Post # 1
We are getting married March 19th 2011 and I have NO IDEA what time the ceremony should begin. We are having a four hour reception afterwards. We don’t want early afternoon. I just don’t have a clue. I only discovered this because I need to start designing my invites.
What time do you think the ceremony should begin?
Post # 3
Well you said that you didn’t want early afternoon, so it would seem like you want an evening wedding and reception?
Are you having it indoors or outdoors (the ceremony)?
Post # 3
Are you having a cocktail hour in between? Do you have to travel to the reception from the ceremony? And do you wish to take pictures in between?
Post # 4
Do you have a set time that you need to be out of your reception venue by? Say you need to be out by midnight. Leave 30 minutes for clearing up, so your reception should ideally end by 11:30. You want at least 4 hours of reception so let’s say you start that at 7:00PM. Then you have to decide if you’re having a cocktail hour for your guests if you’re taking photos after your ceremony. So if you try to have your ceremony finish 1.5 hours before then you need it to finish by 6:30. Do you know how long your ceremony will take? With all this info in mind I’d probably look at starting your ceremony at 4:00 so you have extra time for your reception later – but that’s just me.
Hope that’s helpful!
Post # 5
@SouthernTulip: I just don’t want it before 3pm. The ceremony is outdoors. The reception is indoors.
@roxy821: We are not having a cocktail hour inbetween per say, but we are taking photos while the guests are able to get a drink from the bar. I guess it kind of is. The ceremony and reception are at the same place.
Post # 6
We had a 4:30 ceremony followed by a reception from 6-11pm and it worked out perfectly!
Plus, the old wives tale says that it’s better luck to be married on the half hour than the hour so that the hand on the clock is rising. I’m not superstitious or anything but when it doesn’t appear you have anything dictating the time other than personal preference, why not follow the old wives tale?
Post # 7
how long is your ceremony? just remember that the ceremony will start at least 10-15 minutes after the stated time anyways.
Post # 8
@Mrs.KMM:How funny, I’ve never heard that old wives tale before! Now it’s got me thinking… was our ceremony at 10 or 10:30?! Haha.
Post # 9
are you serving dinner?
We had our ceremony at 6:30 followed by dinner and dancing immediately following. The ceremony and reception were at the same places also. The ceremony ended up starting at 6:45ish and we ended the night at 11:30.
Post # 10
Several factors to consider:
- How long is the ceremony going to be?
- Will there be a cocktail hour between? (Hour meaning hour, no longer, or else you’ll have sloppy drunks probably lol)
- How late can you be at your venue?
- How formal/casual is the wedding? The later in the day, the more formal, traditionally speaking.
To give you an idea, our wedding is semi-formal, ceremony/reception at the same place, and we can stay until 11pm. So, our ceremony is 5 – 5:30, cocktails from 5:30 – 6:30, and reception from 6:30 – 11pm (dinner served at 7pm), giving us a technical 4.5hour reception plus another hour for cocktails.
Post # 11
Depending on a few of the factors others have mentioned (sit down dinner, when you have to be out of the place) if you’re not having a formal dinner I would think right at maybe a few minutes before dusk would be super pretty. I always liked when it was just dark enough that a candle lined aisle looked awesome -but that’s me. Mid march in SC (are you in the mountains or in the flat area?) the sun should be at dusk like 6 ish (there are more exact methods of figuring that out though.
Post # 12
I would go with a 4pm ceremony and 6-11pm reception. This would give you a little time in case you are running a little bit behind and also leaves an hour for pictures.
Post # 13
To choose a ceremony start time you need to consider the following
When does the reception have to start?
How long do you want the ceremony to last?
How much of a time gap do you want/need between ceremony and reception?
Post # 14
@littlemissmoo: FYI http://www.bridalshower.com/planning/folklore/index.html
“Some people believed that the wedding ceremony should be completed between the half hour and the hour. The clock hand rising towards the hour, signified success and rising fortune.”
Not that it truely means anything (unless you’re superstitious) but just something kind of fun to think about and do if nothing else in the schedule prevents it!
Post # 15
I voted for 4:30PM then your reception will probably start around sunset (if you are doing a cocktail hour afterwards) which I think would make the lighting so romantic around that time.