Etiquette

Timeline Questions

Hi!!!

Thanks for any help with this.  I am trying to nail down a good timeline for the day of my wedding.  I know that the ceremony will start at 3:30 as that is set by our venue.  The ceremony and reception are in the same place (ceremony outside on balconey, reception/dinner inside)

3:00 Seating begins

3:30 to 4:00 Ceremony

4:00 to 5:00ish Wedding party/bride and groom pictures...during this time the guests can enjoy cocktail hour with appetizers

5:00 to 5:15-ish Grand Entrance

5:15 to 6:00 Continued cocktail hour...guests asked to sit at 5:45.

6:00 to 7:30ish Plated dinner with toasts - Is that normal...toasts during dinner?

7:30ish First Dance/Mother and Son Dance/Father and Daugher Dance...immediately followed by the dance floor being "opened" aka dance music starts!

8:00 or 8:30 Cake Cutting

More dancing and drinking until the party fizzles out.  We have the venue until midnight.

The big question I have is - Is 6:00pm too late for dinner if the ceremony starts at 3:30?  We will be sure to have heavy/filling apps starting at 4 with the cocktail hour.  So, I don't think it's too late, but I want some other opinions.

Also, is 1.5 hours too long for dinner?  I kind of need to do the "dances" at 7:30ish because sunset is at 7:08pm that day and I'd love to do sunset pictures, which I am planning as 7:00 to 7:30.  Or would it be better to do the dances at like 6:45 and then run outside after that?  Our dinner is two courses; salad and entree.


Thanks!!!!!

Re: Timeline Questions

  • Cocktail hour is too long. Do your big entrance, straight into spotlight dances, then dinner and toasts. Dinner won’t take an hour and a half. 
    ahoyweddingcharlotte989875InLoveInQueens
  • Definitely shorten the cocktail hour. Could you take some of your pictures before the ceremony? If you don't want to do a first look, that's fine, but you could do the pictures with you + BMs & FI + GMs before the ceremony, then only take large group pics and you + FI afterwards. I like entrance - cake - dinner - dances or some other flow like that which eliminates that second hour of cocktail hour.

    Are your ceremony and reception taking place in the same location? Any travel time would affect your timeline as well. 

    Also about those sunset pictures. Our photographer suggested the same thing, and we kind of said alright let's wait and see how we're feeling around that time and we'll make the decision on the fly. We ended up not wanting to leave the reception and didn't do them. The problem is, you never know what it's going to look like on that day, what the sunset will be like from your venue (unless it's somewhere you've been at that time of day before), and honestly it will take more time than you think. A half hour isn't really long enough to get more than a couple posed snaps, once you accommodate time to walk out and back in, get set up, etc. It will also look really odd and almost rude if you leave in the middle of dinner. Typically at the dinner, the bride and groom are seated in a prominent location, so every guest would see you duck out and they'd see how long you were gone for. 
    charlotte989875STARMOON44InLoveInQueens
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    member
    I also agree that you should shorten the cocktail hour. We also had planned to do more pictures at the end of the reception, and honestly we didn't want to leave to do them. 

    charlotte989875ahoyweddingInLoveInQueens
  • Cocktail hour is too long. Do your big entrance, straight into spotlight dances, then dinner and toasts. Dinner won’t take an hour and a half. 
    I agree with all of this. 

    I'd also move up cake cutting; maybe entrance, straight to cake cutting, dinner/toasts, then spotlight dances & open the dance floor. 
    ahoywedding
  • I agree with the PP who are suggesting you get all the spotlight stuff done and out of the way in the beginning.  I also agree with the cocktail hour being too long.  There is a reason why it is called a cocktail HOUR and not cocktail HOURS.  One hour is more than enough time for your guests to get some apps and drinks and find their seats.

    And no, 6pm is not too late to serve dinner if your wedding is starting at 3:30.  That is only 2.5 hours and I am sure most guests will have eaten lunch prior to coming to your wedding.
    charlotte989875
  • thisismynickname2thisismynickname2 City By The Lake
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    member
    OP, you didn't indicate how many courses your plated dinner is or how many guests you're having. I've definitely been to weddings, including my own, where dinner took 1.5 hours because of the number of courses and how many tables had to be served. 

    Do the grand entrance, have the guests sit, do the cake cutting then so it can be plated for dessert. Start dinner at 5:30 instead. Yes, toasts can happen between courses. 

    Have your DJ (or band?) be ready to do spotlight dances as dessert is being served, and then open the dance floor. 
    ________________________________


    charlotte989875ShesSoCold
  • OP, you didn't indicate how many courses your plated dinner is or how many guests you're having. I've definitely been to weddings, including my own, where dinner took 1.5 hours because of the number of courses and how many tables had to be served. 

    Do the grand entrance, have the guests sit, do the cake cutting then so it can be plated for dessert. Start dinner at 5:30 instead. Yes, toasts can happen between courses. 

    Have your DJ (or band?) be ready to do spotlight dances as dessert is being served, and then open the dance floor. 
    She said it’s just salad + entree. 
    thisismynickname2
  • Do the grand entrance, let that lead into the spotlight dances, then dinner, and so forth. You don't need a double cocktail hour. 


    image
  • banana468banana468
    Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    member
    I agree with the above.   Also, wing the photos.   Sunset photos are great but can be hard to time with everything else.  
  • The whole purpose of cocktail hour is to provide refreshments/snacks while photos are ongoing. The bridge and groom don't usually attend. As soon as your photos are done and you are ready to join the party then that's when the reception begins. 
    short+sassyInLoveInQueenseileenrob
Sign In or Register to comment.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards