Post # 1
Okay, so after tons of date and venue switching we finally settled on an 11:00am wedding on June 8th. It’s in South Carolina so it will be warm but we’re hoping since it starts at 11:00 it won’t be so bad. The wedding is at a park and the reception is about 2 minutes down the road at a church.
We don’t want to do a first look but we’re having our Groomsmen & Bridesmaid or Best Man group pictures before the wedding.
The ceremony wil probably only be about 15 minutes. Then we are getting the rest of the family pictures done at the park while people start heading to the church for the reception. Once family pictures are done the two of us will be staying for more couple pictures (we didn’t get engagement pics so these are super important to me).
I’m guessing all these pictures are going to take at least an hour. We want people to go ahead and eat at the reception while we are taking pictures. We’re doing all the food ourselves and I have some friends and family memebers helping to keep an eye on stuff. We’re doing a small buffet of chicken salad, pimento cheese sand., fruit, veggies, cheeses, cookies, etc. Light stuff. No alcohol.
We’ll have a fingerprint guestbook, a message in a bottle guestbook, and a photobooth outside. Do you think these things with the food will be enough to keep people busy while we are taking photos? (I thought about doing a board game table inside since we love games and maybe badminton and a cute little ring toss outside but it’s all so much already and I scratched those for now)
When we get to the reception we’ll have our first dance, mom and son, dad and daughter dances, grab a little something to eat (hopefully), mingle, and cut the cake. That’ll be it.
Do you think this all flows okay? I’ve never been to a early wedding. Do you think it’s alright for everyone to eat before we get there? Is that awkward? Would you be bored having to wait around? Any suggestions? We have a small budget and are trying to keep things as simple as possible.
Post # 3
Holy cow this got lost within minutes! Busy bees today… Bump.
Post # 4
Your schedule sounds super. Ring toss is a great idea – might I suggest croquet?
Post # 5
Thanks! Other thoughts anyone? Please, it’s so hard to find opinions on early day weddings.
Post # 6
We’re also having an 11 AM ceremony. We plan to do most of our pictures beforehand, and just do a few of the family shots after the ceremony while everyone goes up the hill for brunch (we’re having everything at the same venue). It seems a little weird to me that you expect everyone to eat at your reception without you, I’ve never seen that done. Otherwise your schedule sounds fine. We’re also going to have some table games and outdoor games because we’re not having dancing.
Post # 7
I agree about people eating without you.
Post # 8
We had a 10:30 wedding followed by brunch. We did most photos before at the chapel, and the couple photos after because we didn’t see each other before.
The guests went straight to the hotel and had cocktails on the terrace, but we were only about a half hour behind them. No one ate until we got there and my dad welcomed everyone and we had a blessing. We didn’t feel like we needed a bunch of posed photos.
I think it would be weird for everyone to eat without you, because if you’re just having snacks, everyone will be done before you even get there. Also, your timing’s wrong for a punch-and-cake reception. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with having one, but it can’t be at a mealtime. 11:30-12 is most definitely lunchtime, and I would be expecting a meal if I attended. The obvious solution is to move the ceremony to 2:00, and then your reception won’t be at a mealtime.
Post # 9
There is NO WAY we can move the ceremony. Invitations are already out and it’s in a month! Besides, the whole point of having it early is because SC afternoon summer heat is KILLER. It’s not a cake and punch reception. We’re having chicken salad and a lot of other food but it isn’t a sit-down meal. I’ve actually been to three informal weddings where the bride and groom took pictures and everyone else hung out and ate off the buffet. Though…this still was my biggest concern about the whole timing of the day. I’m not sure what else can be done about. Hmmm…I may just have to let it go.
Post # 10
I mean, they don’t HAVE to eat while we get pictures but they may be waiting for a while and what else are they going to do? I think they are going to assume they can eat anyway.
Post # 11
I was a Bridesmaid or Best Man in an early (10:30am) wedding last year. I woke up at 4 am to get my hair/makeup done and myself and all the BM’s were busy all up until the time of the ceremony. (Oh yeah, and there were only 4 BM’s, and we had to skip the MOB’s hair getting done professionally cuz there wasn’t time)
One big thing to note was that we had an hour commute from where we got ready to where the ceremony was. Could you do your pictures in that hour that we spent traveling? Sure.
I personally wouldn’t recommend it though, because 4AM!!! That SUCKED. And I frequently have to wake up that early for work. Aside from being early, you don’t want to feel rushed on your big day! I would say sleep an extra hour and do the pictures after the ceremony.
Post # 12
I’ve never been to a wedding where the guests ate before the bride and groom made their entrance. I don’t see why it wouldn’t work though. You’ll just have to have someone there to direct the guests to the buffet since some may be hesitant to start eating before you get there…I know I would.
I think your menu is fine for lunch but if possible, you may want to add in a pasta salad or some other side to round it out.
Guests are used to waiting around at receptions…I know I’ve always had to. But food helps. Usually there are appetizers at cocktal hour to keep people occupied. I think some games or a photo booth would be great too! The only time I got bored at a wedding was when I didn’t know anyone besides the bride and groom and no one made an effort to talk to me. If you have guests that wont’ know anyone, I recommend introducing them to some of your friends/family before you head to take photos.
I’ve never been to an early wedding either but we decided to have ours at 1pm! I’ve read a number of posts on this site and Practical Wedding and it seems like guest and couples are just as happy with early recepitons as dinner ones.
Post # 13
There’s a lot more food on our menu than I listed but there ISN’T pasta salad and that’s a great addition! Thanks!
I guess I shouldn’t have said we WANT them to eat while we get pictures done. Rather, we’re going to let them. What if the pictures take an hour to complete after the end of the ceremony? My fiance has a huge family (9 siblings and half are married) so I’m guessing the pictures are going to take more than a few minutes…Is it okay to have them wait to eat then? That seems rude since it will be between 11:30-12:30 and they would be standing at the church for a almost an hour…We wouldn’t serve appetizers because a lot of the food on the buffet is appetizer type food.
I it comes down to would you rather stand around and wait for up to an hour to eat or eat without the bride and groom and mingle with other guests. Almost everyone knows everyone else going. There won’t be any odd balls who feel awkward cause they don’t know anyone. It’s a very intimate wedding (about 100 guests but over 50% are family). Wait on food and stand around talking OR munch on food and talk?
Once we get there we will cut the cake and they will all have cupcakes so there would still be dessert eating to do.
There would be the first wave of people coming in (guests not in pictures), the second/third (our immediate families and wedding party after their pictures), and then us. So there would still be people eating when we got there.
Post # 14
im having an 11am ceremony too. then brunch, and we end the day around 6pmish. ive never been to one before but people have told me its a great idea. you will be fine 🙂
Post # 15
why don’t you have a ‘cocktail hour’ I understand there is no alcohol, but you could put out the more snacky type things first with a signature virgin cocktail. Then when you guys are done the rest of the food will come out and you’ll all eat together. I’m having a 10:30 start time and that’s pretty much my plan, only we are having a ‘make your own mimosa’ bar. The caterer is going to set out mini muffins, pastries, scones, fresh fruit, ect for ppl to munch on while our pics are being taken. Then we will all sit down together for brunch.
Post # 16
We are having our wedding from 11:30 to 4. Our ceremony and reception will be at the same place – and so will our pictures. The actual ceremony is at noon. I haven’t really planned anything for the guests to “do” other than watch us get married and then eat. LOL.
The lunch will be offered immediately after the ceremony and we are having a picture that people can sign instead of a guestbook. It’s really more of a backyard party and we happen to get married. My FH and I are pretty sure our guests will understand that when they see the 11:30 to 4 time frame on the invitation.