Wedding Day Timeline 7pm Ceremony: How to Plan Your Big Day

wedding day timeline 7pm ceremony

Hosting a 7 p.m. wedding will allow you the opportunity to have a sunset ceremony or at least take golden hour photos before your nuptials.

But a late evening ceremony also means your reception will start later and dinner will be served past 8 p.m. While it’s likely that your guests will be busy appreciating the beautiful sunset hues, they will get impatient if you keep them hungry and waiting for too long.

Creating a wedding day timeline will help you anticipate and manage your guest’s needs, remain punctual and get all your bride and groom photos at the right time. 

If you don’t know where to start, our tips and timeline templates for a 7 p.m. wedding will guide you in crafting the perfect itinerary for your wedding day.

Be sure to check the exact sunset time so that you build your timeline around it. Check out this website to know the precise time on your wedding date and location. 

wedding day timeline 7pm ceremony reception and first look

A 7pm wedding with a reception and first look 

Consider a timeline with a first look so that you can have a special moment with your partner and can also take your couple’s portraits before the wedding. Taking time out to take photos post-ceremony will delay your dinner and keep your guests hungry. Instead, a first look will work perfectly for a 7 p.m. wedding because you can flow straight into enjoying your reception after the wedding.

Forgo the cocktail hour and instead provide some pre-ceremony refreshments while everyone waits for the wedding to start. Your guests will remain comfortable and content till dinner is served. 

Check out our 7 p.m. wedding day timeline with a first look to help you craft your perfect version.

wedding day timeline 7 pm ceremony with a dinner reception

Timeline for a 7pm wedding with a dinner reception 

  • 2 p.m. — Bride and bridal party arrive for hair and make-up
  • 3 p.m. — Photographer arrives for candid photos of the bridal party
  • 3 p.m. — Groom and groomsmen get ready
  • 4:15 p.m. — Photographer gets candid shots of the groom and groomsmen
  • 4:15 p.m. — Bride puts on the wedding dress
  • 4:15 p.m. — Bridal bouquet delivery 
  • 4:30 p.m. — First look with the bride’s father (or other family members)
  • 4:30 p.m. — Groom heads to first look location to await his bride
  • 4:40 p.m. — The bride heads to the first look location
  • 4:45 p.m. — Bride and groom first look and photos
  • 5:30 p.m. — Wedding party photos
  • 6 p.m. — Family photos
  • 6:30 p.m. — Bride touches up hair and make-up
  • 6:30 p.m. — Photographer takes pictures of venue and guests arriving
  • 6:30 p.m. — Hors d’oeuvres and beverages to be served to guests as they wait for the ceremony to start 
  • 7 p.m. — Ceremony begins
  • 7:30 p.m. — Hugs and congratulations after the ceremony (formal reception line, if you choose to have one).
  • 8 p.m. — Bride touches up and bustles dress with help from her mother or the maid of honor
  • 8:10 p.m. — Reception begins, and guests find their seats 
  • 8:15 p.m. — Couple makes a grand entrance 
  • 8:20 p.m. — Dinner is served / buffet opens
  • 8:45 p.m. — Toasts and/or speeches
  • 9 p.m. — Cake cutting and serve dessert
  • 9:30 p.m. — First dance
  • 9:35 p.m. — Parent dances
  • 9:45 p.m. — The dance floor opens to guests
  • 11:30 p.m. — Last call for drinks
  • 11:45 p.m. — Bridal couple leave (the send-off)
  • 12:00 a.m. — Guests begin to leave
  • 1 a.m. — Vendors finish packing up and leave
wedding day timeline 7pm ceremony with a cocktail reception

7pm wedding with a cocktail reception 

A cocktail reception is an alternate choice for the couples who prefer a more feasible option or those who envision a more relaxed and casual celebration. 

You can forgo a formal dinner and serve hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, and cake after the ceremony. If you feel bite-sized food is not quite sufficient and want to provide more options without going overboard, you can consider having one to two live counters added. 

Pro-tip: Make your reception plans clear in your invites, so guests are not expecting a full dinner. 

If a more relaxed celebration appeals to you, check out our timeline for a 7 p.m. wedding followed by a cocktail reception.

wedding day timeline 7 pm ceremony with a cocktail reception bride and groom

Timeline for a 7pm wedding with a cocktail reception 

  • 3 p.m. — Bride and bridal party arrive for hair and make-up 
  • 3:30 p.m. — Photographer arrives for candid photos of the bridal party
  • 4 p.m. — Groom and groomsmen get ready
  • 4:30 p.m. — Photographer gets candid shots of the groom and groomsmen
  • 5 p.m. — Bride puts on the wedding dress
  • 5 p.m. — Bridal bouquet delivery 
  • 5 p.m. — Groom and groomsmen take photos
  • 5:15 p.m. — First look with father (or other family members)
  • 5:30 p.m. — Bride and bridal party official photos (bride and groom to avoid seeing each other)
  • 5:45 p.m. — Bride and family photos
  • 6:15 p.m. — Groom and family photos (bride and groom to avoid seeing each other)
  • 6:30 p.m. — Bride and bridal party freshen up hair and make-up
  • 6:30 p.m. — Photographer takes pictures of venue and guests arriving
  • 7 p.m. — Ceremony begins
  • 7:30 p.m. — Hugs and congratulations after the ceremony (formal reception line, if you choose to have one).
  • 8 p.m. — Cocktail hour and hors d’oeuvres to be served 
  • 8 p.m. — Couple have sunset photos taken
  • 8:30 p.m. — Wedding party and family photos during sunset 
  • 9 p.m. — Wedding party makes an entrance
  • 9 p.m. — Bride touches up and bustles dress with help from mother or maid of honor
  • 9:10 p.m. — Couple makes a grand entrance
  • 9:15 p.m. — First dance
  • 9:20 p.m. — Parent dances
  • 9:25 p.m. — Cut the cake and serve dessert
  • 9:30 p.m. — Toasts and/or speeches
  • 10:30 p.m. — Bridal couple leave (the send-off)
  • 11:30 p.m. — Guests start to leave
  • 12 a.m. — Vendors finish packing up and leave