Post # 1
We’re having our ceremony and reception in the same location. The venue books for 4 hours with the option to add extra time (not sure how much that will cost yet). As we’re working with a small budget I’m not sure if that’s something we really want to do. This is my basic timeline, but I can’t tell if it will actually work. I need a realistic outside perspective:
3:05pm – Ceremony Start
3:30pm – Cocktail hour, photographs
4:15pm – Bouquet Toss
4:20pm – Dinner (bufffet)
4:45pm – Toast/Speeches (2-3, not more than 2-3 min. each)
4:55pm – Cut Cake
5:00pm – First Dance
5:05pm – Dancing
Post # 3
Following because I’m looking at a venue with a similar timeframe and want to know if anyone has actually done this.
Post # 4
Depending on the number of guests, dinner will take way more time than you’ve budgeted. I’d do photographs before the ceremony and cut out cocktail hour to accommodate additional time for dinner.
Post # 5
Can you start later? Your timeline is so tight, I don’t think it’s going to really work out how you’ve planned.
The photos are likely to take longer than 45 minutes Would you consider doing photos before the ceremony? This would be very helpful with your timeline.
I also think that you don’t need to include a space for the bouquet toss. Do it during the dancing portion.
Ten minutes for all the speeches is also really going to be a stretch – unless you have a stopwatch and cut them off!
And dinner is going to take longer than you’ve allocated, unless this is a small wedding?
How much do the extra hours cost? And how many people?
Post # 6
Guests will be between 75-100 most likely. The venue holds up to 180 and would have plenty of room to do a ‘double-sided’ buffet. It’s also going to be pretty casual food options (which is what our family will expect) and I plan to make a menu available for people to have an idea in mind before they go up.
Having a first look is one of the only things I feel really stronly about, in that I don’t want to do it. We have our photographer for 5 hours though, so I do have the option of takong some photos before and after. And we don’t have a huge amount of pics we want either, I’m just not sure how long each picture will take. I’m thinking: wedding party, bridal party, grooms party, groom+brothers, bride+groom+parents, bride+groom+parents+grandparents. Us with our parents and grandparents seperately can be done before. Then us together can be done after. How much time do I need to budget for those 6 pictures?
Post # 7
- Wedding: April 2017 - Valleybrook Country Club
piuctures take time especially during an event where you need to find where grandpa went because he wanted to grab a cocktail or that grandma went to greet your cousin who she hasn’t seen in months.
I would say you should probably add an extra hour to your timeline. Make cocktail hour a full hour or even an hour and a half to be able to take pictures. I would push dinner back further to 5-5:30 as that’s more of a regular meal time.
Post # 8
My family is older and would expect to eat at that time, grooms family is younger and for them this will be more like a late lunch. Almost all of our invitees will be close family who live nearby. Our wedding is definitely going to be more on the casual side. So maybe:
3:05 – ceremony
3:30 – cocktails, 6 photos
4:10 – bouquet, then dinner announcement
4:15 – dinner, 10 mins for toast and speeches while people are eating
5:20 – cut cake (small cake for photos, not being served, we’re hav ing a full desert bar instead)
5:25 – first dance, then dancing starts
Post # 9
Could you start later? That’s a very early dinner and dance…most people I know don’t want to drink and dance starting at 4:30.
Post # 10
Unfortunately no. I’d prefer a later event myself, but 95% of our guest list is family, who aren’t exactly going to party hard no matter what the time. My family (those we even come) will likely start leaving around 5:30 after the obligatory celebration is done. Think mostly older relatives who aren’t much into drinking and dancing, and cousins who will have young kids. FI’s side of the family will have quite a few underage guests, and people with kids. There’s a small group who might want to drink and dance more and we’re thinking of maybe doing an after party, but we’re not sure if there will even be enough people who’d want to or could go.
Post # 11
We had 50 guests and did it all in four hours without feeling the least bit rushed. The ceremony was at 4:00 and lasted for nearly an hour. The food was supposed to arrive at 5:15 but was an hour late. We had music and a first dance, but dancing certainly wasn’t a central focus. We were done by about 8:00 when the sun was going down. It was the perfect time frame for the sort of wedding we had. I suppose the time needed really varies from wedding to wedding.
Post # 12
Toasts during dinner is the right way to go. I still think you’ll need more time for photos.
DH was adamanat we not do a first look, and we had a 45 minute gap between ceremony and reception to take photos. We ended up talking an hour and a half just to do bridal party, family photos and a few couple shots, and then spent another hour after the reception taking the rest of our couple shots. You have to keep in mind staging takes some time and you’ll likely want some different poses with each of those groups. I’d give yourself an hour and then plan to take your couple pictures all post-reception if you don’t have the possibility to do any pre-wedding photos.
Post # 13
I am getting married next Saturday on a riverboat, and we also only have 4 hours with ceremony. We have 143 guests. After consulting all the pros (the venue, DJ, photographer), here is our timeline:
11 AM Ceremony
11:20 Mimosas and Coffee
1:15 Brunch ends, boat leaves the dock
3:00 Boat arrives back; reception ovah
Planning on doing dances shortly after we leave the dock.
We are doing an after party for people who are still in town at 6 PM at a local bar. 🙂
We are doing a first look, which I didn’t really want to do, mostly because I wanted more time to get ready, but our photographer wanted more time for pics of just us than I am willing to give between the ceremony and reception otherwise, so a first look was a compromise. We are going to do family pics immediately after the ceremony. We figure since it won’t be a crazy long drinking reception (there will def be drinking, but not a ton I imagine at noon) everyone should still look pretty good. I can let you know how it goes!
Post # 14
This can be done. I had a 4 hour ceremony/reception and did not feel rushed at all. Actually, guests complimented us on the timing of everything…most people hate sitting through long ass weddings. It’s important to have a very experienced coordinator or DJ/MC to make sure everything stays on time.
However, we only had 55 guests. In your situation, I’d definitely do photos beforehand to get them out of the way…they’re going to eat up a lot of your time if you do them during the wedding. If you’re having a buffet, that goes pretty quickly, quicker than I realized. You’ll need more time for a seated meal.
Tell your guests that are toasting how long their toast should be (I had three toasters and gave them 1-3 minutes each). Don’t worry about making the start time later because “people won’t want to dance/drink/party” etc. earlier in the day. That’s simply not true. We had a brunch wedding at noon and everyone still danced and partied…it’s a wedding; people come to celebrate.
I wanted to add another hour simply because everyone seemed to be having so much fun, but it worked out perfectly in the end and it’s always better to leave them wanting more than to be dragging out the fun. You can always have an after party, which we did but I kinda wish we hadn’t…because of the whole “dragging out the fun” idea.
Post # 15
You can do some photos before hand that arent a first look – ie bridal party and Groomsmen. Should still help.
I think the timeline actually sounds ok. Toasts during dinner is fine, and if the cake cutting is just for show its fine. What I worry about is everyone getting through the buffet line and eating all in ~1 hr. That seems a bit rushed. If you had half as many guests, it would be fine, but 100 people is a lot to get through a buffet in 30m, and 30m to eat.