Post # 1
Ok hive… we need some major help. My fiance and I have decided to start considering a daytime wedding… None of my friends or family have ever had a daytime wedding- they’ve all had the traditional evening reception. We always assumed we’d do the same but after looking at our budget, we realize we could potentially cut out several thousand dollars by doing a lunch reception instead of dinner.
Have any of you attended a daytime wedding? If so, did the guests still drink + dance? We would still hire a dj and do everything we planned, just earlier in the day. We’d also then take a break in the evening, freshen up, older guests could go home, and then have an afterparty at one of the local clubs. Everyone would be responsible for their own drinks at the afterparty, but we would reserve an area for us.
The timeline would go something like… ceremony at noon, reception to start at 1pm, lunch served around 2pm, and dancing until 5 or 6pm. We have the hall for 6 hours. Do you think 2pm is too late for a meal, eventhough hor d’eourves will be served before that?
I need your opinions please! Help!
Post # 3
I have never been to a daytime wedding, but I will give my thoughts on this. First, think about how early your going to have to get up if your ceremony is at noon. If that works for you, then I would go for it. You would be able to save on food and possibly get discounts from vendors who would still be able to schedule something later. Plus, you would be fine with going with no alcohol, or just beer and wine or champagne (I really like Verdi, its like $6 for a big bottle of it if you can BYOA). I think your timeline would work fine, but make sure to make it known that everyone is on their own for drinks at the after party (I would think that is a given, but after reading the Bee for so long I have my doubts with guests). Hope this helps!
Post # 4
I had a daytime wedding and it was a blast! We cut out loads of $$ by serving lunch, and a beer and wine bar (who needs liquor at 2 pm?) I was worried people wouldn’t dance, but as soon as people had finished eating, the dance floor pretty much stayed packed. If your crowd is generally the dancing type, they’ll dance no matter what time it is.
I don’t really get why people are so down on daytime weddings. Ours was really fun for all our guests. None of the older guests had to stay out late, and we had time to ourselves before we went out with all our friends for drinks at a bar.
Post # 5
Thank you! Thats what I say… the older guests won’t have to stay late and can go home at a decent hour which I think they’d appreciate. Getting up early isn’t an issue for anyone considering I’d probably be up at 6am no matter what time it starts 🙂 I just feel like having a 5pm ceremony and then everything jampacked into the evening, would make it go soooo fast! Plus, saving several thousand dollars sounds pretty nice 🙂
Also, I do agree with the dancing thing… if people like to dance, they are going to dance, whether its 2pm or 8pm. Our wedding is the day before Mother’s Day, so this might give some of our friends + family who are new moms a chance to travel back to be with their kids. We’d probably send out a seperate invitation (probably just an evite) for the afterparty and make sure everyone knows that they are in charge of their own drinks.
@amandopolis- what was your timeline like?
Post # 6
My brother had a 10 am wedding, served lunch at the reception, there was no alcohol, and their dance floor was still packed. The reception was over by 4 pm. I think that if you want a daytime wedding, it’s more than acceptable. Lunch at 2 pm kind of is late though, you could save some more money by only having and appetizer/cake wedding if you wanted. People would have to eat beforhand/in between ceremony reception (unless it’s at the same venue).
Post # 7
Well, in a dream world, here is what my timeline would have been. i’ll give you the whole day:
6:30 a.m.- wake up and shower
7:00 a.m.- hair and makeup ppl arrive at hotel suite
9:30 a.m.- hair and makeup complete for all bridesmaids, bride, and mob
9:45 a.m.- arrive at church
9:45-10:45 a.m.- get dressed
12:00 p.m.- guests arrive at reception location for cocktail hour
1:00 p.m. – B&G arrive at reception location, grand entrance, first dance, father/daughter dance
1:30 p.m. – lunch is served
2:00-3:00 p.m.- dancing
3:00 p.m. – cake cutting and toasts
3:15-4:30 p.m. – dancing
4:30 p.m. – reception ends
Now, on the actual day, our hair and makeup people were turned away by our hotel (TWICE), which caused much stress in the morning, and I ended up having to get dressed in my hotel suite, and arrived at the church at 11:04- the ceremony got started about 15 minutes late. We also had so much fun dancing at the reception that the time got away from us, and our town car was a bit late, so that went about 15 minutes late as well.
Post # 8
Oh, I also forgot to add- we went to our hotel and took a nap, had dinner and a little nooky, and then went out to a bar around 10 with a bunch of our friends.
Post # 9
I have been to plenty of daytime weddings, and I am having one myself 🙂 We’re having a 10:30am ceremony with brunch immediately following, so the reception will go from about 11-2. We’re also having an after party where guests will drink & dance.
Brunch / lunch receptions do save A LOT of money! They also can have an elegant "tea party" feel that might be really special for some of your guests who are used to cookie cutter traditional receptions.
However, do keep in mind that an after party can rack up quickly and end up adding up to more than a traditional reception! We are having beer, wine, a signature cocktail, heavy hors d’eourves & a DJ at our after party. While the brunch reception won’t have alcohol and we’re using an iPod for music, we are not really saving money by basically having two receptions.
So, having said that, if you plan on having dancing & drinking at your reception, maybe make the after party very laidback – gather with good friends at a bar and have everyone pay for their own tabs.
As far as whether people will dance and really enjoy themselves, in my experience, daytime weddings are more subdued, but it all depends on the atmosphere you create, and your guests! If you have fun-loving guests, a good DJ and a few drinks and the bride and groom already on the dance floor will be all you need to get the party started. But keep in mind that if some people are already a bit shy or conservative, they may have a harder time coming out of their shell while the sun’s out. Just embrace that, though! Encourage mingling with food stations instead of a seated meal and use the daytime as inspiration for a lighter atmosphere.
Post # 10
Good advice @daniellemybelle. We would def have a laidback after party, basically just sending out an evite telling them what bar and when. Everyone would be in charge of their own tabs but we might spring for some appetizers or something. We figured people would eat dinner in between so the food isnt an issue. It would be at this dueling piano bar in our hometown which is SO fun and we’ve never had a bad time there.
My fiance and I love to dance… LOVE LOVE. And all of our parents love to dance too so I know we’d have a good turn out on the dance floor… it just might not be the kind of turn out where everyone’s wasted and the guys are wearing ties around their head… just a different kind of fun!
And on the food thing… would you not suggest doing a sit down meal?
Post # 11
Other bees have had sit-down daytime meals with great success… I know one blogger bee just had a seated brunch with dancing and it turned out great! But in my experience, daytime receptions have a less formal atmosphere. To me, that means you should embrace it and encourage your guests to get up, mix, & mingle. At a seated meal, its very easy for guests to stay glued to their seats. At a traditional dinner reception, this is fine, but since you are doing something a little non-traditional, it may just end up making things a bit boring. You have to realize that in the daytime, drinking & dancing may not be the main events, so food stations that get guests out of their seats can facilitate conversation and help guests explore any fun stuff you have at your reception.
I hope that makes sense! I’m sure whatever you do will be lovely.