(Closed) Enough time for photographs?/ceremony timing + do we go to cocktail hr!?!?

posted 5 years ago in Logistics
  • poll: What time would you start the ceremony if you were me!!
    3:30 : (7 votes)
    64 %
    4 : (4 votes)
    36 %
  • Post # 3
    Member
    2426 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: May 2012

    Our ceremony and reception were the same location, and we spend the entire hour long cocktail hour taking pictures, and totally could have spent more time easily. I would definitely have the ceremony earlier if you want to attend cocktail hour. Just remember the ceremony rarely starts on time, even mine started 5 or so minutes late even though we were all there and raring to go, and I had a planner to keep us on schedule. 

    Post # 4
    Member
    430 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: August 2013

    I am trying to figure this out my self as well.. We are doing as many pictures before hand as we can then are going to plan on doing the remaining during the cocktail hour.  I think your timeline should be fine as long as you have an idea of what pictures you want.

    Post # 5
    Member
    4667 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: August 2012

    Are you planning on having a recieving line?  If  so, about how many people do you plan on having at the ceremony?  Recieving lines can take 15-30 min depending on attendance.  

    Are you doing family photos at the church?  If so, how big is your family, or group being photographed?  This can take up some time, as the photogrpaher may need to set up lights, poose people, wait for your 85 year old grandmother to walk up the aisle for photographs (not being rude, this is just an example of what happens during family photo time).  

    Also, would you do formal photos (you and DH, with bridal party) at the church or near the reception?  Would there be travel time involved?  Also, if you are having a larger bridal party be sure to factor in more time for that.  

    I would plan to do the ceremony at 3:30.  The time in between the ceremony and reception is always the most tightly planned of the day, and it never hurts to have some extra time built into that.  

    As for the cocktail hour, it really depends on you.  In my area we rarely have them, and the bride and groom don’t typically do a first look, so this time is usually for guests.  

    Post # 7
    Member
    2426 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: May 2012

    @BrandiRyan:  I’ve seen it both ways. I’ve seen weddings where the bride and groom make an appearance at the end of coctail hour to mingle with guests, but personally have been to more that the bride and groom don’t attend cocktail hour. It’s really hard to make it to cocktail hour if you don’t do a first look!

    I don’t regret missing ours at all, because we REALLY didn’t want to do a first look so missing cocktail hour allowed us to get all the pictures I wanted, which was really important to me. Only thing is I regret is that I heard our cocktail hour food was AMAZING, so I wish I was more assertive and got someone to bring me some of the food to try! Or even wrapped it up in a doggie bag and put it in the bridal suite. That was something I had discussed with my planner ahead of time, but didn’t quite happen on the day. 

    Post # 10
    Member
    4667 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: August 2012

    If you have the church until 6 can you plan something really little there?  Normally churches have some sort of basement or side room for gatherings, is this available to you?  For instance, get some plates of cheese and crackers, and have a designated spot to mingle.  Are there any other spots for your guests to get some entertainement in the area?  Also, are most of your guests local?  (If I only lived 10 or 15 min away I would use this time to go home and freshen up!) 

    Post # 11
    Member
    2426 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: May 2012

    @BrandiRyan:  If you really want to be there for the whole cocktail hour, I would go for 3:30. If you are okay with missing maybe half of it so your guests don’t have to linger (which is probably what I would do) I would do 4:00. Although a gap between the ceremony and cocktail hour is pretty common, especially in Catholic weddings, so it’s not unusual to make guests wait a bit. And I really like @auggiefrog:‘s idea of organizing something at the church for the guest to occupy themselves with before cocktail hour. 

    I don’t know what your wedding will be like for sure, but I can tell you that there was an open bar for the whole wedding that I didn’t get to enjoy! It’s just such a busy day, spent almost the whole time making rounds and trying to talk to guests. I think I only drank my champagne and one mixed drink all night! So even if you make it to cocktail hour, you may not get as many drinks as you like lol

    Post # 14
    Member
    7986 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: August 2012

    I would do the ceremony at 4:00 to keep the gap small for your guests. Do as many photos as you can before the ceremony (bridesmaids, family, etc) and then do the rest during the gap and cocktail hour. We did a first look and still spent almost the entire cocktail hour doing photos, and I had a really small bridal party!

    Post # 15
    Member
    343 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: June 2013

    I’m taking all pictures that can be taken without the groom before the ceremony. He’s taking all of the ones where he doesn’t need the bride. This includes family and bridal party. We aren’t doing a first look either. Hopefully that’ll allow picture time after the ceremony to be More efficient. Maybe you can do that? I really want everyone to enjoy the cocktail hour – including us!

    Post # 16
    Member
    2426 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: May 2012

    @Beezysbreezy:  Oh yeah we did this too, it definitely saves time! I did pictures with all my bridesmaids and my parents before the ceremony, and DH did the same with his family and groomsmen. So then you only have to do group shots of both bridal parties or families together after the ceremony.

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