(Closed) Early Morning Wedding with Late Reception

posted 5 years ago in Logistics
Post # 46
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3728 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: City, State

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Ladybug16:  I went to a 10am wedding reception with a full (liquor, not brunch) reception. It was strange being served cocktails before noon and surf and turf for breakfast, but they had a full party and we were done by 4.

I would do a 9 am ceremony, 11-3 reception, 9pm after party. That’s what they did and it worked out well.

Post # 48
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2899 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

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Ladybug16:  Sure! Here’s the recap I did after the wedding: http://boards.weddingbee.com/topic/recap-june-15th-brooklyn-botanic-garden-pic-heavy/

Looking back, I was mistaken – hair and makeup arrived at 5:45. We skipped the “getting ready” photos to avoid having to make the bridal party assemble at that ungodly hour – they just met us at the church by 9:15. The ceremony was from 9:30 to 10:30, and the reception was about a mile away. We hired trolleys to transport guests who hadn’t driven there, and we took some pictures outside the church while folks were making their way over. 

At the reception, cocktail hour was 11:30 to 1 pm. We had a raw bar and a bunch of passed apps, and of course the open bar. DH and I took pictures during most of cocktail hour. Then at 1 pm, everyone sat down, we made our grand entrance, did the first dance and they served the first course. In between courses, we did the speeches and the parent-kid dances. Dancing started around 2 pm? We also had a photo booth, which people had a great time with – lots of the props made their way to the dance floor. And the whole thing wrapped up by 4 pm, I think. (Might have been 4:30?) 

Feel free to PM me if you have questions about logistics or anything else! 

Post # 49
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6374 posts
Bee Keeper

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2monthweddingplanner:  I think that depends.

Our ceremony was at 1pm, and most guests stayed until 1.30am; so, it was a 12.5 hour day (and our ceremony wasn’t religious so only lasted 20 minutes). So I don’t think it’s crazy to think a wedding starting at 9am would go on until 7pm.

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Ladybug16:  I second the poster who said that I would stay the night before regardless of the ceremony time as I wouldn’t fancy travelling 2-6 hours on the day, even for a later ceremony. That said, I would be REALLY surprised to get an invitation to a wedding starting at 9am; I’m not an early riser, and wouldn’t be particularly thrilled about getting up at 6.30/7am to get ready and get there on time.

I guess it depends how important it is to have the ceremony at that particular church; I don’t know if anyone else has suggested this, but would you consider getting married there legally (with just immediate family and your bridal party, and those who want to attend), and then having a blessing at a different church later in the day? Or, getting married at a different church, and then just the two of you going back for a blessing at the one you have currently booked? Just a thought.

Failing that, I personally think you can still have a reasonable length of wedding if you do it right. Ours was long, and that is typical of the UK; we just break the day into sections, and no-one gets bored or thinks things are dragging on; our schedule was as follows:

1-1.30pm: ceremony

1.50pm: drinks reception (mimosas, sparkling wine and canapes, string trio for entertainment)

3.30pm: everyone seated for the meal; speeches/toasts

3.45-5.45pm: wedding breakfast (3 course meal)

5.45-6pm: group photo and slideshow in the cinema

6.30pm: acoustic guitarist/singer down in the bar

7pm: evening reception officially started along with the open bar

7.45-8pm: bouquet toss, cake cutting, first dance

8-11.15pm: band; buffet and cake served at 8.30pm

11.15-1.30am: DJ

1.30-3am: guests mingle in the bar

No-one was bored, and most people (around 50 out of 70) stayed until 1.30am. So, a 12 hour day can ceretainly work, but you need to plan carefully and make sure that you are providing food, drink, and entertainment of some sort at all times. Having distinct ‘sections’ also helps to break the day up so it doesn’t just feel like 12 hours of the same food/drink/music/venue (which was another thing we made sure to consider; we utilised our whole venue so that different parts of the day took part in different parts of the venue).

Post # 51
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2899 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

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Ladybug16:  I mean, we were having a great time so I would have loved for it to go on forever, but it felt like the standard amount of time. We thought about having an official after party at a bar, but decided not to and we ended up being glad to be able to go back to the hotel and just chill. (And get out of our formal clothes!) Because we were in Brooklyn, our friends who wanted to keep celebrating all wound up splitting into groups and walking to a couple of local bars. 

The only vendor we had a hard time finding was a makeup artist – 5:45 is a pretty early call time, and a few of my first choices turned me down. But I did wind up finding someone lovely without too much effort! Everyone else – the photographer, the DJ, the photo booth – had no problem with our schedule. (For some vendors, they appreciated being able to book two events in the same day, as our schedule allowed them time to get to an evening wedding as well.) 

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