Outdoor Weddings

Advice on when to start Rehearsal and Ceremony?

I am renting a "high-end" farm for the weekend. We can go there at 2pm on Friday to set up, and want to have a bbq/rehearsal dinner that night, which any wedding guest is invited to. So first question, what time do you think I should say the bbq/rehearsal starts?..giving ourselves enough time to set up/decorate/and start to cook.


Then as for the wedding on Saturday, we can start the ceremony at any time. Our photographer comes for 10 hours. I was thinking about having him come around 11am and leave at 9pm.. (or will alter this depending on what I decide for my ceremony start time.)


If the weather is nice, I want people to really enjoy their time at the farm since were paying for it.. wandering around, feeding animals, playing games, eating, drinking (there's even a swimming hole).

So I can't decide for sure about the ceremony start time. If I had a later start time, I could possibly say on the invites that guests are invited to stop by the farm ahead of time, or is that a bad idea in case there is a lot of last min setting up?


The other concern is if I start it too early, will I need to feed people 2 meals? I am planning on making salads/side dishes/cheese/etc and then also having a food truck, which will be there for a few hours, so people can kind of eat as they please and then I will also have a pretty extensive dessert table.


So I was thinking maybe ceremony at 1:30 or 2pm.. and then allowing people to go right for the drinks/salad/cheese and then maybe at 2:30-3pm, the food truck will come and stay for a few hours?


Last thing to consider is that I dont want people to be too tired at night, because we can dance as late into the night as we'd like.. although the sun will be setting pretty late in August anyway, so maybe that will help.


Opinions/advice on when I should start the ceremony?

Re: Advice on when to start Rehearsal and Ceremony?

  • For the rehersal, for the people that need to attend, will they be coming early to help set up or just for rehersal & dinner due to work? That's something to consider in the timing. I didn't have my rehersal until 6:00 PM to allow people time to get off work because many of them couldn't get off work that day or early either.

    Your plans sound very cool & different too. Sounds like it's going to be a fun wedding.
  • I think mainly family that is taking off work will be there to help set up, and then just have friends come at night. Part of me wants *someone* to be surprised by the decorations, so I dont know if I should have everyone come help, but I am sure I'll take help if it's offered.

    But anyway, now I am questioning if we really should invite everyone to the rehearsal.. because then we'd need seats for everyone just like the wedding, and Id rather not have to clean that up after. I was hoping for something more casual for the rehearsal, maybe I can get away with a couple tables and camping chairs around the fire, and then there are activites to do indoors (pool table), anyway, I am just thinking out loud.

    Has anyone had a similar situation like this before?
  • We are having our wedding at a mountain lodge which we have booked for the whole weekend, and it sounds like you are going for a similar kind of 'vibe' for your wedding as we are!  My FIL's are planning a 'welcome BBQ' for the Friday night before the wedding.  All of our guests are travelling to be there, as we are having a destination wedding (in our home province).  We didn't want to leave anyone out and would like to have that extra time to visit with our friends and families.  I have been trying to decide when to have our rehearsal as well since people will be arriving during the day/early evening.  I was kind of thinking we would have the bbq from 5-7 then have the WP sneak away for the rehearsal afterwards.  Also, we will be encouraging people to bring camping chairs as there are only a few picnic tables for us to use.  

    As for the wedding day, we are going to have yard games as part of our outdoor cocktail hour (bocci ball, croquet etc.)  while we have snacks, beer/wine, and our signature cocktail.  Maybe you could incorporate people experiencing the farm with your 'cocktail hour'.  Set out the salads/side dishes cocktail style and encourage people to wander around.  Then have the food truck and desserts as your 'reception' when you return from picture taking (if you're doing this). 

    Hope my advice can be helpful!  Sounds like you're planning a great event!
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