Reception Ideas

Timeline for a brunch no dancing wedding.

We are having our ceremony at 11am and going right into a reception as it will all be taking place in one room. After ceremony people can start grabbing drinks while lunch is being set up, lunch will be served and speeches can be done throughout, cake will follow after lunch and then we will be ending. How long might this take? Just trying to find out what time we should make our check in time for our hotel as our wedding will be right there and we would hate to be waiting around. Also am I forgetting any important parts for the wedding? Thanks! :)

Re: Timeline for a brunch no dancing wedding.

  • We are having our ceremony at 11am and going right into a reception as it will all be taking place in one room. After ceremony people can start grabbing drinks while lunch is being set up, lunch will be served and speeches can be done throughout, cake will follow after lunch and then we will be ending. How long might this take? Just trying to find out what time we should make our check in time for our hotel as our wedding will be right there and we would hate to be waiting around. Also am I forgetting any important parts for the wedding? Thanks! :)
    Any idea how long your ceremony will be?  I'm guessing it's not a full Catholic Mass since everything's in one room, so budget about 1/2 hr for the ceremony (time to process, do the vows and any readings, and recess) or even less, depending on the type of ceremony you're having.  
    When you say "grabbing drinks," do you mean like a cocktail hour or people can literally just start grabbing drinks in the ten or so minutes it takes to set out the food?  Add this drink time onto your ceremony time.
    I'd leave at least 45 min for lunch.  How big is your guest list?  I imagine with brunch you're doing buffet-style, so if your guest list is huge, it will take longer to move everyone through the line and get them to eat, whereas a small guest list of 30 people may get through the line in a matter of minutes.  So let's say it takes them 15 minutes to get through the buffet, then 45 minutes to eat, drink, socialize, and do toasts--that gives you an hour.  Also, are you doing a receiving line or table visits to thank your guests?  If you have a receiving line, (again depending on the size of your guest list), this will either add time right after the ceremony or during dinner (not an outrageous amount of time, but you want to make sure you thank each guest individually for coming so don't cut yourself short.  You can go around while others are still eating, but it will still add a few minutes onto your timeframe).  
    Add in another 15-20 minutes to cut your cake and have it served.  

    So I'd say at minimum you'll need 2 hours for everything.  That would have your check-in just after 1.  If that's too early for your hotel, you may want to just look at doing early check-in prior to the ceremony so it's not a concern later on.

    SP29
  • SP29SP29
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    member
    edited January 21
    If I remember correctly, in a previous post you said about 50 guests? (Is that right? I might be mixing you up with someone else).

    Are you hoping to mingle with your guests a bit after lunch? No dancing is fine, but there is often still some sort of music in the background (such as an ipod) and guests can sit around and chat (if you want).

    You do need to personally thank your guests for coming, so either a receiving line (you can do this out of the ceremony, or into the reception space), or table visits during lunch.

    30 mins for the ceremony. 15 mins for the receiving line (if you're having one)- if your guests have to wait for a few minutes before they can get drinks or food, this is a good time to have a receiving line. I would give 2 hours for your reception. Gives everyone time to eat, cut the cake and eat that, listen to a few toasts and mingle a bit.

    I usually recommend an hour at minimum for eating. Of course it depends on the number of guests, but a buffet will cause a line up and a plated meal with courses takes time to serve. Guests may also want seconds and they are also going to be eating more leisurely because they are chatting with one another.

    If you are having courses, you can do toasts in between. If not, you could do a general welcome and thank you from you and your FI when guests first sit down, then after the cake is cut.

    You may also find that at the end of the reception, as guests are leaving they will come up to you to say good-bye and you'll end up chit chatting a bit there too.

    I think 2pm hotel check in. But if the hotel will let you check in early, no harm in putting the check in time earlier- you can always check in later than that.


  • If you are doing brunch, you need to start things earlier. I would be starving by 1130 if I didn't have breakfast. If it is lunch you will be serving - I think PPs have it covered.
    InLoveInQueens
  • We are having our ceremony at 11am and going right into a reception as it will all be taking place in one room. After ceremony people can start grabbing drinks while lunch is being set up, lunch will be served and speeches can be done throughout, cake will follow after lunch and then we will be ending. How long might this take? Just trying to find out what time we should make our check in time for our hotel as our wedding will be right there and we would hate to be waiting around. Also am I forgetting any important parts for the wedding? Thanks! :)
    In my world "brunch" is any meal you eat from about 9am until 3pm on a weekend, so I think your timing is fine. People will have the invites and know when to expect to eat, so if someone skips breakfast and is starving by the time you're serving food then that's on them. 

    11am: ceremony starts
    11:20am: cocktail "hour". Guests get drinks and mingle. 
    12pm: food is put out, and the meal begins.
    1pm: bride and groom cut the cake.
    1:20pm: cake is served. Usually the caterer will take the cake away, cut it into pieces, then put the pieces out. If it's a small group I assume this can be done in 15 minutes or so. 
    2pm: event ends. Peopel will likely start leaving after the finish their cake. If not, the bride and groom can start saying goodbyes, and the staff can start gently packing stuff up so people get the hint.
    cowgirl8238
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