Wedding Reception Forum

5 hr Reception Timeline w/ Buffet style Dinner.

Hello everyone,

I am in need of help with my reception timeline. Our Ceremony is taking place at a church at 3:00pm and our reception is about 15 minutes away.... but, our reception does not start until 6 pm. I'm thinking the Ceremony might take about 30 minutes, then after a few pictures at the church, we want to take pictures at another location. Which is the reason for the gap in time between Ceremony and Reception. I want to be able to enjoy all 5 hours, after all were paying for it. I'm just having a hard time figuring our the timeline it self, see we want as much dancing time as possible. We are having around 140 guest (mostly adults), but our tricky situation is the Buffet dinner. We have to have dinner started right away in order to have a lot of time to party. So our plan is to do all the speeches and traditional dances right away. So far, this is what I have. Let me know your thoughts and suggestions.

 In the end this is just a timeline, I know that they don't always go according to plan and on time!!

 

Some details

Open Bar will be closed for the Dinner Hour 7-8

Photo Booth will be open from 6-10

6:00 pm Doors will open with open bar and appetizer being served. At this time the guest will also look for their table and take a seat , at the tables the salad will already be served for them to begin eating.

6:30 pm Bridal Party Entrance. The Bride and Groom will have the First Dance. Brother and Sister Dance followed by Son and Mother dance. The Groom will thank everyone for Coming.

7:00 Buffet dinner will start. Tables will be called one by one. (Starting with the Bridal Party)

7:30 Speeches from the MOH and BM. Then will Follow the Brides Mother and the Grooms Father.(Some guest will be in line for food)

8:00 Music will start picking up momentum to have guest start joining the Dance Floor.(By this time the Bridal party should have been fed and can start dancing)

8:30 Bouquet Toss

9:00 Gardner Toss

9:30 Cake Cutting (Served)

10:00 Dancing 

10:30 More Dancing

11:00 Time to Go Home

Re: 5 hr Reception Timeline w/ Buffet style Dinner.

  • mikenbergermikenberger In a f'n cornfield member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary First Answer

    Hello everyone,

    I am in need of help with my reception timeline. Our Ceremony is taking place at a church at 3:00pm and our reception is about 15 minutes away.... but, our reception does not start until 6 pm. I'm thinking the Ceremony might take about 30 minutes, then after a few pictures at the church, we want to take pictures at another location. Which is the reason for the gap in time between Ceremony and Reception. I want to be able to enjoy all 5 hours, after all were paying for it. I'm just having a hard time figuring our the timeline it self, see we want as much dancing time as possible. We are having around 140 guest (mostly adults), but our tricky situation is the Buffet dinner. We have to have dinner started right away in order to have a lot of time to party. So our plan is to do all the speeches and traditional dances right away. So far, this is what I have. Let me know your thoughts and suggestions.

     In the end this is just a timeline, I know that they don't always go according to plan and on time!!

     

    Some details

    Open Bar will be closed for the Dinner Hour 7-8

    Photo Booth will be open from 6-10

    6:00 pm Doors will open with open bar and appetizer being served. At this time the guest will also look for their table and take a seat , at the tables the salad will already be served for them to begin eating.

    6:30 pm Bridal Party Entrance. The Bride and Groom will have the First Dance. Brother and Sister Dance followed by Son and Mother dance. The Groom will thank everyone for Coming.

    7:00 Buffet dinner will start. Tables will be called one by one. (Starting with the Bridal Party)

    7:30 Speeches from the MOH and BM. Then will Follow the Brides Mother and the Grooms Father.(Some guest will be in line for food)

    8:00 Music will start picking up momentum to have guest start joining the Dance Floor.(By this time the Bridal party should have been fed and can start dancing)

    8:30 Bouquet Toss

    9:00 Gardner Toss

    9:30 Cake Cutting (Served)

    10:00 Dancing 

    10:30 More Dancing

    11:00 Time to Go Home

    I stopped reading right there. You need to have something for your guests to do in between your ceremony and reception. It is terribly rude to have a gap between the events. You don't have to do much: have someone set out beverage and some snacks and make sure everybody has a place to sit. Music helps too if your DJ can start playing a little earlier for some ambiance. 

    ... I read some more. You're going to have salads plated for them at 6pm but not start the buffet until 7? Think that one through logically. You go to a restaurant - you get your salad. Then an hour later, you get your meal. I would push back salad time and then move up the bridal party entrance. You don't need to arrive 30mins past the time your guests get there.

    image
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited February 2015

    Hello everyone,

    I am in need of help with my reception timeline. Our Ceremony is taking place at a church at 3:00pm and our reception is about 15 minutes away.... but, our reception does not start until 6 pm. I'm thinking the Ceremony might take about 30 minutes, then after a few pictures at the church, we want to take pictures at another location. Which is the reason for the gap in time between Ceremony and Reception. I want to be able to enjoy all 5 hours, after all were paying for it. I'm just having a hard time figuring our the timeline it self, see we want as much dancing time as possible. We are having around 140 guest (mostly adults), but our tricky situation is the Buffet dinner. We have to have dinner started right away in order to have a lot of time to party. So our plan is to do all the speeches and traditional dances right away. So far, this is what I have. Let me know your thoughts and suggestions.

     In the end this is just a timeline, I know that they don't always go according to plan and on time!!

     

    Some details

    Open Bar will be closed for the Dinner Hour 7-8

    Photo Booth will be open from 6-10

    6:00 pm Doors will open with open bar and appetizer being served. At this time the guest will also look for their table and take a seat , at the tables the salad will already be served for them to begin eating.

    6:30 pm Bridal Party Entrance. The Bride and Groom will have the First Dance. Brother and Sister Dance followed by Son and Mother dance. The Groom will thank everyone for Coming.

    7:00 Buffet dinner will start. Tables will be called one by one. (Starting with the Bridal Party)

    7:30 Speeches from the MOH and BM. Then will Follow the Brides Mother and the Grooms Father.(Some guest will be in line for food)

    8:00 Music will start picking up momentum to have guest start joining the Dance Floor.(By this time the Bridal party should have been fed and can start dancing)

    8:30 Bouquet Toss

    9:00 Gardner Toss

    9:30 Cake Cutting (Served)

    10:00 Dancing 

    10:30 More Dancing

    11:00 Time to Go Home

    1) You need to start the reception immediately following the ceremony. Leaving your guests to find something else to do while you go on a photo tour is exceptionally rude. 

    2) Why are you closing the bar during dinner? That makes no sense for a buffet meal. That's usually only for when wine is served with a plated meal. Also, a buffet dinner does not take an hour. 

    3) If you want to maximize dancing, don't have so many breaks for things like the bouquet toss and cake cutting. You can do all of those things together at the end of the meal or at the end of the night. (Or you can skip tosses and leave an extra 20 minutes for dancing.) You can also keep toasts and parent dances very short and do them during the meal to minimize the encroachment on party time.  

    Your number one priority right now should be closing that gap. Other than that, you just have some minor tweaks. 
    wellthennoPrettyGirlLost
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers

    Hello everyone,

    Our Ceremony is taking place at a church at 3:00pm and our reception is about 15 minutes away.... but, our reception does not start until 6 pm. 

    image

    Just because you want to take pictures in a different location does not mean that you get to be rude to your guests and make them wait around for your reception to start.  

    southernbelle0915PrettyGirlLost
  • Everyone.... Please share your suggestions as requested for the Reception Timeline. I understand that not everyone is in favor of a gap in time between Ceremony and Reception. I have been to a few weddings myself with breaks in time and we would go to a local bar and grab some drinks or if close by, go home and freshen up for the Reception.<?xml:namespace prefix = "o" ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

    Yes we will have refreshments at the church for after the ceremony. And yes there will be suggestions on where to go for those 2 hours. One of the options includes the Grooms parents’ home that is close by. This place will also have Refreshments. I did not include all these details because I was specifically asking for the Reception Timeline suggestion. I only mentioned the gap as background information.

    Everyone is entitled to their own ideas for how they want their Wedding to go. People will always have something to complain about no matter how hard you try, if the gap in time is one of them, im ok with that as long as they have a great time at the reception (which is my main concern). At no point is my intent to be rude. I simply wanted to get the pictures done during the gap so that we may have time to enjoy the entire reception. I was not expecting to get bashed on something I wasn't even inquiring about just mentioning. But thank you all for your suggestions. My gab in time will remain as is.

     

    mbehnke-2
  • mikenbergermikenberger In a f'n cornfield member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary First Answer

    Everyone.... Please share your suggestions as requested for the Reception Timeline. I understand that not everyone is in favor of a gap in time between Ceremony and Reception. I have been to a few weddings myself with breaks in time and we would go to a local bar and grab some drinks or if close by, go home and freshen up for the Reception.

    Yes we will have refreshments at the church for after the ceremony. And yes there will be suggestions on where to go for those 2 hours. One of the options includes the Grooms parents’ home that is close by. This place will also have Refreshments. I did not include all these details because I was specifically asking for the Reception Timeline suggestion. I only mentioned the gap as background information.

    Everyone is entitled to their own ideas for how they want their Wedding to go. People will always have something to complain about no matter how hard you try, if the gap in time is one of them, im ok with that as long as they have a great time at the reception (which is my main concern). At no point is my intent to be rude. I simply wanted to get the pictures done during the gap so that we may have time to enjoy the entire reception. I was not expecting to get bashed on something I wasn't even inquiring about just mentioning. But thank you all for your suggestions. My gab in time will remain as is.

     

    Oh tap dancing Christ. 

    Nobody BASHED you. YOU mentioned your gap. You can use that gap to take all the photos you want. We're merely stating that your GUESTS need to have something to do whilst you take photos instead of loitering around waiting on you to finish up your photos. Just because it's something that you've done before or something that you don't find to be tacky doesn't mean that others won't find it to be tacky or that it actually 100% is tacky. And you are being rude by including a gap. 

    You've been given suggestions on your timeline. If you don't care about the rest of it, just glaze it over. You don't get to tell us how to respond. 

    image
    PrettyGirlLost
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers

    I simply wanted to get the pictures done during the gap so that we may have time to enjoy the entire reception. 

    That is what your cocktail hour is for.  If you do not want to miss a second of your reception and cocktail hour then I suggest you do all of your pictures prior to your wedding.  But to make your guests wait through a gap because you are being selfish is very rude.

    As for your timeline, I suggest you eliminate some of your dances.  Do you really need a special spotlight dance for the brother and sister?  I would also remind those who want to speak that they are toast NOT speeches.  So at most the total time that all toasts should take is no more then 5 minutes.  Sorry, but no one wants to listen to a long ass speech full of inside jokes or things that only a handful of people will understand.

    And please keep all spotlight stuff kind of together.  Nothing is more of a party killer then when your guests have to stop dancing and having fun just to watch you throw a bouquet or your FI take off your garter or to watch you cut a cake.  Have your first dance and parent dances when you first walk into the reception.  Eat.  Then cut the cake do the tosses and then let the party rock on without any other interruptions.

    Oh and even if your FI thanks everyone for coming in a very short speech, you and he will still need to make the rounds to thank each person individually so make sure to factor in table visits into your timeline.

    PrettyGirlLost
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited February 2015
    Your gap is part of the timeline. In fact, it is the major problem with your timeline.

    Look, gaps are rude. They just are. You can say that people will complain no matter what, (they won't) and you can say that you don't want to be rude (you clearly do). Still, gaps are rude. Leaving a gap so that you can take a photo tour is the height of selfishness 

    If you care about your guests and you want them to enjoy your wedding, you will not have the gap. If you don't care about your guests and you just want them to have to deal with it, leave the gap. But at least own it. Don't pretend that you care if people enjoy your wedding.

    PrettyGirlLostDreamergirl8812
  • Everyone.... Please share your suggestions as requested for the Reception Timeline. I understand that not everyone is in favor of a gap in time between Ceremony and Reception. I have been to a few weddings myself with breaks in time and we would go to a local bar and grab some drinks or if close by, go home and freshen up for the Reception.

    Yes we will have refreshments at the church for after the ceremony. And yes there will be suggestions on where to go for those 2 hours. One of the options includes the Grooms parents’ home that is close by. This place will also have Refreshments. I did not include all these details because I was specifically asking for the Reception Timeline suggestion. I only mentioned the gap as background information.

    Everyone is entitled to their own ideas for how they want their Wedding to go. People will always have something to complain about no matter how hard you try, if the gap in time is one of them, im ok with that as long as they have a great time at the reception (which is my main concern). At no point is my intent to be rude. I simply wanted to get the pictures done during the gap so that we may have time to enjoy the entire reception. I was not expecting to get bashed on something I wasn't even inquiring about just mentioning. But thank you all for your suggestions. My gab in time will remain as is.

     

    Nobody is trying to hurt your feelings. They are trying, through strength in numbers, to show you that gaps are rude. Now, rude is not against the law so you will not be arrested, however, you will look bad.

    Gaps are rude because it causes inconvenience for your guests. The job of a host, in the case of a reception, your and your NEW husband (woohoo!) is to make your guests feel as comfortable as possible. It is not to get everything you want. In fact, a good host puts their guests above their own wants, your want being pictures.   

    Gaps cause issues. Even if your ceremony ends at 3:30, that is 2.5 hours till the reception which then lasts till 11. So if people walk in right at ceremony time they are devoting 8 hours, plus drive time to your party, some of which they will be left wondering what to do. Even if one of the parents do host something are they prepared for 150 people to show up and park at their home? What other "activities" are you suggesting? Are they really things you would want to do all dressed up in wedding attire? The questions go on and on.

    What honestly gets me is you saying "I do not care if they think it is rude." This translates to "I do not case if I cause hardship, frustration, and/or boredom to my guests." which is shocking and is something I would think only a rude person would say. Owning your rudeness does not resolve you of anything and comes off even worse.

    Bottom Line: You asked for help for doing the wrong thing. Most of the people on this board are not going to help you do the wrong thing. 
    MyNameIsNotlevioosaPrettyGirlLostMGP
  • mikenbergermikenberger In a f'n cornfield member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary First Answer
    aliwis000 said:

    Everyone.... Please share your suggestions as requested for the Reception Timeline. I understand that not everyone is in favor of a gap in time between Ceremony and Reception. I have been to a few weddings myself with breaks in time and we would go to a local bar and grab some drinks or if close by, go home and freshen up for the Reception.

    Yes we will have refreshments at the church for after the ceremony. And yes there will be suggestions on where to go for those 2 hours. One of the options includes the Grooms parents’ home that is close by. This place will also have Refreshments. I did not include all these details because I was specifically asking for the Reception Timeline suggestion. I only mentioned the gap as background information.

    Everyone is entitled to their own ideas for how they want their Wedding to go. People will always have something to complain about no matter how hard you try, if the gap in time is one of them, im ok with that as long as they have a great time at the reception (which is my main concern). At no point is my intent to be rude. I simply wanted to get the pictures done during the gap so that we may have time to enjoy the entire reception. I was not expecting to get bashed on something I wasn't even inquiring about just mentioning. But thank you all for your suggestions. My gab in time will remain as is.

     

    Bottom Line: You asked for help for doing the wrong thing. Most of the people on this board are not going to help you do the wrong thing. 
    image

    image
    PrettyGirlLostDreamergirl8812
  • plainjane0415plainjane0415 The hills of Tennessee member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited February 2015

    Everyone.... Please share your suggestions as requested for the Reception Timeline. I understand that not everyone is in favor of a gap in time between Ceremony and Reception. I have been to a few weddings myself with breaks in time and we would go to a local bar and grab some drinks or if close by, go home and freshen up for the Reception.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

    Yes we will have refreshments at the church for after the ceremony. And yes there will be suggestions on where to go for those 2 hours. One of the options includes the Grooms parents’ home that is close by. This place will also have Refreshments. I did not include all these details because I was specifically asking for the Reception Timeline suggestion. I only mentioned the gap as background information.

    Everyone is entitled to their own ideas for how they want their Wedding to go. People will always have something to complain about no matter how hard you try, if the gap in time is one of them, im ok with that as long as they have a great time at the reception (which is my main concern). At no point is my intent to be rude. I simply wanted to get the pictures done during the gap so that we may have time to enjoy the entire reception. I was not expecting to get bashed on something I wasn't even inquiring about just mentioning. But thank you all for your suggestions. My gab in time will remain as is.

     



    Ok so this post tells me that you don't want suggestions, you want validation for your longgap.  And you aren't going to get that here.

    ETA:  Your post says you want people to have a good time at your reception.  A good start would be to not have a long gap... Just saying.

    image
  • Thank you to those that are giving me the Reception timeline suggestions.

     I will move the spotlight stuff all together with out the gaps. As one person mentioned no one wants to stop dancing to see that stuff anyways. As for the dances they will probably short (not the entire song).  The DJ is going to do his thing to make the song end early with out sounding completely cut off mid dance. And I have also made it clear to those speaking to keep the speeches short and sweet. But I will probably move those closer to the dances.

  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers

    Thank you to those that are giving me the Reception timeline suggestions.

     I will move the spotlight stuff all together with out the gaps. As one person mentioned no one wants to stop dancing to see that stuff anyways. As for the dances they will probably short (not the entire song).  The DJ is going to do his thing to make the song end early with out sounding completely cut off mid dance. And I have also made it clear to those speaking to keep the speeches short and sweet. But I will probably move those closer to the dances.

    You know you can bold those words all you want, people will still tell you that the gap you are planning is rude.  Because, well, it is.

    plainjane0415PrettyGirlLost
  • plainjane0415plainjane0415 The hills of Tennessee member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper

    Thank you to those that are giving me the Reception timeline suggestions.

     I will move the spotlight stuff all together with out the gaps. As one person mentioned no one wants to stop dancing to see that stuff anyways. As for the dances they will probably short (not the entire song).  The DJ is going to do his thing to make the song end early with out sounding completely cut off mid dance. And I have also made it clear to those speaking to keep the speeches short and sweet. But I will probably move those closer to the dances.


    I have a reception timeline suggestion.  Close the gap.
    image
    redoryxPrettyGirlLostwrigleyvillemrssursely
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    I would have no interest in going to 2 separate events for your wedding day. That's what it becomes when you have a long unhosted gap: 2 separate events. I would go to one or the other, but I wouldn't sit in between twiddling my thumbs waiting on you to get back from going off site to take pictures. 

    And just b/c you don't want opinions on the gap does not mean you won't get them. If you asked us what kind of getaway car to use for your bank robbery, we are going to say, "A bank robbery is a bad idea."  We are not going to say, "Ferrari." 

    Either deal with it or don't ask questions/give information you don't want comments on. 
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
    image
    PrettyGirlLostMGP
  • redoryxredoryx member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    edited February 2015
    OP, I don't think you quite understand how, well, forums work but also how weddings work. You are inviting your guests to ONE event, which is often comprised of a ceremony, a cocktail hour, and a reception These all go together so you shouldn't just be concerned about the reception timeline but the timeline for the ENTIRE EVENT. This is why gaps are rude. It would be like throwing a birthday party that starts at 6pm with dinner, lasts an hour, and then tell everyone they just have to fend for themselves for two hours and you'll all meet back at the bar at 9.

    If you don't want to miss any part of your event then you should do photos beforehand. The cocktail hour is there specifically for the purpose of the couple taking photos between ceremony and reception while also leaving the guests hosted and taken care of.
    image
    PrettyGirlLost
  • levioosalevioosa Southern California member
    Seventh Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Gaps are incredibly rude.  They tell your guests, "My pictures are more important than you being uncomfortable for hours."  People set aside a day out of their busy schedules, travel to see you, and bring a gift.  Hosting them well is literally the least thing you could do.  You are paying money for this?  Well, so are they, and collectively they are spending just as much, if not more to attend your wedding, especially if travel is involved. 

    I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and think that perhaps gaps are normal in your area so you're not sure what's wrong with them.  But normal/common =/= proper etiquette/not rude.  The second you invite guests to witness your marriage, the day ceases to be about you and becomes about them.  The reception is meant as a thank you to the guests and should immediately follow the ceremony.  Asking your guests to wait around so you can take pictures is a slap in their face.  Your family and friends will not tell you this is rude, because they love you.  But they will be upset, and they will talk about you behind your back.  Your wedding is one day, but how you treat people on that one day will affect your relationships for years to come. 

    In addition, do you really want your parents to worry about managing guests at their property?  Do you really want to inconvenience them like that?  How inconsiderate to make them do that when they should be enjoying your wedding.  The last thing I would want on my wedding day is for my Mom to worry about the house and providing refreshments.

    Take the majority of the pictures before the ceremony, and then use the 60-90 minute cocktail hour to take the rest of the pictures.  That's what the cocktail hour is for.  Unless you take all of the pictures prior to the ceremony, you will most likely not get to attend the cocktail hour.  Which is fine, because it is for your guests, not you. 

    We are not trying to be mean.  We are trying to help you host your guests well and have a great wedding. All of us here have been to a wedding with a gap, and they suck.  I don't need time to "freshen up," and I don't want "planned activities" to do or a third place to drive to.  I just want to be hosted well.  I promise you your guests are thinking the same thing. 


    image
    PrettyGirlLostredoryx
  • I won't comment on the gap because everyone else seems to have that covered, but for comparison here's the timeline for my 5 hour buffet reception. (We will have a ceremony at 4:00 with a cocktail hour & lawn games from 4:30-6).

    6:00-11:00 open bar
    6:00 Guests and bride & groom all arrive at reception location. People find their tables. Champagne is served. Perhaps there are some spontaneous toasts.
    6:30 Buffet dinner will begin, with one table called at a time (we only have 60 guests, so it should not take too long to get everyone food)
    7:00-9:00 Dancing and socializing. There are no scheduled dances or tosses.
    9:00 (or thereabouts): Cake & coffee
    9:00-11:00 More dancing and socializing
    11:00 Alas, time to say goodnight
    wellthenno
  • PrettyGirlLostPrettyGirlLost A Land Filled with Unicorns and Cat Hair member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer

    Hello everyone,

    I am in need of help with my reception timeline. Our Ceremony is taking place at a church at 3:00pm and our reception is about 15 minutes away.... but, our reception does not start until 6 pm. I'm thinking the Ceremony might take about 30 minutes, then after a few pictures at the church, we want to take pictures at another location. Which is the reason for the gap in time between Ceremony and Reception. I want to be able to enjoy all 5 hours, after all were paying for it. I'm just having a hard time figuring our the timeline it self, see we want as much dancing time as possible. We are having around 140 guest (mostly adults), but our tricky situation is the Buffet dinner. We have to have dinner started right away in order to have a lot of time to party. So our plan is to do all the speeches and traditional dances right away. So far, this is what I have. Let me know your thoughts and suggestions.

     In the end this is just a timeline, I know that they don't always go according to plan and on time!!

     

    Some details

    Open Bar will be closed for the Dinner Hour 7-8

    Photo Booth will be open from 6-10

    6:00 pm Doors will open with open bar and appetizer being served. At this time the guest will also look for their table and take a seat , at the tables the salad will already be served for them to begin eating.

    6:30 pm Bridal Party Entrance. The Bride and Groom will have the First Dance. Brother and Sister Dance followed by Son and Mother dance. The Groom will thank everyone for Coming.

    7:00 Buffet dinner will start. Tables will be called one by one. (Starting with the Bridal Party)

    7:30 Speeches from the MOH and BM. Then will Follow the Brides Mother and the Grooms Father.(Some guest will be in line for food)

    8:00 Music will start picking up momentum to have guest start joining the Dance Floor.(By this time the Bridal party should have been fed and can start dancing)

    8:30 Bouquet Toss

    9:00 Gardner Toss

    9:30 Cake Cutting (Served)

    10:00 Dancing 

    10:30 More Dancing

    11:00 Time to Go Home

    1st, you NEED to get rid of that 2.5 hour gap.  If you want to take pictures at another location besides your ceremony site, you either need to take those pictures before the ceremony, directly after the ceremony and taking no more than 1hour-1.5hours-while your guests are hosted at your cocktail hour, or you need to get dressed up on another day and do a Rock the Dress session and take those off site pics.

    Can you push your ceremony start time back to 3:30pm?

    2nd, if you are having 140 guests you really need to allocate 1.5-2 hours for your buffet.  I had 150ish guests and my buffet was ~2hours long and it was the perfect amount of time for everyone to eat their fill at a comfortable, social but efficient pace.

    3rd, unless your venue has a wierd policy, do not close the bar during dinner.  Keep it open from cocktail hour through an hour prior to the end of your reception.

    Your wedding timeline is very, very similar to my own wedding- minus the HUGE and annoying gap- I had a Catholic Mass at 3:00pm and a 6.5 hour reception immediately following.  so my timeline suggestion is:

    Ceremony- 3:30pm-4:00pm
    Receiving Line- 4:00pm-4:30pm
    WP Pictures- 4:30pm-5:30pm
    Cocktail Hour at church- 4:30pm- 5:45pm
    Everyone Drives to Reception- 5:45pm-6:00pm
    WP Entrance- ~6:00pm
    Cake Cutting and Groom says Thanks- ~6:05pm
    Buffet Dinner- ~6:10pm- 7:40pm/8:00pm-  Any toasts can be done during dinner.
    Cake is served- 8:00pm
    1st Dance, Bride/Father Dance, Groom/Mother Dance- 8:00pm- 8:10pm at latest.  Spotlight dances done while guests eat dessert; skip the Brother/Sister dance, 3 spotlight dances is plenty.   If you really *need* to have this dance, do it later in the night during open dancing and let everyone participate with whomever is dancing.

    Also skip the bouquet and garter tosses- most people do not enjoy them, especially if very few people in your crowd are single.  That just makes those people feel singled out and awkward.  Plus this gives more time for open dancing, which everyone enjoys!

    Open Dancing- 8:10pm- 11pm!


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


    wellthennolevioosaMaggie0829
  • Thank you guys for your suggestions. I will look into the 3:30 start time, that will actually eliminate the gap itself. (So nooo more rants) And will keep all the guest in one place (Church) with refreshments until the reception officially begins at 6. And at that time the bridal party can take pictures without actually missing any part of the reception. Very helpful !

    madamerwinsouthernbelle0915mrssursely
  • mikenbergermikenberger In a f'n cornfield member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary First Answer
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