Reception Ideas

Timeline Help

edited December 2014 in Reception Ideas
Hi ladies - Could we get some input on this part of our timeline?

(Edited timeline - based on your comments)

3:00-4:00 First Look and Couple's Portraits 
[4:00 musicians arrive and start playing music shortly after]
4:00- 4:30 Quiet time in separate groom and bride rooms with wedding party and parents. 
4:30-5:00 Ceremony
5:00-6:00 Cocktail Hour (serving food and drinks; possibility for everyone to sit; held in a room adjacent to the reception room)
[5:00-5:15 portraits with parents; 5:20-5:30 couple pictures outside; 5:30-5:40  wedding party pictures outside (we're getting married in a very cold winter setting so  we decided to only do outdoor  pictures after the ceremony in case the snow  affects the girls' hair)]
5:40-6:00 bride and groom at cocktail hour to greet guests (+ candid shots of  guests… we can't afford for the photographer to stay the entire evening so this is  our way of having candid shots of guests)
6:00-6:15 Reception doors open Bride and groom "run away", guests are seated, bride and groom remain with the guests at the cocktail hour and enter reception room with whomever they are talking 
6:15 Uncle introduces himself, welcomes guests, and invites bride and groom to have first dance
6:20 First dance (guests served glass of champagne during first dance)
6:25 Uncle introduces MOH/sister, MOH toast/speech (3 mins); uncle introduces best man, best man toast/speech (3 mins); uncle invites grandfather to bless the meal
6:35 Dinner starts (during the meal, parents may offer a toast if they want)
6:35-6:55 First Course
6:55-7:15 Second Course
7:15-7:45 Third Course
7:45 Desert is served and guests start eating
8:00 Uncle introduces BM as best friend to both bride and groom. BM toast/speech (3 minutes); special tradition to welcome bride intro groom's culture performed by groom's friend (it's a Newfoundland tradition called "screeching in" that involves kissing a cod and drinking a shot of "screech" rum); bride and groom give heartfelt thanks to everyone for attending and invites everyone to dance (1-2 minutes)

8:10 or whenever bride and groom thank is finished bride, groom, and wedding party start dancing. Start with songs that most people know, transitioning to more "fiddler-style" music, then playing a few fiddle songs, and then… 
8:30-9:30 Fiddle band! (great for getting everyone on the dance floor)
9:30-12:00 Party! (reception "activities" - tons of party props and designated "photobooth" area)
12:00 Exit (could be earlier if party dies down sooner; our venue has a very tiny but amazing club in its basement so we may end up there with our friends for an after-party)


The original timeline was
3:00-4:00 First Look and Couple's Portraits 
[4:00 musicians arrive and start playing music shortly after]
4:00- 4:30 Quiet Time (we wanted some quiet alone time before the ceremony to center ourselves)
4:30-5:00 Ceremony
5:00-6:00 Cocktail Hour (serving food and drinks; possibility for everyone to sit; held in a room adjacent to the reception room)
[5:00-5:15 portraits with parents; 5:15-5:40 wedding party pictures outside (we're getting married in a very cold winter setting so we decided to only do outdoor pictures after the ceremony in case the snow affects the girls' hair)]
5:45: bride and groom arrive at cocktail hour and greet all guests individually (+ candid shots of guests… we can't afford for the photographer to stay the entire evening so this is our way of having candid shots of guests)
6:00 Bride and groom "run away" and reception doors open
6:15 Uncle (MC) welcomes the guests and introduces us
6:20 First Dance (doing it right away so that we can have some pictures; photographer will leave at 7:00). Guests are given a glass of champagne.
6:25 (ish) Uncle gives a mini (2 minute) speech; then passes the mic to MOH/sister (3 minute max); and then Best Man (3 minute max)

6:40 First Course is served
7:00 Second Course is served
7:20 As second course is being cleared, Uncle introduces MOB; MOB speech (FOB passed away) (3 minute max); and then parents of the groom (3 minute max)
7:30 Third Course is served
8:00 As third course is being cleared, Uncle introduces Bridesmaid (close friend of both bride AND groom who was there the night we met); BM speech (3 minute max);"special" tradition to welcome bride into groom's culture (it's a Newfoundland tradition called "screeching in" that involves kissing a cod (fish) and drinking a shot of "screech" rum) performed by groom's friend who is also from Newfoundland;  bride and groom speech thank everyone for coming (3 minute max) and inviting everyone to dance after enjoying desert
8:15 Desert is served

8:30 First "party" songs… we'll start with songs that most people know, transitioning slowly to more "fiddler-style" music, then playing a few fiddle songs, and then...
9:00-10:00 Fiddler band! (great for getting everyone on the dance floor)
10:00-12:00 Party! (reception "activities" - tons of party props and designated "photobooth" area)
12:00 Exit (could be earlier if it seems to be better)
 (Our venue has a very tiny but amazing club in its basement so we may end up there with our friends for an after-party!!!)















Re: Timeline Help

  • It all sounds amazing, but I hope you are allowing for some wiggle room.  This is your wedding not a military maneuver.  The best part for me at weddings is when the cocktail hour is after the ceremony.  The bridal party can enjoy some of it, after being freed from pictures and you and hubby will probably get more quiet time before being introduced. Also, trying not to sound tacky, you can get away with less food because guests know they will be eating soon.  I know this sounds un-traiditional, but my daughter and son both did the majority of posed pictures before the ceremony and were able to enjoy more time with the guests.  I will caution you about the outdoor pictures.  They are beautiful, but most of us are still sick two weeks later.
  • Please do not make your wedding party be in pictures (for almost half an hour?!) outside in the snow in formalwear. If you and your groom want your picture made outside, fine, but do not force anyone else to suffer. My cousin did wedding party pictures outside for her December wedding and though it was not snowing and not even freezing temps it was no fun.
    image
    PrettyGirlLost
  • lovegood90lovegood90 Ontario
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    member
    I think you have too many speeches. IMO all speeches/toasts should last 3-5 mins max TOTAL, ie including everyone added up. Also if you're having speeches I'd have them while people are eating.

    Formerly martha1818

    image


    cafarriePrettyGirlLostpenguin44Blue_Bird
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    member
    I think you have too many speeches. IMO all speeches/toasts should last 3-5 mins max TOTAL, ie including everyone added up. Also if you're having speeches I'd have them while people are eating.
    This.  You have 7 speeches that will last up to 20 minutes.  Your guests will stop listening and caring.  

    Anyway you shouldn't be having speeches, you should be having toasts.  Meaning someone stands up and says a quick something special about you and then a "congrats to the bride and groom."  30 seconds tops.  Done.  Like lovegood said, these toasts should be a combined total of 3-5 minutes max.

    And I second (or third) the outdoor picture comments from PP.  If you and your FI want to take outdoor photos then go for it.  But don't make your bridal party stand outside in the freezing cold just for some pretty pictures.

    lovegood90wrigleyvillePrettyGirlLostBlue_Bird
  • Please please please reconsider the outdoor photos. Especially since you say you have a "very cold winter setting.' If you and your FI want them, fine, but don't make your wedding party suffer through it for nearly half an hour just because it fits your wedding picture vision.
    image
    PrettyGirlLost
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
    10000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    member
    edited November 2014
    I agree with the PPs. Definitely skip the outdoor photos in winter, especially given how cold it can get and that the wind chill factor can lower the temperature even more. There are few things less pleasant than being required to spend time outdoors in cold weather while dressed up, especially if it's windy or particularly wet as well. If you force your wedding party members to do that, then no matter how much they love you, they are not going to appreciate it.

    And lose some of those speeches and introductions. I would tune out after the first two or three, so I'd limit them to a total of 5 minutes and not treat your guests like a captive audience while they're going on. Have them all happen during while people are eating.

    And while you and your FI want to spend 30 minutes "centering yourselves" right before the ceremony, what are your families and wedding party members supposed to do during that time while dressed up but nothing is happening? I think you need to do your "centering yourselves" before then and stay centered.
    PrettyGirlLost
  • cafarriecafarrie
    100 Comments 100 Love Its 5 Answers Name Dropper
    member
    edited November 2014
    I think having your guests seated from ~6pm (when you "run away" and get re-introduced) until after 8:15 pm when dessert is served is WAY TOO LONG.  

    Also, IMHO it's really silly to be at your cocktail hour, run away and hide, and then be introduced after you've already talked to all your guests.  If you want cocktail hour to end at 6 this is what i would do:

    6pm: Uncle takes the mic, invites guests to be seated for your first Dance as Mr. and Mrs X
    6:10 Do your first dance and get pictures
    6:15 Serve first course
    6:25 - 6:30 MOH/BM/UNCLE TOAST (not speech, why is your DJ uncle also talking?) these should be no more than 2 minutes per person MAXIMUM - and listening to speeches with nothing else to do is super boring as a guest.  At least let them eat their salads while people are speaking.
    6:40 serve second course
    7:10 serve third course
    7:40 serve dessert
    7:45 do other toast/traditions while people are finishing dessert
    8:00pm invite people to start dancing and then actually start dancing. 

    I think that people need something else to do (like eat a salad, or dessert) while so many people are toasting if they're going to be sitting that long.  Also, don't invite people to dance until it's actually time to dance (i.e. don't invite dancing until dessert is over)

    ETA: i still feel like this is too long for people to sit, but i'm not sure what else to cut/condense?  Limiting the number and length of toasts will help immensely. 
    PrettyGirlLost
  • edited November 2014
    Thanks for your all your suggestions!! I'm putting a lot of details in my answers because we want honest input.

    Quiet time
    I didn't explain that right; it's quiet in the sense that we won't have anything to do. We wanted to avoid being together right up to the ceremony start time so we'll be spending the half hour in separate rooms at the venue with our BMs/GM and parents. 

    Outdoor pictures
    1. We talked with each member of the wedding party INDIVIDUALLY asking them how they would feel about taking some pictures outside and really emphasizing that it was only an idea and that they should feel free to tell us to f-off they didn't want to do it. Everyone was really enthusiastic about it; it's unusual to have winter weddings and they all thought it would be fun.
    2. We're all Canadian and used to this cold weather so we'll all be wearing the proper outdoor clothing (and NOT taking it off for pictures… the pics will be in wool coats which they all already own). 
    3. The wedding party won't wait around in the cold. My FH and I will do some portraits and then we'll call them to let them know it's time for group pics. 
    4. MOST IMPORTANTLY: It all depends on the weather! If it's -20C, really windy, snowing a lot, or simply particularly "yuck" outside, then we won't be taking outdoor pictures or maybe only my FH and I will take them! More time at cocktail hour!

    Does that context alleviate some of your concerns?

    Length of Dinner 
    We'll be about 50-55 in attendance for dinner and everyone is very much "dinner party" types. Dinner at my grandparents' house generally starts at 6:00 and at 11:00 everyone is still talking at the dinner table (despite the fact there's a huge living room that could accommodate everyone next to the dining room). Our friends are the same way… 

    That being said, I hadn't thought of the fact that some people will be sitting from 6 (when the doors open) until about 8:30 (when they're done eating desert). Two hours for dinner is completely fine for our crowd, but adding half an hour for wedding party introduction and first dance etc… is probably too long. We'll have to find a way to fix that.

    Toasts
    It's customary in our circles for toasts to include a speech so we'll have some, but in light of your comments we'll cut:
    - Our parents won't give speeches (they're not hosting), but we may simply ask them to give a toast at whatever time of their choosing if they want to (i.e. clicking their glass when/if they want to). Would that work? 
    - Our "speech" will be very short since we're simply giving a heartfelt thanks to everyone for coming and inviting them to dance (which we'll make sure to do once everyone is done eating so that they can all then dance - thanks for the suggestion!!)
    - My uncle's "mini speech" is simply to introduce himself so that will probably be very short. He may also have something personal to add since he is my father's brother and my father passed away.

    That being said, we'll definitely have three speeches with toasts - MOH, best man, bridesmaid - and each will be a maximum of two/three minutes.

    The "Entrance"
    I agree that the "entrance" is pretty awkward since we'll be at cocktail hour. Any suggestions on how to fix that? I suggested something in the edited timeline.


    So - in light of your suggestions, this is the edited timeline (times are obviously approximate). Is it better?

    3:00-4:00 First Look and Couple's Portraits 
    [4:00 musicians arrive and start playing music shortly after]
    4:00- 4:30 Quiet time in separate groom and bride rooms with wedding party and parents. 
    4:30-5:00 Ceremony
    5:00-6:00 Cocktail Hour (serving food and drinks; possibility for everyone to sit; held in a room adjacent to the reception room)
    [5:00-5:15 portraits with parents; 5:20-5:30 couple pictures outside; 5:30-5:40 wedding party pictures outside (we're getting married in a very cold winter setting so we decided to only do outdoor  pictures after the ceremony in case the snow affects the girls' hair)]
    5:40-6:00 bride and groom at cocktail hour to greet guests (+ candid shots of guests… we can't afford for the photographer to stay the entire evening so this is our way of having candid shots of guests)
    6:00-6:15 Reception doors open Bride and groom "run away", guests are seated, bride and groom remain with the guests at the cocktail hour and enter reception room with whomever they are talking 
    6:15 Uncle introduces himself, welcomes guests, and invites bride and groom to have first dance
    6:20 First dance (guests served glass of champagne during first dance)
    6:25 Uncle introduces MOH/sister, MOH toast/speech (3 mins); uncle introduces best man, best man toast/speech (3 mins); uncle invites grandfather to bless the meal
    6:35 Dinner starts (during the meal, parents may offer a toast if they want)
    6:35-6:55 First Course
    6:55-7:15 Second Course
    7:15-7:45 Third Course
    7:45 Desert is served and guests start eating
    8:00 Uncle introduces BM as best friend to both bride and groom. BM toast/speech (3 minutes); special tradition to welcome bride intro groom's culture performed by groom's friend (it's a Newfoundland tradition called "screeching in" that involves kissing a cod and drinking a shot of "screech" rum); bride and groom give heartfelt thanks to everyone for attending and invites everyone to dance (1-2 minutes)

    8:10 or whenever bride and groom thank is finished bride, groom, and wedding party start dancing. Start with songs that most people know, transitioning to more "fiddler-style" music, then playing a few fiddle songs, and then… 
    8:30-9:30 Fiddle band! (great for getting everyone on the dance floor)
    9:30-12:00 Party! (reception "activities" - tons of party props and designated "photobooth" area)
    12:00 Exit (could be earlier if party dies down sooner; our venue has a very tiny but amazing club in its basement so we may end up there with our friends for an after-party)

  • I think with more detailed explanations & small changes/cuts you should be absolutely fine!
  • lovegood90lovegood90 Ontario
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    member
    Thanks for your all your suggestions!! I'm putting a lot of details in my answers because we want honest input.

    Quiet time
    I didn't explain that right; it's quiet in the sense that we won't have anything to do. We wanted to avoid being together right up to the ceremony start time so we'll be spending the half hour in separate rooms at the venue with our BMs/GM and parents. 

    Outdoor pictures
    1. We talked with each member of the wedding party INDIVIDUALLY asking them how they would feel about taking some pictures outside and really emphasizing that it was only an idea and that they should feel free to tell us to f-off they didn't want to do it. Everyone was really enthusiastic about it; it's unusual to have winter weddings and they all thought it would be fun.
    2. We're all Canadian and used to this cold weather so we'll all be wearing the proper outdoor clothing (and NOT taking it off for pictures… the pics will be in wool coats which they all already own). 
    3. The wedding party won't wait around in the cold. My FH and I will do some portraits and then we'll call them to let them know it's time for group pics. 
    4. MOST IMPORTANTLY: It all depends on the weather! If it's -20C, really windy, snowing a lot, or simply particularly "yuck" outside, then we won't be taking outdoor pictures or maybe only my FH and I will take them! More time at cocktail hour!

    Does that context alleviate some of your concerns?

    Length of Dinner 
    We'll be about 50-55 in attendance for dinner and everyone is very much "dinner party" types. Dinner at my grandparents' house generally starts at 6:00 and at 11:00 everyone is still talking at the dinner table (despite the fact there's a huge living room that could accommodate everyone next to the dining room). Our friends are the same way… 

    That being said, I hadn't thought of the fact that some people will be sitting from 6 (when the doors open) until about 8:30 (when they're done eating desert). Two hours for dinner is completely fine for our crowd, but adding half an hour for wedding party introduction and first dance etc… is probably too long. We'll have to find a way to fix that.

    Toasts
    It's customary in our circles for toasts to include a speech so we'll have some, but in light of your comments we'll cut:
    - Our parents won't give speeches (they're not hosting), but we may simply ask them to give a toast at whatever time of their choosing if they want to (i.e. clicking their glass when/if they want to). Would that work? 
    - Our "speech" will be very short since we're simply giving a heartfelt thanks to everyone for coming and inviting them to dance (which we'll make sure to do once everyone is done eating so that they can all then dance - thanks for the suggestion!!)
    - My uncle's "mini speech" is simply to introduce himself so that will probably be very short. He may also have something personal to add since he is my father's brother and my father passed away.

    That being said, we'll definitely have three speeches with toasts - MOH, best man, bridesmaid - and each will be a maximum of two/three minutes.



    To the bolded- each speech by those 3 people should be no longer than 1-1.5 mins, IMO. If they each speak for 3 mins that's almost 10 mins of speeches. 10 mins may not seem like a lot, but it really does get old after the first 2 minutes. Can one of them possibly give a speech at the rehearsal dinner instead if they really want to?

    Formerly martha1818

    image


    Maggie0829PrettyGirlLost

  • Thanks for your all your suggestions!! I'm putting a lot of details in my answers because we want honest input.
    … 

    That being said, we'll definitely have three speeches with toasts - MOH, best man, bridesmaid - and each will be a maximum of two/three minutes.



    To the bolded- each speech by those 3 people should be no longer than 1-1.5 mins, IMO. If they each speak for 3 mins that's almost 10 mins of speeches. 10 mins may not seem like a lot, but it really does get old after the first 2 minutes. Can one of them possibly give a speech at the rehearsal dinner instead if they really want to?
    We'll consider that option. Thanks for the suggestion!
  • Remember too that regardless of saying a public thank you, you do need to greet and thank each guest individually, whether in a receiving line or by visiting them during the reception.
    image
    [Deleted User]
  • Remember too that regardless of saying a public thank you, you do need to greet and thank each guest individually, whether in a receiving line or by visiting them during the reception.
    Absolutely. We hadn't forgotten, but thank you for taking the time to mention it.
  • Hi ladies - Could we get some input on this part of our timeline?

    3:00-4:00 First Look and Couple's Portraits 
    [4:00 musicians arrive and start playing music shortly after]
    4:00- 4:30 Quiet Time (we wanted some quiet alone time before the ceremony to center ourselves)
    4:30-5:00 Ceremony
    5:00-6:00 Cocktail Hour (serving food and drinks; possibility for everyone to sit; held in a room adjacent to the reception room)
    [5:00-5:15 portraits with parents; 5:15-5:40 wedding party pictures outside (we're getting married in a very cold winter setting so we decided to only do outdoor pictures after the ceremony in case the snow affects the girls' hair)]
    5:45: bride and groom arrive at cocktail hour and greet all guests individually (+ candid shots of guests… we can't afford for the photographer to stay the entire evening so this is our way of having candid shots of guests)
    6:00 Bride and groom "run away" and reception doors open
    6:15 Uncle (MC) welcomes the guests and introduces us
    6:20 First Dance (doing it right away so that we can have some pictures; photographer will leave at 7:00). Guests are given a glass of champagne.
    6:25 (ish) Uncle gives a mini (2 minute) speech; then passes the mic to MOH/sister (3 minute max); and then Best Man (3 minute max)

    6:40 First Course is served
    7:00 Second Course is served
    7:20 As second course is being cleared, Uncle introduces MOB; MOB speech (FOB passed away) (3 minute max); and then parents of the groom (3 minute max)
    7:30 Third Course is served
    8:00 As third course is being cleared, Uncle introduces Bridesmaid (close friend of both bride AND groom who was there the night we met); BM speech (3 minute max);"special" tradition to welcome bride into groom's culture (it's a Newfoundland tradition called "screeching in" that involves kissing a cod (fish) and drinking a shot of "screech" rum) performed by groom's friend who is also from Newfoundland;  bride and groom speech thank everyone for coming (3 minute max) and inviting everyone to dance after enjoying desert
    8:15 Desert is served

    8:30 First "party" songs… we'll start with songs that most people know, transitioning slowly to more "fiddler-style" music, then playing a few fiddle songs, and then...
    9:00-10:00 Fiddler band! (great for getting everyone on the dance floor)
    10:00-12:00 Party! (reception "activities" - tons of party props and designated "photobooth" area)
    12:00 Exit (could be earlier if it seems to be better)
     (Our venue has a very tiny but amazing club in its basement so we may end up there with our friends for an after-party!!!)

    We're seriously considering pushing back the ceremony start time to 5:00 so that it's more like this:
    - 5:00-5:30 Ceremony
    - 5:30-6:30 Cocktail Hour
    - 6:30-7:00 Reception doors open/Introductions/First Dance/MOH and Best Man speeches
    - 7:00-9:00 Four course meal/parents speeches/best friend speech/B&G thanks/screeching in
    - 9:00-10:00 Fiddler Band
    - 10:00-12:00 Party

    Greeting 50+ guests individually is not going to happen in 15 minutes. I would suggest you just enjoy the cocktail hour, and then do table visits.

    You noted that your group is used to long dinner parties with everyone talking. But you don't get that vibe going if you keep interrupting with all the toasts. People will have to stop talking from 6:15-6:40 to watch stuff (that's a LONG time to sit and watch stuff) and then from 7:20-7:30 (so they've only actually been able to speak to each other for 40 minutes at this point, while eating), and then again from 8-8:15 (after a half hour of talking). Honestly, I'd be exhausted by this point. Wondering what I was going to be interrupted for next. 

    And yes, even though they often come with some nice stories about you, they really are toasts and not speeches. Keep them short and few. Your event will be a much more enjoyable event if it's allowed to flow. There really is no need to have all those people speak...I'd really try to keep it to a max of 3 speakers. So, MOH, BM, and the bride/groom for instance. It's more meaningful if people are paying attention and happy, not thinking, "really, again? Ugh. I need another drink. Blah blah blah you've known them their whole lives blah blah blah all the happiness blah blah blah". 
    PrettyGirlLost
  • MandyMost said:
    Hi ladies - Could we get some input on this part of our timeline?

    3:00-4:00 First Look and Couple's Portraits 
    [4:00 musicians arrive and start playing music shortly after]
    4:00- 4:30 Quiet Time (we wanted some quiet alone time before the ceremony to center ourselves)
    4:30-5:00 Ceremony
    5:00-6:00 Cocktail Hour (serving food and drinks; possibility for everyone to sit; held in a room adjacent to the reception room)
    [5:00-5:15 portraits with parents; 5:15-5:40 wedding party pictures outside (we're getting married in a very cold winter setting so we decided to only do outdoor pictures after the ceremony in case the snow affects the girls' hair)]
    5:45: bride and groom arrive at cocktail hour and greet all guests individually (+ candid shots of guests… we can't afford for the photographer to stay the entire evening so this is our way of having candid shots of guests)
    6:00 Bride and groom "run away" and reception doors open
    6:15 Uncle (MC) welcomes the guests and introduces us
    6:20 First Dance (doing it right away so that we can have some pictures; photographer will leave at 7:00). Guests are given a glass of champagne.
    6:25 (ish) Uncle gives a mini (2 minute) speech; then passes the mic to MOH/sister (3 minute max); and then Best Man (3 minute max)

    6:40 First Course is served
    7:00 Second Course is served
    7:20 As second course is being cleared, Uncle introduces MOB; MOB speech (FOB passed away) (3 minute max); and then parents of the groom (3 minute max)
    7:30 Third Course is served
    8:00 As third course is being cleared, Uncle introduces Bridesmaid (close friend of both bride AND groom who was there the night we met); BM speech (3 minute max);"special" tradition to welcome bride into groom's culture (it's a Newfoundland tradition called "screeching in" that involves kissing a cod (fish) and drinking a shot of "screech" rum) performed by groom's friend who is also from Newfoundland;  bride and groom speech thank everyone for coming (3 minute max) and inviting everyone to dance after enjoying desert
    8:15 Desert is served

    8:30 First "party" songs… we'll start with songs that most people know, transitioning slowly to more "fiddler-style" music, then playing a few fiddle songs, and then...
    9:00-10:00 Fiddler band! (great for getting everyone on the dance floor)
    10:00-12:00 Party! (reception "activities" - tons of party props and designated "photobooth" area)
    12:00 Exit (could be earlier if it seems to be better)
     (Our venue has a very tiny but amazing club in its basement so we may end up there with our friends for an after-party!!!)

    We're seriously considering pushing back the ceremony start time to 5:00 so that it's more like this:
    - 5:00-5:30 Ceremony
    - 5:30-6:30 Cocktail Hour
    - 6:30-7:00 Reception doors open/Introductions/First Dance/MOH and Best Man speeches
    - 7:00-9:00 Four course meal/parents speeches/best friend speech/B&G thanks/screeching in
    - 9:00-10:00 Fiddler Band
    - 10:00-12:00 Party

    Greeting 50+ guests individually is not going to happen in 15 minutes. I would suggest you just enjoy the cocktail hour, and then do table visits.

    You noted that your group is used to long dinner parties with everyone talking. But you don't get that vibe going if you keep interrupting with all the toasts. People will have to stop talking from 6:15-6:40 to watch stuff (that's a LONG time to sit and watch stuff) and then from 7:20-7:30 (so they've only actually been able to speak to each other for 40 minutes at this point, while eating), and then again from 8-8:15 (after a half hour of talking). Honestly, I'd be exhausted by this point. Wondering what I was going to be interrupted for next. 

    And yes, even though they often come with some nice stories about you, they really are toasts and not speeches. Keep them short and few. Your event will be a much more enjoyable event if it's allowed to flow. There really is no need to have all those people speak...I'd really try to keep it to a max of 3 speakers. So, MOH, BM, and the bride/groom for instance. It's more meaningful if people are paying attention and happy, not thinking, "really, again? Ugh. I need another drink. Blah blah blah you've known them their whole lives blah blah blah all the happiness blah blah blah". 
    Thanks for your input. We actually revised the timeline (you can see the revised one in a post in this thread with parts written in red). I'd be curious to know your opinion of the new one!
  • MandyMost said:
    Hi ladies - Could we get some input on this part of our timeline?

    3:00-4:00 First Look and Couple's Portraits 
    [4:00 musicians arrive and start playing music shortly after]
    4:00- 4:30 Quiet Time (we wanted some quiet alone time before the ceremony to center ourselves)
    4:30-5:00 Ceremony
    5:00-6:00 Cocktail Hour (serving food and drinks; possibility for everyone to sit; held in a room adjacent to the reception room)
    [5:00-5:15 portraits with parents; 5:15-5:40 wedding party pictures outside (we're getting married in a very cold winter setting so we decided to only do outdoor pictures after the ceremony in case the snow affects the girls' hair)]
    5:45: bride and groom arrive at cocktail hour and greet all guests individually (+ candid shots of guests… we can't afford for the photographer to stay the entire evening so this is our way of having candid shots of guests)
    6:00 Bride and groom "run away" and reception doors open
    6:15 Uncle (MC) welcomes the guests and introduces us
    6:20 First Dance (doing it right away so that we can have some pictures; photographer will leave at 7:00). Guests are given a glass of champagne.
    6:25 (ish) Uncle gives a mini (2 minute) speech; then passes the mic to MOH/sister (3 minute max); and then Best Man (3 minute max)

    6:40 First Course is served
    7:00 Second Course is served
    7:20 As second course is being cleared, Uncle introduces MOB; MOB speech (FOB passed away) (3 minute max); and then parents of the groom (3 minute max)
    7:30 Third Course is served
    8:00 As third course is being cleared, Uncle introduces Bridesmaid (close friend of both bride AND groom who was there the night we met); BM speech (3 minute max);"special" tradition to welcome bride into groom's culture (it's a Newfoundland tradition called "screeching in" that involves kissing a cod (fish) and drinking a shot of "screech" rum) performed by groom's friend who is also from Newfoundland;  bride and groom speech thank everyone for coming (3 minute max) and inviting everyone to dance after enjoying desert
    8:15 Desert is served

    8:30 First "party" songs… we'll start with songs that most people know, transitioning slowly to more "fiddler-style" music, then playing a few fiddle songs, and then...
    9:00-10:00 Fiddler band! (great for getting everyone on the dance floor)
    10:00-12:00 Party! (reception "activities" - tons of party props and designated "photobooth" area)
    12:00 Exit (could be earlier if it seems to be better)
     (Our venue has a very tiny but amazing club in its basement so we may end up there with our friends for an after-party!!!)

    We're seriously considering pushing back the ceremony start time to 5:00 so that it's more like this:
    - 5:00-5:30 Ceremony
    - 5:30-6:30 Cocktail Hour
    - 6:30-7:00 Reception doors open/Introductions/First Dance/MOH and Best Man speeches
    - 7:00-9:00 Four course meal/parents speeches/best friend speech/B&G thanks/screeching in
    - 9:00-10:00 Fiddler Band
    - 10:00-12:00 Party

    Greeting 50+ guests individually is not going to happen in 15 minutes. I would suggest you just enjoy the cocktail hour, and then do table visits.

    You noted that your group is used to long dinner parties with everyone talking. But you don't get that vibe going if you keep interrupting with all the toasts. People will have to stop talking from 6:15-6:40 to watch stuff (that's a LONG time to sit and watch stuff) and then from 7:20-7:30 (so they've only actually been able to speak to each other for 40 minutes at this point, while eating), and then again from 8-8:15 (after a half hour of talking). Honestly, I'd be exhausted by this point. Wondering what I was going to be interrupted for next. 

    And yes, even though they often come with some nice stories about you, they really are toasts and not speeches. Keep them short and few. Your event will be a much more enjoyable event if it's allowed to flow. There really is no need to have all those people speak...I'd really try to keep it to a max of 3 speakers. So, MOH, BM, and the bride/groom for instance. It's more meaningful if people are paying attention and happy, not thinking, "really, again? Ugh. I need another drink. Blah blah blah you've known them their whole lives blah blah blah all the happiness blah blah blah". 
    Thanks for your input. We actually revised the timeline (you can see the revised one in a post in this thread with parts written in red). I'd be curious to know your opinion of the new one!
    You're still only giving yourself 20 minutes to greet all your guests assuming you're not doing table visits.

    You're still having at least 5 separate toasts, and including the introductions of each that's a mixture of 8 "speeches". That's if your parents DON'T speak. It still just seems like a lot especially if they're more than a minute long. How about at least don't have the introductions, and let people introduce themselves? Do you two really need to give a thank you publicly? Can you ask your parents only to do the rehearsal dinner and not the wedding?
  • PrettyGirlLostPrettyGirlLost A Land Filled with Unicorns and Cat Hair
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    member
    You're still not giving yourself enough time to greet all your guests. Still too many toasts, imo

    "Love is the one thing we're capable of perceiving that transcends time and space."


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