Post # 1
We are strongly considering a Friday wedding because not many Saturdays are available for venues in June. We always dreamed of a Saturday wedding, but it looks like that may not be feasible. We are concerned that people will RSVP no altogether because it’s a Friday OR that few people will attend the actual ceremony.
Ceremony location will be at our church, which is 30 mins from the venue. We can choose our ceremony to begin as early as 4 and as late as 6. Ideally, we would love to start the ceremony later at 6 to allow guests to travel from work. However, the venue start time is at 6:30 PM, so the absolute latest we could have our ceremony is 5 PM. The Catholic mass will take an hour, then guests need 30 mins to get to the reception.
If you had a Friday wedding ceremony that was at a different site than the reception, what was your experience with guest attendance?
Post # 2
Just because the venue has a start time of 6:30 doesn’t mean you must start your reception at 6:30.
Post # 3
It depends how many of your guests are local. I would personally only travel to a Friday or non-holiday Sunday night wedding for a very close friend or family member. If it was local, I wouldn’t mind taking a half day and attending a Friday evening wedding, but I have a very generous leave policy and know that others may not be in the same situation. It would also depend on traffic in your area, how long your guests’ commutes are, etc. I’ve only ever attended one Friday night wedding, so I don’t have a large sample size, but there was a low turnout. The wedding was also dry, so I’m sure that had something to do with it.
Post # 4
What does “venue start time” even mean? I assume that’s just the earliest you can start, which means you can start at any time after that.
Honestly, even 6pm is pretty early for a Friday, but its a lot better than 4 or 5.
I also agree with pp about out of town guests. I’d love a Friday local wedding (but probably wouldn’t make that early of a ceremony), but a lot of out of town guests makes that difficult.
Post # 5
My wedding was on a Monday, at 5:30, and every guest attended, even those that traveled from other states. I don’t think you will have an issue with a Friday night, at least your traditionally employed guests don’t have to go to work the next day!
Post # 6
unless you were a really good friend or family member I probably wouldn’t come. Especially not if it starts before 6. 6 would even be pushing it, i’d still have to leave early from work even if it was local.
Post # 7
We got married at 1pm on a Friday. We had only 1 decline due to not being able to get the day off work (teacher – even though it was the last day of term)
people came from all over for the wedding including flying in from Morocco and France.
Were in the UK though where people get quite a bit of paid holiday and don’t mind travelling a few hours for a wedding
Post # 8
Don’t forget how many people fall into the category of those who attend but secretly complain about you behind your back about it. I know people who have attended Friday weddings out of state, but they sure did bitch about it behind the bride’s back calling her selfish for it.
So I would keep that in mind when people tell you they did it without issue.
Post # 9
Remember too, that some people work jobs that do not allow them to leave early. If they want to attend any weekday wedding, they have to take the whole day off- police, firefighters, nurses etc,
Post # 10
I feel like even if people would go, it’s very inconvenient. Like PP said, people will talk about you behind your back.
I really suggest looking at May or July to have that Saturday wedding. Even Sunday is better than Friday.
Post # 11
I don’t know where you live but here in Australia it is quite common for couples to request to not do a full Catholic mass. It’s usually only half an hour instead of the full hour. Some priest are on with it others prefer you to do the full mass. I’d ask the priest if that is a possibility if you are concerned about timing.
You could also talk to the venue and see if you can push a start time out until 7:30. I can understand that they usually specify a timeline because they know how much time they need to get set up, get individual courses out and then clear up for the night. Maybe forgoing one course or swapping out hot course for a course that is a cold dish may help to navigate starting at a later time. Eg a cold tian of crab and salmon, kingfish sashimi or ceviche starter might be a cold option that the venue could use to work with your later start time.
You may have options to work with but you need to talk to your priest and venue to see if it can work.
Father, our venue won’t allow us to start at a later time and as we are getting married on a Friday night I want to make it as easy as possible for them to attend without having to leave work to early. I hear in a lot of places in the world that you can opt to not have the full Catholic mass when you get married. Is this possible here in USA/Canada?
Also make sure you mention that the priest is invited to your reception during that conversation. They always receive that well and you can even ask them to say grace before dinner. If a Priest knows you are into your faith and respect the importance of the actual sacrament of marriage they will generally more willing to work with you to make your day special.
I’ve had a Priest tell me he gets very frustrated and questions why people bother to get married in a church when they don’t seem to really care about the religious element and the sacrament of marriage. By asking the priest about not doing a full mass, you may give off that impression and he may not be willing to work with you. If you stress the importance to you as a couple to get married in the presence of God, ask him to say grace before dinner etc He won’t jump to that impression of you and will maybe be more willing to help you with your timeline.
Post # 12
Thank you so much for the helpful and insightful advice. I appreciate it! You’ve given me a lot to consider. Since the priest is a family friend, we could probably get away with only the 30-min mass, but since there are so many Catholics in our family, the full mass is probably an expectation.
Post # 13
We had a Friday wedding. Ceremony started at 6:30. Almost everyone we invited who was local attended.
My friend had a 5:15 ceremony on a Friday and also had good attendance. I took off half a day of work to make it to her ceremony and it didn’t bother me at all.
You will never be able to make everyone happy. Plenty of people have jobs that require working Saturday evenings and would still have to take off or wouldn’t be able to make it.
Post # 14
Personally I wouldn’t miss work for a Friday wedding unless it was a close friend or family member. Especially not for a full Catholic mass- I would honesly fall asleep if I had woken up early for work that morning and was expected to stay out late for a wedding.
Post # 15
- Wedding: December 2018 - City, State
My sister had a friday wedding and i think everyone came bar my little brother missed the ceremony because hes 17 and hadnt asked work to have a day off
Otherwise Im positive everyone made it. 🙂
oh and ceremony started at 3. was a small wedding mostly family and very close friends. If it was larger Id expect some to say no