Timeline Help? How do I make a 7:30 Ceremony time work?

posted 3 months ago in Reception
  • poll: Which Timeline is better
    Friday night (7:30 Ceremony; Dinner and Dancing form 9-12:30) : (15 votes)
    75 %
    Sunday night (6 PM Ceremony; Dinner and Dancing from 7:30-11_ : (3 votes)
    15 %
    Another option (See my answer below) : (2 votes)
    10 %
  • Post # 2
    8176 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: October 2013

    i was always told that for any kind of event dinner should be served no later than 9pm.

    if your cocktail hour is from 8-9, it will take some time for guests to get to the reception area, then i assume you are doing introductions, then first dance, etc. so dinner may not get served until closer to 9:30/10. 

    but it is really  up to you if that is how you want your schedule.

    Post # 3
    776 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: June 2018

    I think as a guest I would prefer the Friday timeline. It’s hard to have fun on a Sunday night when you know you need to get up for work the next day.

    If you make it pretty clear on your invitations (ceremony 7:30, reception 8:00) I think people will eat an afternoon snack accordingly. You could also make sure you have some heavy hors d’oeuvres during cocktail hour so no one is starving.

    Post # 4
    282 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: August 2018

    As a guest I would also prefer the friday timeline because like you said, I would have to leave early due to work if it was on Sunday.  Just a thought though (and I don’t know if this is possible)…Would you be able to do the cocktail hour before the ceremony?  Do cocktails from 630-720, have the ceremony from 730-8, and then go right into the dinner?  

    Post # 5
    1130 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: July 2017

    Honestly that is way too late for me and I would be hangry as hell.  Older guests will definitely have a hard time staying past 9-10.  I would normally prefer a Friday night wedding to a Sunday night wedding as a guest but in this case I think Sunday will be better.  As a local guest being done by 10:30 would still get me in bed by a reasonable hour and able to go to work the next day.  Out of town people will have to take a day off work either way.

    Edit:  is Saturday not an option at all?  There’s a reason it’s so popular, it’s the most convenient day for 95% of people.

    Post # 6
    46 posts

    If those were my only two choices I would go with the Friday timeline. Are most of your guests from the area? As a guest I generally won’t attend a wedding where I need to take vacation days from work to attend unless I’m very close to the couple. 

    Post # 7
    1599 posts
    Bumble bee

    I’d do Friday and cut down/skip the cocktail hour. After the ceremony, have people flow right into dinner with maybe some light appetizers already on each table. Give people 20 ish minutes to get settled and grab a drink, then start the introductions. I’d be seated and serve dinner ASAP. Do the speeches while people are eating and cut the cake/do the first dance after dinner. 

    IMO Sundays suck because I can’t really relax and enjoy myself. I’m looking at the clock, thinking of all the work stuff I need to get done, chores to wrap up at the house, etc. On Sunday, I’ll probably start eating dinner at 8, be done by 9 and want to head out around 9:30. 

    Post # 8
    1269 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: September 2018

    Cut the cocktail hour on Friday. 

    Do the ceremony at 7:30, dinner at 8, dancing to follow. 

    9PM is way too late for dinner IMO

    Post # 9
    315 posts
    Helper bee

    sagefemme :  I went to a wedding last week that had this:

    Ceremony 7 PM
    Cocktail Hour 7:30-8:30

    Dinner 8:30-9:30

    There was no music or dancing and the dinner part went over very quick, but we were hungry waiting. One thing, can you serve a lot of hors d’oeuvres during the cocktail time? If you do, I think it is alright. In June it does not even get dark until 8, and may be you prefer to dance in the dark? Or you want a sunset ceremony is this why?

    The wedding I went to had cheese and spinach triangles to eat during the cocktail hour, it was not filling at all, may be made me hungrier!

    Post # 10
    562 posts
    Busy bee

    I went to a wedding with a 7pm start time a few weeks ago. The cocktail hour had tons of food so it was fine. When people see a later start time, like 7 or 7:30, they should know to have a late lunch and plan accordingly.

    Post # 11
    1627 posts
    Bumble bee

    I’d do friday but cut the cocktail hour. 

    You could still have the bar open at 7 so people can grab a drink when they sit down for the ceremony, and then serve dinner as close to 8 as possible. Unless you have people seated at their tables they will still take a few minutes to grab a drink and settle in. So it would be more like 815for dinner. 

    Post # 12
    1506 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: October 2017

    sagefemme :  Is there a reason it cant be earlier on the Friday? If I saw a 730 ceremony time, I would eat before because if I waited until 9 for dinner I would be extremely hangry. Sunday I would most likely leave early because of work the next morning.

    Why is Saturday off the table?

    Post # 13
    3771 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: September 2017 - Poppy Ridge Golf Course

    I’m going to assume Saturday isn’t an option bc the prices are outrageous, at least in my area. Part of the reason we chose Sunday but our times are 330-830 and I checked with the couple people working Monday to see if that worked for them. Honestly if I saw a ceremony start at 7:30 I’d eat dinner before coming. 9 pm is way too late for me. Now if dinner started at 7:30 that I could work with. Is it not at all possible to have an earlier start? Out of these options I prefer the Sunday but if I happened to be working I’d leave around 9 ish. 

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