Wedding Vows & Ceremony Discussions

Morning wedding timeline help

My FI and want to have a morning wedding with a cake reception to follow.  We will be having a BBQ later in the afternoon for family and friends for some relaxation and hangout time (probably starting the grills up around 3).  We were also thinking of having pictures before the wedding so we can mingle with our guests right away at the reception.  What would be a good timeline?  We were originally going to have a 10:30 ceremony but that would be putting the cake around lunchtime when everyone would be wanting something more.  Any thoughts would be appreciated. 

Re: Morning wedding timeline help

  • Why aren't you doing the BBQ at lunch time?  I'm confused why you'd feed your guests cake for lunch then have a gap for X period of time then an additional party at 3.  The whole plan confuses me.
  • edited March 2012
    I guess I need to provide a little more detail.  I am a teacher at my church's school, and as my FI and I are very involved with the church we are inviting the entire church (where the ceremony and reception will take place) along with our family.  If everyone came it would be upwards of 300+ attending.  We can't afford to feed that many people for lunch so we thought  we would do a cake reception following the ceremony with tea, coffee, punch and maybe some finger foods for a little more substance.  The BBQ is just for family and OOT guests and isn't a reception, just a party we would host so we can spend time with family before they leave.  We live in FL but our families are from WI and the New England area, so it would be more of a family reunion with different invitations and no wedding related activities.  We just thought the wedding day would be the best as many people will be arriving either late the night before or the day of and leaving by Sunday.  I just put in the time of the BBQ to try to figure out timing issues for the ceremony, cake reception and pictures, etc.  We wanted a more low key reception since we are having so many guests.  Hence the question of when we should be starting to avoid as many conflicts as possible. 
  • Well here's the thing - a tiered reception is rude.  Always. People are going to find out you had a second party with a meal etc and they will be insulted.

    Could you do the BBQ/family reunion on the night before the wedding instead?  It is very normal to do a "welcome dinner" in place of a reearsal dinner for close family and OOT guests.  Then you could do your ceremony at 9am or 1pm and do cake and punch without offending people.
  • As I stated, the BBQ is not a reception.  And everyone I've talked to at the church who are helping out said it wasn't rude and many even suggested the idea.  I thought the proper etiquette for a non-meal time reception was doing things at a non meal time so I was wondering when we should start things for that circumstance.  All I wanted was suggestions for a timeline.
    I don't see how doing the BBQ that is more a family reunion event on the wedding day is different than having it the day before.  As I stated the BBQ is NOT a reception so I don't think it's rude to have family and out of town friends invited to a park for a late lunch/early supper.  But to each their own I guess. 
  • RebeccaB88RebeccaB88 Figment of Your Imagination member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I guess I don't see a big problem here.  You're inviting everyone at the ceremony to a cake and punch reception.  Later that night you're basically meeting your extended family for dinner.  As long as it's just family at the BBQ, no other friends or wedding guests included, I'm not seeing it as a tiered reception.  You are providing something after the ceremony for everyone. 

    I think you're right about the timing, though.  With a 10:30 ceremony people will want lunch afterwards, not just cake and a fruit tray.  My sister had an 11am ceremony, and served a luncheon after. The only thing I can think of is to move the ceremony later, to 1 or 2, and bump the BBQ to later in the evening.  A cake and punch reception is very appropriate in the afternoon  Or do the BBQ the next day, if the family is staying overnight.
  • Thanks for the suggestions.  I like the brunch idea.  I'll talk to FI about that and see what he thinks.  We still have some time to finalize the ceremony details, but I appreciate the help. 
  • That is still tiered.  Move the wedding time up closer to reception time.

    Feeding just half your guests cake and the other half BBQ is just rude
  • Thank you for the judgment.  And most of the guests are from the church.  We wanted to include everyone in a reception so thought a cake reception would be easier to feed more people.  Our family numbers 25.  Don't see how that is half and half when church members and friends in the area are between 200-250.  I really don't see how it's rude to want to spend time with family we haven't seen in over 10 years while they are in town for our wedding when the BBQ has nothing to do with the wedding and they all will be leaving the day after the wedding and not arriving until late the day before. 
  • I think my FI are going to decide between two options for the actual reception.  To do an AM wedding with a light brunch menu (and cupcakes since we've already put a deposit on them) or early afternoon wedding with cupcakes and an icecream buffet (it will be August and super hot so icecream would be welcome for any who like it and icecream bars have been at a few events at our church and people really enjoyed them).  Thanks for the feedback everyone.  We'll just move any non wedding family activites to later in the day.
  • I think it's rude to have your wedding early then have a family reunion BBQ later in the day.

    If it were me, I would have the ceremony at 9am-10am. Have a brunch type reception from 10am-2pm (sandwiches, fruit, cheese and veggie platters, snack type items including chips and dip, and then dessert: your cupcakes). That should be fine for your guests.

    Then have your family BBQ from 4pm on.
    Daisypath Wedding tickers
  • Wantd to add that the timeline I gave is just a guideline... with a more casual early reception, people will eventually drift off and leave before 2pam, giving you time to get your bbq together.
    Daisypath Wedding tickers
  • Gotcha, so we shouldn't be spending time with our family after our wedding because it's rude to other guests that aren't invited to a non wedding event.  Just so everyone is on the same page, we're doing a 1 pm ceremony so we have time for pics and whatnot before hand so we can spend from 2-4 with our wedding guests for cake and icecream (and cleaning up ourselves).  Then joining family that will already be at the park for a bbq to spend time with them since we don't get to see them often and the majority can only be there on the wedding date.  Thankfully the members of my church who are the majority of the guests don't see a problem with this as I've asked some of the more etiquette conscious (those who would have the potential of being offended) and they were excited by the idea (these ladies are not afraid of telling you exactly what they think so it's not they won't be rude to my face issue). 
  • Use whatever adjective you want, I'll call it being snarky.  I appreciate those who have given their opinion and FI and I will go with what works for us.  I agree that the afternoon would work better for our plans, I truly appreciate the advice there.  Family is important to us and my family is used to big/little picnic/bbq get togethers.  My family is graciously flying down to come to our wedding and I want to thank them by spending what precious little time we have with them while they are here instead of having them try to find a meal somewhere and sit inside a hotel room all day or travel far to some place they've never been.  If they want to that's great, but knowing our families they will just stay in their hotel if there are no events planned.  Also the church members are part of a different kind of family to us.  We wanted to be sure to thank them for coming to our wedding but also wanted to stay within budget and not have to cut the list or make something adult only to afford a reception.  We've come up with something we think most everyone will like, and while we won't please everyone we don't find our plans to be rude given our circumstances. 
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