Post # 1
Having my wedding in Murrieta, CA on September 29, 2012.
I want to have the ceremony about 1.5 – 2 hours before sunset to allow a little bit of daylight time for cocktail hour and a small amount of daylight moving into the reception.
Sunset is supposed to be at 6:30 pm.
Now that I’m thinking about it I’m thinking have the ceremony at 4:30 pm which will be about 30 min or less. cocktail hour at 5:00 to 6:00 pm. Move straight to reception and Dinner served at 6:30 pm or 7:00 pm?
How did you all decided what time to start everything?
Also… Did you put a certain time on the invitation with a cushion. I don’t know about your families but mine tend to be kind of late. should I put 4:00 so people will definitely get there by 4:30 and start right at 4:30?
I’m so not good at this. Help!
Post # 3
I think you’ve started in a great place. A time that cannot be changed. Often it’s the venues closing time or the ceremony time (in the UK at least, where you can’t get married after dark).
If you’re worried about a time put “Ceremony: 4 for 4.30”. Or “Arrival of the Bride: 4.30”. Or something along those lines. I don’t know if we will, but it’s somethine to think about for sure.
Post # 4
@ladyartichoke: Thanks for your input. I really appreciate it!
Post # 5
If you’re going to build in a cushion of time to allow for families who run late, I would suggest it should be closer to 15 minutes earlier than when you plan to start. If your ceremony will only be half an hour, you’re asking those of your guests who arrive “on time” according to the invitation to sit there for a solid hour, half of that time is waiting on you. (Unless a guest knows your family with their tendencies to run late, they won’t realize you’re making an accommodation and will just be wondering why they’ve been sitting there with nothing happening.)
I haven’t planned any weddings at this point, but I have planned many events and meetings. The most wiggle room I’ve made to allow for others who can’t be bothered to plan ahead and arrive on time is 15 minutes. Those who are more than 15 minutes after the announced starting time haven’t ever expected the event to wait just for them. They know they are late at that point.
Post # 6
I have not made my invites yet, but I plan on stating at the bottom “eremony at 4:30p.m. Reception to folow”
I would like to start at 4:30, but if it looks like some of my key family memers have yet to arrive, I do not mind starting at 4:45 p.m.
5-6 ish Cocktail hour/pictures
6:15-6:30 entrance/ first dance. Dinner served after that!
After dinner we will do the father daughter dance and the mother son dance, then cake cuting and serving. After that it’s party time!!!!
Post # 7
@LibertyBelle: Good point about the 15 minute cushion. I wouldn’t want some people sitting and waiting that long. I will definitely think about that.
@LovelyLaura: You reminded me of the entrance and first dance. Need to put in some time for that.
Thanks for the input ladies