What is a good timeline for an afternoon wedding? How did you schedule your events?
We would like to have our wedding at a church sometime 12 pm or later. The reception will be held at an events center 20 minutes driving distance with plenty of free parking immediately after the ceremony. If we do a receiving line, it will just be my fiance and I, and our two sets of parents (no bridal party). We will probably have a 30 minute ceremony, and have to have our photos between the ceremony and reception.

For the reception, we plan to have crudites, cake and some wine and beer (cash cocktails) and would like to know how to schedule everything!! We want to make our getaway by 6pm at the latest. What did you do for yours? How did you time everything or what's your opinion??? Thanks!

Married: 08/06/2011
Posted On: Dec 19, 2010 at 7:29 PM • Vendors are allowed • Add to My WatchlistFlag As Inappropriate1 like

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Married: 08/12/2011
Reviews: 11
Dec 19, 2010 at 7:52 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
I'm no expert with scheduling... but our DJ and officiant are planning on the timeline stuff. They know how long everything actually takes.

Here's our timeline-- (Ceremony and Reception at same location)

3:30-4:15: Ceremony
4:30-5:30: Cocktail Hour
5:30-10:00: Reception (since it's outdoors we have to obey the noise ordinance and be finished by 10)

Our photographs will either be taken before the ceremony or during the cocktail hour.

Private User
Married: 2+ years ago
Dec 19, 2010 at 8:06 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
It all depends on you, what you want & of course your location. We're doing our schedule based on the following things: we love the idea of taking sunset pictures, we both hate having to leave a wedding while the sun is bright, & we both wanted an outdoor ceremony & we definitely didn't want our guests burning in the sun.

Ceremony & reception will be at the same location
4pm-4:30pm: time for all guests to arrive & be seated
4:30pm-5pm: ceremony
5pm-6pm: cocktail hour (will be taking pictures at that time)
6pm-9pm: reception (we'll do first dance, speeches, toasts, dinner & all the other stuff between 6-7 or till 7:30 and the rest of the night is for dancing, we haven't quite work out all the detail for our reception yet)

Married: 10/01/2011
Reviews: 7
Dec 19, 2010 at 8:19 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
Here's our timeline. Our ceremony and reception sites are about 30 min apart.

3:00-3:30 - Guests arrive and are seated
3:30-3:50 - Ceremony
3:50-4:00- Receiving line (FH, me, & parents only)
4:00-4:30 - Guest Travel Time
4:30-5:30 - Cocktail Hour (we'll be taking pics from 4:00-5:00 and then traveling to the reception site)
5:30-6:00 - Grand Entrance, First Dances, Toasts
6:00-7:00 - Dinner
7:00-7:30 - Cake cutting, bouquet toss, garter toss
7:30-midnight - Dancing

The times could change a little once we talk more with our DJ, but this is what I'm thinking as of now based on weddings I've been to, and guidelines I've found online.

Married: 06/19/2011
Reviews: 1
Dec 19, 2010 at 8:29 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
2pm church ceremony
4pm cocktail hour
5pm-9pm reception

Married: 08/06/2011
Dec 19, 2010 at 8:35 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
One thing to add: we won't be serving dinner, just crudites, hor doeuvres, cake and wine and beer, so we might have to hurry with photos between the ceremony and reception, or should we put on the invitation that the reception starts later, so that they don't get bored waiting for us? How should that be addressed?

Married: 07/24/2010
Reviews: 6
Dec 19, 2010 at 8:40 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
I would highly recommend doing your photos prior to the ceremony. Since you are not doing dinner, your guests will get restless a bit earlier than if there were to be a cocktail hour with appetizers and then your entrance and dinner.

@Vanessa, you have two hours between the ceremony and the cocktail hour?

Married: 08/06/2011
Reviews: 8
Dec 19, 2010 at 8:45 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
Our wedding is at 2pm. Reception cocktail hour starts at 3pm at our location about 15 minutes away. We have the place until 8pm.
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