Post # 1
At first I was really excited our wedding was in the daytime. We found the perfect venue with the ceremony overlooking a beautiful lake in a nature reserve and the reception is a reception hall nearby. We really liked the venue but the minimum cost for a evening reception was way over our budget. However the cost for a daytime reception was in our budget. My fiance and I are laid back people and don’t really like dancing so it made sense to both of us. We are also a bit shy and didn’t want a huge wedding so our wedding is on the small side at around 65 guests.
I have been to a few afternoon weddings and have enjoyed them and I never thought of the possibilty that people might see an afternoon wedding as strange. Now talking to some co-workers they don’t understand why someone would have an afternoon wedding. I guess weddings usually turn into dancing and drinking at some point and since that might not happen in this case I am not sure what to do.
We actually do have a DJ but I kind of wanted one to annouce the toast and caking cutting etc and play some background music. I also did want to do a first dance, probably to slower music. Anyway now I am worrying people may be bored if there isn’t a lot of dancing. We have the reception hall for about 5 hours and I am worried what people will do during that time. I don’t want everyone to leave early out of bordem 🙁
Any ideas for what to do during the reception if people don’t want to dance a lot (which I find likely?)
Also is it strange to have a “cocktail” hour around noon? I was going to pick some more brunch time food like a fruit buffet, cheese and crackers etc for people to eat while we are out taking photos.
Thanks for any advice!
Post # 3
I have been to a few afternoon weddings that were great fun. Things the guests had to do (not all at the same wedding):
look at displays of family photos
crossword puzzle of bride and groom
law games- croquet, badminton, fish tank for the kids
Don’t forget that people like to mix and mingle- many of them will be visiting with friends and family they haven’t seen for a while. Plus, you will have the usual speaches and toasts.
Post # 4
Thank you for the ideas 🙂 The photo booth idea did cross my mind, the games could also be fun. I think my friends and family might be down for that.
Post # 5
I have been to more afternoon weddings in the past few years than evening weddings and as a guest they are SOOOOO much better. Why?
- You get home at a reasonable hour. Getting home after a late night wedding is exhausting or expensive if you need to book a hotel.
- You can enjoy the rest of your evening after you get home.
- You can get plenty of rest and not spend your Sunday or Saturday feeling tired and hungover.
- You get to actually SEE everything and everyone, instead of tryign to squint and see the wedding details in a dark room. All my evening brides were saying how they spent all this time on favors or whatever and no one could even see them bc the room was dimmed for dancing.
- People will totally dance, I promise. Weddings are fun and they will get out there and shimmy around. If they don’t dance, they will go around and mingle with other people. That’s the beauty of small weddings.
- The newlyweds get to leave in the afternoon and take a well-deserved nap before starting their honeymoon!
I enjoyed afternoon weddings so much that even with my budget constraints I am doing a daytime wedding by choice. Like you, I am having a small afternoon wedding. We’re doing a noon cocktail hour, then a lunch, during which we’ll have toasts and speeches. Then we’ll cut cake, serve cake, go around and mingle for awhile and then just have music for dancing for an hour to 90 minutes before we start winding things down at 3:30pm for a 4pm exit. You may have the reception hall for 5 hours, but you need that wind down time to collect yourself and say goodbye.
Don’t worry, it will be beautiful!!!