(Closed) Timeline HELP!!! Timings for after ceremony

posted 6 years ago in Logistics
Post # 3
7902 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort

The cocktail hour is while you are taking photos. Usually, the couple misses it, especially since people started doing them specifically to entertain guests while you are taking photos. You can have a cocktail hour that is longer than 1 hour, but it should end right when the reception starts. You should enter moments after the guests are seated, so about 10 minutes after the reception start time. 

Food is served either immediately after you sit down, if you are doing toasts while people are eating, or after toasts, which you would then do right away. Sometimes, the couple has their first dance right after the grand entrance, sometimes after the meal.

Post # 4
10453 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2014

I’d start cocktails around 5? 

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

Hmm.. Two hours wouldn’t seem like a strange gap if guests had to travel 30-40 mins between locations, but a bit of a long time to be onsite waiting for the reception to start.

Have you considered taking your Bridal Party pics before the ceremony and and the 30 min family photos between ceremony and receptions?

Post # 6
201 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

We personally wanted to keep the schedule tight. We do not want our guests waiting in between. So we’re doing our first-look and all family/bridal party photos prior to the ceremony. We will probably only need 30-45 minutes to take photos with the guests and go through the receiving line, before we join them for the cocktail hour.

One hour of cocktail is plenty of time, unless you’re planning to serve multiple rounds of drinks and appetizers (keeping in mind that dinner will be served shortly).We have the wish tree and the photobooth during the cocktail hour so guests are not just drinking and snacking.

Decide when you want dinner to be served and work your way backwards.

Here’s ours. (FYI, we’re keeping the speeches to a minimum.)

8:30pm-12:30am Live band

10:30pm Cake cutting/Thanks from the bride and groom/Fireworks display (We’re serving the cake/snacks after fireworks, but there will be coffee/desserts with the dinner.)

8:15pm Toasts to the bride and groom/1st dance

6:30pm Dinner

6:15pm Entrance of bride and groom/Acknowledgment of guests

6:00pm Pavilion opens/Seating of guests

5:00pm Cocktails

4:00pm Ceremony

In your case, since your ceremony is at 2pm, as long as you specify in your invitations, then your guests can plan to gallivant and then come back for an hour of cocktails. It’s easier than trying to keep them entertained for 2-3 hours. 🙂



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