Post # 1
Hi all, I need some help trying to figure out a timeline with a first look.. I’ve been looking online and have seen a lot of people mentioning a cocktail hour.. I’m not familiar with this at all and have never been to a wedding where they do this, so I’m just wondering how to go about having a timeline, and what exactly is a cocktail hour? Here’s what I’m hoping..
first look around 2pm
photos with wedding party and family and of us alone afterward (My photographer told me to allocate about 2.5 hours for all photos, but judging by how long our engagement photos took and how big the area is where we’re getting photos, to add in walking time to each location, I’m thinking they might take even longer than that)
Ceremony at 6pm
Receiving line after ceremony (Photographer said to allocate about 45 minutes)
Reception with finger foods/grand entrance at ??pm
That’s where I’m not sure. Do we do that at 7pm, or because of the receiving line, should we do the grand entrance at 8pm in order to let the guests get there and have time to mingle for a while.. We’ll also be doing speeches at the reception.
Any advice would be appreciated!
Post # 4
Are you planning on doing ALL your photos before the ceremony, including family? Usually cocktail hour is the time between the ceremony and before the reception starts where the bride/groom do all the family photos, etc and the other guests can mingle. We didn’t do a receiving line, so I’m not much help there, sorry! If it helps, this was our rough timeline:
1pm: Arrive at venue to get ready
3pm: First look
3:30ish-5: Photos of bride/groom, bridal party, etc
5-6: Free time
7: Cocktail hour – when we took formal photos with family and any other photo ops we missed. Other guests were downstairs in the reception area with drinks and our one appetizer station. Also had a photobooth to keep them occupied.
7:45: Our grand entrance to the reception. Was planned for 7:30 but we fell a bit behind.
Post # 5
We are doing our first look at about 2p and our ceremony is at 5p. If you aren’t doing a cocktail hour, I would suggest going right into dinner so you have more time to dance after!
A cocktail hour is a time between the ceremony and reception for hors d’voures and cocktails.
Post # 6
Ok, so by the sounds of it, the cocktail hour is basically what we are hoping for our whole reception. We are hoping to skip a big dinner because of a tight budget, and have an evening wedding instead, however that leaves no light for photos, hence the idea of the first look. So if we have the first look at 2, supper ourselves at 5, wedding at 6 (after everybody has already eaten supper) and then have our grand entrance around 7:30-8, that should give everybody lots of time to get to the hall from the church (its only like 2 minutes away) and we can make our grand entrance then. Right? It doesnt seem to make much sense to have the cocktail hour when we’d be doing the same thing for the reception.. does that make sense?
Sorry, this timeline thing is frustrating!
Post # 7
I think that sounds like enough time! I’ve had a hard time myself creating the timeline and have relied on our photog to help us out.
Post # 8
Sounds doable. Run it by your photographer, I’m sure they’ve seen hundreds of timelines and know what will/won’t work. Just make sure all your guests know for sure that dinner won’t be provided – I would assume there would be a big meal at an evening reception.