Our couples often ask us what a traditional wedding day looks like, so we wanted to share the most common timeline of events we see at our facility.
Wake-Up Call: 8:00am
It's ok to sleep in a little, we promise...in fact we recommend it. Start the day in the moment, not rushed and overthinking everything. What will be, will be. Before arriving at the venue sneaking out for a nice breakfast with your crew. Breathe, relax and allow yourself the opportunity to be excited.
Venue Arrival: 10:00am
Ladies often arrive first, anxious to get started with hair and make-up. Hair and Make-up typically take 60-90 minutes for the Bride and 30-45 minutes for each Bridesmaids. If you have a larger wedding party, we recommend having more than 1 hair and make-up artist to help everyone get ready on-time. On average we see the Bride, 3-4 Bridesmaids, Mother of the Bride and Mother of the Groom getting their hair and make-up done, although sometimes Bridesmaids prefer to tackle their own make-up. This equates to 4 - 6 hours of hair and make-up even though each individuals time in the chair will be significantly less.
Tip: If you are really concerned about not having enough time to get ready, we do offer early access to our Bridal Suite for a small fee.
While the ladies are busy getting ready in the Bridal Suite, the Groom and Groomsmen often arrive to unload any liquor and decor, before sneaking in a few rounds of golf. Some adventurous couples even opt to host a full golf tournament....which we are all for.
Hilltop will ensure that all the tables, chairs and half length linens are in place before you arrive. This means you just need to add those personal touches to make the space yours.
Tip: Less is more inside our tent. So many of our couples book us because the tent itself has a lot of natural elegance; it really doesn't need much and this drastically cuts back on the time it takes to decorate and take down at the end of the night.
Although a little later than a traditional ceremony, many of our couples opt for a later start. This means less downtime for guests, who are welcome to stay on the property and enjoy a round of golf or play lawn games in between the ceremony and reception.
Cocktail Hour: 4:00pm
With many guests enjoying the amenities of our property, we see very few guests leave between the ceremony and reception - so why not open the bar a little earlier? Consider an outdoor cocktail hour and lawn games before guests enter the tent, or cocktails and appetizers under the covered patio overlooking the lake.
Grand Entrance: 6:00pm
This is a great chance to show off some personality and by this point in the day your nerves will have subsided. Start the reception off with some good music, a choreographed dance or surprise your friends and family with a flash mob. This is your time to shine!
We know you are starving!! We recommend that you make sure the head table is first to be served.
Tip: Drink some water!! After a long afternoon of taking photos and a night of cheers and toasts, trust us, your body will need a moment to hydrate.
Have you ever been to a wedding where the speeches never end? We encourage keeping your speeches down to 30 minutes total or 5 minutes for each person, which may seem short, but still plenty of time to speak from the heart. The most common order is:
Crowd Starter - Master of Ceremonies
Toast to the Bride - Maid of Honour
Toast to the Groom - Man of Honour
Welcoming the Bride to the Family: Parents of the Groom
Welcoming the Groom to the Family: Parents of the Bride
Thank You - Bride & Groom
Cake Cutting: 8:00pm
It's easy to transition from speeches to cake cutting when you still have your guests' attention. This will also give your caterer time to cut the cake behind the scenes and serve it. It's also nice to give your guests a little bit of time to mingle before everyone starts dancing when the music kicks up.
It's time for your first dance as a married couple.
Bar Closes: 12:00am (11:00pm on Weekdays)
The closure of the bar lets your guests know the end of the night has arrived and gives them the last hour to finish up any drinks, say their final congratulations and safely exit the premises. This last hour is also perfect to grab any personal items and take care of any clean-up that needs to happen.
That's a Wrap!: 1:00am (12:00am on Weekdays)
We hope it was a day you will never forget!
Photo Credit: Lindsay Nickel Photography