Post # 1
We would like to get married in our church on a Saturday, but the latest they do ceremonies is 2:00pm. We are also very against the idea of having a gap in the wedding. While we could do a Friday wedding too– that also isn’t ideal.
So tell me, which of these two timelines seems better to you? Would you suggest one of these but with some edits? Comment away and help me figure this out!
6:30-7:00: Guests leave church and drive to reception
7:00-8:00: Cocktail hour with heavy snacks
8:00-9:30: Dinner, including toasts, speaches and first dance
9:30-midnight: Dance (and late night snacks)
2:30-3:00: Drive to reception
3:00-5:00: Cocktail hour(s) — what do people think of a 2 hour cocktail hour?
5:00 Guests seated for dinner
5-6:30: Dinner including speaches, toasts, and first dance
6:30-7:00: Cake cutting and serving
7:00-11:00pm: dancing (Is this WAY too long?)
Post # 3
The Saturday option is the same timeline every catholic bride in my hometown has followed for years and years. We don’t do gaps we just have a long wedding day, haha.
Post # 4
Thanks for the votes (although since they are even right now I am still torn!). This isn’t a Catholic church…. but there is an evening worship time on Saturday night so it’s bascially the same situation.
When people have done this before on Saturdays, do they end early, or really drag out the cocktails? I don’t want to have the night over when it’s still light out!
Post # 5
This is/was the exact dilemia that we have. Latest we can do ceremony is 2:00 and we have to be completely out of church by 3:30. We are starting our cocktail hour at 4:00 with the bridal party arriving around 5 and dinner at 5:30. The gap will allow guests to go and check into hotel and take the shuttle from hotel to reception. We are running a shuttle all ngiht between the hotel to the reception halll. This way we dont have people driving or a bunch of cars left in parking lot. It is going to be a very long day, but the best day of my life. 🙂
Post # 6
Here people really do stay until 2 am, we are used to 12 hour events because that is just how it is done around here. I’d think if this is an uncommon scenario for your group it might be a little different though. What do other brides do?
ETA: No one here does a gap, you go from the church to the reception venue. It is common for people to just come to the reception, but the party is still going at 12 am. No one really leaves early except for the elderly.
Post # 7
I think a 2 hour cocktail hour is too long. I also don’t want to eat dinner at 5pm. I think the earlier you put the dinner, the earlier people will leave.
Post # 8
For the Saturday option, could you do all of the toasts, special dances, and speeches BEFORE dinner? And maybe 1 dancing set before dinner, so it pushes dinner a little later? I think dancing from 7-11 is too long without any food or anything else going on during that time.
Post # 9
I have been to 2 weddings in the last month where one was set up like your Friday option and the other your Saturday option exactly! Fiance and I much prefered the Friday option because there never seemed to be any down time or drawn out time where we found ourselvs sitting for hours and hours and when it felt like 10 it was really 8 like the Saturday option. We prefered the Friday option so much more because the excitement never wore down and the energy stayed high all night. If it were me, based on these two experiences, I would choose the Friday option 100 times over! Good luck, hope this helped 🙂
Post # 10
As a guest I would not want to be at a 9 hour long wedding, thats SUPER long not to mention being dressed up and wearing heels for that amount of time would be rough to say the least.
Post # 11
- Wedding: July 2012 - The Gables Inn, Santa Rosa, CA
The saturday option is fine– if you’re worried about the gap, could you maybe add a reading or 2 to the ceremoney, to try and push it to closer to an hour?
As for the 2 hr cocktail reception, I would recommend having appetizers to help keep people entertained– just alcohol with no food could have unintended consequences (drunken speaches during toasts comes to mind…) but be sure to stock enough booze, people will go through a lot in that time, but they’ll enjoy it.
Another thing you can add that will fill some of your long gap is a receiving line– this is traditional, and is a great change to say hello to each and every guest as they walk inside (which also creates a bit of a bottle neck and stretches out the time a bit).
Post # 12
do you have to have a 2 hour cocktail hour?
I say go for Saturday but the 2 hour cocktail hour might be frustrating for you guest to wait around that long could they perhaps put your ceremony for 3pm to help eliminate the 2 hour cocktail hour?
Post # 13
oh ya the latest in 2 didnt read that part before i still say go for option Saturday 🙂
Post # 14
no to a 2 hr cocktail reception!!
Post # 15
I’m having a Catholic ceremony at 2pm and then everything is following immediately after (similar to the Saturday timeline you posted). I’d rather keep people moving and entertained rather than have them attend the ceremony and then tell them to go occupy themselves for a few hours until the reception takes place. Seriously, what are they supposed to do? Not everyone lives nearby, nor does everyone want to hang around bored waiting for the rest of the party to start.
My cocktail ‘hour’ is located in a series of several gardens that guests can wander around in so I’m not too worried about having a cocktail hour that is longer than an hour. There are several bars and seating areas set up as well as passed appetizers.
Post # 16
Do you have a lot of Out of Town guests? The Friday option may be more difficult for people who work (even the local guests will probably have to leave work early to make sure they aren’t late.)
The Saturday option is a very long day, but if you prefer it or it works better for you, I don’t think that it’s a bad option. I agree that you may want to push dinner back though – especially if you’re going to have a 2 hour cocktail hour (with hors d’oeuvres I assume?).