Post # 1
I’m the annoying bee who keeps posting =) I posted yesterday about Friday wedding concerns. Long story short, the venue I really want is beautiful but we can’t afford Saturday so might have to do Friday.
I was worried about the ceremony starting too early (6, 6:30) because I know people have work and I don’t want it to be an inconvenience, or for people to feel rushed or annoyed.
So I thought I’d settle on a 7pm ceremony. But now another thought struck me – 7 pm ceremony means cocktail hour 7:30 – 8:30, reception 8:30 – 12:30…so the sit down meal wouldn’t be until 8:30/9 pm!
That’s incredibly late for dinner isn’t it? I’m not really sure what to do here! I thought maybe people could snack beforehand but if they’re at work all day I’m sure that’s not likely.
What would you do?
Post # 3
I’ve been to a wedding that served dinner that late before. I just had to feed my husband a small meal ahead of time, haha. But can I ask…is a cocktail hour necessary? Could you do all of your photos before the ceremony instead, so you could go straight to reception?
Also, I think you could get away with a 6:30 ceremony if you are concerned about time. I’ve been to Friday night weddings around that time, as well.
Post # 4
Yeah cocktail hour seems to be pretty non-negotiable! It’s expected around here and everyone always remarks that “Cocktail hour is the best part of a wedding!” I’ve actually never heard of a wedding without one so I’m not quite sure how that would work with the venues around here?
Post # 5
That’s about the time our dinner was served. We had a heavy cocktail hour before hand to tide people over. No one complained.
Post # 6
That was our exact wedding schedule and people seemed to do fine. Everyone knew so they could grab a snack ahead of time and cocktail hour had plenty of food. The issue we had was dinner service ran a little long so the dance floor didn’t open as early as I wanted it to.
Post # 7
What about a Sunday afternoon wedding? Did you sign a contract for Friday already? My venue’s discounted price was for Friday evening or Sunday. We went with Sunday, ceremony start time is 3:30 p.m., cocktail hour from 4 p.m.-5 p.m., reception until 9 p.m. We also choose Martin Luther King weekend on purpose, since some people will be off that Monday due to the holiday. And since the reception is over at 9 p.m., the people that have work the next day will not be up terrible late.
Post # 8
@MrsCreeToBe: That’s funny! Must be such a regional thing, because most of the weddings I’ve been to haven’t had one. Will your cocktail hour have food? If so, I wouldn’t worry too much about serving a later dinner.
Post # 9
- Wedding: July 2012 - Baltimore Museum of Industry
I was a Friday bride with a 6pm ceremony, and it worked fine. Was it an inconvenience? Yes, I’m sure a little, but no one was annoyed with us. Even having a wedding on a Saturday can be an inconvenience-your Saturday afternoon wedding conflicts with little Jimmy’s soccer game, etc.
We had cocktails start at 6:30, with dinner by 7:30. Which was even “late” for some of our older guests. Also- there were a number of guests (again, older) who left around 9:30 (reception til 11). Most of our local guests left work a little early, some came straight from work, which could even happen with a 7 or 7:30 ceremony, so I’d think people would be hungry!
Regardless of when you host your wedding, *someone* will be inconvenienced. If the date/time works for your immediate family and wedding party, then I say go for it. (We also made a point in our thank-you “speech,” to recognize how grateful we were that people made it/we realized Friday meant leaving work early, etc.)
Post # 10
@Gemstone: Yeah, I think that’s the reason everyone loves it lol! I’m from NY so cocktail hours here are usually lots of booze and passed hors d’ouevres, 6-10 chafing stations, a pasta station, meat carving, etc.
Personally I think the cocktail hours are way too food heavy to come before a sit down meal but that seems to be the norm! :/ so I guess people would technically be eating at 7:30, but no fancy sit down dinner until probably 8:30 or 9.
Post # 11
@MrsCreeToBe: Daaaang! Then I wouldn’t worry at all about a later dinner.
So now the question is… can I come tol your wedding? 😉 Sounds delish!
Post # 12
OP, I’d much rather have a 7pm start time (and a later dinner) than a 6pm start time on a work day (and an earlier dinner).
Post # 13
@MrsCreeToBe: Your guests will prepare for it. As long as you don’t make it sound like a full sit down meal to only end up serving cake and punch, then you shouldn’t worry.
If you are very concerned about the time, you could opt to do a cocktail reception instead. Then you are just consistantly having snacking appetizer like foods throughout the evening.
Post # 14
I think I agree with PPs, a later dinner is probably preferable to an earlier start time and rushing home from work. Hopefully the food during the cocktail hour will tide everybody over!
Post # 15
I think as long as you let people know the schedule it will be fine. I would just eat a snack in the afternoon if I was coming to your wedding.