Wedding Reception Forum

Schedule sound okay?

My tenative schedule for my wedding day is:
Ceremony@ 3pm (Should last an hour)
Cocktail hour@ 5pm (about a 30 minute driving distance between ceremony and reception venue)
Dinner@ 6pm
Dance@ 7:30-11:30

The only reason I want the gap between the cocktail hour and ceremony is because I want to take outdoor pictures and also allow the photographer time to take pictures of the reception area before guests arrive. (Unless they do that beforehand..?

Re: Schedule sound okay?

  • Options
    edited May 2013
    Do not have a gap.  Cocktail hour should start as soon as guests arrive at the venue, which I am guessing will be around 4:30/4:45, depending on how long it takes people to get up and get to their cars after the ceremony.  I would instruct the reception venue to be open as soon as the first guests arrive.  It's not very nice to have your guests waiting around for 15-30 minutes.  

    I do not understand why wanting to take outdoor pictures requires a gap.  Take your photos while your guests are at cocktail hour.  Talk to your photographer about taking photos of the reception area before guests arrive.  If s/he has a second shooter, maybe that person can go ahead.  Is the cocktail hour in the same spot as the reception area?  If you cannot get it to work, don't sacrifice your guests' comfort for pictures of an empty room.  
  • Options
    We had a similar schedule, and it worked well for us. Not everyone will get in their cars immediately after the ceremony, and not everyone will drive immediately to the reception. It sounds like the gap is really only about a half hour, so I think that's reasonable.
  • Options
    Take out the gap and you'll be fine.
  • Options
    Remove the gap.  It is not necessary and it is also rude to your guests.  What do you expect them to do between 4:30 and 5pm?  Stand around and twiddle their tumbs?

    Talk to your photographer about your timing concerns and that you really want pictures of your reception hall before guests arrive. Your photographer has most likely done this countless times and will know exactly how to schedule things without the need of a gap.

  • Options
    Remove the gap. The whole point of the cocktail hour is to give guests something to do while the bride and groom are busy w/ photos.
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    alithebridealithebride member
    Name Dropper 5 Love Its First Anniversary First Answer
    edited May 2013

    extend the cocktail hour so that your guests dont have to stand around for 30 minutes doing nothing. with nothing to eat or drink. so you can take pictures.


  • Options
    as long as the venue is prepared for early arrivals you are fine.  The 1/2 hour will most likely be less since your ceremony may not start exactly at 3; and then if you are having a receiving line or simply guests just mingling before they actually get in there cars and drive to the reception site, they most likely will arrive around 5 anyways.

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