Wedding Vows & Ceremony Discussions

Time for wedding ceremony to start?

What is the general length of a wedding reception?  How much time should be between photos and our arrival at the reception hall?  I'm trying to get an idea of when to have my wedding ceremony (30 minutes) when we have the reception hall until midnight.  


Re: Time for wedding ceremony to start?

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    aerinpegadrakaerinpegadrak member
    5 Love Its Combo Breaker First Comment
    edited September 2010
    It depends on the sort of reception you're having.  A reception with a full dinner and dancing usually lasts 4-5 hours.  Just cocktails and dancing usually runs 3-4, and just food with no dancing probably runs around 2 hours.

    You should allot no more than an hour after the ceremony for photos (plus travel time to the hall), during which time your guests should be hosted with some light food and beverages.  If you need more time than that for pictures, you should do some or all of them before the ceremony.
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    Sometimes I feel like people think that brides are delicate little flower princesses who get all dressed up and pretty for one special moment of their dreams, when really they're just normal people who just happen to be getting married. Things shouldn't have to be sugar-coated for grown-ass women. -mstar284
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    Incredible!!  Thank you! 
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    If you want your reception to end at perhaps 11 pm, then your cocktail hour would be from 6-7 pm, with dinner and dancing from 7-11 pm.  That would make your 30 minute ceremony begin at 5:00 pm if there's travel time from ceremony to reception for your guests.

    In my experience as a church organist, weddings rarely begin on time.  So let's imagine that your ceremony start time is listed as 5:00 pm, and actually starts 5-10 minutes late.  Then the ceremony, followed by receiving line, and travel to reception gets your guests to the reception venue at 6 pm while you're taking your photos.

    "Trix, it's what they/our parents wanted. Why so judgemental? And why is your wedding date over a year and a half ago? And why do you not have a groom's name? And why have you posted over 12,000 posts? And why do you always say mean things to brides?" palegirl146
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    Our ceremony started at 4:30, was over at 5pm - we did pics until almost 6pm (a little delay because I got stung by fire ants!) while the guests had apps & drinks. We were introduced into the reception a little after 6pm and went right into the first dance. WP was served dinner 1st and did toasts then WP went out for a few more pics during sunset. Back into around 7-7:30 for father/daughter and mother/son dance, cut the cake, and then it was dancing until midnight.
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