(Closed) Timeline Questions

posted 8 years ago in Reception
Post # 4
Hostess
18637 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2009

I think you need to up the cocktail hour for when the guests will start arriving at the reception location so that they have something to keep them busy.  Our dinner started at 7:30 and I think the cake cutting was around 8:30 so you should have enough time for the meal and cake before the photographer leaves.

Post # 6
Member
281 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

I think a 30 minute cocktail hour is short, and bound to go late. I think starting cocktails at 6:30 will ensure a semi-natural flow. Are both the ceremony and cocktail place at the same location? (If so, have you considered travel time? People getting lost?) Are you having appetizers? A 30 min cocktail hour is good if there are no appies (because no one will be standing around half in the bag on an empty stomach). A 1 hour cocktail hour is good if there are appies to tide people over until dinner.

I think 30 minutes for pictures might be too short too. Problem with getting groups together is that you always have some doddlers. What does your photographer think? I find photographers and caterers really good at timelines because they do this all the time; they’ve seen it all! Also, you’re getting married in March. Here in Canada the sun sets really early in March. Not sure about S. Carolina, but your photographer likely knows the time of the sunset and if you’re taking any pictures outside there is a limited time in which s/he can get good light.

We’re doing toasts/speeches in between courses. Are you doing a grand entrance as Mr and Mrs? We’re doing our first dance right away.

Much of the advice that brides give is to allow for more time. Things will take longer than you expect, and if you cushion lots of time, you won’t stress about things going over time

My draft timeline (travel time is cushioned in). But I haven’t run this by the caterer yet.

1:30-2:30 Ceremony (church)
2:30-3:15 Family and friend portraits (outside church)
3:30-4:15 Wedding party pictures (location A)
4:30-5:30 Bride and Groom pictures (location B)
5:30-6:30 cocktails (bride/groom arrive at 5:45)
6:30 Introduce MC
6:35 Grand Entrance
6:40 First Dance
6:45 Grace/Prayer
6:50 First course (salad)
7:10 Speech 1 (Parents)
7:25 Entree
7:45 Speech 2 (wedding party)
7:55 Dessert/coffee
8:10 Speech 3 (bride and groom)
8:25 Cake cutting (our cake is at the late night buffet, not for dessert)
8:30 Parents Dances
8:35 DANCE

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