Post # 1
Hoping you can please please please give me some advice. We are having the hardest time figuring out timing of everything. I need some of this info before booking a DJ. Our ceremony and reception are at the same venue.
1) What time do I set for my ceremony? The officiant is guessing 20-40 minutes right now based on past ceremonies he has performed.
2) How long do I give for dinner? Just an hour? More? I have emailed the wedding coordinator at the venue and haven’t heard back yet.
3) How long does a typical reception last? We’ve been to plenty of weddings in the past but can’t remember! Obviously, we were having too much fun and not paying attention to time. 🙂 We have the space until midnight. Do I go right up until midnight or is it okay to end at 10:00 or 11:00? We have a lot of guests coming in from out of town. I don’t want them to feel like it was too short but also know the day is going to be extremely long. Thoughts?
Hoping some of you Bees can give me some much needed advice. Thank you in advance!
Post # 2
All of those really depend on a lot of other factors;
1. Do you have any times with your venue scheduled; IE when is your cocktail hour, or dinner? Do you have certain times with your cermony site scheduled? When is your officient free (ie does he or she have other obligations the same day such as saying a mass if a priest or another wedding) It can really be any time you want, but if you are open to any time, count backwards (ie if dinner is at 7 and you are having a cocktail hour at 6, you would likley want to start around 5. And 20 to 40 minutes is a huge time difference, so I would narrow down what you want and how long it will take.
2. This again depends. How large is your crowd? Are you having a multi course sit down, meal stations or buffett? Your venue will be the best to tell you.
3. How is your crowd? Most weddings I have been to break up no later than 11:00, but if you have a very young party crowd, it might be midnight as a couple of weddings that I have also seen. Also, it would depend if you are serving dinner at 5 or at 7.
Post # 3
There are too many variables to really help you at this point, but I’ll try to make a helpful suggestion 🙂
If you’re doing pictures before the ceremony: Ceremony at 5:30, Dinner at 6:30, Reception at 8:00 (1.5 hours is likely too long for dinner, but it’s always good to give yourself a little wiggle room. You can always ask your DJ to start the reception early if you want), Finish up at 12 (dances here are always 4 hours)
If you’re doing pictures after the ceremony:<br />Ceremony at 3 or 4, Dinner at 6:30, Reception at 8:00, Finish up at 12
If you’re doing a reception program, then a dance you can always bump things up and shuffle as need be, but I’d give myself 1.5 hours for dinner, and 45 mins for ceremony just to be safe. If everything runs on time you’ll be able to mingle with your guests, and if one thing goes late, you wont end up having a 45 mins dance 🙂 I personally would have the DJ stay until midnight, even if you want to leave early, your guests (at least some) will likely want to dance the night away (depending on your crowd of course!)
Post # 4
jsicam: Here’s my tentative timeline courtesy of the venue coodinator:
3:00-4:30pm – Pre-ceremony photos
6:00-7:00pm – Cocktail Hour (take a few more pics at this time)
7:00-7:30pm – Formalities (Inviting all guests to be seated, introductions, first dance, toasts, etc.)
7:30-8:30pm – Dinner Service
8:30pm – Cut cake and Parent Dances
8:45pm-11pm – Dance Floor open for dancing until end of night!
Post # 5
LilRhodyGem: That is super helpful! Thank you for posting!
jsicam: I reluctantly pulling out my wedding binder I have been avioding today and went over some of the timing. I gave myself a stress headache lol. Thank you for posing this question!
For you it also depends on how many people you have/type of dinner service, also if you’re doing all of the formalities.
We’re having a late ceremony and app/dessert reception for 130 people… but it’s not as traditional as most weddings.
I agree with PPs, that you should have the DJ go later, if you two leave some guests may want to stay and party. If they do not, they will leave. Ours is going till 1am, woohoo! hehe.
Post # 6
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you for all of the fabulous feedback. It helped me answer some questions and brought up some other good ones. Still waiting to hear back from the coordinator at the venue. Giving her until Friday before I harass her again. You all are fabulous!