(Closed) How long was your wedding day schedule? (Ceremony and Reception)

posted 4 years ago in Reception
Post # 3
Member
7 posts
Newbee

I think you are perfectly fine with 2.5 hours of dance time. We had 2 hours at ours and it was perfecctly fine. Of course you may want to dance more but the next day no one was like “I wish we danced longer”. We also did a sparkler exit, this helped to get the guests out of the venue and outside (therefore not having to awkwardly ask people to leave) win, win! We rented a bar/restaurant for after the wedding so guests could continue to “party” if they wanted but were not obligated to. This space was a free charge as we just informed the restaurant ahead of time. 

Also if you want to keep your bridesmaids informed and “in-the-know,” use Bridesmaids Newsletters to help not only you stay on track but to help them feel connected to you and the wedding! [link removed for self-promotion]

One of the newsletters has a wedding day timeline where you can plan hourly on what will be happeneing the day of the wedding!

Post # 4
Member
9443 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2016

This was our wedding schedule:

 5:00 – 6:00 : Pre-Ceremony Photos

Getting ready final touches at the venue, bride getting into dress, first look, wedding party portraits, family portraits

6:00 – 6:30 : Guests arriving at venue

                     Candid pictures

6:30 – 7:00 : Cocktail Hour/Post-Ceremony Photos

                      Bride & Groom, any remaining family portraits or wedding party portraits

           7:55 : Bride & Groom + Wedding Party Announced in Reception

8:00 – 8:45 : Dinner

           8:45 : Toasts

           9:00 : Cake Cutting

9:05 – 9:10 : First Dance

9:10 – 9: 15 : Father Daughter Dance

9:15 – 11:00: Dancing

11:00 : Reception Ends

It worked perfectly for our day. Everything ran on schedule, nothing felt rushed, and the reception length was perfect for us. We had the option to add another hour to the reception but I was absolutly ready for the reception to end (because I was exhausted and looking forward to some time alone with my new husband!) at 11 and people were started filtering out on thier own at about 10:30/10:45 anyway. We didn’t have a crowd that’s super into dancing (and we aren’t either) so it didn’t make sense for us to have a lot of dancing time.

I don’t understand how if you are having a 3:30 ceremony you would only have 2.5 hours of dancing. We had almost that much time with a 6:30 ceremony!

Go with the location that you love! If people want to party more they can go out and do it on thier own dime afterward. You don’t owe your guests a longer reception and I don’t think you should sacrifice the location you want just for a little extra dancing time that you don’t even want.

 

Post # 5
Member
554 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2016

I think it is a matter of knowing your crowd. Our friends and family like to drink and dance (we knew it would be a late night). Our ceremony was at four and we went straight into cocktail hour/reception (at the same venue) and probably like 90% of the guests stayed until the venue closed at 1:30 am. 

Post # 6
Member
941 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2016

Are you having a lot of down time between the ceremony and reception? I’m also wondering how 8 hours of ceremony/reception will only allow for 2.5 hours dancing. We had 5.5 hours total: .5 hour ceremony (really like 15 min), 1 hour cocktail hour, 1 hour dinner, and still 3 full hours for dancing. The room you described sounds gorgeous! I say do it there, your guests will probably be exhausted after 8 hours anyway! 

 

Post # 8
Member
1912 posts
Buzzing bee

That would be way too early for my crowd but you know yours. We have the venue until 2 and likely we will all continue to party after somewhere else. 

Our ceremony is at 5:30 and dancing begins at 9-9:30. 

Post # 9
Member
3589 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2017

Definitely do what you want and end at 11, it will be fine. It’s not selfish, I mean you’re giving people dinner and a great party, you don’t owe them more than that and they can go out to town afterwards or whatever if they want. We had our ceremony at 4 and reception at 6, we had to be out by midnight so we did our exit at 11.30 and I think it was about perfect. People were still having fun but were happy to go home, and some left earlier. Also, not everyone does want to party into the early hours but would be sad to have to leave before your exit so 11 is a good middle ground. It’s a long day for everyone, especially you, and there’s no need to party until you absolutely drop if you don’t want to. 

Post # 10
Member
5648 posts
Bee Keeper

Uk wedding typically go on past midnight. Your plans and venue sound lovely. It’s a shame you can’t get another hour in but your husband’s plans of getting a late night snack and moving on to a nearby bar to continue the party for those who want to sounds like a good idea. At its not like 11.30 is desperately early – it’s just not giving you quite enough of a party night  

Can you move your ceremony to 2.30? Although we allowed plenty of time for sit down meal and speeches, it  took longer than we thought and it ran into our evening time. Just be mindful of that.

We had ceremony at different place to reception so this isn’t a match for your plans but it’ll give you an idea of timings. Ps – evening wedding guests for big party is the norm in the U.K. 

 

Wedding day schedule

<div style=”color: #454545; font-family: UICTFontTextStyleBody; font-size: 17px; text-decoration: -webkit-letterpress;”>
<div><u>Daytime</u></div>
<div> </div>
<div>12.30 until 1 – Guests arrive at ceremony venue</div>
<div> </div>
<div>1 until 1.30 –  Ceremony </div>
<div> </div>
<div>1.30 until 2.15 – Drinks and photos at ceremony venue</div>
<div> </div>
<div>2.15 – Everyone leaves ceremony site and heads to reception site.  </div>
<div> </div>
<div>2.45 until 3.45 –  singer/drink reception/canapés/starters</div>
<div>(we have photos away for 1st part of this – beach) </div>
<div> </div>
<div>3.45 until 7 – Seated for Wedding breakfast (sharing plate meals, puds, coffee and speeches) </div>
<div> </div>
<div>- actually ended up running over to 7.30</div>
<div> </div>
<div>7-9 close up magician to mingle and entertain guests. </div>
<div> </div>
<div> </div>
<div><u>Evening reception</u> (7 – 12.30)</div>
</div>
<div style=”color: #454545; font-family: UICTFontTextStyleBody; font-size: 17px; text-decoration: -webkit-letterpress;”> </div>
<div style=”color: #454545; font-family: UICTFontTextStyleBody; font-size: 17px; text-decoration: -webkit-letterpress;”>(Evening guests arrive – from 7)</div>
<div style=”color: #454545; font-family: UICTFontTextStyleBody; font-size: 17px; text-decoration: -webkit-letterpress;”> </div>
<div style=”color: #454545; font-family: UICTFontTextStyleBody; font-size: 17px; text-decoration: -webkit-letterpress;”>7.15 until 8 – Another musician played </div>
<div style=”color: #454545; font-family: UICTFontTextStyleBody; font-size: 17px; text-decoration: -webkit-letterpress;”> </div>
<div style=”color: #454545; font-family: UICTFontTextStyleBody; font-size: 17px; text-decoration: -webkit-letterpress;”>8 – 1st dance</div>
<div style=”color: #454545; font-family: UICTFontTextStyleBody; font-size: 17px; text-decoration: -webkit-letterpress;”> </div>
<div style=”color: #454545; font-family: UICTFontTextStyleBody; font-size: 17px; text-decoration: -webkit-letterpress;”>8.15 until 9 – Musician </div>
<div style=”color: #454545; font-family: UICTFontTextStyleBody; font-size: 17px; text-decoration: -webkit-letterpress;”> </div>
<div style=”color: #454545; font-family: UICTFontTextStyleBody; font-size: 17px; text-decoration: -webkit-letterpress;”>9 – buffet</div>
<div style=”color: #454545; font-family: UICTFontTextStyleBody; font-size: 17px; text-decoration: -webkit-letterpress;”> </div>
<div style=”color: #454545; font-family: UICTFontTextStyleBody; font-size: 17px; text-decoration: -webkit-letterpress;”>9 –  DJ</div>
<div style=”color: #454545; font-family: UICTFontTextStyleBody; font-size: 17px; text-decoration: -webkit-letterpress;”> </div>
<div style=”color: #454545; font-family: UICTFontTextStyleBody; font-size: 17px; text-decoration: -webkit-letterpress;”>12.30 Carriages</div>
<div style=”color: #454545; font-family: UICTFontTextStyleBody; font-size: 17px; text-decoration: -webkit-letterpress;”> </div>
<div style=”color: #454545; font-family: UICTFontTextStyleBody; font-size: 17px; text-decoration: -webkit-letterpress;”> </div>
<div style=”color: #454545; font-family: UICTFontTextStyleBody; font-size: 17px; text-decoration: -webkit-letterpress;”>we left about 12.15 I think and the party was still going and I think went on til about 1am at the venue and some guests went on to bars and clubs nearby until the early hours. </div>

Post # 11
Member
5648 posts
Bee Keeper

Urgh. Sorry it’s gone all squiffy. It’s copied from my notes. 

Post # 12
Member
941 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2016

View original reply
handlecat :  That sounds lovely! 

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