(Closed) Timeline Help for 6:30 p.m. Ceremony start time

posted 5 years ago in Ceremony
Post # 3
8823 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2013

brides and grooms many times do pictures during the cocktail hour when they don’t want to see each other until the ceremony.

i want to get all the pictures out the way ahead of time so we are doing a first look.

have you considered that?




Post # 5
306 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

I’m having a friday night wedding, too, and my ceremony is @ 6pm, and my reception is in the same location (hotel) as well. I wanted a first look, but Fiance is against it, and now that I think about it more, I want him to see me as I walk down the isle. 

We decided on Pictures @ ceremony site (its a garden across the street from the hotel, part of the property) while our gests go across the street and get settled in the ballroom with a drink or two. 

We are hoping that pictures dont take any longer than 30 minutes.

we are doing wedding party (all), Bridesmaides w/bride, Groom w/groomsmen, Bride w/groomsmen, Groom w/bridesmaids, Bride & groom with Bride’s Family, Bride & Groom w/grooms family. we will do the “family” photos first so family can get inside and get a drink while we finish up. 

Then, we plan to start dinner as soon as we do our entrance.

First dance straight after dinner, cake cutting straight after first dance/dances. 

that way we dont forget, and our photog can capture those key things.

Post # 6
8823 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2013


my wedding is not until october 2013 so i don’t know how i will be affected when he sees me walking down the aisle after seeing me for photos.  but as long as i see his reaction the first time, i am ok. 

Post # 7
3569 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

@jalaskezy:  I am having a Saturday wedding, ceremony starting @ 6:15, ending at 6:30ish.. cocktail hour following immediatly (all at the same location) and dinner starting at 7:30. At first I was totally against him seeing me before the ceremony, but unfortunatly we have to now because of time restraints. We’re doing a first look & bridal party photos before the ceremony & family pictures during cocktail hour. I’m very excited to have that extra time together during the day — when we take pictures before the ceremony, otherwise I wouldn’t of seen him til 6pm! I’m excited that the very first time we see each we’ll be alone (besides the photographer) and we will actually be able to talk to each other, hug, kiss etc If he saw me the first time at the atler we couldn’t do all that. And I do believe it’ll be a different feeling when he sees me with my dad walking down the aisle, then when he sees me for our first look. Something about walking down a long aisle towards him, will make it a different experience all together.

Post # 8
525 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

Our Friday wedding ceremony also will start at 6:30 with the cocktail hour starting at 7:00.  We plan on having a first look so we can get most of the pictures out of the way BEFORE the wedding (mainly because cocktail hour is my favorite part of a wedding and I do NOT want to miss it (:  ).  I’m trying to make sure that dinner gets served by 8:45, so this is my plan:


7:00 p.m.-Cocktail hour begins
8:00 p.m.-Guests are ushered into the Reception room/find their seats
8:10 p.m.-Introduction of the bridal party, etc.
8:20 p.m.-Champagne toasts
8:35 p.m.-Cutting of the cake
(BY)8:45 p.m.-Dinner is served (can even begin during cake cutting)
9:35 p.m.- First dance
9:45 p.m.-Father/Daughter and Mother/son dances
9:55 p.m.- Dance floor opens up to all guests
11:00 p.m.-bouquet toss/garter toss (don’t want to do it but Fiance really wants to) *sigh*
11:30 p.m.-late night food is put out
12:00 p.m.-reception ends


This is all preliminary and may change.  I tried to give everything a bit more time than I think it would actually take just to be safe.  I moved some things around because I have some older family memebers (grandparents in their 80s) who I want to make sure eat and see the dances, cake cutting, etc. before they want to be in bed.  Plus I always think its odd to have the first dance and then close the dance floor (or have it open during dinner).


Post # 9
2055 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

Here’s our timeline.  It’s on a Saturday and we have a slightly earlier ceremony start time, but it’s offsite, so cocktail hour will start at 7:00pm.  We’re doing all of our pictures pre-ceremony because I think I would be too nervous and would break out in hives on my walk down the aisle if I hadn’t seen him yet!

The entree portion of dinner is late (8:45 – 9:00), but I’m okay with that.  Guests will have a ton of food at cocktail hour at 7:00 and a large appetizer at 8:15 before their entree, so no one will go hungry.  And our wedding is in Manhattan, where most people don’t make dinner reservations until 9pm, so that’s completely normal. 


6:45pm          Guest arrive on buses from ceremony (hospitality bar)

7:00pm          Cocktail Hour begins (passed hors d’oeuvres, shellfish bar, anti-pasta station, & NYC station with pretzels, hot dogs, etc)

8:00pm          Reception begins

8:05pm          Guests asked to be seated; Bridal party introductions

8:10pm          Bride & Groom first dance

8:15pm          First course served

8:25pm          Welcome by Bride’s father

8:40pm          Father/Daughter & Mother/Son dance

8:45pm          Entree served

9:15pm          Best man champagne toast

9:20pm          Dance set

10:15pm        Cut the cake

10:30pm        Dessert is served / Bride & Groom thank you

10:45pm        Long dance set; Shuttle service to hotels begins

11:30pm        Photographer leaves

12:00am        Reception ends; After-party begins

12:30am        Pizza served

1:00am           After-party ends

1:30am           Shuttle service to hotels ends

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