Post # 1
I’m trying to decide between at 4:30pm and 5pm start time for our wedding ceremony. We are planning on the ceremony lasting 30 minutes followed by a 1 hour cocktail hour and then dinner and dancing. The ceremony will be held outdoors, cocktails will be indoors, and dinner/dancing will be outdoors, as well! Any advice from someone else who threw their party all at the same place would be super helpful! 🙂 Thank you!
Which would be a better timeline?
Post # 2
We had everything at one place too. Do you need to be out of there and that is why both timelines end at 11:00? If that is case, then start at 4:30, just to not be rushed. We had to leave the venue at 12:00 and I ended at 11:00, so we could take our time leaving. We didn’t have to clean until the next day.
Our ceremony was at 5:00. The invitation stated that the reception would immediately follow, but did not specify a time. Here is a detailed timeline that we had. Our photographer left at 8:30, so we cut the cake early. We had a short ceremony. Also we had under 50 people at the wedding, so things moved quicker.
5:00 Ceremony begins
5:20 group picture of everyone, then guests that are not family can go to cocktail hour
5:30 – 6:00 family pictures
6:00 – 6:45 bride and groom couple shots
6:30 guests enter reception area, 6:45 bridal party enters/intros
6:45 – 7:15 toasts
7:15 – 7:45 dinner (buffet)
7:45 – 7:55 first dances, then parent dances
7:55 – 8:00 cut cake
8:00 – 8:30 last pictures, dancing continues
9:00 cake served
11:00 end of wedding
Post # 3
We’re having our ceremony and reception in the same place, too. Our timeline is not set in stone, but will look something like this:
4:00pm – ceremony
4:30pm – ceremony ends; group photo and family photos
5:00pm – cocktail hour commences (we go have bridal portraits done)
6:00pm – reception begins
11:00pm – reception ends (although we do have the option to add an extra hour, so it will finish at midnight, which we are considering)
To me, it seems that your reception will feel less rushed if you have the ceremony at 4:30pm. Whether it’s an extra half hour for dinner or added to dancing/celebrating, I think it will just make the whole evening feel much smoother.
Post # 4
It’s in downtown Chicago and noise ordinace starts at 11pm, so the party has to end at 11pm 🙂
I think we will start at 4:30pm
Post # 5
I think 4:30pm is the earliest we can start I think we will do photos during the cocktail hour. 🙂 Thanks for your advice, super helpful!
Post # 6
We had the exact same timeline starting at 4:30. I would start at 4:30 instead of 5 because you don’t want to have to rush- things might take longer than expected, especially serving dinner, and you don’t want to take away from dancing time!