11am vs 3pm ceremony?

posted 2 years ago in Ceremony
Post # 2
780 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2019

It sounds like you’re pretty sold on an 11am wedding but a few things to consider:

– it takes a long time to get ready on your wedding day, depending on how many bridesmaids you have it could be hours so 11am and you will be rushing—especially if you’re trying to have a first look.

– if you want it last until 11pm, do the 3pm. You can’t expect people to dedicate 12 hours to a wedding. They’ll either be way too tired to make it to 11pm or way too drunk 

– are you planning on serving two meals? You’re keeping people for both lunch and dinner time so you need to. That could increase costs quite a bit

Post # 3
259 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

I agree with the above if you are having a bridal party and a first look the time to 3pm will go super fast.


I had a 2pm ceremony with no first look and hair and makeup started at 7 for me 3 bridesmaids and my mum and the time flew as we needed to be ready by 12.30 for the photographer.

Post # 4
1537 posts
Bumble bee


how early do you plan to get up? I started prep at 5:30, with a first look and ceremony at 4. And still struggled to keep on time. Seriously so much takes longer than you would think and the whole day is such a blur, I think 11am is way too early. Plus guests will be getting tired and I don’t think they would stay until midnight if starting at 11am.

Post # 6
276 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2017

Another vote for 3 pm. It will take longer to get ready than you think. You won’t be sitting around waiting for the ceremony in all likelihood. Also, you’re going to lose your guests’ attention span if you make them come to an early ceremony then have a large gap before the reception actually starts. You need to feed your guests early if you are expecting them early. 2 or 2:30 is way too late for lunch, and too early for dinner, so you’ll likely have your guests feeding themselves a good lunch and possibly defeating the purpose of your pizza and taco trucks, unless those are coming later. If you’re a morning person, you could always do your first look earlier rather than later, and spend a little time with your girls in between that and the ceremony. It’s up to you, but I think 12 hours for a wedding will be too taxing on guests. 

Post # 7
276 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2017

View original reply
iomi :  For some reason your response didn’t show until after I posted my comment. Weird. Either way, my previous points still stand. Since you won’t have to wait around for your bridal party to get ready, you can do yoga as you said, or spend some time with your loved ones. You could also get ready and do your first look early, enjoy a nice lunch, and then go to your ceremony. Eating lunch shouldn’t really take that long, so I’m not sure how much that will really interfere with the getting ready process.

Post # 8
672 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2019

Doing it from 11am to 11pm May be to long for some guests that’s 12 hrs. That’s along time at a wedding. You would need to keep everyone fed and entertained for long time you may be underestimating the cost on that. I would go for the later time. 

Post # 9
3023 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

11am is an insanely early time to start if you want to do a first look. And you will also need to be feeding your guests both lunch and dinner then. If you start at 11am I would say there is a very high chance that you will not have any guests left by midnight. Every wedding I have heard of starting at 11am either has a 4 hour gap before the reception (catholic gap) or is a brunch wedding. 

We had a 3:30 ceremony and it was perfect. I was insanely busy all morning getting ready and taking photos. And eating lunch by yourself is a lot easier than feeding lunch to your entire guest list.

Post # 10
10 posts
  • Wedding: February 2020

I’m not married yet but as a guest I would prefer the 3pm start time. 11-11 is long and having time in between is tiring for guests in my opinion, as mentioned above. Starting at 11 means your guests will also be expected to wake up early to get ready. With people coming from out of town, some may be tired from the driving the day before (or From staying up late enjoying the town). I vote 3pm! I think it would be more relaxed for everyone. 

Post # 11
5896 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: July 2018

I would find an 11am start quite annoying as a guest. Everything will just be unnecessarily rushed. Most people will aim to get to the ceremony around 30 minutes early and that means they will have a very early start.

Also if you make it 11am vs 3pm you will have to serve an extra meal, which is sounds like you aren’t planning to. If you want people to stay until after 11pm then they will need a lot more food since they will only have had something at 9am. You say a 3pm start means you won’t get a proper lunch as you’ll be getting ready but none of your guests will have lunch if it’s at 11am.

Post # 12
1991 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

Need more food bee if you do 11

Post # 13
100 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

You sound like you have your mind made up.  As a guest, even at the most fun wedding, I don’t think I could make it from 11:00 to 11:00, not unless it were like some type of day trip where we were going to multiple places.  However, a lot of the activities you are talking about sound more like nighttime activities, on top of your want to do a first look, it almost sounds like you’d be better of doing the 3:00 p.m. ceremony.  

We had to decide on what we wanted the feeling of our wedding to be.  We wanted it to feel more like a party instead of an elegant affair, so we are doing a 4:00 p.m. ceremony.  

Post # 14
1115 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2019

I absolutely cannot spend 12 hours at any one party.  I need some down time on a weekend, and a whole day and night are a lot to give up.  Even 3-11 is pushing it, though not by nearly as much.

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