Post # 1
Here’s what I DO know:
-We will be having a Sunday evening reception.
-We have the location until midnight. Party will be until 10:30-11
-Our ceremony is 45 mins from our reception site.
-A lot of our photos will be taken after we arrive at the reception site (prettier for photos). How does this affect our “entrance”?
-We are having pasta + heavy appetizers, and we are letting people eat whenever they want after food is served (no traditional sit down meal). I plan to explain this and also have signs.
-We will have lawn games and drinks for guests to entertain themselves with throughout the evening. Going for a laid-back vibe that is still classy.
What I DON’T know:
–What our timeline could look like. I’ve looked around at old posts but am still unsure. I’m thinking if our ceremony is at 4:30 ending at about 5, we take a few photos at the church and then travel 45 mins to the location and take more photos (I’m not sure typically how long this would take considering the two locations?)
-How should I handle drinks during cocktail hr vs reception (for alcohol we are having 2 types of beer, 2 wines, and a signature cocktail).
–Any other words of wisdom about our timeline, etc. would be welcomed with open arms!
Post # 2
I can’t help you but I’m in the same place. I’m having a small destination wedding with 25 guests and I know I need to plan it out so it seems like I have my act together and it was worth it for guests to come!
Post # 3
I’m having a similar set up as you (casual but still elegant), and we’re starting and ending around the same time. The only difference is my ceremony and reception are at the same venue, so you’ll want to allow for travel time. Here’s my timeline so far:
12pm (or earlier): Start hair and makeup for bridal party and me
3pm: First look and some photos
5pm: Start of cocktail “hour” while we take photos. I don’t have a coordinator, so my mom and BMs will go keep an eye on things while we take photos.
6:30pm: Entrance, dinner, and first dance to open the dance floor.
7-10:30pm: Open dancing, lawn games, a photobooth, and a bonfire. I’m thinking that around 8pm we’ll have speeches and cut the cake. We’re having a buffet so I want to wait a little after dinner for that–and I don’t want to hold up dinner for speeches…no one will be listening! Also, during this time, Fiance and I will go off to take some nighttime photos.
10:30pm: Our sendoff…probably with sparklers.
Hopefully that helps you a bit!
Post # 4
What time of year are you getting married? With a 4:30 ceremony there’s really no way you’re getting to the reception venue before 6, so is that going to be ok for lighting? (For reference- we had a daytime wedding, ended the reception at 6 so we could get sunset pictures afterwards. This was in late October.)
I don’t think you’re going to need to explain the food thing. With a cocktail hour starting around 6 and, I assume, the food going out at 7, people are going to eat as soon as there is something to shove in their face. That’s dinnertime for most people, they aren’t going to wait and eat later.
When planning my timeline I asked my photographer for her suggestions. Assuming you’re using a seasoned professional, they’ll know how long things take and what they need from you far better than any guess you could make. I planned everything around what she said.
Post # 5
1. What time of the year is your wedding. Sunset times are something to consider. Also this is something to think about with the lawn games as well.
2. You said this is a Sunday wedding correct? To be honest, I wouldnt be staying until midnight on a Sunday because I have work in the morning. You may want to push up your ceremony so people can get home at a reasonable hour.
3. I completley dont get the food thing. So food will be sitting out the whole time and they just help themselves whenever? That seems a bit odd, especially because its sit down food, not just appetizers.
Post # 6
bretagne422 : Thank you for sharing your timeline! This is a little off-topic, but I also was offered a bonfire at my location and I thought it’d be fun, but I wasn’t sure if guests would appreciate getting smoke on their clothes. I may reconsider this again, and just have the fire far enough away from everyone.
We are getting married in mid June, so I think it will be light out late enough. Thank you for your advice about the food!
The party won’t be until 12, and I don’t mind if people leave early. No, the main food won’t be out all evening. The appetizers will be kept full and hot/cold.