Post # 1
My Fiance and I have been considering an evening ceremony and reception. We’re playing with the idea of starting late enough for it to be twilight for the ceremony, keeping the sanctuary semi-dark and giving guests candles– and then having guests hold sparklers as we leave the church. At the ceremony, we’d like to have a jazz group play in a loft space with the city lights (not a huge city, but it still has nice lights) sparkling through the big windows, having some sort of nice interior lighting, and not necessarily having a full meal– maybe cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, maybe a dessert bar around the cake. The only kids we’d want there would be the flower girl and ring bearer– and only at the ceremony– they’d get sleepy and crabby, we feel.
All of the weddings I have attended have been held in the afternoon, and the ceremonies have been in the afternoon or begun in the afternoon and ended in the evening. I’m wondering what you bees think of this and what the advantages and disadvantages would be for getting married at different times of the day. When is/was your wedding? When were the weddings you’ve attended held? Do you have any ideas for evening ceremonies and receptions?
I’m attaching one Pantone board that shows the colors and styles we’re thinking about using and one Pantone board that just shows more colors and flowers for bouquets that I’ve been playing around with. We’re thinking about having burgundy and primrose as our base colors and just having some accents of different colors, and my Fiance wants to wear a burgundy shirt with a nice dark suit. Would different colors, foods, lighting (effects), flowers, gowns, bridesmaid dresses, etc. work best for a laidback, yet sophisticated summer evening event? What is the latest you think we could go without guests leaving early?
Thank you in advance for any suggestions or feedback you have, bees!
Post # 3
Oooo our wedding date was June 12 this year!! We had an evening ceremony and reception, and out of the, oh, 10 MILLION weddings I’ve been to they have all been in the evening, with a full dinner. Our ceremony started at 6:30, cocktail hour from 7:00-8:00, and dinner at 8:30 with dancing to follow til midnight. That is the usual formula for the weddings I have been to. Your ideas sound GORGEOUS, for both the ceremony and reception! However if you wait til dusk for the ceremony it will be a very late one, which cuts into your reception time and will make the wedding seem to go by that much faster. So as long as you’re ok with that I say go for it. I suppose doing a cocktails and hors d’oevres only reception would be ok since it will be so late. Usually I would say dinner is a must for an evening reception but this plan has a very late start. With the ceremony not starting til like 8:30 or 9:00 you can definitely expect guests will take care of their own dinner beforehand. Be sure to put in the invitation that the party will be a cocktail party, not a full dinner, just to be sure people aren’t starving at your expense. We went to one wedding that was heavy hors d’oevres at what would usually be dinner time and it was ok. We were full but it felt like it was lacking something without a full meal.
Post # 4
I don’t know where to vote in your poll as I don’t know what you consider “evening”. We had a 4:30pm start time for our ceremony and I consider that an evening wedding. Our reception was at 6:00pm.
Post # 5
Our ceremony was at 5:30 with cocktails at 6:30 and dinner at 7:30. I think late afternoon/evening/night weddings are gorgeous which is why we chose a later start time.
Post # 6
we are having a 1:30pm ceremony and a 6pm reception. i love that we have time in between to hang out and take pictures everywhere. i just feel that you lose a lot of your wedding day if you do everything at night and I want to take full advantage of my wedding day 🙂
Post # 7
Ceremony at 3 pm, reception at 6:30.
Post # 8
Ceremony at 5, cocktails from 6-7, reception from 7-11. So… evening everything.
Post # 9
first off, sorry so lon..i dont know where all this came from!…..
we are doing our ceremony around 4. then cocktail hour around 5 (whenever ceremony ends and people arrive at reception , wedding party photos will be taken during this time). then dinner around 6. we are hoping for a 4-5 hour reception but will pretty much “end things” when it starts dieing down.
we are having the reception on a big grassy lawn with canopies and paper lanterns and such..should be really nice at night time!
from what i have been reading i have seen a lot of opinions that say you should have consideration for your guests when choosing your time because if you have a ceremony/reception starting at 6 or later thats really going too far “past dinner time”. i personally think eating dinner at 8 or later is too late. people will be hungry and wont want to eat before your wedding as theyll want to eat at teh reception.
BUT, if you are doing hors d’oeuvres and you have your ceremony/reception starting around 7 or even later i think that is ok because people can eat before they go. i would just make it clearly known on the invitations that its an hors d’oeuvres type food.
also from my research here on weddingbee i have seen that some people say their receptions go to late hours of the nigh..12-1am. i think it depends on the kind of “guests” you have. where as younger people may not care what time theyre out til and older people may not be able to.
Post # 10
It sounds like you have a good plan for your wedding day…or evening in this case! 😛 Your colors and ideas will work gorgeously with the time.
Our wedding will be on a Sunday, which pretty much explains why we’re having an afternoon (2pm) ceremony and afternoon-evening reception (4-9pm). I posted a thread here asking how late guests would stay for a Sunday wedding, and generally people would be willing to stay until 8ish or later, and that’s on a Sunday. If you have a Friday or Saturday wedding, you can probably go as late as you like. 🙂
Post # 11
I’m so happy to hear that you’re doing your ceremony and reception at those times. Our ceremony is at 1 and the reception is at 6. I’m happy with it b/c I won’t feel rushed as I can get all my pictures done in the in between time and it’s very important for us not to do a “first look”. However, I’m still struggling with what to do for my guests as I know it will be annoying to have that much free time in between. Then again, it will be in downtown Chicago so there are plenty of options!
Post # 12
Our wedding is at 6:30 in the evening in Las Vegas outside. It will be dark since it will be in October. Our reception is going to be in Pittsburgh when we return around 5 or 6 pm.
Post # 13
Our ceremony will begin at 5 PM, with the social hour being from 6-7. So, our reception will begin at 7 PM.
Post # 14
I love evening ceremonies and receptions! I voted afternoon ceremony, afternoon-evening reception though, because due to the nature of our venue (race track) we have to have our ceremony done by 6:00 so that the announcements of the races don’t interrupt our ceremony! So we are doing our ceremony at 5:30, cocktail ‘hour’ (with open bar and hors d’ouvres) from 6:00-6:45, and then dinner at 7:00.
Post # 15
Our ceremony will start around 7:30, cocktail hour around 8, and 8:45ish-midnight for dinner and reception. We have to follow Jewish after-Sabbath rules for a Saturday night wedding, though, so we have to start really late to accomodate!
Post # 16
I’m in the minority…our ceremony begins at 11am! It wasn’t my ideal time, but my church only does ceremonies at 11am or 2pm, and nearly all the 2pms are booked. Jeez, I’m going to have to wake up at like 6am! I do like the fact that with a 12-5pm reception, we’ll be able to spend a little time with out of town friends afterwards in the evening if we want. I’m definitely leaning towards downtown dive bars!