(Closed) Ceremony start time?

posted 7 years ago in April 2012
  • poll: What start time would you prefer?
    2pm : (9 votes)
    36 %
    6pm : (16 votes)
    64 %
  • Post # 3
    Member
    2815 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: March 2012

    We are date twins!  I’m having my ceremony start at 6pm.  We are doing pictures before everything, so we’ll only be having a 1 hour cocktail hour, then it’ll be dinner. 

    Post # 4
    Member
    4520 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: September 2010

    Is there any way to have the ceremony at 6 but push dinner a little earlier? 

    Post # 5
    Member
    3618 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: November 2011

    I voted for 2pm because I liked the 6pm dinner time as well.

    Post # 6
    Member
    11356 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: May 2009

    The answer to this question depends on many factors, not the least of which is how your bridal party and family and close friends feel about this as well as the type and style of wedding you have your heart set on having.

    I voted for 6 p.m. simply because that is when I chose to have my own ceremony.  (I wanted a formal, evening ceremony and reception with my bridesmaids and the mothers in long gowns and my Fiance and the groomsmen in tails and white tie, so I had to go with an after-six wedding.)  I also had somewhat of a destination wedding (1.5-hour travel time for myself and most of my guests, three-to-four hours for most of the others), and I didn’t want to feel rushed. (Didn’t matter, I STILL was rushed due to heavy holiday-weekend traffic and traffic accidents along my route from the salon to my venue.) I absolutely needed all of that time and then some.  However, If none of these factors is an issue for you, then you have a lot more flexibility.

    Post # 9
    Member
    1614 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: August 2014

    I would go with 2pm…traffic can be crazy before 6pm, especially on the weekends…so now you’ve doubled everyones driving time…I’ve been to California before, and it can be a real nightmare…plus this way you will have a lot more time for dancing and reception festivities…

    Post # 10
    Member
    11356 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: May 2009

    @missbabycakes: So funny you should ask! That was indeed my plan. I had asked the entire bridal party to arrive before 3 p.m. and to be ready for pictures by 3:30 p.m. at the latest.  I wanted to take every possible picture that we could take  before the ceremony (including those with my Fiance, since we had planned a special moment to see each other alone with just the photographer and videographer present before the group picture taking), so that we would be free to enjoy the second half of our hors d’oeuvre hour and begin mingling with our guests, etc. 

    However, I was married on a Friday night of a holiday weekend, and, between some delays at the salon and the horrendous traffic between the salon and the venue (it ended up taking more than two hours for me to arrive!), I was not in my gown and ready for pictures until 5 p.m. With the wedding set to commence at six, we could only take certain pictures before the ceremony, and all of those were in the brides room instead of outside on the lovely grounds, which had been a major reason I had selected this venue in the first place. We ended up having to take all of the other photos during our hors d’oeuvre hour and in the dark after dinner. Although I had an incredibly moving, special, beautiful and spectacular wedding that all of my guests later raved and raved about, I was totally unprepared for and completely unaware of how the timeline was unfolding.

    I was absolutely devastated when I realized that there would be no time for me to greet the vast majority of my guests or introduce my husband to my family and friends. The only dancing Darling Husband and I had time for was our first dance, our dances with our respective parents, and our last dance. To make matters worse, because we were having to capture the photos at a much more hectic pace and during a time when we really should have been doing other, more important things (such as enjoying time visiting with our family and friends), we also did not capture some very important shots.  Finally, because we were taking pictures during the second half of the reception, I never had a chance to remove my veil and have any pics of my elaborate “up do” without my veil covering it. I was distraught over all of this for about nine months after my wedding, when I finally was able to put it all into perspective and realize that everyone LOVED our wedding and had a marvelous time, and I was indeed married to Darling Husband, and none of these things was the end of the world.  But, for those nine months after the wedding, I could think of little else.

    So, all of that said, please make sure that you have a very good understanding of your timeline, and someone who is tasked with monitoring this, because I did not, even though I thought I did. Do not try to compress it, because things almost never go exactly as planned.  Although I eventually was able to get over my disappointment (and I had a fabulous, formal bridal portrait taken without my veil a few months after the wedding, someting I never would have thought to have done if not for what happened!), I don’t want anyone else to have to go through the kind of sorrow I experienced because of unexpected changes to the timeline.

    Best wishes on a wonderful wedding!

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