Wedding Etiquette Forum

Is my Timeline okay?

Hello!

I'm looking for some advice on my tentative wedding timeline. Since it's a Catholic ceremony, we're faced with the common dilemma of an afternoon ceremony vs. and evening reception. I realize having a gap is rude, so I'm wondering if this proposed timeline is acceptable.

1:30-2:30 - Ceremony

3:00 - Cocktail Hour

4:30 - Entrance/First Dance

5:00 - Dinner

I realize that the cocktail hour is a bit long, so we were thinking of having a wedding "gap map" with ideas for guests to kill some time, if they don't want to mingle for the full 1.5 hours. We're getting married in Ann Arbor (our Alma mater and where we met) which is a very walkable city and thought of including a few of our favorite or important locations. For reference, EVERYTHING is in close proximity, our reception is a 5 min. walk from our ceremony.

Thoughts?

Best Answer

Re: Is my Timeline okay?

  • I think entrance and first dance could be extended if you also did your cake cutting and any toasts during this time. And maybe she's doing parent or other spotlight dances? That could take 30 minutes maybe.
    s-aries8990
  • Does it take 30 minutes to get from the ceremony to the reception location?  A 30 minute gap is still a gap.  Also, it is called cocktail hour for a reason.
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  • I have nothing to add except go blue!
    image
  • I think your plan sounds perfectly fine. Go Maize.
  • wrigleyvillewrigleyville member
    First Anniversary First Comment 5 Love Its First Answer
    edited April 2014
    I second the revisions. I used to live in Ann Arbor, and even though it's a beautiful, walkable city, I wouldn't want to walk around in my dress and heels. I'd rather head straight to cocktail hour, mingle for an hour, and then see the B&G walk in. 
  • lc07lc07 member
    First Anniversary First Comment First Answer 5 Love Its
    I am assuming the 1/2 is travel time so that when I leave your ceremony and arrive at your reception, cocktail hour is already in full swing. If there is ample food and beverages, I'm happy for 1.5 hours at cocktail hour as opposed to just one hour. I agree with the PP who stated that grand entrance and first dance will likely take about 10 minutes and dinner can begin sooner.
  • lc07 said:
    I am assuming the 1/2 is travel time so that when I leave your ceremony and arrive at your reception, cocktail hour is already in full swing. If there is ample food and beverages, I'm happy for 1.5 hours at cocktail hour as opposed to just one hour. I agree with the PP who stated that grand entrance and first dance will likely take about 10 minutes and dinner can begin sooner.
    But the reception is a five-minute walk from the ceremony, per the OP. So really, the revised timeline is much better.

    Parking in Ann Arbor is pretty crazy, especially on weekends, so I'd assume most people are parking and then just walking from the ceremony to the reception instead of looking for another parking spot just a few blocks from the original parking spot.
  • It's impossible to park in ann arbor on the weekends! Did you think about transportation/parking for everyone? 
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  • cowgirl8238cowgirl8238 member
    First Anniversary First Comment 5 Love Its First Answer
    edited April 2014
    lc07 said:
    I am assuming the 1/2 is travel time so that when I leave your ceremony and arrive at your reception, cocktail hour is already in full swing. If there is ample food and beverages, I'm happy for 1.5 hours at cocktail hour as opposed to just one hour. I agree with the PP who stated that grand entrance and first dance will likely take about 10 minutes and dinner can begin sooner.
    But the reception is a five-minute walk from the ceremony, per the OP. So really, the revised timeline is much better.

    Parking in Ann Arbor is pretty crazy, especially on weekends, so I'd assume most people are parking and then just walking from the ceremony to the reception instead of looking for another parking spot just a few blocks from the original parking spot.


    If the OP is doing a receiving line at the church that would take away from the half hour gap between ceremony and reception.  I believe the only thing that was adjusted on the time line was the cocktail hour being a single hour.

    However,  I don't see anything wrong with a well hosted cocktail hour that is 1.5 hours.  Anything longer would make me uncomfortable but I would much prefer this to an unhosted gap.  OP, are you having everything available at the cocktail venue immediately following the ceremony?  If you have a receiving line, the people who come out first may get to your venue before 3:00pm.

    Also I agree that a single spotlight dance will not bring you a half hour into the reception, so consider doing all of your dances (if you're having them) cake cutting and then speeches (again if you are having any).   That should help you push the dinner back just enough.

    ETF: Typos

  • I'm not sure which Ann Arbor y'all are from, but unless it's a game weekend there are parking garages all over town. I've never had trouble parking.
  • grumbledoregrumbledore member
    First Anniversary First Comment First Answer 5 Love Its
    edited April 2014
    Hello!

    I'm looking for some advice on my tentative wedding timeline. Since it's a Catholic ceremony, we're faced with the common dilemma of an afternoon ceremony vs. and evening reception. I realize having a gap is rude, so I'm wondering if this proposed timeline is acceptable.

    1:30-2:30 - Ceremony

    3:00 - Cocktail Hour

    4:30 - Entrance/First Dance

    5:00 - Dinner

    I realize that the cocktail hour is a bit long, so we were thinking of having a wedding "gap map" with ideas for guests to kill some time, if they don't want to mingle for the full 1.5 hours. We're getting married in Ann Arbor (our Alma mater and where we met) which is a very walkable city and thought of including a few of our favorite or important locations. For reference, EVERYTHING is in close proximity, our reception is a 5 min. walk from our ceremony.

    Thoughts?
    Virtually no one will be interested in wandering the city while they wait for you.  If you reception is 5 minutes from your ceremony, then the gap is way too long.  Your gap is 2 hours.  You need to change something.  Either a later ceremony or an earlier reception.

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    huskypuppy14
  • An hour is fine if it's hosted, but 2 is too long.

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  • Thank you all for the replies, although they were a bit conflicting - ha! We were also going to have toasts after our dance, which is why I gave a bit of time between the entrance and dinner. However, you're all probably right that dinner will happen a little faster. I'll definitely consider cutting back the cocktail hour time. Parking shouldn't be much of an issue since in Kerrytown there's usually a fair amount of street parking. Plus our reception has valet. Thanks to all!
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