

–  How would you like to be announced? Mr and Mrs… (Taking into consideration if Bride will be taking on Groom’s surname).

– Would you prefer more time for food service or dancing, or a balanced mix of both?

What do we do next?


Using the list below, remove the elements not required in your schedule



Place the remaining elements in the order you believe will work for your reception


Send the list to your Planner, who will create a draft timing schedule for your approval


Below is a list of items you may choose to include in your timing schedule. Feel free to add more if you need to.
– Copy & Paste this list in an email, then add any additional and delete any not relevant to your event.
– Try and be as specific as possible, to ensure smooth sailing on the night

Timing to be entered by Planner Element of the night to be scheduled 
XX:XX Guests to arrive at venue (MC should announce to guests at ceremony location after group photo)
XX:XX Planner to introduce MC & Event Supervisor / MC briefing (please ensure your MC knows to be on time to the venue)
 XX:XX Entertainer to Start (Entertainer Set times TBC)
 XX:XX Canapés & Pre-Dinner Drinks to be served (allow 30-60 minutes)
 XX:XX Guests to be Seated for Bridal Party arrival (allow 5-15 minutes)
 XX:XX Bridal Party Arrival (allow 5-15 minutes)
XX:XX Planner handover & intro ‘Responsible Person’ to Event Supervisor
XX:XX Planner to finish & depart venue
 XX:XX Entrées to be Served (allow 30-45 minutes)
 XX:XX Mains to be served (allow 45-60 minutes) / Buffet to be served (allow 60 minutes)
 XX:XX Buffet to be cleared (60 minutes after being served)
 XX:XX Photographer / Videographer to Commence
 XX:XX Speeches (allow 5-15 minutes per person) List the names of those making speeches, and what order they will speak in. Every wedding is unique, however a typical/traditional order for speeches may be:
– MC introduction
– Host (e.g. Father of Bride) toast to Bride & Groom
– Response by Groom, and toast to Bridal Party
– Response by Best Man, followed by toast to Bride’s parents
– Response by Bride’s Father, followed by toast to Groom’s parents
– Response by Groom’s Father
– Telegrams
 XX:XX Cake Cutting (allow 5-10 minutes)
 XX:XX Father & daughter or parent dance  ( allow 5 minutes)
XX:XX First Dance (allow 5-10 minutes)
XX:XX Any special performances, traditional dances or games
 XX:XX Fireworks to be cued (allow 5-15 minutes)
Think about whether your guests will need to be ushered to a viewing area
 XX:XX Dessert to be served (allow 15-30 minutes)
 XX:XX Bouquet & Garter Toss (allow 5-10 minutes)
 XX:XX Photographer / Videographer to Conclude
 XX:XX Cake to be Served (allow 15-30 minutes)
 XX:XX Tea & Coffee to be Served
 XX:XX Final Song (5 minutes prior to function conclusion)
 XX:XX Noise Curfew / Entertainment to conclude
 XX:XX Bar service to conclude
 XX:XX Function to conclude
 XX:XX Client / Client Representative to take with them any of their own personal belongings, including decorations they have provided.If you wish to keep any items you are leaving behind, ensure you have discussed this with the event supervisor, and pre-arranged a time the items can be collected the following day.
 XX:XX I Do Events to pack down any décor items provided by I Do Events
Additional info for your Planner Name of your chosen responsible person to liaise with the venue on the night:
Name of your MC: