Post # 1
I have had my heart set on a sunset candlelit ceremony since my finace and I started talking about getting engaged. The song that I’ve chosen to walk down the aisle to (Stand By Me) even contains a heavy theme of nighttime and darkness. I couldn’t imagine saying in my vows beneath the harsh light/heat of summer. But the problem is, it gets dark in May by around 8:15/8:30. Even if we got everyone seated and eating by 9, that’s still quite a late dinner and there wouldn’t be much time at all to enjoy our carnival themed reception with games, caricature artists, live music, etc.
So, how about a Friday evening ceremony followed by a modest after party at the lodge we’re staying at for the weekend? We’re renting out the entire lodge for the bridal party to stay at anyway, and the lodge is on a property with little home-aways our immediate families will stay at as well. So we figure we could get more bang for our buck by coming back to the lodge after the ceremony for drinking, board games, and fun. There will be no photographer or fancy catering, it’s a purely casual environment and guests can come (or not) and go as they please. Then the next day we’ll have the full formal reception with a dinner, speeches, and the like. Only instead of being in my wedding dress I’ll be in an evening gown.
If you were a guest how would you feel about a wedding spread over 2 days? Keep in mind all of my guests will already be coming from out of town since we don’t live near family, so they’ll need to get hotel reservations anyway. I’m concerned some will still feel put out by having to reserve their entire weekend for a wedding, though. I would hope that our loved ones will be happy to celebrate with us for 2 days since we hardly get to see them, but I’m curious about the hive’s opinion. Thanks!
Post # 2
It world really annoy me, sorry. It’s not fair of you to take my whole weekend! I’d probably skip the ceremony and just go to the reception.
Post # 3
I would likely skip the ceremony.
Post # 4
- Wedding: June 2014 - San Francisco, CA
^ What Horseradish said, unless I lived in the same city where it was being held. If it were any farther than that, I’d have to take off early Friday, stay two nights instead of one, and be generally very put out. Unless I were in the bridal party or having my expenses paid by the family, I would probably decline with regrets and send a nice card.
You could always have a nighttime candlelight ceremony and just do heavy snacks instead of a full dinner reception, or cake and punch, or something like that. Just make sure you’re very clear about it on the invitation.
Post # 5
- Wedding: March 2014 - A castle!
A lot of guests would probably need to request Friday off work, especially if it is members of the bridal party. Will you be also having a rehersal dinner? That might make things even more complicated.
If everyone is expecting to stay at the lodge all weekend, then ask your guests and especially the bridal party what they think. Make sure to ask if they can get there on time for the evening wedding.
FWIW, I went to a summer wedding once that was black tie and they wanted a sunset/candle lit ceremony. They had the ceremony begin at 7:45pm and had the reception directly following. It was on a Saturday. We ended up getting served dinner around probably 10pm, but I don’t think anyone really noticed beause they had such an amazing and entertaining reception. It was actually probably the best wedding I’ve ever gone to! The reception was held in the hotel where all of us guests were already staying, so the party lasted until the early morning.
So, I think if you really wanted to, you could have everything on Saturday evening since your guests are staying at the lodge. I would keep Friday night for a chill rehersal dinner and do the board games, etc that night. Have the ceremony in the evening Saturday and have an awesome reception to follow!
Post # 6
Yeah I’d be annoyed you took my whole weekend. I had a friday evening wedding too, but it was a semi DW and it gave my guests the rest of the weekend to leave when they wanted to, or hang out at the beach.
Post # 7
- Wedding: December 2014 - 13th ~ TN
chickspartan: It would depend on two things. How important you are to me & if I have to travel a long way two days in a row.
If you want to make it an all weekend thing, and some cultures do, then you need to take everything into consideration. Not jus the time of day you want to have your ceremony.
Post # 8
We’re doing a small ceremony & reception on a Saturday followed by a big party with extra guests (extended family, less close friends, work colleagues etc) on the Sunday afternoonn and no one has complained about the two day event. It’s the same thing all of FIs siblings did and no one minded at all.
Post # 9
Would y be able to do it in the fall or winter when the sun sets earlier? Or would you be okay with mixing it up a bit, doing the dinner first, and then the ceremony parts? The lovely part about that is you could have fireworks when you kiss at the end, and that could help start your carnival part off with a bang! Everyone could come and congratulate you, then you two could play the first game to start everything off. It would be a bit offbeat, but so is having your ceremony and recepotion on two different days. You would probably want to put some sort of broad warning in the invites about supper and ceremony being in reverse order, but it could work.
Post # 10
Thanks for the input, looks like having the ceremony and reception on different days would definitely frustrate a lot of people. )=
I’ll have to get creative with the night, then. I’m just afraid if it got too late people would leave anyway without enjoying all of the things we had planned. This is what the timeline is looking like:
Pre cocktails: 7-8
Ceremony: 8- 8:30
Cocktail hour 2: 8:30-9
Dinner and speeches: 9-10
10-11:30: Fun and games
12-End: After party
Just seems like a ton of money and stress for 1.5 hours of the stuff we actually want to get to. /=
Post # 11
Do cocktail hour first. If you plan to have that. That way guests will have been fed a snack. Then have your ceremony at 815, or whatever time you mentioned. Then your reception and serve dinner by 9.
One of DH’s groomsmen is an event planner. He said at any affair, dinner should be served by 9.
Post # 12
chickspartan: I don’t know if it’s just me, but I doubt many people would notice the significance of the ‘stand by me’ theme of darkness, and think “man, she totally shouldn’t have picked this song, it’s not nighttime yet” if you had the ceremony a bit earlier.
Post # 13
cpick: I was actually tossing around the idea of a Sunday reception but I’m afraid people will need to hurry back home for work on Monday. My fiance works weekends and we went to a wedding once where were having a really good time but had to leave right after dinner anyway since he had to be at work the next morning. I suppose if it’s early enough we won’t run into this problem, but with traveling guests you never know. I’ll have to look into it.
babeba: We’re pretty set on a May wedding, and unfortunately since it’s in Oklahoma the weather would hardly cooperate any other time. But I love your ideas! Fireworks and kicking off the first games seems like a lot of fun. Yet another idea I’ve had (can you tell I’ve been thinking about this a lot?) is to have a long cocktail hour (2-3 hours) with lots of food and games, the ceremony at sunset, then transitioning into a more formal event afterward where we pull out the bigger games and entertainment. It would be a late night, but I’m leaning toward this idea!
Post # 14
- Wedding: June 2014 - San Francisco, CA
chickspartan: I would be PISSED if I was invited to a wedding that started with a 3-hour cocktail reception, then the nighttime ceremony, then a late-night dinner. I’d be starving by the time we got to dinner – passed cheeses and canapes aren’t really going to cut it. If you decide to do something like that, you should 100% make it clear on the invitation so guests know to have a large late lunch beforehand. Also, 3 hours is a loooooot of socialization time if you have a lot of guests who aren’t close.
Post # 15
I would only go if it was a very close friend of family member, but I wouldn’t be happy about it. Could you just do heavy apps after the ceremony to save time?