Wedding Etiquette Forum

Help Planning Timeline

I'm not sure where to ask this so I thought I would ask here. I'm not really sure how to schedule everything since our day is so open ended right now.

We are having our ceremony and reception in the same venue. We have it to ourselves and can be there literally all day--we just have to pay for security whenever anyone is there (including set up) and be out by midnight. We are about ending the reception at 11 in order to give the clean up crew time to get out of there by midnight. We will be having a sit down dinner, served family style. We are planning on having a cocktail hour before that (for about 1 hour) with beer/wine and passed appetizers while we take photos. The ceremony will last about 30-45 minutes and we will have a receiving line. What time should we start the ceremony?

Also, we are most likely going to provide a shuttle for our guests from the hotel to the site. It is about a 15 minute drive and we might want to have it go between the hotel and venue once or twice before the ceremony and once between the ceremony and reception, and then run continuous loops after dinner. Our venue is in an area with a few bars (literally across the street from our venue) that people may want to go to afterwords (a lot of people in our crowd like to party too) and I would love for them to be able to enjoy our town's nightlife while they are there. Unfortunately there aren't really cabs around there so I would like to maybe keep the shuttle running for a little while after the reception  has ended. What do you think about doing this? And if we do decide to keep the shuttle running, what time should we have it stop? I don't want anyone to get stuck! I don't have to worry about transport for the two of us because our house is about a block away from our venue so we are just going to walk home.

Anything else I should be thinking about for the timeline? I just need it to be kind of vague right now since the wedding is in May, but I need to have an idea in order to book the transportation, the photographer, and hair/makeup.

Thanks for your help ladies!

Re: Help Planning Timeline

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    Dinner 6:00
    Cocktail hour 5:00
    Receiving line 4:45
    Ceremony 4:00

    I wouldn't worry about having the shuttle after the reception except to take guests home. If they choose to party, thry can figure out transportation.
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    Are you going to have dancing? If so, I'd say cocktail hour at 6, dinner and the rest of the reception from 7-11. Have your ceremony at 5. 

    I don't think it's a bad idea to keep the shuttle running later - maybe until 12:30 or 1 if you can swing it? It's late enough that they get an hour or two at the bar, but not so late that you're going out of the way to cater to your guests staying at the bar until close.
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    Thank you so much! This is really helpful, especially since my fiance was thinking we should start the ceremony at 3:00, which I thought seemed crazy early. 4:00 or 5:00 sounds much more reasonable to me.
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    Myself- I'd go with Teddy's timeline.

    As for the shuttle, if you can afford it, having it run until 12:30/1 is not a bad idea and would be very generous of you. 
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    I like teddy's timeline. Do they have to take the shuttle from hotel to venue or is there parking there as well?

    Daisypath Wedding tickers
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    erinlin25erinlin25 member
    First Anniversary 5 Love Its First Answer First Comment
    edited November 2013
    we had a similar set up. Whole wedding was at the same venue.  we had a Friday wedding so had a 6pm wedding (15 min ceremony).
    Ceremony 6-6:15ish
    cocktail hour was 6:30-7:30 (guests were able to enter reception area at 7:15)
    7:30 announced wedding party
    dinner was served 7:30-8:30ish
    toast followed by first dance, spot light dances 8:30
    cut the cake 9pm
    dancing/bouquet/garter toss, etc 9pm-11pm

    if you plan on having a longer ceremony start at 5!  Ours was quick so we knew 6 would work for us and be better for a Friday.

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