Post # 1
Okay, I have a question for all of you lovely people. It’s been the controversy of my wedding. Me and FH and parents like the idea (and so does our DJ, incidentally) but the wedding coordinator at our wedding venue doesn’t think it will work. Here’s the idea: Our ceremony is at 4 pm and the reception is at the same location, so the ceremony and cocktail hour will be over by 6 at the latest. We wanted to enter, do our first dance, and open up the dance floor for everyone to dance with us for about a half hour to sort of break the ice and take away the stigma of the dance floor early on in the recemption. And then have the blessing 2 toasts and dinner. That would mean dinner would be around 6:45 or 7. And we’re having lots of appetizers at the cocktail hour. The coordinator thinks people will be hungry and we CAN’T do it. I don’t see what the big deal is. Some people with who have a later ceremony don’t serve dinner til 8 or 9. Have you ever been to a wedding where dinner wasn’t the first thing to happen at the reception and how did it go? Did you like it?
Post # 3
We have somewhat of a similar situation. Our reception site it about thirty minutes away from the reception location, so guests will be waiting about an hor (at least) for us to get to the reception. It’s kind of unavoidable, so we are going to have appetizer during the wait. Plus, we having an evening wedding, and the ceremony isn’t until 6:30 p.m. So, dinner won’t be until 8:30 or so.
Post # 4
I think you should go for it. It takes peoples’ minds off of "where’s dinner?" It says "hold your horses, it’s a-comin’" And it encourages people to mingle and not feel tied down to their assigned seats. Ultimately, do what you want! DInner is still at a decent hour and I think it’s unique. And Lord knows we don’t need another identical wedding..timeline and all!
Post # 5
Thanks for the opinions. That makes me feel better.
Post # 6
I had a very similar timeline at my wedding and it turned out great! We had the ceremony and reception at the same location and had a cocktail hour with appetizers. When we were introduced into the reception, we walked right onto the dance floor and into our first dance. After our dance, both of the fathers gave their speech and then we started dinner. So we didn’t have the group come up and dance with us, but because we had already had our dance that was enough to open up the dance floor and other couples got up on their own towards the end of dinner. As far as times – our ceremony was at 6pm and we probably started dinner around 8:30pm and we never heard a single complaint about guests being hungry. The appetizers were enough to hold them over and they loved the change of having us dance at the beginning. It broke up all the formal dances and seemed to make the night flow very well.
Post # 7
You can definitely have people come up and dance right after your 1st dance. I’ve seen it done many times and it works out great! It does exactly what you want it to do. It sets the tone for the evening and gets rid of that awkward "who’s going to be the 1st one on the dance floor tonight" thing.
Here are the keys to making it work:
You and your groom need to stay on the dance floor while the music transitions into an upbeat song and the DJ invites people to the dance floor. If you leave or run off the dance floor right after your 1st dance then no one will come out. But, if you’re there then that will prompt the guests to come out and celebrate with you.
Only play about 2-3 songs during this 1st dance set. The reality is that it is still early on in the event and people aren’t ready for a full-blown dance-fest yet.
Make sure that the songs are something that everyone can dance to (young & old). If you go too new or have some kind of freaky techno music then you lose the older crowd. Songs like Tequila, Respect, Old Time Rock & Roll or Celebration are ones that everybody knows and have fun with.
Don’t let your skid-ish wedding coordinator put a damper on your event. It sounds like she’s too worried already….
Post # 8
I think your timeline works great. We are having our ceremony at 6 and the guests have cocktails and hors d’ eouvres til 7:45 then we come in and do our first dance. We are going directly into dinner after the first dance but that still doesnt start service until 8:15. As long as you have hors d’ eouvres available beforehand you will be fine. I know alot of people eat dinner early, around 5 or 6, but there are also alot of people used to eating dinner at 7.
Post # 9
- Wedding: May 2010 - The Pierre Hotel
I think your timeline would be fine, especially since you have the cocktail hour beforehand. 7pm doesn’t seem that late for dinner (although I’m not sure when your friends/famiyl usually eat dinner). I’m having a 6pm invitation, 6:30pm ceremony, with 7pm cocktail hour and 8pm dinner – I was a little concerned about this – but I posted a thread on the ‘Bee and was assured that as long the cocktail hour is hearty and perhaps some snacks are served pre-ceremony, it should be fine. Go for it!