Outdoor Weddings

time help!

Hey Ladies!
I need some help deciding on a time for our wedding. It is June 20th in Northwestern Pa and it is all outside. I don't want it to be too hot but I wanted to play lawn games. I was thinking start around 5 but then I read that that is the worst time to start. I want to do some pics before and then pics with the future hubby obviously after the ceremony. I have planned for the ceremony and then pics, lawn games and appetizers during and then buffet style dinner afterwards. Going on into the evening with just drinking and dancing. I am totally confused as to the time to start the ceremony. The sun sets around 9. and I did buy a lot of lights so it could still be bright with lights. I just want it to look good and make sense. Pictures are important so I want to take those at a good time as well. I want people to have fun and not be so hot, but it is sort of in the woods so I don't want people to worry about it being dark out there. I was also planning on having a fire afterwards.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Re: time help!

  • Start backwards with your time frame. The items in bold are for examples. Again this is a really rough schedule, you need to customize it based on your wedding, the time you need for the different thing and whatever else you may want to squeeze in. But I found trying to work backwards with the schedule to figure out when to start was easier for me.

    • What time do you want reception to end approx or what time do you have venue until (11:00PM)
    • Do you need to allow time for clean up or will that be done the next day or by someone else, how much time (Left blank but ajust if you need to)
    • If having dancing, allow 2-4 hours for that. Adjust time frame based on how long you plan to have music  (8:00 PM - 11:00 PM)
    • Estimate time for intros, toasts, first dance, etc (7:45-8:00)
    • Time alloted for  dinner - talk to caterer, they can give you a good idea of how long to allow based on your menu & how food is being served (family style vs sit down vs buffet) (6:30-7:45)
    • Cocktail Hour (this is when you would do any post ceremony photos (5:30-6:30) this time can also be adjusted to be short, especially if everything is being done at the same location
    • Ceremony (5:00-5:30) of course adjust this based on the needs of your ceremony
    • Everyone gets into place (4:50-5:00)
    • Time to freshen up before ceremony (4:40-4:50) you may want to freshen up your makeup or even just lipstick after doing first look
    • First look photos and any other photos you want to get out of the way - talk to photographer to get an idea of how much time to allot for this  (x:xx - 4:40)
  • Thanks so much for the reply!
    We are having it on private property (cabin in the woods my fiancés father owns) So there is no real set times that anything has to be done or end or cleaned up by. I love the idea of working backwards, that's smart. Maybe that's why I am having a hard time because I don't really know when things should be over. I guess I should have a time so that older people can leave without feeling bad about leaving. We were thinking of just having a party and fire into the night after all the wedding stuff was over. I guess I better figure out more times than just starting. Also thanks so much for the first look photo info, I have had a hard time getting my photographer to get back to me on times.

    thanks again!

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