Post # 1
Hi everyone! 🙂 I’m new around here, I love reading what everyone has been posting, I’ve definitely learned a lot!
I’m worried about my tight timeline, so I’m wondering if you guys can give me some advice. I’ll give you a bit of background: I booked both my wedding ceremony and reception for the same venue, so that way people don’t have to travel to different places. Everything is in one place. My fiance and I will have a ‘first look’ before everybody gets to the venue, so that saves time on some photos. I have the venue from 7:00 AM to 1:30 PM. See my timeline below. I’d appreciate your advice! I’m aware that I may get comments like ‘yup that timeline is too tight, good luck with that’, but I’m hoping to get better feedback than that. 🙂
P.S. I couldn’t get the venue for any other day/time, I was left with this. I loved it so much that I wanted to make it work.
Doors open for to vendors for setup
Guests start arriving
- Have them leave presents at gift table
- Let them sign the guest book
- Direct them to the grounds for the wedding ceremony
10:30 – 11:15 AM
While bride and groom and family are getting photos taken:
- At this point, there will be passed mimosas and other hors d’oeuvres
- People can take photos or go to the photo booth (which is our gift/souvenirs for them)
Have people start taking their seats for lunch
At this point, everyone is already seated.
- Bridal party is announced
- Toasts begin immediately after the bridal party is announced
- Keep the toasts to only 2-minute speeches per person
Lunch begins! (buffet)
- People can probably be asked per table to go to the lunch room where the food will be served. Staff will be pouring coffee and tea for everyone. Wine is available to be served in the lunch room by a bartender.
After 30 minutes of eating, bride and groom cut the cake. Staff will then bring the cake to the lunch room where guests can have them.
Songs to be performed: (note: my dad is a classical singer, hence the 3 songs he is singing)
- Song 1 – sung by my dad
- Song 2 – sung by me with my dad (instead of father-daughter dance)
- Song 3 – sung by dad, which is my first dance with my husband
- At one point in the song, all couples will be encouraged to dance with them
Send-off for the bride and groom! Everyone will walk us to the front of the house where we will be picked up by a limo.
- As soon as we are gone, all guests are asked to leave the grounds.
All guests have to be gone by this time. All the vendors will be left to clean up and leave.
Post # 3
I actually don’t think it’s that bad. People can still eat while you and your dad are singing. You could also have people get their food before the speeches so they can eat while they’re happening. You could also cut out the bouquet toss.
Post # 4
I’d either cut out at least one of the songs your dad is singing, or have him (or you & him) sing it when the dance floor is open to all guests. You don’t have a lot of time for guests to dance, so this would open up the floor a bit earlier. I’d be bored as a guest to just sit there watching someone sing.
Post # 5
I have a couple of questions before I can answer.
How many people are being invited to the wedding?
How many in your bridal party?
How long is the actual ceremony? I know mine was no more than 15 minutes.
Post # 6
@Beckster329: Your suggestion about having people get their food before the speeches is a BRILLIANT idea. Thank you!
@MidwestBride2012: Yeah I was a bit worried about that (about people being bored watching him sing haha!) My schedule is already boring for some people who’ve heard about it because they learned there wasn’t any party-dancing at the end. *sigh* I’ll probably just have an after-party or something.
Post # 7
I had a tight timeline, too.
All I want to say is, if, at any point, you find that you are running behind (which we did, by a mile!) try your very best to do two things: 1) EXPERIENCE THE MOMENT (because I did not, and I subsequently spent a long time grieving. I feel as though I missed most of my own reception, because, in essence, I did) and 2) make sure that you do whatever is MOST important to you, and do not allow the lesser details to eat up all of your time (because I did.) I hope you have an amazing and wonderful wedding! P.S. I had my dad sing to me, too, right before the Father-Daughter dance! 🙂
Post # 8
@texasbee: Hi there! There are going to be about 80-90 people at the wedding. The bridal party (including myself and my fiance) is 10 people. And the actual ceremony I was hoping to be around 15 minutes but we allotted 30 minutes! Perhaps I should speak with our officiant and mention to keep it 15?
Post # 9
Its doable but it is tight especially if anything runs less then perfectly. Maybe this would help- Since its a buffet what about letting guests start getting plates while you are finishing up pictures with family? Have your caterer set aside a plate for you and FI so you don’t miss any of your favorites. You finish pictures and come in the reception area. Once you get in, go ahead and do your cake cutting. Everyone is seated and watching you anyway so its a great time to do it. Then you sit down and eat, as the guests finish up their meals. Meanwhile the caterer cuts and hands out the rest of the cake. From there move onto the songs and your dances. And then your bouquet toss, and send off.
Also check with the venue- when they say you have it until 1:30- do they consider this guests must be gone by 1:30 or everything must be gone by 1:30. It would suck to get a bill for running late if the venue is assuming your vendors will be gone at 1:30. For us if we run late we have to pay extra and this includes if it takes to long for the vendors to get their stuff put up.
Post # 10
@Brielle: Thank you so much for your advice, I really appreciate it! I think I do tend to wallow in the most tiny details. I agree, I should really think about the things that would be important to me (for example, would a bouquet toss really be important for me for it to be there?) And your dad singing to you before your dance sounds just beautiful. 🙂
Post # 11
@nikkialys: I am honestly so glad I posted my dilemma on here, you all have such great suggestions! So so smart to have the guests start getting food while we are having our pictures taken! SMART! Also, I made sure to note the guest exit time; everyone has to be out by 1:30 and all vendors must be out by 2:00 PM. 🙂
Post # 12
- Wedding: July 2012 - The Gables Inn, Santa Rosa, CA
The biggest time crunch I see is getting everyone through the buffet– people tend to take a long time for this, but if you talk to the caterer they can open lines on both sides of the table, etc. to help expidite this process. Other than that– I think you’ll be fine.
Post # 13
My timeline is very similar, I have my venue from 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM! For almost the exact same reasons as you had. I just went to my cousin’s wedding this past weekend where it was the very traditional late evening 5-hour reception in a hotel ballroom kinda thing, and now I’m starting to get worried the guests won’t like the lovely sunshiney afternoony wedding I’ve planned…but I’ve decided to heck with it, I know it will be lovely, if they still want to go to a club that night, they can!
If it makes you feel any better, my venue has these timelines down to a science, and all their weddings go off without a hitch. My venue’s planner set my timeline (which is similar to yours) and she knows what she’s doing! If you’re curious, here’s what mine is:
12:00 Chapel/ Ballroom Access
12:00 Bridal Party Arrives
12:30 Guests Arrive in Chapel
1:00 Ceremony Begins
1:30 Guests Enter Ballroom
1:30 Hors d’Oeuvres/ Bar Service
2:20 Bride and Groom Enter Ballroom (BP Through BR Doors)
2:25 First Dance
2:30 Food Service Begins
3:30 Food Service Ends
3:35 Cake Cutting
3:40 Champagne Toast
3:45 Father/ Daughter, Mother/ Son
4:15 Bouquet and Garter Toss
4:30 Bar Closes
4:50 Bride and Groom Depart
5:00 Event Ends
Post # 14
@stellaleanna: I literally ended up doing the bouquet toss outside at the end of the night, as we made our way to the limo. There was no other time.
I had the same venue for my ceremony and reception, too, and, although it was so convenient in many ways, it also created timeline issues for us as well. My biggest regret was that the limitations of our venue space and timeline did not really allow for us to have a receiving line, and the timeframe for our reception and pics resulted in us never getting to go around and greet our guests. I could not believe how fast everything but our hour-plus-long ceremony went, and my overwhelming thought all the way to the hotel and throughout our Caribbean honeymoon was, “I can’t believe it’s over! We didn’t get to talk to our guests!! WHO has a WEDDING and doesn’t even GREET their guests?!?!?!?”
Oh, and, because my plan to take most of our pics prior to the ceremony was totally thrown off by very heavy traffic and other delays, we were taking pics during the reception, which technically ended (most people left) while we were outside finishing family pics. So, since we were still taking formal pics at that hour, I never ended up taking off my veil. I had not. one. single. solitary. pic. of myself without my veil. So, when I wasn’t distraught about not greeting people, I was crying about that! Thank God it’s three years later, and I can almost laugh about it now! 🙂
Post # 15
Yeah I’d mention it and also find out how long the whole “walking down the aisle” will take for the bridal party. It looks a little tight for me but if it’s only a 15 minute ceremony and you’re doing some of the pics early, it will give a little bit of room regarding time.
I’d rather have extra time at the beginning of the day to carry over to the end instead of having to cut anything out b/c you ran out of time….if that makes sense.
Just talked to DH about it, he said 90 people going through a buffet line might take up the whole alloted time for eating. Plus it might take 10 minutes to cut the cake up and people would be getting up to get it during the singing portion. That was his perspective….always thinking about food!
Post # 16
@juliette.eliza: Thanks so much! I should talk to my caterer soon and work this out!
@sarakat02: Oh man I am so happy you shared your timeline with me. Glad to know I’m not the only one out there with this crazy tight timeline!
@Brielle: Awww! 🙁 I’m pretty sure I’m going to go through what you went through, I’m sure I’m not going to be left with time to talk to all of the guests. Oy. And I already thought 90 people was small enough. But you know what, I’m sure your whole event was beautiful and that people appreciated it. 🙂 And I’m glad you can laugh about it now!
@texasbee: That does make sense! Extra time at the end would be nice. Looks like I need to do some careful planning with our caterer. I laughed at your ‘always thinking about food’ comment! So true! I’m considering asking our caterer if they can just pass down slices of cake instead of having guests go back to the buffet table to get cake!