Post # 1
We finally have the church booked (yay!) and are trying to figure out what time to start the ceremony. Our church has a 5 o’clock mass, and so we need to be out of the church by 4 – including taking down any decorations we put up (which will be minimal). My question is, if we are not doing a full mass (I am not catholic but Fiance is), what is the latest we should start the ceremony? And do you think it would be weird to have a ceremony not start on the hour, like at 2:30 or something?
We are planning on doing a first look, but will probably take at least some pictures with family after the ceremony at the church. All the bridal party pictures and some family pictures will be at the reception site though. Thanks for the advice!
Post # 3
Hmm, I think our ceremony lasted about 30 minutes. The ceremony started at 4, we were walking back down the aisle at 4:30, and we were out of the church (all decorations moved to the reception and all church pictures taken) by 5. I think if you started at 2:30, you should have plenty of time to finish up pictures and taking down decorations to be out by 4!
Post # 4
@Mrs. Spring: Thanks!
Anyone else have any advice?
Post # 5
The ceremony will probably be about 30-45 minutes long. But, but if you are taking pictures at the church, I’d tack on an extra hour. Based on my brother’s wedding last year, even taking just a few pictures at church takes a while because you have to sign all of the wedding paperwork with the priest after the ceremony, find people (invariably someone wanders off to the bathroom, etc.), and wrangle them into position!
I’d start at 2pm, if I were you, to give you enough time to get the ceremony done, take pictures, and take down the decorations.
Post # 6
@STBSchmidt: A ceremony without Mass takes about 30 minutes. It takes about 15 minutes for guests to usually “clear out” after the ceremony. If you have to sign paperwork (not all states require your signature after the ceremony) then you do that while people clear out. Most churches that I’ve seen have a 15 minute or so limit on post ceremony pictures inside of the sanctuary. Often you can take pictures outside after that.
Add all of that up and you need about 60 minutes from start to end. 90 minutes should give you a comfortable margin.
As far as starting on a half-hour, I don’t see anything wrong with that at all. I’ve seen several weddings start on the half hour.
Post # 7
I think the other Bees have given good advice on timing. But I find it interesting that you ask if it would be weird to start on the half hour. Most wedding I have been to have started on the half hour. When I was planning mine, my mother wouldn’t even hear of it not starting on the half hour. She said it was bad luck to get married on the “downswing.” Here’s a quote I found…
“Always start your wedding ceremony on the half hour so the minute hand is moving upward, this is said to bring a happy marriage. Marrying on the hour while the minute hand is headed downward and is not a good start for your marriage, meaning it may not last.”
Post # 8
@Neva: Wow that’s interesting! Every wedding I have been to has started on the hour, so I wasn’t sure. But it’s nice to know that it is completely normal and maybe even lucky ha ha!