Wedding Planning Tips

Wedding Industry Lingo | Part 4 of 8: The Timeline

In this 8 part blog series, we are here to break down the wedding industry lingo for you! This post is all about the timeline! Creating a wedding timeline can be daunting and one of the most challenging parts of the wedding process. Here are a few of our favorite wedding timeline tips!


01. First Look

The act of the couple seeing each other before the wedding ceremony begins. There are a few things to consider when deciding if a first look is the best fit for you! Maybe couples choose to do a first look as a way to get some of the nerves out before walking down the aisle. Other times, this can be helpful for timeline purposes. You are able to get a lot of photos out of the way so you either have more time in between the ceremony and reception or you can join your guests at cocktail hour! We are pro first look here at All Grand Events + Floral!

Photo: Samantha James Photography

02. Processional

The processional is when the wedding party is walking into the ceremony  for all guests to see. Think of it as a debut of the wedding party and about to be Mr. and Mrs. This includes everyone from grandmas being escorted up the aisle all the way to the flower girl and bride with whomever she chooses to escort her.

Downtown Market Grand Rapids, MI Wedding


03. Recessional

The recessional is the departure that follows “you may now kiss the bride”. The essentially the exact opposite of the processional except it typically only includes the members of the bridal party who were standing during the ceremony.

Downtown Market Grand Rapids, MI wedding ceremony

04. Receiving line

In traditional settings, the couple greets their guest just after the conclusion of the ceremony. These days, couples are skipping the receiving line for photos and greeting their guest at cocktail hour and/or reception. If you are short on time, this is the way to go!

05. Room Flip

When an event space is completely transformed from one stage of the event to the next. An example of this would be when a couple chooses to have their ceremony is the same space as their reception, however, following the wedding, brings in a whole new look for the reception including all tables and table decor! This process requires lots of people, logistics and organization but is a great way to have two feels in the space!

06. Grand Entrance

The grand entrance signifies the start of the reception. Just after guests are asked to take their seats, the wedding party makes their debut. Some couples choose to include their entire wedding party in the grand entrance while some couples prefer to walk in solo!

07. Golden Hour

Golden hour is just shortly after or before the sunrise or sunset. On a clear day, the lighting is phenomenal! Including golden hour photos on your timeline is a must! Just ask google when the sunset time is for your wedding location and day and be sure to add that to the timeline. It’s the perfect chance to sneak away from your guests and have a moment with just the two of you. Just take a look below at how stunning these moments can be!

Golden Hour Wedding Photos

Photo: Beth Joy Photography 

07. Couple send-off

Closing out the reception at the end of the night and officially begin your married life together! If your venue will allow, most couples use sparklers as a fun photo op. Timing is everything though! Be sure you have someone to execute this well.

Bride and Groom Sparkler send off at Baker loft

Photo: Hannah Ziegler photography

08. Breakdown or Strike:

This process typically begins at last call or 15 mins prior to the reception end. Vendors will return at the end of the event to remove the rented pieces and/or take down the hanging greenery inside the reception space. Most venues allow for 1 hour of post clean up. Unless you have hired a wedding planner or coordinator, this job would, unfortunately, be left up to friends and family!


Looking for more planning tips? Check out these blog posts below!

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2233 W Grand River Ave. Okemos, MI 48864

All Grand Events + Floral is a luxury wedding planner in Michigan offering floral, event design, and full service wedding + event planning. Based in Okemos and serving Michigan from Grand Rapids to Metro Detroit.