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Timing of Dinner Reception & Ceremony

I'm trying to make a final decision on how I want our wedding evening to work.

Due to budget, we are having our wedding on a Friday evening instead a of a Saturday.  We will also be having the ceremony and the reception at the same venue, just in two different areas.  I'm trying to decide the best way to make the evening work.  The time I have down now to start the ceremony is 7:00pm so that people have time to commute there after work (I live in Dallas, so traffic is a nightmare!!).  A lot of people in my family have kids, so I'm trying to debate what is best -- serving dinner at 7:00pm, then holding the ceremony, then returning to the reception hall for cake cutting and cocktails OR just keep the traditional route and do the ceremony at 7:00pm and begin the reception/dinner at 7:30ish?  I hate to start the reception and dinner that late, but its somewhat unavoidable on a Friday night...

Any suggestions? Thanks!
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Re: Timing of Dinner Reception & Ceremony

  • edited December 2011
    Why not just have the ceremony at an earlier hour?  I'm sure people would take a few hours off work....it's better than having to fly to someone's wedding!

  • edited December 2011
    I wouldn't do dinner before the ceremony.  If you can take pictures before the ceremony and all of your guests arrive, that would help.  You can keep the cocktail hour shorter than an hour.  If you think people might be able to head out a little early on a Friday afternoon from work and can start earlier, then set your start time for a little earlier, but I don't know that you have to worry about it that much.  Maybe you could provide a kids area with a babysitter and some bean bag chairs and quiet activities, so if the kids needed to wind down and rest before the end of the reception, they could, and the parents wouldn't have to take them home (if you think the parents you're inviting would be ok with this).  

  • fallbride1109fallbride1109 member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 5 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited December 2011

    Our ceremony was at 7, cocktails started at 7:30 and dinner started at 8:15.  It was fine.  My wedding was on a Saturday but I don't think having it on a Friday matters.  People understand that a 7:00 ceremony means dinner is later.  They will live.  I definitely wouldn't switch it around.

    Come and join us on the DFW board if you need help with anything.  We've had several girls do Friday weddings.  We'd love to help!

  • TEA&CoTEA&Co member
    edited December 2011
    Ditto StephieHall that I wouldn't change it.  I don't think it's a problem at all.
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  • angelsong21angelsong21 member
    1000 Comments Second Anniversary Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    Thank you all SO much for your helpful advice!  I think I agree with you all and will keep it at 7:00pm.  The younger kiddos will just have to nap and snack early that day.  Still a little worried that 3.5 hours won't be enough time for the whole reception, so I assume we'll have to add on that extra hour.  Just wish that one hour wasn't so dang expensive!!
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  • edited December 2011
    In Response to Re: Timing of Dinner Reception & Ceremony:
    [QUOTE]Our ceremony was at 7, cocktails started at 7:30 and dinner started at 8:15.  It was fine.  My wedding was on a Saturday but I don't think having it on a Friday matters.  [/QUOTE]

    I actually think having it on a Saturday does make a difference because people sleep in and have later eating schedules.  I know that when I get off work at 5 pm, I am usually starvin' like Marvin!  haha  I guess I would just eat a snack before the wedding though... 
  • cmm4evercmm4ever member
    Fifth Anniversary 10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Maybe even starting 30 minutes to 45 mintues earlier..remember some people do work on Saturdays.
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