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Wedding Timings - Please Help!!

(16 Posts)
Kerplunk1234 Fri 02-Sep-16 10:12:33

Any help would be massively appreciated, I can't decide what's best and if I ask my poor family again then they might not turn up grin
Basically, my reception (wedding breakfast, speeches, evening do etc) starts at 5pm. That is the earliest we can have it and I don't want to make it much later as I want enough time to enjoy a nice meal before the evening guests arrive about 7/7.30.
The reception venue is around 10 minutes away from the ceremony venue.
I have two times available to choose from for the ceremony, 2.30 or 3.30.
It's a registry office wedding so shouldn't be longer than half an hour, and the photographer has said he normally plans around 20 minutes for family group photos.
There is no place to have a drinks reception at the registry office (is that what Google telling me is a cocktail hour?) But there is a cash bar available.
I personally feel half 2 is too early and will keep guests waiting without food, in a small bar.
However, a couple of people have said that half 3 might be too late to get to the reception for 5, as people can be hard to move when they get chatting.
I know the reception would be ok with us being a bit late, but obviously that would have an impact on the rest of evening.
Help! Which time do I pick?

Aliveinwanderland Fri 02-Sep-16 10:18:37

That is quite late for a reception to start. Is there anyway you can arrive earlier and have photos done there or get a drink? That way you get people where you want them.

i would pick the earlier wedding time. You only get one wedding day (hopefully!) so should make the most of it!

TheBitterBoy Fri 02-Sep-16 10:21:10

3.30 sounds ideal. I can't imagine people wouldn't move on once the main wedding party have left for the reception venue

Kerplunk1234 Fri 02-Sep-16 10:31:43

We can't get there any earlier because the venue is open to customers in the day, I didn't realise 5pm was late, I'm worrying about that now haha!
The other option is to have the ceremony somewhere that does offer a drinks reception bit before we move to the proper reception venue..but that takes us over our planned budget, which is tight to start with to be honest.
Thanks for your replies!

annielostit Fri 02-Sep-16 14:39:15

2 hours for dinner, then evening guests. Are you feeding them as well. Can you rejig your guest list so all come to "the wedding" . That way 2.30 for the registry, get to reception for 4.00 & start the party with no rush?

Kerplunk1234 Fri 02-Sep-16 15:07:27

We are feeding the evening guests as well, it will be buffet type food.
I would love to invite everyone to the day, but I just don't have the budget for it.
Like I say, as much as I would like it, we cannot get to the reception venue before 5, that is the earliest time they are available.

Magstermay Wed 07-Sep-16 23:51:59

Could you go somewhere in between for drinks like a nearby pub? 2.30 ceremony, then drinks in pub - you provide a glass of something then a pay bar. They may give you a free room with people buying drinks. Then on to reception. I think you need to 'do' something rather than just hanging around the registry office for 45 mins.

bikiniandboardshorts Wed 07-Sep-16 23:55:52

I'd go for 330.
Also, what time of year is the wedding?

bikiniandboardshorts Wed 07-Sep-16 23:56:52

I only ask because of the light for the photos smile

OlennasWimple Thu 08-Sep-16 00:04:43

So, running this in reverse...

5pm reception starts

4.45pm people leave wedding venue

4.15pm photos start...

...leaves you with 3.30pm as the perfect ceremony time, with wriggle room in case of delays at any point before the reception

I think 5pm is a perfectly fine time for your reception, BTW. And a 3.30pm wedding gives everyone time to have lunch before the ceremony, even if they are travelling.

CakeAndChocolate Sat 10-Sep-16 04:42:04

3.30 is perfect timing. Could you invite evening guests for 8pm so you don't feel you have to rush the meal?

NightCzar Sat 10-Sep-16 04:57:31

3.30 is perfect in that scenario.

I second evening guests coming at 8. Mine ended up waiting downstairs while speeches were finishing and it was embarrassing. Obviously if they hadn't have turned up 20 minutes early it would have been better.

Kerplunk1234 Sat 10-Sep-16 13:11:14

3.30 it is then, thank you all for reassuring me abit! It's in July so the lighting should be fine smile
Is it normal for wedding planning to make you overthink everything! I enjoy the decorating side but hate all the logistical bits haha!

TheBitterBoy Sat 10-Sep-16 16:01:57

I agree, 8pm for evening guests is best, people tend to arrive early, and meals and speeches have a habit of overrunning, so better to give yourself a bit of a window of time. Two hours from 5-7 is a bit tight to get everyone seated, fed, speeches etc, and for you to be ready to greet your evening arrivals.

Katkincake Fri 16-Sep-16 15:58:28

Agree with the pushing evening guests back to 8. We sat down for speeches at 1.30 started eating at 2.15 and it felt like there was only a small break before evening guests arrived. If you're planning speeches and and sit down meal 2hrs isn't enough.

In answer to your other question yes it does make you obsess over everything, esp when cars and flower people start asking for times and where to come! In the end I had to write up an itenary to keep everything clear and direct my family on the day (despite this, my mum and bridesmaids ended up waiting for car to come get them from church after ceremony, despite specific instructions on who to get lifts with as we were having the car, so after car dropped me and DH off he had to go back for them - thankfully only just down the road!!)

WhiskersAndPaws Mon 26-Sep-16 20:32:52

OP says that's the earliest she can have the meal.

I would still do 2.30pm for the ceremony. You're going to be anxious and pushed for time at 3.30pm.

Wedding at 2.30pm, you'll be 10 mins late so say 2.45pm start. Finish at 3.30pm. A bit of mingling and chatting until 4.15pm, saying hello to everyone.

Photos will be at least 20 mins more likely half an hour so that's 4.45pm then a ten minute walk to the other venue and sit down.

Will there be no free drinks on offer for guests at all? Maybe one glass of sparkling wine would help the mingling. Put out photos of your engagement etc so people have something to look at and talk about. With those timings you won't have any waiting around.

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