Wedding Reception Forum

Dinner before or after sunset pictures????!!!! HELP!!!!!

My wedding is in Maui and the sunset is a 7:09pm. The ceremony will begin at 5pm I want to go down to the bech to take sunset photos for about an hourwith just me and the groom. I am doing all the other photos before the ceremony. Also the cake cutting will immedately follow our arrival at 7:15pm. My complication is...should I have dinner before or after the photos? Some thoughts i have considered: If dinner is before, it will save me money by not having a cocktail hour, but the guest will wait 30-45 minutes after they finish dinner for us to return and do cake and other events. If the dinner is after, i will have a cocktail hour, half way through, we will go down to take photos but when we arrive the cake will be cut before dinner is served and our guest wont eat til around 8pm

Any sugestions on timeline or what to do would be great! I just cant change the time of the sunset pictures unfortunately!

Re: Dinner before or after sunset pictures????!!!! HELP!!!!!

  • You can't make the guests wait around for you to finish photos with nothing to do or eat. And honestly, I would find it really rude if the newlyweds left the reception in the middle to go take photos. And you CAN change the timing of your photos ... you just don't WANT to. I can understand wanting the pictures, but it's not like you HAVE to do them.

    Can you start the ceremony around 6 or 6:30 p.m. instead? Time the ceremony so it ends around 7, then go to the beach for photos and let your guests enjoy a cocktail hour while they wait for you. When you're finished, head to the reception, do the cake cutting and then serve dinner (maybe have the salads on the tables already to speed things up a bit).
  • We wanted to get some evening shots so we left our reception for about 15/20 minutes to go outside and get them... then we came back with an hour to go... it worked out really well and I'm glad we did!

  • Im not leaving them with nothing to eat. Its either i do it during a cocktail hour and they wait for the main entree or they eat the main entree while im taking pictures. I just dont know if i should have them wait til 8pm to eat or eat at 6:30pm. Eating at 6:30pm will save me money by not having a cocktail hour which WILL have food to eat!
  • So take the pictures during the cocktail hour and hurry back so that you can all start on dinner once you get back. Either take the photos for 30 minutes and catch the last 30 minutes of cocktail hour, or take photos for the full hour and miss cocktail hour all together, then join the guests to start on dinner.

    Don't leave halfway through cocktail hour and then make people wait for dinner on top of that. The point of the cocktail hour is for the guests to have something to do while you're off taking photos. If you miss it, then you miss it. Ask the reception hall to put aside some appetizers for you and the wedding party, or see if they'll bring them down to the beach so you can nibble on them in between photos.
  • You know, I was in a friend's wedding this summer, and once the reception was in full swing (everyone had already eaten and was mingling and dancing), the couple and the WP slipped away for about 20-30 minutes to take pictures.  I think most of the guests didn't even notice they were gone. 

    But if you're doing a seated meal and you just get up halfway through and take off, I think that would be a little weird, because all eyes are still on you.

    I would do cocktail hour 6:30-7:30 and start the reception at 7:30.  Then do the ceremony immediately before the cocktail hour starts.  Don't leave your guests hanging with nothing to do, and don't leave gaps between things if it's at all avoidable.
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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
  • I am so jealous that you are having your wedding in Maui.  We have decided to go on our honeymoon there and our still looking for hotels, any suggestions?

    Is it possible for you to delay the cake cutting because it sounds like ceremony at 5 cocktail hour at 6 and reception at 7.  If thats the case take all the pictures you want because as someone said they probably won't notice your gone for a little while taking pictures and then plan to cut the cake after they eat dinner.  I have been to a wedding where they cut the cake before the dinner came out, it wasn't a big deal at all.  And they did that to get it out of the way so they could enjoy the rest of the night.  
  • Ok, I need to warn you that sunsets in Hawaii are QUICK and I mean quick.  If you don't care about seeing the sun/are willing to work with a lower level of light(dusk) then you cancut it close to 7pm. HOWEVER, if you want more natural light and to have the sun setting as you take the pictures you need to get down to the beach early.  On Oahu the sun went from starting to set(pretty colors starting) to gone with the colors still on the hosizon in 15-20 minutes maybe.  I almost missed it going into a store to grab a snack.  I was only on Oahu and Hawaii but I'm pretty sure its the same.  Just be careful get down to the beach with plenty of time. 

    My suggestion would be to have a cocktail hour and a half if the ceremony is long(40+ minutes) and toasts followed by dinner before/during pictures if the ceremony is short(20 minutes).  Good Luck!
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