Post # 1
My entire life I’ve had my heart set on a candlelight ceremony. In order for that to work, it obviously has to be dark outside. Right? That would make sense. When we started planning for a March 1st wedding, the prequisite darkness fell right into my plans… Twlight around 6:15pm, and sunset around 6:45. I planned for the ceremony to be at 6:30. Perfect… until we changed our date to the 14th of March. No big, right? Well, little did I know that daylight savings time happened on the 10th, thus pushing my much-needed sunset to 7:45pm. That’s so late! Is 7:30 too late for a wedding? I feel like it is, because then we aren’t out until after 8, with dinner not starting till 9pm. A 9 o’clock dinner sounds crazy to me. Should I even serve dinner that late, or just go for hor dourves and dessert?
It doesn’t help that my church has two gigantic stained glass windows. (And they’re not darkly stained, so that doesn’t help.)
I need either some reassurance that late weddnings are okay, and ideas on what to do about dinner, or I need some encouragement to change my date back to the 1st (which is still totes possible, even though the 14th is pi, which has a lot of meaning for us). Stupid DST!
What would you do?
Post # 3
You’re getting married pretty much at magic hour. Your photos are going to be gorgeous, I would keep the same date.
Post # 4
I would keep the same date but different type of meal. If you start the wedding at 7:30pm, how long will the ceremony be? How long will cocktail hour be? You may be starting dinner at 9pm! Champagne and desserts sounds like a wonderful wedding I would attend and it’s cheaper! But also keep in mind these weddings are typically shorter than the ones that include dinner.
Post # 5
I think dinner at 9pm is way, way too late. If you’re going to keep the candlelight ceremony, I would just do an apps/dessert kind of reception, but make sure your guests know that no meal will be served so they don’t come hungry!
Post # 6
i did a sunset wedding. logistically, it means if you want daylight photos (bride and groom, family etc, not just the 30 min ceremony) then you’re better off doing a first look for photos
i think a 9pm dinner is fine but thats pretty standard for weddings here (mexico). ar eyou having a lot children coming? they might have problems waiting for food. otherwis,e you just give people a heads up and tell them that they should have a late lunch
are you having a reception after, with dancing? if not, then a champagne/hors d’oeuvres reception is fine. if people will be staying late, it needs to be a meal
edit – ive just seen march 14th is a friday. most likely, people will quickly change after work and not have time to eat dinner beforehand. so i think not serving a meal will be more problematic
Post # 7
id probably keep march 1st to be honest, and then have a normal dinner without it being horrendously late
Post # 8
I had planned on a full reception, dinner, dancing, etc. But now I am all sorts of frustrated! I like the idea of drinks and desserts and light appetizers, but I don’t even know what a wedding like that would look like. Do you even keep tables with settings? Will people even stay and dance at a reception like this?
I am all for a first look for photos, but my FI isn’t on board quite yet, so that isn’t so much of a concern.
Post # 9
I would definitely change the date back to your first option. Is the significance of 3/14 literally the only reason you moved to the 2nd date?
If it is, I’d probably prioritize wanting a candlelight ceremony my entire life over that.
(And I agree with PP, 9pm is way too late to serve dinner.)
Post # 10
I’m having a 7pm ceremony and a 9pm dinner. The choice is really a 3pm ceremony or a 7 and I wanted evening so there you go. My guests will easily figure out from the ceremony start time that dinner is late and prepare accordingly.
To make up for it though I did choose a buffet dinner to serve a little more quickly than plated and my cocktail half hour will have a carving station for those who don’t realize a catholic ceremony takes the better part of an hour.
My sister did her 7 pm wedding and followed it with heavy horderves (sp?) instead of a true dinner. There were still tables and table numbers but set only with napkins and water glasses (as mine will be with the buffet). People stayed until the music stopped and the bar closed. I can go into much greater detail on either late night reception if you’d like.
Post # 11
We will deff be doing a buffet if we do a full dinner. Please go into as much detail as your fingers can type! 🙂
Post # 12
I’ve been to 6:00 or 7:00 PM weddings before, meaning dinner wasn’t till 8:30 or 9:00. Didn’t really phase me, as I knew going in that if the ceremony started later, dinner would be later too.
Post # 13
So my plan, first look and all pictures not at the altar done beforehand. Then the ceremony and while the guests get to the reception I finish the altar photos.
When guests arrive the bar will be open with a carving station. That handles starving guests. They have time to find there placecards and tables and there will be itinerary showing dinner is at 9. We should arrive before then to introduce wedding party and then straight to me and then hubby doing our first dance. This will have the dance floor be open for anyone once they’ve eaten! Any other dances we can do before 9 will take place.
My wedding party is informed to start dancing as soon as they’ve eaten so all the guests know it’s expected and no need to sit around if you were the first through the line. We will be walking to all the tables this time trying to say hi. Some point we will cut the cake to serve dessert.
At 10 the buffet is closed and the toasts will happen and the music turned up. We go until midnight.
Official timeline isn’t made up yet but that’s the general flow. The only time I’ve ever hated late dinners was a plated one because I was one of the last tables to serve and the live band didn’t play until everyone had eaten. So that’s why I chose buffet and DJ. I just want to party. 🙂
PP is correct. If the ceremony is listed near dinnertime people know food is served later and will come having eaten something! When you list your reception information just note whether it’s dinner or appetizers and most guests will eat what they need beforehand to survive the night.
Post # 14
- Wedding: April 2012 - Chateau Briand
My ceremony did not start until close to 8 pm with of course a late dinner and not a single person complained. Our guests were clever enough to figure out the dinner would be late and plan accordingly 🙂
Post # 15
Question: Is your ceremony inside? (I suppose it would be, I’m in March, too!)
I am also planning somewhat of a candlelight ceremony, and am getting married in front of a fireplace (with candles all around)… I’m going to ask my ceremony venue to turn down the house lights. Not turn them off, just down enough that the candles glow, instead of just seem to be lit. Make sense?
And don’t forget… in the winter it often gets darker out before sunset!
So you really may be OK.
Coming from an architectural standpoint, I can try to pinpoint the angle and position of the sun related to your church & ceremony time if that would make you feel better. Meaning we could possibly see if it’ll be streaming through the stained glass windows. PM me if you like, and I’ll give it a shot.