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Maryland-Baltimore

Ceremony start time for a Friday night wedding?

So FI and I are really leaning towards a Friday night ceremony, as it will save us a huge chunk of money at our reception venue. I know Friday evening weddings are difficult for guests who are local and have to get off work (I'm thinking not so much for OOT guests because they'll probably be flying in on Thursday, anyways). I really wanted a 5PM start time, as our ceremony will most likely be a full Catholic mass and that takes 45 mins - an hour. I was kind of hoping for a cocktail hour starting at 6:30 at our venue (about a 10 minute drive), and 7:30 reception, giving the bridal party plenty of time to do formal pics together in the church/reception venue after the ceremony (FI and I do not want to see each other before the ceremony, so we will definitely be using at least an hour I'm assuming). My question is, do you think 5PM on a Friday is too early for the guests who work? Or do you think people will try to take a half day from work/day off that day? I don't want to seem presumptuous expecting my in-town guests to take leave time from work just for our wedding. Should we set a later start time? Thoughts? TIA!
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Re: Ceremony start time for a Friday night wedding?

  • edited December 2011
    I started mine at 6 but it was a quick one..In my opinion 5 is too early to start on a friday good luck with your planning :)
  • dnajmidnajmi member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I am having a Friday wedding at it starts at 6PM but it will be a 20 minute ceremony and the ceremony and reception are at the same place.A few years back, a Catholic friend of mine got married on a Friday and I believe it started at 5.  If people want to be there, they will be there.  Are you planning on sending save the dates?  If so, this gives your guest plenty of time to make arrangements.  One other thought, can you do some of your pictures beforehand?  We are doing all the pictures we can before the ceremony and ones of both of us after.  This will cut down on the cocktail time and be able to send our wedding party into cocktail hour (well cocktail about 30 minutes) early so they can enjoy themselves.Good luck!
  • edited December 2011
    I think that 5pm on a Friday is too early.  Most people arrive early to a wedding, so if you start at 5, people will probably begin to arrive around 4:30.  If they are semi-local, Friday rush hour traffic around the city isn't the greatest.  Starting at 6 or even 6:30, would be your best bet and you can still get great pictures and start your reception a hour later.  I believe Hoosier's reception started a little later than 'normal' and everything worked out great. Sidenote - my parents were invited to a Friday evening wedding last year in Annapolis that started at 5.  Yes, Annapolis is semi-local (to Columbia), but they both had to take the day off/half day and start to get ready at 3, in order to leave at 3:45-4, because Annapolis traffic can be really bad.  In my opinion, that's a lot to ask of people.
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  • MereFM99MereFM99 member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Another 6pm vote! We're having ours at 6pm on a Friday. I figured that way people wouldn't even have to take a half day if they couldn't or didn't want to, they could leave at 3-4, which is really only an hour early for most people.
  • edited December 2011
    Thanks ladies! Yeah, this is what I was afraid of, that 5PM will be too early. My ceremony coordinator hasn't said much about thinking it's too early, but I don't know, I think we might have to go ahead and move it to Saturday. I just think starting the wedding at 6/6:30 is too late since a Catholic mass ceremony does take a long time. Unless we had the cocktail "hour" for only a half an hour from 7:30-8 and had our reception begin at 8 (where we are introduced). I know a lot of people are doing the reveal session to do pictures before the wedding, but I don't logistically think that will work, because the girls and I are getting ready in Bel Air at my grandmother's house, which is 45 minutes away from the ceremony location (guys are getting ready at the hotel where the reception is). And FI and I really want to wait until the actual ceremony to see each other.
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  • heathxoxgqheathxoxgq member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    If you give guests plenty of time to try and take off work, maybe 530 would be a good time. 6 sounds about right though. Maybe your bridal party could be the ones there super early to do pictures BEFORE the wedding, so you would still be able to keep everything else close to what you wanted before. Friday weddings are always difficult! My best friend had one at 5, and she was super disappointed by the turn out and the late shows. Some people just can't help it! :( Good luck with everything! :D
  • edited December 2011
    I am going to have to agree that 5 on a friday is a little too early.  I think that if you have it that early be prepared for a lot of no-shows or late-shows to the wedding.  I had a 7 pm wedding on a saturday and I still had people rolling in at 7:15.This may be a dumb question, but I thought full mass ceremonies only were done on saturdays in the catholic church? Maybe that's just what I've only seen so I don't know any better. 
  • edited December 2011
    Thanks so much girls! We are going to go for Friday, 7/16/2010! I have the chapel secured, and am meeting with the wedding coordinator next Friday. The venue is also available that Friday!!! Yeah coordination! The coordinators both places (and your responses) all made me feel better, as they both reassured me that Friday weddings are becoming much more popular and both places suggested 6PM ceremony start time. Worst comes to worst, we could just make the ceremony shorter, like on thr 40 minutes side as opposed to an hour. We're just really relieved to have a date finally after 3 months of being in limbo! JVeaux- I think there may be rules/regulations on having a full mass on a Friday night if you have your ceremony in a church/parish (depending on your church, that is). But our ceremony is in the chapel at my college, which happens to be Catholic. Since it's not technically a parish, there's really no rule saying we can't have a full mass on a Friday night. PS I can't wait to see pics of your wedding! I'm sure it was beautiful!
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  • edited December 2011
    congrats on setting your date! yay! thanks for the info...I have no idea how a lot of that stuff works!
  • edited December 2011
    I think 5pm is rather early, but given the length of your ceremony I'm not sure that 6pm is great, either, since it's going to delay dinner until rather late.  I had a 6pm ceremony but it was short and everything was all in the same venue - I wanted dinner on the tables by 7pm, especially because we chose not to do a cocktail hour/appetizers.  That said, I would still attend a 5pm Friday ceremony if I was close enough to the couple.  I'm lucky in that my company is fairly flexible and I could easily adjust my hours.  Not everyone has that luxury, though.
  • edited December 2011
    I would have to share what I'm coming to realize myself - as I am planning a Sunday wedding/reception , but we're discussing the best start time so that our  OOT guests can enjoy it and not feel obligated to either take Monday off, or not come - and that is simply to do what works best for you!The fact is, regardless of when or what day you hold your wedding on, there will be some who will not be able to make it, for whatever reason. So, ultimately, you guys will have to choose a time that works well for you, be sure to send out "save the dates" to give enough of a notice, and enjoy your party when the day rolls around!
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  • edited December 2011
    I am getting married on the 25th, a friday, and it starts at 530. Reception is at 7 Bridal party arrive at 730 Dinner at 8.I chose 530 because i thought anything later then 8 for dinner was to late.
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