Post # 1
Ok bees, I need some advice!
My FH and I are not super religious so getting married in a church is not something that interests either one of us. An outdoor wedding sounds nice, but frankly I don’t think it’s worth the hassle of renting extra chairs etc. or worrying about a “rain plan” or extreme cold/heat.
We were thinking about hiring an officiant or asking a family friend to perform the ceremony at the same location we’re using as our reception venue. The only problem is the we get 8 hours at the reception venue and I’m hesitant to cut into our reception time with the ceremony. A ceremony there would probably last about 30 minutes, then we’d be taking photos for an hour or more, (important to my FH that we don’t see each other before the wedding, in case you were going to suggest the “take photos first” thing, which frankly I think is a great idea,) so we’d have to host a cocktail hour so our guests have something to do at the venue while they wait for us. Then there’s dinner and all the formalities, and I’m worried that we’ll only be left with 3 hours of actual dancing time.
Do you have any suggestions of another location (other than outdoor or a church,) where we could have our ceremony? (We don’t know anyone with a house in the area we’re getting married, [Lake Geneva, WI, if that helps at all]).
Post # 3
I personally think 3 hours of dancing is plenty, plus your guests will appreciate not having to travel from the ceremony to the reception location.
Post # 4
I agree with @Bischon Frise. 3 hours is plenty 🙂 Congrats!
Post # 5
You have plenty of time! You will have 45 mins for the ceremony. Then while you are taking pics, your guest will have 1+ hours of a cocktail party (which you will miss). So let’s say that ceremony+cocktails is 2 hours. You’ll have 6 hours for dinner and dancing and that is plenty!
We only had our place for 5 hours and we had to take the first hour to decorate it, so only 4 hours for ceremony, cocktails and lunch. It was tight, but we did it.
Post # 6
8 hours, including a ceremony, cocktail hour, and dinner, is plenty. Most guests won’t plan on spending more than 8 hours total at your wedding anyways. Most places I’ve looked at give you 5-6 hours for a reception, which is meant to include dinner, toasts, etc.
You’re looking at about 30 minutes for a ceremony and 1 hour for cocktails/ pictures, which leaves you with 6.5 hours for the reception. If dinner takes about an hour, that still leaves you 5.5 hours for everything else. That is a LOT of time.
You should check with the venue about the bar service. Places here have limits on the number of hours they can serve alcohol, so at most places you have to close the bar for dinner and sometimes before the end of the reception.
Post # 7
Thanks all for making me feel better about the time limits… I think you guys are right about timing! I was thinking the ceremony would be 30 mins, the photos/cocktail hour would be 1.5hr, dinner would be an hour, then all the first dances & cake cutting stuff for an hour, and we have to shut down the party an hour before the time “runs out”, which is where I got the “3 hours of dancing” number. But you’re right… I think that’s plenty of wedding from the guest persepective! Oh, and @MissBananaBread, luckily our venue is BYOB, so we’re saving big $$ providing our own bar!! 🙂
Post # 8
I’m having my ceremony at my reception site. I think the guests will be happy with not having to travel and getting to spend the majority of thier time with the two of you
Post # 9
I can’t believe you found a BYOB place in Lake Geneva! Kudos to you
Post # 10
That’s definitely more than enough time! We had our ceremony and reception at the same venue – our ceremony started at 5:30, cocktail hour was from 6 – 7, dinner was 7, dancing and everything to follow, and the reception ended at midnight. The timing worked out perfectly.
If you’re really worried, you can make small schedule changes to minimise the time wasted. For example, as my Darling Husband and I were introduced into our reception room, we walked into the ballroom and headed straight over to the cake table. The DJ announced we’d be cutting the cake if people wanted to grab their cameras; a lot of people were focused on us at that time so they came over with their camera, we cut the cake, and then sat down. That saved time after dinner.
For toasts – we only had our fathers, the best man, and the Maid/Matron of Honor. Each kept their toast under 5 minutes and it worked perfectly. I think wheen you start having everyone and their brother giving toasts, you add on a lot of unnecessary time.
For dances – we had our first dance, a father/daughter dance, and a mother/son dance. We omitted the bridal party dance and that saved a few minutes there. We also didn’t do a bouquet/garter toss as we don’t like that idea, and replaced it with an anniversary dance which kept everyone out on the dance floor.
It’s all the little things you can do to keep things moving and not waste time. Regardless though, you have plenty of time and as a guest, I always love when the ceremony and reception are at the same venue as it’s so much easier!
Post # 11
3 hours is plenty, you can always plan to have an afterparty at a nearby bar or club if you have very party minded guests.
Post # 12
If you and your fiance don’t want to see each other before the ceremony you could still do a lot of the other pictures beforehand…basically everything except you and you’re Fiance seeing each other and that will cut down on the time you have to spend afterward missing the party for pictures.
Post # 13
Thats double the time we get for our venue! We only get 4 hrs for the ceremony AND the reception. Its plenty of time and with these gas prices, the guests will appreciate it all in one location. If you want to do first look pics, that would help with the time.
Post # 14
I just got married on the beach in Key West. Our ceremony: less than 10mins! SCORE. We took photos after on the beach & pier with & without families. We still had plenty of time for our reception which was at the hotel we were all staying in.
Plus after we had to leave the reception…most everyone came back to our room and we continued for about another hour.
You have plenty of time 🙂