Post # 1
My fiance and I are getting married this coming May. Instead of having a sit down meal, we decided to have the ceremony a little early (2:30 p.m.), and then have the reception start at 3:30 or so (maybe earlier… immediately after the ceremony). We plan to serve heavy-ish hors d’oeuvres, cake, beer, wine, and punch. I just want to make sure that the timing of it all is appropriate. I have been to a few weddings with sit down meals, but the majority of the ones I have been to in my small town have just been hors d’ oeuvres and cake. I was thinking that the reception would probably last 2 1/2-3 hours, and that it wouldn’t really overlap with dinner time. Now, I’m freaking out a little that I should’ve planned the ceremony for 2 instead of 2:30. But, my thinking is that we’re meeting before the ceremony to take all of the posed pictures, so there won’t be a break between the ceremony and reception. I was thinking more in terms of time we would need to get ready beforehand.
Is this an acceptable way to handle the ceremony/reception?
How should I word it on the invitation?
I’m sure I’m freaking out over nothing, because the majority of the people I’m inviting won’t expect a fancy, sit down meal.
Post # 3
hmm…sounds like it might be overlapping with dinner time a bit. If reception starts at 3:30 and you plan it being 2 1/2-3 hours, that would put it ending around 6 or 6:30. I would try to do it earlier, like 1:30? Or shorten your reception.
Post # 4
@Skittles131: I was thinking about that. It’s a tough call, because I’m afraid that too early will coincide with lunch. We plan to have a ton of food, just not traditional meal food. We will probably have chicken wings, fruits/veggies, meat/cheese tray, and a few other things, sweet and not.
Also, there is no set length of time for the reception to start or last. The ceremony will be short and sweet, so the reception might start a little earlier. I do know that I plan to go straight from the ceremony to the reception, because I don’t want to keep anyone waiting. People may only want to stick around for an hour or two… long enough to mingle a bit and nibble. It’s hard to say.
I am very new to this wedding thing. I’ve been to so many different types of weddings, and they’ve all been fun!
Post # 5
@Jobanana85: Your wedding sounds perfectly lovely and appropriate.
Post # 6
The timing is OK.. but NOT if you are doing a long ceremony ( full mass) and NOT if you plan on taking photos after the ceremony…
it just depends on your specifics…
Post # 7
@Jobanana85: As you already said that the ceremony would be short and sweet (not Full Mass), and you will not be taking pictures after the ceremony, I think you would be fine starting at 2:30 or even 2:00.
For reception wording, I suggest : Reception Immediately Following.
I think people will know that a reception that starts mid afternoon would not incude a typical sit down meal.
Post # 7
I think it will be perfect since you will be having all your photos beforehand and a short ceremony:)
Post # 8
Jobanana85: we are having our ceremony at 12:30, followed by our afternoon reception. We are serving heavy snacks and cake, no alcohol. The reception will be over before 5 to avoid any dinner conflicts. we worded our invitation “normally” – half past the hour of noon at location. Reception to follow at location.
Post # 9
Thank you! I feel better about everything now that I’ve read your replies and spoken to several people. Apparently, most of the people I’ve known have had finger food type reception foods.