Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Wedding Advice IX


I am polling a few former brides about ceremony times. Can you give me your opinion?

The church can have the ceremony (it will not be a mass) at either 1:30 or 3:30. Those are their set times, as they have a mass at 5:30 on Saturdays. The reception venue is really close by. All on local streets, it will take about 15 minutes to drive there, maybe 20 if there is a traffic jam. Via public transport should take about the same. With parking etc. let's say 30 minutes door to door max. Also sunset is at 5:48 p.m. Cocktail hour start time is flexible, but we'd want to start sometime between 5 and 6.

Should I have the ceremony at 1:30?
Pros: Plenty of time to take pictures between the ceremony and the reception in daylight; time to check in to the complimentary hotel room and relax; we can attend our own cocktail hour, which I would like to do.
Cons: long gap (about 2 hours) during which time the guests have nothing to do; I'm afraid some ppl will skip the ceremony.

Or at 3:30?
Pros: very small gap between ceremony and reception; ppl should definitely attend both the ceremony and the reception.
Cons: Not much time for pictures; by the time the ceremony and receiving line wraps up it will probably be 4:30, leaving less time for pics in daylight, about 1 hour. Not sure if that's enough time. More of a rush to check into our complimentary hotel room, but I suppose someone else can do that for us.

Opinion? 2 bride friends went for 1:30. My parents are going for 3:30.

My ceremony started at 2:30--though my invitation said 2pm (people will inevitably be late--and I'd rather have them wait than for me to wait for them to show up/have them show up late during the ceremony).

The ceremony took about half an hour, but my wedding party was small--my cousin, my sister, and my flower girl. If you have a lot of girls, it could take a long time getting down the aisle. The ceremony itself (without mass) was nice and short and sweet: old test, new test, gospel, homily, vows, ring exchange, blessings, prayers, booyah.

So between about 3 and 3:30 was my receiving line, and we also had a small snack session (sandwiches, soda, cookies/pastries) in the basement of the church for our guests b/c we knew that they had some time before getting to the reception and would probably be hungry after a) getting ready b) driving over c) the ceremony itself, unless they had an early lunch. Then by 4pm we finished family portraits (which we took in my backyard across the street from the church, so minimal travel time getting there), and we got to the reception around 5 where we got to mosey with our guests/set up things.

A lot of people got there earlier, but the reception place didn't seem to mind so much--if anything, early people got drinks and hung out in the cocktail area (we didn't have cocktail food--just drinks b/c we had a 12 course dinner coming up)--and at worst they could have been waiting outside for a short bit. My reception start wasn't supposed to be until 5:30, but like a I said a lot of people showed up early and it wasn't an issue.

My vote is 1:30--you're going to be up early getting your hair and make-up done--might as well get married sooner than later so that afterward you can relax and not worry about rushing through the rest of the evening.

Two hours is not a lot of time in between the ceremony/reception--plus if it's a gorgeous day, people will enjoy the city views. besides i think that unless your ceremony and reception are at the same venue (or even if it is), people should expect some lag time in between.

Honestly, there will be folks that have to run to the bank/cvs to get your card before your reception--give them time to do so! And some guests may want to go back to the hotel/home to change into evening attire have the chance to do that...or put on evening make-up, etc.

Only losers who don't care about your marriage will skip your ceremony and only show up at the reception--and why accommodate them? Anyone who wants to witness your wedding will def. come to your ceremony regardless of the time in between--and again 2 hours is not that much time!
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