Early afternoon ceremony, evening dinner reception

posted 3 years ago in Destination Weddings
  • poll: When should we have cake cutting and toasts?
    Straight after the ceremony : (8 votes)
    35 %
    At the start of the reception, serve cake with dessert : (2 votes)
    9 %
    During the reception, toasts during meals, cake cutting before dessert : (12 votes)
    52 %
    Skip the cake cutting and toasts : (1 votes)
    4 %
  • Post # 3
    7286 posts
    Busy Beekeeper

    Honestly I think you should have a reception directly after the ceremony and then take photos later. Sorry but if you are asking your guests to come to a DW and the accommodation costs mean that they have to stay elsewhere which requires cathing the ferry/flight earlier than your reception then you really need to switch out your timeline.

    Sorry but it is incredibly rude on my book to expect guests to travel to a DW and then put up barriers which excludes them from reception.

    Post # 4
    1248 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: April 2014

    Why would they leave before the reception? If I was invited to HI for a wedding then if I chose to go it would be for the whole evening, not just the ceremony? I would not travel interstate just for a short ceremony, it would be for the whelse shebang.


    Having said that, do you need to have such a big gap between the ceremony and reception? Is it in a church? If the gap is necessary then maybe just provide some nibbles in the meantime. I’m not opposed to gaps mind you but generally for civil ceremonies they aren’t that big.

    Post # 5
    7286 posts
    Busy Beekeeper

    @Lollybags:  The OP said that the guests would be leaving because of the ferry timetable. They will be opting to stay on the mainland I would assume due to the expensive accommodation prices on the island.

    Post # 6
    7630 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: January 2013

    I would try not to have a gap if it’s at all possible. How about taking pictures before? 

    Post # 9
    2876 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: February 1998

    @Soon2bMrsGrech:  I’ve now attended 3 weddings on Hamilton Island and I must say its truly amazing. They are the best weddings I’ve ever attended.

    All 3 weddings had the 2pm ceremony and then dinner at about 5.30-6pm. I think trying to fit cake and nibbles in between would be too rushed.

    The photos they take at HI are stunning don’t miss this or rush it because I really think you’d regret it later. Goodluck 

    Post # 11
    2876 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: February 1998

    @Soon2bMrsGrech:  we all went back to our accomodation and freshened up then most of  us headed to sails resturant and had a few cocktails before the reception started. No one had a problem with this. It is so relaxed on HI and I find everyone is happy to go with the flow. 

    Post # 12
    7286 posts
    Busy Beekeeper

    @Soon2bMrsGrech:  Honestly if my only option due to finances was to stay off Island I would find the bride and groom rude for just having a cake and drinks reception unless I fork out extra $$$ to stay on the Island and then I get dinner.

    You are kind of punishing guests who have taken the time and money to come to your DW, for not having the financial means to stay on the Island.

    So could you serve cake and drinks after the ceremony, sure why not.  But I personally think that the question should be should I be excluding some guests from the reception? And you are excluding them because the place you have chosen to have your wedding has limited transport options and a limited variety of accommodations to suit different budgets.

    Post # 13
    69 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: May 2015

    @j_jaye:  I disagree. My opinion with destination weddings is that if you can’t afford to go to the wedding and stay at the accommodation which would mean that you can stay for the whole reception then decline the invitation.


    In Australia it is very normal to have a few hours in between the ceremony and reception and most (all) guests would be aware of that.


    If people don’t like it they don’t have to come.


    I voted to do the cake and toasts immediately after the reception but I think during dinner would work just as well too.

    Post # 16
    5087 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: April 2014

    In the UK it’s usual to serve tea and cake or light bubbly and nibbles after the ceremony. Do the photos and then move onto the reception.

    I think it’s a lovely to serve drinks in the garden after. 

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