Post # 1
I am in the preliminary stages of planning and am having difficulty finding a ceremony venue for our date. We are planning on the Sunday of a holiday weekend, and I am finding that mwill churches will not host us then. Our reception venue has a space for a ceremony that we are considering using.
Here’s my question: what is the best way to handle the timing of the ceremony and reception if both are held at the same venue (in different areas)? It is very important to us to have ample time for pictures, and my FI is vehemently against doing a first look.
Our current timeline leaves about a 1-2 hour gap before the start of the cocktail hour. I don’t like the idea of guests having to leave and come back, but I’m not sure what else to do with them.
Post # 3
We are having our ceremony and reception at a country club. We’ll have the ceremony, then the guests will go to the reception area and have a drink and some finger foods while we do our photos (this will be cocktail hour). Then, after about an hour of photos -hopefully less!!- we will have our entrance to the reception, then our meal, and carry on with our reception festivities. I think the whole purpose of cocktail hour is to have something for your guests to do while you get photos. I have not been to many weddings where the couple was actually present during cocktail hour. (but maybe that’s just the way we do it in our area?)
Post # 4
We are having our ceremony and reception in the same place; our ceremony is at 4pm and we are doing a cocktail hour(s) from 4:45 to about 6pm. Our venue needs about two hours to “flip” the room. A lot of our guests are very happy they will not have to travel from one place to another and a lot of our guests are older so they are happy to be able to retire to their hotel rooms in between ceremony and reception.
Post # 5
We’re having ours in the same place as well and agree with PPs that generally you take your photos during cocktail hour. Our cocktail time is actually going to be an hour and a half because they need to flip the room, we need to change (Indian ceremony) and then we’ll take a few portraits together. However, we’re doing a first look and most of our portraits with with the wedding party before hand.
Post # 6
We are having the ceremony and recption in the same room! Basically we’re going to take pictures with our families before the ceremony (leaving only the ones that include both of us till after since we don’t want to see eachother before). Then after the ceremony we’ll finish the pictures while we have a cocktail hour, yes the guests are able to watch us get our pictures taken…but that doesn’t really bother me. Then we’ll take photos outside and then when we’re ready we’ll walk back being announced as Mr. and Mrs. Hippos!
Post # 7
We also had the posed photos taken during the cocktail hour. The ceremony was 5-5:30pm, the guests went into the barn 5:30-6:30pm for cocktails and appetizers, we took photos from 5:30-6:30pm, then at 6:30 we all sat down to dinner. The ceremony spot was separate from the reception spot, so the venue didn’t need to worry about flipping anything.
Post # 8
We did everything at the same venue….
How are you figuring a 1-2 hour gap before cocktail hour begins?
We started the cocktail hour after the ceremony and had ample entertainment (live music and photobooth) and tons of food (heavy appetizers, 5 selections, open bar). Everyone stuffed themselves silly.
The only downside was that we did not enjoy cocktail hour. I didn’t realize this – but DH was very disappointed in this and was the biggest bummer for him on our wedding day.
We did not do a first look – so 100% of our couple and our combined family pictures were post-ceremony. We alotted 2 hours for this, but it really only took about 1 1/2 hours -and we probably could have done it in one and enjoyed part of cocktail hour.
I would not do any sort of downtime since it’s all at the same venue. Plan some sort of activity, have food/drink, etc…
Post # 9
We are doing our pictures during cocktail hour and then as our guests are getting seated for the dinner. We will also take some time out in the night to take some more photos.
Post # 10
- Wedding: July 2012 - Baltimore Museum of Industry
We’re planning on a one-hour cocktail hour for photos- this will also include caterers flipping the room. Our ceremony and venue are at a museum, so there’s a lot to keep our guests occupied. We’re not doing a first look either. Can you push your ceremony time back?
We’re looking to do: 6pm ceremony, cocktail hour 6:30-7:30, dinner at 7:30
Post # 11
We are having our ceremony and reception at the same location. We are not going to do first look and we have 4 hrs total for the ceremony and reception. I have timelined it to perfection with the assistance of googling a reception timeline for assistance and tweeked it the way I wanted it to. So we only have 30 mins of big important pics. We might just be able to do one or two poses with family and wedding party and the rest bride and groom. We planned on immediately after the ceremony walking off to the side and take the pics with the most people in it first like family and all the wedding party. Then get bride and fam and groom and fam and then mix it. Then the wedding party and bride and groom. Then the Bride and Groom. The guests will be on a deck having cocktail hour staring at us taking photos but oh well. They will only have a 30 minute cocktail hour till they are escorted inside for the reception. I personally wouldnt be able to stand being outside for 2 hrs taking pics. Even if I wanted to the downside is we will be taking pics outside from 6pm to 7pm, the time the sun is setting. I suggest narrowing down your Must Have photos. I have 10.
Post # 12
Thanks for the suggestions everyone!
The wedding will be taking place in the college town where my FI and I met. It is important to us to take pictures around campus, which will require driving time. I am thinking this will be difficult to accomplish in only an hour.
Right now we are thinking about doing the ceremony from 2-2:30, receiving line until around 3, then pictures until the cocktail hour at 5. We could push the ceremony back to 3:00 or so. Would an hour and a half cocktail hour be pushing it? We have limited funds so providing enough food/drinks for a longer time will be difficult.
Any other suggestions?