Post # 1
We are getting married at a facility that has a beautiful chapel and a great reception room. This is the kind of facility that has packages that include a lot of the reception items like tables, chairs, linens, etc etc. They only offer a specific time slot for the ceremony/recption.. and at first I thought it was fine, but now I’m worried it will be rushed. The ceremony starts at 730 pm… lasts about 15 minutes. Then the guests are ushered into the reception hall, and we remain in the chapel for photos. I’m guessing we will be at the reception by 8:30… since i dont want that many posed photos (i like the candid ones). We are expected to depart between 10:30/11 pm and the whole thing has to be over by 11. WIll this be too rushed??
Also, we are having a buffet.. should the guests be allowed to go ahead and get their food as soon as they get to the reception (it will be about 8:00 so they will be hungry) or should we just allow for a small cocktail time before we arrive….
and advice or opinions?
Post # 3
It does seem tight to me. If you don’t arrive to the reception until 8:30, you will only have 2 hours to celebrate with your guests.
Are you planning on having a DJ and dancing or just the dinner?
If you’re just having dinner it will probably work, but if you plan on having a grand entrance, first dance, parent dances, bouquet toss, cake cutting and all of that- it will definitely fell rushed. It’s just too much to cram into 2 hours.
I had my ceremony and reception at different locations, but here is the timeline of my reception:
4pm cocktail hour
5pm reception begins, guests seated
5:15-5:30 introductions and first dance
6pm- main course served
7:15-7:30 cake cutting and parent dances
8pm cake served
9pm reception ends
Post # 4
It sounds tight to me, but as Rosy said it kind of depends on what your plans are.
I know my wedding day started at 2:30 with the ceremony and unbeknowest to me the dancing didn’t stop until 11 (should’ve stopped at 9). People were having such a great time we just didn’t want to end it 🙂
I would say the more time you can spend with your guest the better!
Post # 5
I agree it does seem a little tight to me. We were going non stop (except to eat) from 3:00 uintil 10-10:30. The reception could have gone on longer I was just EXHAUSTED and the only folks left were a few relatives who continued the party at the hotel bar. You don’t want to be rushed through this it is one of the biggest events of your life and you want to have as much time as possible in the dress, with the guests, and of course celebrating with your new husband!!
Post # 6
I know.. we have a DJ and plan on dancing and everything. The facility is one of the more popular ones in our city, and people that have attended weddings there said it didn’t feel rushed.. but I’m a worrier…
Do you think we should start the buffet right when the guests get to the reception.. so at least the eating will be done and leave more time for dancing and fun when we arrive to the reception? Is it weird to have a grand entrance after or while people are eating?
Post # 7
I think it is a great plan to have the buffet start when the guests go into the reception hall it will definitely speed things up. Also you could always ask if you could have a table with pre made cocktails or servers holding trays with a beverage maybe a signature cocktail? As guests arrive to the reception area since your not having a cocktail hour, just a thought. It is not weird at all to have a grand entrance while people are eating. Usually people are seated already when the couple are announced so whether or not they have food in front of them is not a big deal. imo.
Post # 8
I think you could hold off on the food (I do think it’ll detract from your entrance if it happens after the buffet starts) and still get everything in. But you will definitely have a much shorter dance/DJ fun part. I went to a wedding on a boat that had a similar time line (though I think they started maybe 1/2 to 1 hour earlier). They had planned for everyone to meet up at a bar near the dock afterward. That might be a fun way to keep the party going without rushing the main events.
Most importantly, though, if this is the norm for this facility I think you should stick to the timeline they recommend. They have tons of experience doing weddings I would presume, and they will definitely be able to guide things along to make it all work.
Post # 9
I have to be honest, I love this website! Thank you for being so honest, yet polite and nice with your responses! The other site I have posted on always makes me feel like the worst person on earth!!!
I really appreciate everyone’s advice and I love the idea about an "After-party".