Wedding Vows & Ceremony Discussions

Is 3pm too early for a ceremony on a Friday?

Hi everyone. Im getting married at a barn outside next May. We will be getting married under a beautiful tree, but theres one problem- its near a road. The road isnt too busy until rush hour. Our wedding is on a Friday and i was thinking about having the ceremony start at 3pm. The reason being is so that way rush hour traffic wont disrupt the ceremony and our guests wont get stuck in rush hour while on their way there.

I understand that since it is a Friday and many people have to work. But I just dont want to be distracted by the busy sound of rush hour traffic. Any suggestions?
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Re: Is 3pm too early for a ceremony on a Friday?

  • 3pm is fine.  My ceremony is 3pm on a Wednesday afternoon.  

    There is no rule against it, but do be aware some people won't attend the ceremony because it is during work hours.  
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  • Yes, we wereonsidering the outcome as well. Do you think itllbe rude to send an extra r.s.v.p card with the invite for them to r.s.v.p for the ceremony as well insted of just the reception?
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  • Where and when is the reception? How long is the ceremony? Rush hour traffic starts around 4:00 pm where I live, sometimes as early as 3:30--NOT necessarily the typical 5:00. If the ceremony starts at 3:00 and lasts half an hour, there is the possibility of traffic going from the ceremony site to the reception venue. I have no idea if this applies to you, just food for thought. Also keep in mind that there should be a cocktail HOUR between the ceremony and reception, so if your reception venue opens at, say, 6:00, that is an unacceptable gap.

    Only you know your guest list. If you are having a large wedding, I would caution against having such an early ceremony. If it's small and intimate, and you know that majority of your guests would be able to come, I don't see a problem. Run it by your VIPs.

    More food for thought--is it possible to move the ceremony BACK, to say 7:00? That would help avoid traffic and give people who leave work at 5:00 a nice cushion to change their clothes and get to the wedding.
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  • Ali- the ceremony and reception are at the same location. We also need to be out of the barn by midnight, including clean up. Which is why we were thinking an early ceremony. It is intimate- roughly around 100 people. It s good to consider the VIPs first and foremost. Thanks
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  • In regards to your second post, I don't think it's appropriate to have guests RSVP separately. The ceremony and reception are two parts of one event--they are both the wedding. It also doesn't seem necessary. Just set up enough chairs so that everyone who RSVPs "yes" has a place to sit.

    Something else I thought of: I have no idea what the setting looks like, but is it possible to have the wedding inside the barn? You should have a back-up plan anyway in case it rains, and this way the walls of the barn will offer a bit of sound-proofing. Otherwise, can the ceremony be on the side of the barn that isn't open to the road? Is it possible to set up a tent and have the ceremony inside? If the traffic noise is going to be that disruptive, I'd consider these options or find a new venue altogether.

    On the other hand, if it's just a little traffic, chances are it will just fade into the background for you. Both you, your husband, and your guests will be focused on the ceremony, and a little ambient noise shouldn't cause too many problems, as long as you can be heard.
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  • What's wrong with a 5:30-6:00 Ceremony (right before sunset during that time of year...gorgeous!) and reception immediately following?

    You could have dancing until 10:30 and have 90 minutes for cleanup.

    I think you would have a much better turnout!
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_ceremony-ideas_is-3pm-too-early-for-a-ceremony-on-a-friday?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:10Discussion:45e1653d-af95-4cc1-94a0-fe97e85e79e8Post:b3e57adf-fb2f-4285-b363-ca59d2e7bf33">Re: Is 3pm too early for a ceremony on a Friday?</a>:
    [QUOTE]What's wrong with a 5:30-6:00 Ceremony (right before sunset during that time of year...gorgeous!) and reception immediately following? You could have dancing until 10:30 and have 90 minutes for cleanup. I think you would have a much better turnout!
    Posted by itzMS[/QUOTE]

    <div>The problem is that it's in the middle of rush hour and the noise from a nearby road would be problematic. </div><div>
    </div><div>I don't see anything wrong with doing it at 3:00.  I'd have to take part of the afternoon off to attend the wedding anyway whether it started at 3:00 or 5:00 so I don't think it's much more of an imposition than any Friday evening wedding already is.   I guess to me, whether I take off at noon or 2, it's still basically a wasted afternoon at the office so I wouldn't mind the earlier time.</div>
  • NOLA you are completley right. I never thought of it that way.

    ITZms- its right dring rush hour so the road will be much more noisier. plus 6-1030 isnt enough time for food to be served, pictures, garter toss, bouquet toss, everything would feelr suhed.
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  • If it was a close family / friend, i would attend a 3:00 ceremony. Otherwise, i'd just go to the reception but i wouldn't miss it. If you wanted the intimate ceremony anyway, i don't think you'll have a problem with having it at this time.

    I love Friday nights, it makes my weekend feel longer.

    P.S. your  "intimate" wedding of 100 guests, made me laugh, it sounds so much like mine. my intimate affair consisted of 150 guests. Both H and I come from huge families where weddings are normally 500+
  • We had a Friday wedding but it started at 5:30.  I feel like 3pm is way too early.
  • I think it will affect the number of people who attend the ceremony, but they may just come to the reception only.   As long as you are ok with that and prepared for the possibility of lower numbers go for it.
  • I would not attend a 3:00 Friday ceremony unless it was for my sister or one of my close friends.  As long as you are prepared for the fact that A LOT of people may not come, there isn't anything wrong with doing it at this time.  
  • I probably wouldn't go-- there's just very little chance I'd have the vacation available to miss work for it. And if I were close to you, I might be pretty sad that I would have to miss your ceremony.

    I don't understand why 6 or 7pm isn't an option; I think 5 is still to early for a Friday evening considering people leaving work/changing/traveling, etc and by 6 or 7 the traffic will probably have died down. Also have heard that people get so tuned into their ceremony that they don't notice extra noise (like crying babies). It's your choice, but I would defintely speak with anyone you REALLY want there aobut it before you set the time.

    Also, what are you planning on doing between the ceremony and reception? Is the reception going to start at 3:30? Just one more thing to think about as far as properly hosting your guests and since you expect people to come to the reception only if they cannot make the ceremony.
  • itzMSitzMS member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers First Anniversary
    edited December 2012
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_ceremony-ideas_is-3pm-too-early-for-a-ceremony-on-a-friday?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:10Discussion:45e1653d-af95-4cc1-94a0-fe97e85e79e8Post:726e9736-3d32-4961-9ac9-2b1eca0bee79">Re: Is 3pm too early for a ceremony on a Friday?</a>:
    [QUOTE]NOLA you are completley right. I never thought of it that way. ITZms- its right dring rush hour so the road will be much more noisier. <strong>plus 6-1030 isnt enough time</strong> for food to be served, pictures, garter toss, bouquet toss, everything would feelr suhed.
    Posted by rks421[/QUOTE]

    Sure it is. I've been to plenty of weddings with receptions with that timeframe, especially when you're having a smaller group. 4-5 hours is totally normal.

    Also, is this road in question a freeway or highway? If so, it will be noisy at any time of day not just "rush hour". This just isn't adding up to me. I'm from the Midwest too, and I certainly don't know of many--if any--barns in the country that have to deal with "rush hour noise".
  • You would have to be a very close family member or best friend for me to leave work at noon to make it to a 3pm ceremony.   I think 3pm is fine if it fits with what you want to do. But, be prepared for a good portion of your guest list to decline.
  • Ugh....u DONT have to have a cocktail hour and don't really worry about the time because there will always be some type of issue....whoever really wants to and can be there will be
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  • We are having a 2pm ceremony on a friday. Honestly it was just because it was cheaper. the people closest to you will figure out a way to attend. and if you send out save the date cards early enough people can plan for weithr or not they need to take a vacation day or have an unpaid day. months ahead should be more than enough to plan ahead.
  • Mine was 3:30 on a Wed for much the same reason (in NYC, rush "hour" easily goes from 4-7.) A couple of people missed the ceremony but I didn't notice and wouldn't hold it against them, obviously, just like I didn't get surprised by the fact that a weekday wedding means that possibly fewer people might attend. We had 106 people out of 170 come and have a great time. Our ceremony was scheduled for 3:30, cocktail hour for 4:30-5:30 and dinner served at 6. The whole thing was over by 9 and we had a live band playing from about 5:30-8:30. Our ceremony was across the street from the reception so it was a pretty similar situation. I'd talk to your VIPs and if it's alright with them, go for it!
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