Wedding Vows & Ceremony Discussions

Long Ceremony

My fiancé and I were planning out the prayers and vows we want included in our ceremony, along with the processional, and few traditions we'd like to throw in. And the length of the ceremony runs to a little over an hour. My mother says this is too long and that no one will want to sit through it so they will try to skip it and come only to the reception. I have no intention of cutting the time, but I'd like to know, will guests actually skip my ceremony just because of how long it is? What should I do to prevent this?
kimmiinthemitten

Re: Long Ceremony

  • DrillSergeantCatDrillSergeantCat Oklahoma City, OK member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    How are they going to know to skip it? Are you advertising how long it is?
    ei34ILoveBeachMusiclyndausviMairePoppy
  • ShesSoColdShesSoCold bend over and I'll show ya mod
    Moderator 5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its
    My fiancé and I were planning out the prayers and vows we want included in our ceremony, along with the processional, and few traditions we'd like to throw in. And the length of the ceremony runs to a little over an hour. My mother says this is too long and that no one will want to sit through it so they will try to skip it and come only to the reception. I have no intention of cutting the time, but I'd like to know, will guests actually skip my ceremony just because of how long it is? What should I do to prevent this?

    Is this a full mass?
    Image result for someecard betting someone half your shit youll love them forever
  • We had planned to add an itinerary to the invitations with directions from our church to the reception site, it's about a ten minute drive. It would include the details like how long the ceremony was going to last and what time dinner was going to be served. I'd hate to leave it out because it has important information, but I suppose we could hand them out on the day of the wedding rather than include them with the invitations.... 

    Is this really considered a long ceremony?
  • DrillSergeantCatDrillSergeantCat Oklahoma City, OK member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    We had planned to add an itinerary to the invitations with directions from our church to the reception site, it's about a ten minute drive. It would include the details like how long the ceremony was going to last and what time dinner was going to be served. I'd hate to leave it out because it has important information, but I suppose we could hand them out on the day of the wedding rather than include them with the invitations.... 

    Is this really considered a long ceremony?
    I would consider it a long ceremony. Seating at weddings is never comfortable and you should factor in that your guests will be there quite some time before the ceremony starts. If it's not a full Catholic mass, cut some stuff. 
    ernursej
  • We had planned to add an itinerary to the invitations with directions from our church to the reception site, it's about a ten minute drive. It would include the details like how long the ceremony was going to last and what time dinner was going to be served. I'd hate to leave it out because it has important information, but I suppose we could hand them out on the day of the wedding rather than include them with the invitations.... 

    Is this really considered a long ceremony?
    Depends if its a mass or something that can't be cut down. If it isn't and it's just that you want more ceremony time then I would say an hour is on the long side. I am grateful when I go to a wedding with a shorter ceremony. Not that I am not thrilled to see my loved ones say 'I do', but there's only so long I'm really interested and not a bit restless. If it isn't necessary then I'd encourage you to embrace more of a 'brevity is your friend' attitude. I know certain religions don't really allow for that, however your OP does sound like you are looking for extras to make up time.
                 
    DrillSergeantCat
  • What are these 'few traditions' you speak of? If one or more is a 'unity' thing, you can cut that. A wedding is itself a unity ceremony by definition.

    I don't know anyone who would actually enjoy sitting through an hour-long wedding ceremony. It's only tolerated at Catholic/Orthodox/Hindu/etc.* weddings because the actual religious service takes that long. Bottom line, I've never ever heard anyone say, "Gosh, I wish that ceremony had been longer!"

    *Not having been to any weddings of a different culture or faith, I'm not really sure which all involve lengthy ceremonies, so forgive me please if I have wrongly called out or if I have failed to mention one.
    image
    ernursejkimmiinthemitten
  • CMGragainCMGragain member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    edited August 2016
    My fiancé and I were planning out the prayers and vows we want included in our ceremony, along with the processional, and few traditions we'd like to throw in. And the length of the ceremony runs to a little over an hour. My mother says this is too long and that no one will want to sit through it so they will try to skip it and come only to the reception. I have no intention of cutting the time, but I'd like to know, will guests actually skip my ceremony just because of how long it is? What should I do to prevent this?
    "Doctor, it hurts when I do this?  What should I do?"
    "Don't do that."

    Your are being very selfish by putting your guests through extra prayers and extra vows and traditions that are only meaningful to you and your fiance.  Think of your guests and cut out the unnecessary ceremony.  You can do your extra vows and prayers when you are alone on your honeymoon.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    How long would your ceremony be with standard vows and no extra rituals or traditions that are not required by your religion or legal jurisdiction?

    If that's an hour or more, stop. Save anything beyond that for when you and your FI are in private. If it's less but adding anything brings it to more than an hour, don't add anything.
  • levioosalevioosa Southern California member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Honestly, I start to get antsy when ceremonies run over 30 minutes.  An hour, especially a ceremony that is longer than an hour, is way too long.  I accept that religious ceremonies might be longer, but if it's a personal preference thing, you need to revise your plan.  


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    Viczaesar
  • My favourite ceremony was one that last just over 14 minutes. It was cute, meaningful, thoughtful and lovely. If you are adding in extras, take a good hard look at what the extras are, why you are including them and what they actually mean. The ceremony is a unity so extras line unity candles, sand ceremonies are just overkill.
  • SP29SP29 member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited August 2016
    Yes, an hour is long. That doesn't mean it is good or bad, it's just long. No, I would not skip your ceremony (to me the ceremony is the most important part), but I would be getting antsy and likely distracted.

    If you are having a religious ceremony then there is likely not much you can do. If this is a ceremony of your own creation (you are choosing all the readings and traditions) then I would consider shortening it.

    I'm with you @ILoveBeachMusic. I like something in the middle.

    Our ceremony was between 20-30 mins including processional and recessional. We had a reading and our officiant gave what he calls a "motivational moment" where we also included another reading.

    As for your invitation timing, all you include on the invitation is the date, time, location of your ceremony, and at the bottom of the invitation you would state "Reception to follow". You can include a separate insert for the reception that lists the address, but beyond that you really do not need any more detail in your invitation- it should be just the facts.

    I have seen a couple programs that go into a bit more detail, such as:
    Ceremony 3pm
    Cocktail hour 4pm
    Dinner 5pm
    First Dance 7pm
    Late Night Buffet 10pm
    Last Dance 12am

    But this is not necessary. However, if you do want to provide this detail, the program would be a better place to do it.
    OurWildKingdomernursejILoveBeachMusiccowgirl8238
  • "Over an hour" is VERY long.  In my opinion with the weddings I have been to, 10-20 minutes is normal, 30 minutes is long, and anything over 45 minutes is absurd.  (I understand that some religious sects have specific, lengthy scripts that have to be followed exactly, but I don't know anyone personally to whom that would apply.)  Out of respect for your guests I would cut your planned ceremony WAY down.  

    After all, as the Bard wrote, "brevity is the soul of wit / And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes."  No need to go on and on when as much or more meaning can be found in a shorter (and therefore more pleasant to witness) ceremony.  Think of eating a scoop of ice cream.  It is delightful to the last bite and leaves you wanting more.  Now imagine being forced to eat an entire gallon of that ice cream, spoonful after spoonful after spoonful with barely an end in sight.  Much less enjoyable, right?  Less is more.

    However, regardless of how long or short your ceremony is nobody is going to know ahead of time.  You need to be ready to host your guests immediately after the ceremony concludes, so the start time of the next stage is not something that needs to be--or even really could be--shared in advance.  If your wedding concludes at 5:37 and it takes 10 minutes to get to the reception location, the reception starts at 5:47.  No one needs to be told that.
    OurWildKingdomcowgirl8238ernursej
  • I think there's a big difference between having a long ceremony because the faith basically dictates it vs. having a long ceremony because you added things to it to make it long.

    These are just examples but if you did things like add a unity candle or a sand ceremony or sung opera because they're things that you liked but not really required, I'd try to cut it.

    That's different than coming to me and saying, "You know that Catholic Mass is really long.   Do you REALLY need to be married in the church??"   


    ViczaesarOliveOilsMomMairePoppyCasadena
  • Agree with the others here on the length...Personally my attention starts to drift at 30 mins and by 45 I am all but dying to be out of there...I have been to Catholic Ceremonies that last the full hour, and honestly a lot of people were getting restless towards the second half. 

    If you ceremony is an hour due to religion there is not much you can do try to at least shorten the time and number of people processing/recessing the area.  If it is long due to personal choices, see what you can do in private or write out in your programs instead of speaking aloud.

    Also, I am curious why do you think you need a timeline of events?  If the event is hosted properly it should just progress naturally from ceremony to cocktails/reception to the end of the event.  Do you have a large gap to fill???

    SP29
  • OurWildKingdomOurWildKingdom in the 216 member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    edited August 2016

    Ditto everyone else. If it's a full Catholic mass or other religious ceremony that MAKES the wedding last that long, ok. But if it's because you are personally making it that long with readings and super long vows and this ritual and that poem, then yea. Cut it down. Shoot for 30 minutes, tops.

    Ideas on how to cut stuff back:

    - Limit or eliminate unity stuff (candle, sand, handfasting, etc.). Your wedding is a unity ceremony in and of itself.

    - Limit family members in the processional to just parents and grandparents (or just have them seated and don't have them process at all).

    - Have the WP standing up at the front instead of taking time for them to process.

    - Limit your readings. We had 4 readings originally. We ended up printing two of them in our programs and only having two that were read aloud.

    - Condense your vows. We ended up doing a letter exchange where we wrote each other a letter on why we're marrying and put it in a box to open on our 5th anniversary. Some people do this and open it the morning of the wedding. Either way, THAT'S the conduit for your lengthy sonnets and you can keep your vows at the wedding to a minute or two.

    I like the letter exchange and printing some readings in the program. We had originally planned on six (short) readings, but I'll suggest cutting two of them and doing a letter exchange to FW.

    Thanks @southernbelle0915! You helped me be more considerate of our guests. (I haven't timed our ceremony yet, but we have a script.)
    southernbelle0915ernursejInLoveInQueens
  • thisismynickname2thisismynickname2 City By The Lake member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    Everyone nailed it about ceremony length.

    I will say that we put a general timeline on our wedding website, not the invite itself:
    Ceremony 6pm
    Cocktail hour 6:30pm
    Dinner 7:30pm

    I did this for two reasons- one, to subtly indicate that we're starting on time, yo,  and two, because for many people 7:30 is a late dinner.

    The only reasons someone would skip a ceremony (hopefully) include a) large gap, which is rude; b) long distance between ceremony site and reception site and c) couldn't get out of work early enough or other personal emergency that has nothing to do with you.

    Usually invites say something like "ceremony at 3pm at x location; reception to follow at y location." (See the invite board for specifics.)
    ________________________________


    OurWildKingdomcowgirl8238kimmiinthemitten
  • Yes, this is LONG.. I lose interest and I'm probably going to be checked out around the 30min mark if not earlier. It is beautiful to watch two people be united in marriage but if I'm stuck there too long and I get antsy all I'm going to remember is "damn, I wanted a drink" and not how meaningful the ceremony was.

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • OP, can you come back and explain what, exactly, is taking up all that time? I have to agree with everyone else, unless it's a religious ceremony that requires such length 20-30 minutes is ideal for a ceremony. You don't need multiple "unity ceremonies" as your entire ceremony is a unity ceremony, you don't need double digit readings or multiple page long vows (a friend went to a wedding and the bride's "vows" were 8 pages long, her husband's vows were ~10 sentences, mostly things like "I promise not to ignore you while the game is on"). There are tons of things you can cut or keep private, if you've got long vows, write a love letter and exchange them before the ceremony. If you've got a ton of people you want to do readings, have multiple people do one reading or just cut them entirely. If you've got a sand and candle and wine ceremonies, cut them and keep them private, too. You don't need an hour+ long ceremony unless your religious institution requires it.

    Your mom is right, it's way too long and you're going to lose a lot of people's attention.
    ei34SP29cowgirl8238
  • jacques27jacques27 member
    Knottie Warrior 500 Love Its 1000 Comments 5 Answers
    edited August 2016
    Honestly, I would probably skip a ceremony that long if I knew it ahead of time unless 1) it was that length due to a full religious service, and 2) it was my very immediate family or very best friend.   I don't think I've ever attended a ceremony longer than 20 minutes.  What could possibly take over an hour?  I've been to funerals that didn't last that long.  Now, I'm not going to be rude and come to the party instead.  I'd just likely skip the whole thing unless I've got a lot of time to kill on a weekend. 

    If I didn't know about it before hand, I wouldn't complain to your face, but you can bet I'd be very fidgety after about 20 minutes and during the reception I, along with a good portion of your guests, will be talking behind your back about how we're glad it's FINALLY over and we could get up and move around.

    Is there really nothing that can be cut and done privately between you and your FI before or afterwards or incorporate in different ways (like printing the reading onto a back of the program instead of actually having the reading in person)?  You're getting married, not putting on a play for an audience.
  • Don't you just love new Knottie #s that post and run?  Especially when they don't hear what they wanted to hear.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
    ThisShamanluvsaMageSP29cowgirl8238
  • I have to agree that unless it's a full religious ceremony such as a Catholic mass, an hour is too long for a wedding ceremony. This may sound harsh, but to be perfectly honest, if I was a guest and the ceremony was that long, I would figure that the couple couldn't be bothered to decide which prayers, traditions were truly meaningful to them and just decided to throw a bunch of things together. 

    Personally, I'd say anything beyond 30 minutes is excessive (and even that's pushing it). I suggest you reconsider what you're including in your ceremony and figure out what you really want in there and what would mean a lot to you to say in front of your family and friends.
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    OurWildKingdomInLoveInQueens
  • kimmiinthemittenkimmiinthemitten Detroit, MI member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    edited August 2016
    PP's have the ceremony covered. So I need to ask, what is on this itinerary and why is it so important that guests have it any point?
    image
    SP29charlotte989875cowgirl8238
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