Post # 1
My wedding is August 2nd of this year, so it’s really time to make the final decisions about ceremony times and such. We are having an evening wedding, unfortunately on a Friday. I hate it… wanted a Saturday wedding, but we wanted to get married at the church we attend, and they only allow evening weddings to take place on Fridays. 🙁 I’ve come to accept it. We have recently attended a few Friday evening weddings, so I guess they are becoming more popular. Anyway, here is my predicament…
Originally, I had the ceremony slated to begin at 7:00 pm. I figured that was enough time for people to get off work on Friday and make it to the ceremony. However, this means the reception will not begin until around 7:45-8:00. We are NOT doing a first look, so we will need to take the pictures that involve both of us after the ceremony. If we have our guests eat without us being there, they will eat dinner around 8:00. If we had them wait for us, they would not eat until about 8:45. However, we would have a few appetizer – type foods available for guests to eat while they were waiting if we did decide to do that. I hate for them to have to wait so late to eat dinner, though. Some people I have talked to about this say that people expect to have to eat a little later than usual when they attend an evening wedding, and that it’s not that big of a deal, but I don’t know.. What are your thoughts on this?
The second option is to move the ceremony up to 6:30 pm. Then, the reception would begin around 7:15-7:30, and guests would be able to either eat without us right away, or have appetizers while we take pictures, and eat around 8:15. My only worry is…. is 6:30 too early for all the guests to get off work and make it to the ceremony?! I don’t want to have an empty wedding.
Please help!!! I’m stressing about this decision. Thanks in advance.
Post # 3
As long as you’re planning appetizers and are very up front with guests about when the entree will be served…and as long as you don’t have a ton of little kids coming to the wedding…I would go with the 7pm time. People who need to eat a more substantial meal earlier can get a snack on the way to the event.
Post # 4
@GonnaBeMrsC: I would probably go with the ceremony starting at 6:30 so you and your new husband will have more time to take pictures after the ceremony before heading off to the reception. If there is a only a 30 minute difference between the earlier and later ceremony time, that shouldn’t impact too many of your guests. I would say keep it at 7 if there was going to be a bigger difference in time like if the ceremony time was going to be at 5:30. And besides that is what the cocktail hour is for, so that you and your wedding party have time to take pictures after the ceremony. I am having an evening ceremony also but on August 3 so me, my Fiance, and our bridal party, and family members are taking pictures before our 6 pm ceremony so that we don’t keep our guests waiting. And it also gives us time to have our “first” look photos! 🙂 It was either a 6 pm ceremony and a later reception or a 12 pm ceremony with a 4-5 hour gap in between. If is a factor of time, I would go with the ceremony being 30 minutes earlier. 🙂
Post # 5
I had a whole paragraph typed when my ipad decided to shut off haha but anyways I’m having a Friday wedding starting at 4. Out of towners had no issues with it and people who live here had enough time to ask for the day off or get a half day. Out of 100+ invited guests only 1 guest couldn’t get the day off. I would go with an earlier time.. If your ceremony doesn’t start til 7… Dinner is gonna be way late, I wouldn’t be a happy camper eating that late. honestly, Friday weddings are becoming more popular and guests are very understanding. Have your ceremony whenever you want just make sure you let ur guests know well in advance so they can plan.
Post # 6
I would move the ceremony to 6:30 p.m.
I also am having an evening wedding on a Friday in May. We have chosen to have the ceremony at 6 p.m. and being only 3 months out – no one has complained. Most of those traveling in from out of town took the day, and those in town either took a half day or worked the morning shift.
We are having the ceremony at 6 p.m., with cocktails/appetizers starting at 6:30 p.m., dinner served by 8 p.m. It’s a little on the late side, but plenty of people sit down to dinner in the later hours on a weekend.
Quick question – why not do a first look?
We are – it’s a huge time saver in an evening wedding. It means we’re only taking a handful of immediate family shots (like those taken at a church traditionally) in the cermeony space while guests enjoy cocktail hour.
It allows the dinner to get started earlier – and besides – you have all day being its an evening wedding.
Are you or FH against it?
Post # 7
Lol, here is one more suggestion.
I’d keep the Ceremony at 7:00 PM.
And try to make the photo session go as quickly as possible, so your Guests aren’t getting restless during Cocktail Hour while you and your Family / Wedding Party take pics.
And the LAST THING you want to do is inconvenience your Guests by having the photos run long… and you guys running late… thereby holding up everything else that evening (including Dinner)
I do think that as a Guest, I like being at the Dinner with the Bride & Groom (and lets face it if you guys aren’t there… then most likely some other folks are going to be missing as well…)
I get the whole idea of not wanting to have a First Look session… from the traditional stand-point.
BUT you should look around WBee and see some of the examples of “unconventional” First Looks… where the couple are photographed in the same shot … but don’t see each other… because of the setting (wall, door, balconies, etc all can be used in this creative way)
The BONUS is the Photographer can get a lot of great couples shots or detail shots of your faces, clothing, accessories etc.
Here is an example from a Past Bride that I really really love
Post # 8
- Wedding: June 2013 - Upstate NY
The truth is, people are going to have to leave early from work regardless. 7pm I feel is way too late! I’m getting married on a Friday and I too was worried about people getting off work. My sister’s wedding started at 6 and the older people (not even grandparents; middle-agers) complained that it went too late.
My Friday wedding starts at 5:30 (ceremony), cocktails 6-7, dinner/ dancing 7-11.
I would move it to 6/ 6:30
Post # 9
I would go with 6:30 as well. Most people go straight there from work. I would plan to do that if I were going to a Friday night wedding.
Post # 10
Thank you everyone for your suggestions. I feel like I’m still getting mixed reviews. I really don’t know what to do. 🙁 I want to move it to 6:30 so the reception doesn’t run so late, but I’m just afraid too many people will skip the ceremony and come to the reception because it starts too early. 🙁 I want a Saturday wedding.
@dragonlover: We considered doing a first look to save time, but we just can’t bring ourselves to do it. FH always pictured himself seeing his bride for the first time that day when she walked down the aisle. I kind of feel the same way. I feel like it won’t be as special since he would’ve already seen me that day. For me, it just makes walking down the aisle seem like less of a big deal. I know “first looks” are becoming a lot more common, but I guess we’re just very traditional.
@This Time Round: Yes, FH and I will be doing an unconventional “first look” where he is blindfolded, so we can still be together before the ceremony without him seeing me. It will make for great pictures, but the problem is, it still doesn’t save any time since we will still have to take the traditional pictures after the ceremony.
Post # 11
I’d start it at6:30 or earlier. Your wedding is in August. That’s always a slow time at work – with tons of people taking vacations. Most people I know would love an excuse to leave work early and good bosses would let their employees go. If people have to come from out of town, they will have to travel that day anyway.
People will accomodate you…it’s a wedding. Think of how often people leave work early on Fridays for Happy Hour.
Post # 12
I forgot to mention to everyone that we will be taking as many photos as we can before the ceremony… pictures of the bridesmaids and I, the groomsmen and FH, etc.. basically anything that can be done. Any pictures that involve both of us together will have to be done after the ceremony. My photographer thinks he can knock those out in about 45 minutes, so we will miss an hour tops of the reception.
Post # 13
My wedding is on a friday night as well and the ceremony starts at 8pm pictures will be before the ceremony
cocktail is 8:30-9:30
then the reception is 9:30-1:30am
I’m sure by now most of your guest know that your wedding is a friday night and its up to them to make the arrangements as far as leaving work early to get to you your wedding and im sure most of them will. people will be at your wedding ceremony. as far as eating dinner late plenty of people go out late on a friday night with friends to dinner so thats not a big deal. especially if you are having cocktail hr. and for those people that have to have dinner at 6pm eat a light snack befopre you come. these are adults not little kids that are going to have tantrum if they aren’t feed before a certain time. its your wedding do what you want and stop stressing.
Post # 14
I think 6:30 is fine. Ours is 6:45 on a Friday. If it’s not enough time for your guests to get there from work, they’ll ask to go an hour or two earlier. 🙂