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Just Said Yes January 2022

What do you think about a 5pm start time for a winter wedding?

Suzy, on September 19, 2021 at 1:44 PM Posted in Etiquette and Advice 0 19
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Hi, I’ll be getting married in January in the Northeast. We are thinking of having our start time for the ceremony be 5 PM. The ceremony and reception and cocktail hour are all in one venue and guest hotels are right around the corner from the venue. Is a 5 PM start time too late? We only have the space for 5 1/2 hours or will have to pay extra.


Also, are there any other etiquette things I should keep in mind for a winter wedding? Aside from attire

19 Comments

Latest activity by Alyssa, on September 20, 2021 at 7:43 PM
  • Michelle
    Rockstar October 2022
    Michelle ·
    • Flag
    5pm for the ceremony? That sounds ok though a little on the late side. Figure a 30 minute ceremony, 15 min receiving line, cocktail hour starting at 5:45 (are you taking pictures during cocktail hour or before the ceremony?), dinner at 7 which is late for some people. Figuring 1 hour for dinner puts you at 8pm with 2 hours for dancing which is not a lot.


    Etiquette (navigation of social situations) is the same regardless of the time of the year.
    • Reply
  • Cece
    Super November 2022
    Cece Online ·
    • Flag
    We are getting married in November and plan to start our ceremony at 5:00 PM also. We mainly did this because we wanted a sunset wedding. Do keep in mind sunset times if your ceremony will be outdoors. If you are having an indoor ceremony, then it won’t matter. I don’t think 5:00 is too late to begin at all! Especially if you want to celebrate late into the night. We are planning on doing
    5:00-5:30 ceremony
    5:30-6:30 cocktail hour with heavy hors d’oeuvres6:30-7:30 dinner7:30-10 drinking & dancing10-? After party
    • Reply
  • Michelle
    Rockstar April 2021
    Michelle ·
    • Flag
    It is a little on the late side. Weddings never start exactly on time. Im a firm believer in that this is your wedding so it’s your vision. What’s your vision? What about pictures?
    • Reply
  • Megan
    Dedicated February 2023
    Megan ·
    • Flag
    I’m getting married in February in the Northeast with a 6/6:30 ceremony time! I’ve been so fearful of it being too late, but everyone keeps assuring me it’s ok! Especially if it’s on a Friday or Saturday night, you’ll be totally ok. Just make sure your DJ keeps the music upbeat during the reception, and that you have plenty of food because people will be starving by dinner time since it’s later than a normal dinner!
    • Reply
  • Sarah
    Master September 2019
    Sarah Online ·
    • Flag
    I don’t understand the people who are saying 5 is late. Unless it’s been at a church or an afternoon wedding, I’ve never attended a ceremony that started before 6. I think 5 sounds great. Just be sure that everything is indoors and that if you’re doing photos outside that you have a way for your wedding party to keep warm.
    • Reply
  • Yasmine
    Rockstar October 2020
    Yasmine ·
    • Flag
    I think that 5pm is a perfect start time!
    • Reply
  • L
    Layla ·
    • Flag

    I'm also getting married in January in the Northeast! I was going to do an afternoon ceremony and early dinner, with the ceremony starting at 2:30pm, for the sole reason of being able to take pictures outside in the daylight. Looking at these responses is making me second guess that, though.

    • Reply
  • S
    Expert September 2022
    Sarah ·
    • Flag
    I think 5 is perfect! We’re doing 5:30! Guests (at least I do) plan on eating later for weddings.
    I would recommend doing couples pictures before so you can utilize the sunset.
    • Reply
  • Samantha
    Expert December 2021
    Samantha ·
    • Flag
    Our winter wedding in New England will begin at 4PM.
    • Reply
  • Jacks
    Master September 2019
    Jacks ·
    • Flag

    5 is fine! When are photos being done? You might want to consider a "first look" and photos before the ceremony.

    • Reply
  • mrswinteriscoming
    Rockstar December 2021
    mrswinteriscoming ·
    • Flag

    I don't see any reason why 5pm is late. If anything, as a guest I think it is great because it means you have the day to yourself!

    If it helps, we are having our ceremony at 5pm. We've specifically noted in our invitation suite that the ceremony space will open to guests from 4:30pm who are encouraged to be seated by 4:45pm as we will be starting smack on 5pm.

    • Reply
  • Hannah
    Dedicated October 2021
    Hannah ·
    • Flag
    Our wedding will start at 5PM! I don’t really care for when half of my Saturday is consumed by a wedding, if I’m being brutally honest 😂 5 - 5.5 hours is plenty for a straightforward wedding.
    • Reply
  • Sexypoodle
    Master October 2021
    Sexypoodle ·
    • Flag
    5pm is totally fine (unless maybe on a Sunday). People regularly go out after 5pm on the weekend (often starting their night much later than that). So, I don’t see why a wedding can’t begin at 5pm regardless of the season.
    • Reply
  • Mrs.a
    Master October 2021
    Mrs.a ·
    • Flag
    The only concern I would have is lighting for photos and I would talk with your photographer about this before deciding.
    • Reply
  • Mcskipper
    Master July 2018
    Mcskipper ·
    • Flag
    Sounds totally normal for me….I’m from the northeast and have gone to hundreds of weddings here. I’ve experienced all sorts of start times and timelines and for an evening wedding, 5 sounds great if not even a little early— I’ve been to ones that start at 5:30, 6, 6:30 even.
    It’s particularly nice if guests are traveling as many hotel check in times are until 3 or 4, so this gives people time to get ready !

    Most of the earlier/daytime weddings I have been to have been in the summertime !
    • Reply
  • Jaclyn
    Dedicated December 2021
    Jaclyn ·
    • Flag

    I think 5 PM is a good time. I am getting married in December and our ceremony starts at 6 PM. I liked the idea of an evening wedding and not feeling like I am being rushed early during the day and as someone stated that for guests traveling it will give them time to check into their hotels and get ready. We are also serving appetizers and stuff so our guests can have something to eat and they won't be completely starving before dinner is served.

    • Reply
  • Haley
    Dedicated October 2021
    Haley ·
    • Flag
    I am doing a 4:30pm ceremony this October! When making my wedding timeline I found that if we did family formals after the ceremony at about 5:30pm we would arrive at our reception around 8pm and it would be super stressful for us to try and enjoy ourselves, welcome everybody, eat, and entertain our guests for that long without us there. A nice alternative is taking family formals before the ceremony that way when your ceremony is over, you head straight to your cocktail hour and enjoy it with the rest of your guests. But with this you have to be okay with your spouse seeing you before you walk down the isle, so it’s not for everybody
    • Reply
  • A.B.
    Dedicated November 2021
    A.B. ·
    • Flag

    A 5pm ceremony might be slightly later than average but still completely within the norm. I don't think anyone will think twice about it.

    Having everything at one location with accommodations nearby is excellent and makes winter weather less of a concern. As long as you are indoors with proper heat, I think you are set!

    • Reply
  • Alyssa
    Super December 2021
    Alyssa ·
    • Flag
    Make sure to do a first look and your pictures beforehand, because you won’t have any light to do any after.
    • Reply

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