The perfect wedding day timeline at The Hall Barns

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Home / Inspirations / The perfect wedding day timeline at The Hall Barns
The perfect wedding day timeline at The Hall Barns

The perfect wedding day timeline at The Hall Barns

Every wedding day is different – especially at The Hall Barns where we love you to do things your way. However, often it can be handy to have a rough idea of timings for the running order of your big day. Here we share our tips for the perfect wedding day timeline at The Hall Barns. Just remember, it’s only a guide – there are no hard and fast rules here – so use it as a starting point to plan your day. Also, just a heads up, we’re using bride and groom in our example timeline, but it’s easy to adjust to any same-sex wedding.

The morning of the wedding

The main thing to consider, is that time seriously flies on your wedding day – especially when you’re getting ready in the morning! The amount of time you need to put aside for hair and make-up depends on how big your bridal party is. Brides should allocate around 2 and a half hours for hair and make-up, which gives plenty of time to get fully prepped and have any veil or hair jewellery fixed securely in place. A runaway veil is the last thing you want to be worrying about.

Bridesmaids don’t take as long, but if they are having an intricate hairstyle, they may take up to 2 hours each. The best way to keep on track is to be super-organised. A good hair and make-up artist will devise a schedule for the day, and allow time for touch-ups and small changes, so that everyone is looking and feeling gorgeous. 

Bride and bridesmaids getting ready together the morning of the wedding
Credit: Kelly Hiscox

At The Hall Barns you can get ready on-site, in our stylish and cosy self-catering Laundry Cottage, which is available to hire the night before or the night of your wedding at an extra charge. It’s less than a minute’s walk from the Barn and gives you all the space you and your wedding party need to spread out and get ready, stress-free.

The big day set-up

Professional wedding vendors, like caterers, florists, DJs, etc, know exactly what they are doing, so once they know what time you plan on getting married/starting the drinks reception/eating/partying they’ll be able to let you know when they need to start to have everything ready on time. It’s helpful to make a list of all your vendors and their arrival/start times – as well as contact details – and pass this to one of the ushers or a family friend to make sure everything runs smoothly. The Hall Barns’ wedding team will be on-hand to oversee everything on the day, so you guys don’t have to worry about  a thing. 

wedding breakfast table set up for reception at The Hall Barns
Credit: Christopher Terry Photography

The wedding ceremony

Whether you choose to get married surrounded by the rustic elegance of The Hall Barns’ Crew Yard, one of our many outdoor spaces or a local church, the general rule of thumb, is that traditionally the groom, best man and ushers should arrive 45 minutes before the ceremony and guests around 30 minutes before. Of course, this is not set in stone; if you’re having a same sex wedding, less traditional celebration or quite frankly just want to do things your own way, it’s really up to you as a couple to decide on the kind of arrival timings that work for you. Whatever vibe you go for for your wedding day, just remember to give yourself some time beforehand to meet with the registrar if you’re having a non-religious ceremony, then give yourself a few minutes to soak it all in and compose yourself before the ‘I do’s.

The wedding photos

We LOVE looking through the wedding photos of our awesome couples after the big day – and we’re pretty certain you will feel the same way about yours, so factoring in plenty of time for your photographer to do their job is essential. Before you book your photographer, have a think about how much of the day you want photographed. If you have your heart set on ‘getting ready’ photos, right up until the guests hit the dancefloor, you’ll need to let your photographer know from the start. 

Group photo of bride, groom, bridesmaids and ushers at The Hall Barns
Credit: Adam Hudson Photography

If group shots are your thing, make a list of exactly who you want included so your photographer can create their own schedule to make sure they capture all the shots, without it impacting too much on your day. Ideally you want a minimum of 5 minutes for each group shot, giving plenty of time to round up any stragglers at the bar without feeling rushed. 

There are some gorgeous settings around The Hall Barns for those couple shots, so factor in this time too. Shorter sessions are the way to go – you don’t want to feel like you’ve spent half the day in front of the camera.

The reception

Typically there will be a drinks reception after the ceremony and before the wedding breakfast, for guests to catch up, group shots to be taken and you to have a well-deserved glass of champagne after OFFICIALLY GETTING MARRIED! The Hall Barns has plenty of outside space for guests to mill about in the sunshine, and undercover areas if the weather doesn’t play ball. An hour to 90 minutes is pretty standard for the drinks reception, then give your guests around half an hour to get seated for the wedding breakfast, before you make your grand entrance as newlyweds. 

wedding guests enjoying a drinks reception outside The Hall Barns
Credit: Christopher Terry Photography

The Hall Barns has some incredible relaxed dining options, from sharing feasts to alfresco BBQs, so give yourself around 2 hours to enjoy the meal and celebrations.  If you’re planning on having speeches you can have them before you eat if anyone is feeling particularly nervous, but most of the time our couples opt to have them after the meal. The golden rule is not to let these drag on too long – 30 minutes is perfect, anything more than 40 and you’re pushing it a little! You can always hire a Master of Ceremonies to try and keep things moving or give one of the wedding party the task of acting as MOC on the day.

wedding guests raising glasses to cheer after a speech
Credit: Waves of Wonder Photography

The evening party

The whole vibe of your day can change when your evening guests arrive – this marks the start of the ‘real’ party as everyone gets ready to show off their moves. Between 7-7:30pm is a good time for evening guests to arrive. Make them feel part of the day by offering welcome cocktails and consider saving the cutting of the cake and first dance until all your evening guests have arrived.

Bride and groom laughing with drinks in  their hands at The Hall Barns
Credit: Darren Cresswell

As for when to end the celebrations, well, that really is up to you. It’s great to finish the party on a high – it’s one of those defining, memory-making moments. That’s how your wedding party should end – so go out with a bang, maybe under a shower of confetti or with a favourite floor-filler. Whatever you choose, make it you

But just because one party has ended, that doesn’t mean you can’t go straight into another one! At The Hall Barns you have exclusive use of our campsite, complete with glamping pods and a fancy newlywed suite. Here, you and your party-loving guests can continue the celebrations with drinks round the fire, sharing stories of the night.

Glamping pod at the Hall Barns' campsite for wedding guests
Credit: Darren Cresswell

Wedding day timeline example

8-9:30am – Start hair and make-up (start time depends on how many bridesmaids you have)

12:45pm – Arrive at the church/The Hall Barns

1pm – Ceremony starts

1:45-2pm – Ceremony finishes (depending on whether it’s a religious or non-religious ceremony)

2:15-3:30pm – Drinks reception (and group and portrait photos)

4pm – Wedding breakfast

6pm – Speeches

7pm – Evening guests arrive

7:30pm – Cutting the cake

8pm – First dance

12am – Time for taxis (unless you’re planning an after party!)

Plan your wedding at The Hall Barns

Our exclusive use, laid back, unique Leicestershire wedding venue has to be seen to be believed. We’d love the chance to show you around The Hall Barns. Just click here to get in touch, ask a question nor arrange a viewing.

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