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Holz
Just Said Yes January 2024

11am ceremony with afternoon reception and evening entertainment?

Holz, on September 29, 2022 at 8:28 PM Posted in Planning 0 5
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Hey all!

First of all, a bit of context about my wedding: We are travelling from New Zealand to get married in England. Almost all of our guests are travelling to our wedding (Ireland, UK, America, Germany, Sweden). Due to the travel, we decided to have a full day wedding. Our ceremony venue is same as reception and I believe all guests are staying at the venue or 15 mins away. The wedding is also in January so outdoor activities are not included in our plan so far.

So can I ask what you think of my plan:

11am: Ceremony

11:30-12:30: Greeting guests, photographs with groups. (We won't have seen a lot of our guests for a long time before the big day!)

12:30-14:00: Cocktails and mingle whilst couple get photographs and room changes for dinner setting.

14:00-16:30: Meal, speeches/toasts, table games for guests.

16:30-17:30: Move to bar as band set up. Guests have more table games, mingling, or can retire to refresh/relax. There is also a spa on site, guests can book in for a treatment or a swim.

18:00-18:30: Cake cutting, first dances.

19:00-21:00: Band officially begin. Late night food/buffet served between sets.

21:00-00:00: DJ for rest of the night.

It is obviously a long day but as I said, our guests are travelling to use and staying in the place the wedding is hosted. Any gaps can be used for guests to enjoy the hotel (golf/spa). The weddings from the rest of my family I have been to have been very similar and have taken from as early as 9 in the day...

Do you have any other ideas for what could be added here or is it enough?

5 Comments

Latest activity by Michelle, on September 30, 2022 at 6:44 AM
  • Michael
    VIP October 2023
    Michael ·
    • Flag

    It seems the ceremony could start at 12. Pictures with guests could be done at 16:30 - 17:30.

    Also, would people likely be changing clothes sometime during this afternoon to evening. Certainly, if they go to the spa or go swimming, they would have to dress up again. But that depends on the dress code/style you desire. It kind of is a long day to stay dressed in formal attire.

    I was about to mention late night food but you have that scheduled.

    • Reply
  • Jacks
    Champion November 2054
    Jacks ·
    • Flag

    The way it's laid out looks like you have an hour at 1130 to 1230 where there's nothing really happening. I agree with Michael to start the ceremony at 12, then from 1230 to 1400 cocktails.... Otherwise you may end up with people drifting off at 1130 thinking to come back at cocktail time around 1.

    • Reply
  • T
    Dedicated July 2017
    ti ·
    • Flag

    I actually have to disagree with the above comments (sorry guys!), if anything I would think you could use an extra half hour in that window for pictures and greeting everybody; especially if you haven't seen guests in some time and want a chance to catch up with them.

    We had 2 hours for greeting guests, pictures and drinks (we slipped off for couples photos for about half an hour during this time) and honestly I think that cutting it back would have made our meet and greets very speedy with guests. Sure, not a big deal if you see them all the time but I'm sure you guys want the chance to really stop and see how your guests are doing. I really enjoyed the time to do the rounds and catching up with family and friend's I hadn't been able to see for awhile!

    I think your timings look fine, I wouldn't worry about it being a long day - people who are tired for whatever reason will just slope off when they want to in the evening. Not everybody stays for the party portion of weddings anyway.

    • Reply
  • Bird
    Expert June 2021
    Bird ·
    • Flag
    This tradition is not common in my circles so I was a bit thrown off by how long the day is. However, you said your family has attended weddings like this before so it shouldn’t be a problem for you!


    My first reaction would be to host a welcome dinner and drinks the night before the wedding so you can catch up with your guests that you haven’t seen in a long time. You said most everyone will be traveling so it could be nice to provide some activities for them the night before. You could then invite everyone to a bar to continue to hang out and catch up. The actual wedding day would have less pressure to catch up with everyone and instead you could focus on enjoying their company instead of greetings and catching up. I would also consider hosting a farewell brunch the following day.
    If your wedding day started later in the afternoon, I wouldn’t think they would be having a hard time finding things to do in the morning. They would likely sleep in, have breakfast and get ready leisurely.
    Again, I hope you don’t mind me giving my alternate suggestions, I just thought I’d throw it out there! Good luck in whatever you decide !
    • Reply
  • Michelle
    Rockstar December 2022
    Michelle ·
    • Flag
    Are long gaps common in every social group that is attending? Where we are in the US, gaps that are longer than the time that it takes to drive from the ceremony to the reception are considered a faux pas and bad planning. Even with a Catholic ceremony because the couples find a venue that does not have a start time restriction, which means that guests will not skip out on the ceremony because they don’t want to entertain themselves for hours and they have zero interest in sightseeing in formal clothes or showering and putting on different clothes or taking a nap during the break.


    There is nothing wrong with having a long day to celebrate with your guests for a longer period, but keep everything flowing continuously the entire time without breaks that will cause guests to leave.
    • Reply

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