Time Management

posted 2 years ago in Ceremony
Post # 2
Member
3508 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 2021

If you want to do photos with the wedding party and families, allot 2-3 hours between the ceremony and your arrival at the reception. What a lot of people end up doing is scheduling a cocktail hour before the offical start of the reception, where you guests can enjoy a drink and hang out while you guys finish off photos and get to the venue. That way you know all your guests are there and waiting when you arrive and no one has to worry about missing the wedding party entering. 

So, for a 2pm wedding, you’d schedule a cocktail hour to begin at 5:00, with dinner scheduled for 6:00. That gives you ample time to do photos without leaving your guests lingering for hours and hours. This is assuming your ceremony is <30 minutes. If you’re having a religious ceremony that ends up being an hour or so, then you’d adjust the schedule accordingly… basically, schedule cocktail hour for 2.5 hours after the end of the ceremony.

Post # 3
Member
939 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2019

I’d recommend not having that much time between ceremony and cocktail hour. I’d be annoyed as a guest having to kill 2.5 hours before the cocktail hour. Our ceremony is at 5:30 and the cocktail hour starts at 7. Our ceremony will be just around 30 minutes, and the reception space is 30 minutes from the ceremony site so we gave a little extra time for people to mingle and drive (traffic) to the reception venue.

 

Post # 4
Member
97 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

Our ceremony will be at 4:30 with the coctail hour starting at 6pm. We anticipate the ceremony lasting around 30 minutes, dismissing/greeting each row, and doing a grand exit to the trolley. The only pictures we will have to take after the ceremony are 3 extended family pictures, as we will be doing everything else before the ceremony to save time.

Our reception is in a downtown area roughly 15 minutes away, but parking will take some time. Our reception venue will be open and will begin serving drinks early if a ton of guests arrive before 6. We hope to be to the cocktail hour at 6:45 before introductions/dinner begin at 7:15ish. We felt 6 was a good compromise to allow guests to take their time getting there, but not be paying for a reception when nobody will be there yet.

Post # 5
Member
3508 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 2021

fourthnoel :  Pretty much every wedding I have ever attended had a 2-2.5 hour break between ceremony and reception. Is this not standard where you live?

Post # 6
Member
2928 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

Our ceremony and reception were at the same venue, so guests left the ceremony site, came through the receiving line, and walked straight up the lawn to cocktail hour. Gap weddings are not a popular idea on the bee (or in real life from my experience). 

Post # 7
Member
939 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2019

sboom :  interesting! No, every wedding around here is typically held in the same venue, so cocktail hour immediately follows the ceremony.

Post # 8
Member
2098 posts
Buzzing bee

My wedding and reception were the same location.  We did most photos before the ceremony.  Ceremony 6 pm, cocktails followed immediately at 6:30, I think the dinner buffet started at 7.  We did some extended family photos and signed the marriage license from 6:30-7 while guests were getting a drink and finding their table.

Post # 9
Member
2098 posts
Buzzing bee

I can only remember one wedding I was invited to with a large gap, it was a classmate and to be honest, I did not attend the ceremony.  I don’t know what I would have done all day waiting for the reception.  I just came to the reception as did everyone else he invited from school.  Gaps are not the norm here.

Post # 12
Member
939 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2019

cloud9bride :  it may vary by venue. Our venue’s 4 hour package does NOT include the cocktail hour. So we technically have 5 total hours there. You’ll have to talk to your specific venue if they include the cocktail hour in that timeline. A receiving line is where all the guests line up and one by one will greet the couple and tell them congrats, the bride and groom can thank everyone individually during it as well. 

We aren’t doing a receiving line, because I’d honestly get bored haha so we plan to just go around during dinner to thank everyone for coming. It’s entirely up to you if you want one or not, I don’t believe there’s a rule in regards to etiquette about receiving lines.

Post # 14
Member
69 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: April 2019

I kind of in the same boat bee,  my ceremony cant start before 6pm.  Im getting married at a not for profit organization and the wedding has to start after they close to the public.  They will close off the area we’re getting married in about 4:30 to set up for the ceremony.  They will set up for the reception during the ceremony.  

Immediately after the ceremony, guest will go see a movie about the venue (I get to pick from various shows they show their patrons).  That will be about 30 to 45 minutes.  We will be taking pictures while the guests are in the movie.  We will be doing a receiving line when they come out of the movie (I know there are pros & cons to this but our guests have options for the rest of the evening at the museum at I don’t want to be chasing people).  After the movie (about 7 – 7:15) guest can go eat (buffet) or roam and see the exhibits at the museum.  I think this will reduce the line at the buffet because people will be eating at different times.  At 8:30 their will be a main presentation of the museum’s star attraction.  I’m going to try to do toast around 8:00 followed by the first dances.  I know some people will be roaming around or still eating.  The dance floor is near the buffet and tables and we can use the PA system so the toast can be heard thru out the entire building.  Peope can see most of the presentation from their seats.  

9:00(after presentation) cut cake

9:30 Open coffee bar.  

Now my problem simular to yours is the base fee for the venue includes 4 hours meaning we would have to be out by 10pm (not including break down/clean up), but we can buy extra hours.  I’m thinking we should get at least 1.  That would give everyone an extra hour to see the exhibits, have cake/dessert, last call for liquor and more dancing time.  I’m thinking of printing up a schedule with the programs or have the MC announce it after the movie so guest know they can go eat, or go see the exhibits.  Also let them know about the 8:30 presentation so they can plan their evening.  

Hope that additional timeline helps although my case is a little different.  You can do a cocktail hour while taking pictures  (we’re not because of the movie).  And may be get an extra hour to have more time.  

Post # 15
Member
1924 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2017 - Pearson Convention Centre

We got married in a church ceremony at 1:00pm our ceremony lasted 90 minutes and we took pictures for about 30 minutes outside the church. Our cocktail hour started at 4:00 while we went to the park and took pictures, dinner was served at 6

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