Post # 1
Anyone have any exnaple timelines for receptions where the venue needs to have music off by 10pm? We’re also doing a first look. Here is my intial thoughts, but would love to see other peoples examples or ideas.
We’re skipping out on the bouquet/garter toss and we may or may not do father/daughter & mother/son dances. Not sure yet.
We’re also not allowed to have sparklers (the venue has safety issues with it) so I’m not sure what we would do a send-off and when. We have the photographer for 8 hours and with the below timeline her night would end around 9pm. She said if she went over 8 hours she wouldn’t charge us, but I’d like to be respectful of her time and avoid having to pay for an additional hour.
1:30 – 2 Final Touches
2:00 – 2:30pm Bride & Groom First Look
2:30 – 3:00pm Bridal Party Photos
3:00 – 3:30pm Freshen Up & Guests Arrive
3:30 – 3:45pm Ceremony
[This is where I get a little confused!]
3:45pm – 4:15pm Cocktail Hour Begins – 15 min family photos and 15 min additional photos for us
4:15 – 4:30 Introduction of Bridal Party
4:30 – 5pm End of Cocktail Hour
5:00 – 5:15pm – Seated for Dinner and Quick Toast
5:15 – 6:00pm Dinner (Toasts at 5:45 by Best Man/MOH)
6:00pm to 6:10pm – First Dance, Father/Daughter & Mother/Son Dances..
Dancing too early?
7pm Cake Cutting and Dessert
Post # 3
Could you do your ceremony a little later, like 3:30 or 4?
Here’s my tenative ceremony/reception timeline, ours ends at 10:30. We are also doing first look before
4:40-5:10 Receiving Line
5:10-5:30 Change & Drive to Reception
5:35-5:45 Wedding Party Introductions, Bar open
6:00-7:00 Buffet Open
7:00-7:10 Cake Cutting
7:10-7:30 First Dance, F/D & M/S dances
7:30 Dancing Opens
8:00-8:15 Bouquet & Garter Toss
8:30-8:50 Bride & Groom Pics Outside w/ Sparklers
10:30 Sparkler Exit
10:45 Drive to Hotel
Post # 4
My concern is that I want it to be a fun party for the people traveling for the wedding. Pretty much 90% of the guests will be staying the evening because the drive would be rather long so if they are going to have to stay I hate to fill them up with booze and send them to bed at 10pm. I thought if I started the night earlier 10pm wouldnt feel too early and people would be tired.
Post # 5
I would be THRILLED to go to a wedding with that much dancing! That is, assuming the bar is open (or was open earlier), and the DJ is AWESOME!
Post # 6
I think dinner is too early. Could you ceremony be at 4?
Ours went like this:
2:30 – first look, pictures pre-ceremony of bridesmaids, etc.
4:00 – ceremony. Having that much time before the ceremony was really nice — there was no rushing, it was calm.
4:15 – 5:45 – cocktail “hour”, family pictures, going around and talking to people
5:45 – people were asked to be seated for dinner
6:00 – my grandfather gave a little speech, we ate dinner
7:00 – 9:00 – dancing and more drinking
After the reception, we invited everyone to go to a bar downtown, and about twenty people came. I changed before I went! It was nice because we were no longer in charge of hosting.
Post # 7
@xkrsa: 10pm will probably feel really early despite what time you start. Just give them a map or something with a few bars or places to go. It could depend on your guests though. My guests will undoubtedly go out after but aren’t huge dancers so 4 hours of just dancing would be way too much.
Post # 8
are you doing food with your bar opening? We have apps, but I’m thinking about cutting those out as I’m trying to figure out our timeline. We too are doing a first look with photos before the ceremony, but the ceremony is at 6:30 and we end at 10:30.
Post # 9
@meke: We aren’t doing any apps. Guest will arrive at the reception at 5:30, go to the bar, then sit down for dinner/toasts at 6:00. Are you doing dinner too or just apps? If you’re not doing dinner, which you wouldn’t have to with a 6:30 ceremony, I would just keep the apps.
Post # 10
We had to be done at 10 pm too..did not bouquet/garter toss but an anniversary dance. I would start your ceremony at 4:00 or 4:30 pm.
We decided to start at 4:30 just because it was outdoors and we were hoping the sun wouldn’t be directly overhead.
This was our timeline:
2:45 pm: First look
3:10 – 4:00 pm: Bridal party/family portraits
4:00: bridal party relaxes
5:00 – 6:00: cocktail hour/finish last of photos
6:00 – 6:10: guests seated for dinner
6:15: grand entrance
6:20: first dance
6:30: dinner service begins
7:00: FOB speech
7:30: MOH speech and BM speech
7:45 – 8:00 pm: dancing!!
9:00 pm: cake cutting/cake service
10:00 pm: guests depart
Post # 11
We are doing a bbq buffet dinner. Just looking at timing I don’t think they are needed. Our ceremony will be very short, my brother is a notary, so he is doing the states suggested ceremony, it took me a few minutes to read it! Ceremony and reception are at the same place. After the ceremony we just want to do a big family photo, then I’m fine with just going into first dance and dinner.
Post # 12
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
@xkrsa: Give yourself more than 30 minutes for post-ceremony photos. If you want an idea of how long to expect the post-ceremony photos to last, write down each and every combination of people you want photos of and multiple by 2 because each one will take an average of tw minutes to set up and take extra shots for blinked eyes or awkward positions.
Also, don’t expect to attend the cocktail hour, it’s really to entertain your guests while you’re taking photos. That means you most likely won’t get introduced before 5pm. You need to give more time for guests to finish eating unless you want clanking of knives and forks during your first dance.
Here is the timeline with my changes:
5:00 – 5:15pm – Seat Guests for Dinner
5:15 – 5:30 – Introduction and Quick Toast
5:30 – 7:00pm Dinner (Toasts at 6:45 by Best Man/MOH)
7:00pm to 7:10pm – First Dance, Father/Daughter & Mother/Son Dances; open dance floor to guests following F/D & M/S
8:30 or 9pm Cake Cutting and Dessert; dance floor to reopen after cake cutting and run until 10pm
Post # 13
We’re doing passed apps during the cocktail hour and a plated dinner.
We’re doing a first look so I plan on taking the majority of photos prior to the wedding so that I can do all my greetings, hugs, and thank yous during the cocktail hour if possible so that I can enjoy dancing.
My fear is that 3 hours of dancing – interrupted by a cake cutting – isn’t a good enough “party” haha. Is that silly? Our wedding isn’t near any bars or anything like that so once 10pm hits it’s bed for everyone…trying to find a way to make sure people are truly satisfied.
Post # 14
@xkrsa: One wedding I attended cut the cake between dinner courses (between the salad and the main course, to be precise). That way, the cake was plated while everyone ate the main course and was served before anyone got up. That way, the dancing wasn’t interrupted! Perhaps you could do that in order to keep the dancing going strong?
Post # 15
@ArtDecoDC: That’s a great idea! I thought about doing it right after dinner and before the first dance because we have a dessert table and won’t be serving the dessert to guests they can walk over and grab it anytime during the night.