Post # 1
I am trying to get my order of events for our reception down, and I’m not really sure if this “flows”. We’re having an evening ceremony that goes straight into the reception (no dinner), but we’ll have a cocktail “hour” with a midnight lunch (lunch is mandatory in Canada, we’re just putting it out a bit earlier than usual, and leaving it out until the end of the evening with periodic refilling) Would you do things differently? Should the cake be cut before the midnight lunch so guests can have cake (cupcakes) with the rest of the food during cocktails? We have the photobooth for 4 hours, should the photobooth open earlier and close just before the dance ends?
Timeline/Order of events:
7:30 – 8:00: Ceremony
8:00 – 8:02: Bridal Party introduction & Grand Entrance
8:02 – 8:05: First Dance
8:05 – 8:07: Welcome from Bride & Groom (or speech by brothers)
8:07 – 8:45: Cocktails & Midnight Lunch
8:45 – 8:48: Slideshow
8:48 – 8:52: Father/Daughter & Mother/Son Dance
8:52 – 9:05: Dance starts
9:05 – 9:15: Bouquet Dance (explained below)
9:15 – 9:20: Cake Cutting
9:20 – 1:00: Dance continues & photo booth opens
Bouquet Dance – Every couple comes to the dance floor (voluntary) and DJ periodically announces 5 year increments, couples that have been together for that amount of time or less sit down until we’re left with one couple who has been together the longest and they are presented with a bouquet
Any suggestions you can give me would be really helpful, it’s been a while since I’ve attended a wedding!
Post # 3
@Charliejeorge: The midnight lunch is something I have not heard of before. Could you explain it a little bit?
Post # 4
@Charliejeorge: I’m confused. Are the times AM or PM? What is midnight lunch?
You seem to have eveything timed down to the minute, so make sure to give yourself some flexibility in case things go over or under time.
Post # 5
@Charliejeorge: I feel like you have yourself WAY overscheduled. I also think you’re going to be behind from 8:00 onwards. If your ceremony ends at 8:00, how on earth are you doing your entrance in the next 2 minutes (Or are you not changing spaces? Allow minimum of 15 minutes for anything that requires moving people from 1 space to another)
First dance, you’ll need more than 5 minutes to get through intros and the first dance IMO. If your song is 3 minutes – give yourself 5.
If you told them 2 minute speech, assume they’ll take 5.
I don’t think you need the time laid out quite so specifically – you’re not giving yourself wiggle room and you’re inviting stress.
Post # 6
@Charliejeorge: My comment is only about the “lunch”. Although it may be mandatory where you live, generalizations never work. A “lunch” is not mandatory in all of Canada.
I also have some concerns about the safety of food that will be out for 4+ hours.
Post # 7
@Charliejeorge: What is a midnight lunch?!
Post # 8
@julies1949: Sorry, I’m not sure if there’s a question in there that I missed, but midnight lunch is mandatory where I am. I will leave it up to the venue to ensure they are following safety standards, and to refresh the food when necessary. They have done this millions of times, so I’m sure they have a good system in place, although I will ask, just to be sure 🙂
@mumkin: & @MelBan: Midnight lunch is a more casual “meal” served around 10 or 11pm. Its mandatory where I am after so many hours of bar service. Its usually buns, cold cuts, cheese, pickles, fruit and veggies and that kind of stuff
@Polygon: These are PM, it’s an evening ceremony & reception. Midnight lunch is usually served around 10 or 11pm, we’re going to serve it early because we’re not serving a dinner.
Post # 9
@MsGinkgo: Although I have it scheduled to the minute, the times are completely flexible. I just couldnt give everything 5 or 10 mins because that would be way too much for some things and not enough for others. I dont even know if our ceremony will be 30 mins, or 15, so it just gives me an idea of when we can start things. Thanks though!
ETA – I forgot to mention that we’re not changing spaces, and we’re also not doing a receiving line, so we’ll basically walk out the door, then turn right back around lol
Post # 10
@Charliejeorge: I was referencing your statement that a lunch is mandatory in Canada. Like many things- it’s a regional tradition, not national.
When Bees make generalized statements, they are spreading misinformation to the Bees from other countries.
Post # 11
@julies1949: Oh, gotcha. Not like it really matters since im only planning one wedding and its here, but always good to know! 🙂
Post # 12
@Charliejeorge: I would budget twice as much time for things as you anticipate them taking for the things that take less than an hour. There’s always set up, getting the perfect picture, moving people around that cumulatively takes a few minutes.
I would suggest opening the photobooth earlier, but it seems like you schedule is packed so there would be no time to use it earlier.
38 minutes is cutting it close for cocktails and midnight lunch. It will take people a while to get through 2 lines (one for food one for drinks, and combining them probably won’t save time). How many people are you expecting?
Post # 13
@Polygon: We can always do the “programy” stuff right off the bat, so as soon as all the programmed stuff (including dances and cake cutting) is done, we can do cocktails and midnight lunch- would that make more sense? Then the photobooth can open, people can mingle and start dancing whenever they’d like to. The bar will be open at 7 before the ceremony, so people will have had a drink before the “cocktail hour”, but you’re right, there will be lineups. We’re inviting 230, and expecting probably 200.