Of the many benefits that micro weddings offer, easily one of the best is the relaxed and intimate atmosphere as you tie the knot. That relaxed atmosphere also has its drawbacks—starting with its ability to get off course. Creating a micro wedding timeline for the day will keep you on track and build in the flexibility to make time for all of your guests.
Ensure your day has a natural flow and that your vendors know what to expect and when with an expertly planned micro wedding timeline. Let’s get planning!
Micro Weddings Need Timelines
Ever attended a party that felt freeform and you weren’t sure when the food would be served, the champagne would start flowing, or when you could expect to leave? Yeah, us too.
Because of the smaller and intimate feel that micro weddings provide it’s important to have a timeline in place so that your guests don’t end up feeling like they’re attending a neverending backyard party. This is, after all, a special day.
Expert wedding planner Chelsy Ferguson of The Gathering Co said, You have to think through the potential lulls between planned points of the day. Make sure that time isn’t prolonged in certain areas of your timeline if you aren’t anticipating intentional breaks in the day. Adjust your timeline to keep your guests occupied and make sure there isn’t too much buffer for your guests to wait around in an unknown space. Plan for what you know you need and want from the day and all else will fall into place!
Start With What Matters Most
We love this advice from the Mil Besos team, As with any event timeline, couples should highlight what things are most essential and account for some wiggle room. Some of the best memories are those unplanned moments! Don’t be afraid to stray off the timeline a little bit—having a good reference of flow for order of events and any fixed times, such as the sunset, will ensure you don’t miss any shots with your photographer.
Micro Wedding Timeline Advice from Wedding Experts
You should start planning your micro wedding timeline 8 months to a year before the wedding date if possible, according to The Gathering Co. Adding on to this, Nikk Nguyen says that an extended planning timeline will give you plenty of time to plan for what you want and also let guests know when they can celebrate with you.
The Stars Inside also had excellent advice about including your vendors into your timeline planning. They said, Once you’ve got your timeline down, make sure you share it with all of your vendors once you’re close to finalizing what the day will look like. Certainly there are some suppliers who can help guide you, so it’s worth touching base with them sooner rather than later. Overall, try to be flexible and go with the flow, and encourage your vendors to do the same where they can.
Micro Wedding Timeline Examples
Now that you’ve got our advice under your belt, here are two examples created by two of our vendors. As you can see, they can be very basic and short or involve your wedding crew for the entire day—the choice is yours.
Micro Wedding Timeline from Nikk Nguyen
Nikk Nguyen suggests that in its most basic form, your micro wedding timeline look something like this
- 3pm – 4pm : Getting Ready
- 4:15pm : First Look
- 4:30pm – 5:30pm : Photos
- 5:30pm : Ceremony
- 6:00-9pm : Dinner & Reception
Micro Wedding Timeline from The Gathering Co
The Gathering Co suggests making your getting ready portion of the day extra special for those involved in your wedding. Her suggested timeline looks like this
- 6:30-7:30 am | Sunrise hike and photos (optional)
- 9-11 am | Wake up call, breakfast, and yoga as a bridal team
- 10 am | Planner and Florist arrive for set up
- 11 am | Hair and Makeup (HMU) starts
- 3pm | Photo + video arrives for getting ready photos + details
- 3:15 pm | HMU final touches
- 3:45 pm | Bride puts dress on and Groom finishes getting ready
- 4 pm | Bridesmaids photos // insert number of maids
- 4:20 pm | Groomsmen photos // insert number of groomsmen
- 4:30 pm | Catering + bar arrives for set up // family style meal
- 4:30 pm | Live music artist arrives for set up and practice
- 4:40 pm | Bridal Portraits
- 5 pm | Back to bridal suite to relax // Photo + video – ceremony + reception detail photos
- 5:30 pm | Guests make their way to the ceremony area // music starts
- 6 pm | Ceremony // live musician to play
- 6:20 pm | Ceremony ends – wedding party photos
- 6:30 pm | Immediate + extended family photos
- 6:45-7:45 pm | Cocktail hour // live musician playing
- 6:50-7:30 pm | Bride + Groom photos // Sunset is at 7:40, end photos with sunset
- 7:50-8 pm | Entrance into dinner with first dance to follow by live music and everyone surrounds couple with sparklers
- 8-9pm(ish) | Welcome by the couple // family-style dinner! // playlist via phone + PA for dinner
- 8:30 pm | Cake cutting and champagne “cheers” // toasts to follow
- 8:45 pm | Parent dances // live guitarist to perform
- 9 pm | Photo and video team departs // switch over to music over the speaker
- 10:30 pm | Evening winds down for vendor clean up to start // hang out on-site
Don’t Forget—This Day is Special
We think The Stars Inside said it best when describing the ideal micro wedding timeline. No matter what you choose, you will have curated a day in which you can enjoy every minute. Intimate gatherings like this give couples a chance to express themselves and celebrate in the way that feels most true and authentic to them—no anxiety, no crowds, just love.
Big or small, elopement or micro wedding, your wedding day is special. Let the timeline you and your vendor team serve as a guide to keep the day on track. Don’t forget what matters most—the celebration of your love.
Looking for tips on the rest of your micro wedding planning? We’ve got you covered.