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North Carolina-Raleigh-Durham

Thoughts on time of ceremony?

I am currently debating between ceremony times of 12pm or 6pm as these are the only times available at the church.  My dilemma is that there are pros and cons to both times and I'm not sure which is better. 

The 12pm time would mean that that the ceremony would finish around 1ish and the guests have the opportunity to walk around and explore the area; however, it also means that they would have to burn possibly 4-5 hours doing something prior to the reception.  The pros would mean that we could take pictures around the area and in the gardens because there is still light out.  Dinner would likely have to be earlier (maybe 5 or 6ish), but there are more venue options available (guests could travel 30 miles away to raleigh for the reception). 

The 6pm time would make it easier for the guests as I would likely choose a reception venue that is closer to the church (however, it limits the venues to only those that have a higher price tag).  The other dilemma that I have with the later time is that there are other places that we would like to take photos at as a newlywed that would likely be impossible since it will be dark once the ceremony is over.  Also, there may be more of a crunch in terms of time if we want to start dinner at 8pm.   We would really like to have a dinner reception with all the folks that are coming in town to celebrate with us rather than just a light snacks and refreshment type of thing after an afternoon wedding. 

What do yall think?

Re: Thoughts on time of ceremony?

  • edited December 2011
    Well i'm having my wedding at Gregory Vineyards in Angier and they are really inexpensive.  It's I think 500 for the ceremony and 250 for a reception room.  Its a beautiful place.  But the 12 and 6 times I don't think  either are good only because those are eating times.  I would think more like 2 or 4 in the afternoon.  2 since that's the time after everyone is already full and you would only need minimum refreshments and 4pm if you are having a sit down meal afterwards.  ceremony from 4-5 pictures 5-6 and dinner afterwards. 

    Check out Gregory Vineyards though they are amazing.  I live near there so i'd be happy to give you a tour of what i'm doing with my wedding there.  :)

    http://gregoryvineyards.com/ -----click that link
  • edited December 2011
    I'm definitely against huge gaps like that (4-5hours). I think 45-1 hr is pushing it, but sometimes needed for pictures and that could usually be joined with a cocktail hour to entertain your guests.

    Why not just have an earlier reception if you're set on the church you're using if the 12pm time works better for you?

    If you prefer the later ceremony time, just try and budget a little better for what you think you may need. Another thing to think about here is that the 6pm time frame is 'dinner time' so you'd be looking at serving dinner as opposed to a lunch. Both have pro's and con's price wise and choice wise though.

    I hope that makes sense. . it's been a long day.

    Basically, I'd try to limit the gap time as much as possible between the ceremony and reception.

    HTH! :)
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  • pirategal03pirategal03 member
    Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    Ceremony at 6. 

    If the other photo locations are that imporatant to you you can do them before the ceremony.  Don't make your guests hang around for hours in wedding clothes in a city they're unfamiliar with. 
  • edited December 2011
    I agree with Pirate Gal. Thats what we will most likely be doing as we are having an evening ceremony as well. good luck to you hope things work out.
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  • edited December 2011
    Usually ettiquete states that you shouldn't keep guests waiting more than ONE hour between the ceremony and the reception. 6pm gets my vote, and probably your guests' votes too. 
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