Post # 1
I’m really lucky, I have a venue that will let us have the whole space starting as early as we want that day, and ending as late as we want that night.
The wedding is on a Saturday in mid-September, both the ceremony and reception will be at this estate. During cocktail hour I plan on having a nice self-serve sangria, wine, and beer bar available with lawn games (as long as weather is nice). There will also be an indoor area with music and food during the cocktail hour. Afterward we’ll be serving a plated dinner and having dancing (but people can play lawn games too).
So when’s a good time to have the ceremony start? Keep in mind if the weather is nice I’d like to have the ceremony outside. I want everyone to have fun at cocktail hour, but I also don’t want to accidentally drag it out too long to match an appropriate dinner time.
Post # 3
I think it depends on your guests! Are they big dancers / partiers / late-into-the-night-revelers? Or are they older or more-low key? What time is sunset where you are? How long is your ceremony?
I’d probably do something like this:
Ceremony: 4 – 5
Cocktail Hour: 5 – 6
Reception: 6 – 10
Post # 4
@lovelyduckie: I’m in a similar situation where we have the venue all weekend and are playing lawn games. We are starting our ceremony at 3:30. I took into account when the sun will be setting on our date.
Post # 5
How long is the ceremony? I would have cocktail hour starting at 5:30, dinner 6:30-8:30 and then dancing until however late your venue lets you stay. So put the ceremony at 4:30/5 depending on how long it will be.
Post # 6
@lovelyduckie: Hey date buddy! here’s what we are doing:
Ceremony starts at 3pm (early enough to allow for delays) but not too early that there will be a long wait, I figure the actual time will be at 3:30pm
Cocktail hour about 4pm – 5pm everyone will start to get settled as they move to the reception area (in the same location) meet and greet eachother and we will have extra time for pics if we need it as dinner is at about 6pm
dancing into the night, probably ending about 2am-3am (we are a large group of party people and live in a small town where we know everyone so there will be “extra guests” after party starting at 9pm)
Post # 7
Ask your photographer, there are some times of day approaching sunset when the lighting is beautiful. If I had the option of having a ceremony whenever I wanted, I’d try to plan pictures around “golden hour” for any outside pictures or outdoor ceremony
Post # 8
@CityBearBride: @Pinkmoon: I don’t know how long the ceremony will be but we’re planning on something short-ish. Sunset is at 7:07. Honestly I’m not sure how our invites will be, a lot of our families are a bit older and we’re not getting to invite as m any younger friends as we’d like. But the younger people we’re inviting are night owls/regularly party.
@grapeslice: That was my original plan (about 3:30) but I got worried that I’d be forcing everyone into too long of a cocktail hour in order to eat at a reasonable time.
@avonleaR: Originally I was thinking about 3:30 too, lol but I doubt my group will party past 11:00pm.
@fascinated: That’s a good idea, I hadn’t thought about that. I was thinking I’d ask the caterer but the Photographer makes a lot more sense!