times for ceremony/reception @ one venue

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  HappyG 3 years, 3 months ago.

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    hey hey !
    now sure if anyone could help the details on this one… we are planning to get married on my parents property which is where we also live… have everything there and people can even camp and stay the night if they wish…
    so how does this go w/ the timing ?? what time would you start a ceremony and how long do they go for ? i was thinking once that concludes,  a drink and some outdoor games could be made available while the photos are beng done… then the start of the reception ?? no clue on the timing of it all… i would like to say photos won’t be too long as we won’t be needing to travel anywhere…
    any ideas would be great… thanks in advance : ))



    I’d say look up  “timelines” in the search bar to get a basic understanding and some tips.
    There is also this article: http://www.weddingclub.com.au/wedding-planning/wedding-planning-wedding-planning/essential-tips/a-traditional-reception-timeline
    So the key points for you to look at (before planning) are:
    Prep and set up:
    1. THE WEDDING: How long will it take for the wedding to be set up? Can you do it the day before? Are there people who are hired to set things up (chairs, marquees, food, alter, flowers etc)? Will you need to be heavily involved with this? What if the weather is wet?
    2. YOU AND THE BRIDAL PARTY: How long will it take for you and your party to get ready in total? Per Person? Are you hiring hair and makeup people to help you? Will they need to help setting up anything?
    3. YOUR GUESTS: Will they have enough time to set up their own tents and get changed/cleaned up before the ceremony or during the coctail hour? (Definately not after the party!) Can they do it the day before? Will you have tents set up for them? What about the games, when will they be set up? What if the weather is wet?
    The actual affair – Before the Party:
    1. Ceremony: How long do you want it to go for? (I say half an hour) Are you going to do the customary thing of having the invite say half an hour earlier than when you plan to start?
    2. Cocktail “hour” / Photo time: What photos are most important for you to get? Who with? Do they know they need photos taken with you? Are you providing a list for the photographer to streamline the process?  can the games set up easily be completed in an hour or less?
    The Actual Affair – The Party:
    1. The entrance: Do you want music and to make a big deal or a quite entrance and then straight to speeches and eating?
    2. The Speeches: Are you having any? If so how many and who is giving them? Is there a time limit on them? Are they spread out in teh evening or done in one go?
    3. The meal: How is it served? Courses or buffet? If course, how much time between courses?If buffet, how long will it be open for before it turns into a dance party?
    4. PARTY TIME!: First dance, flower and garter tossing and exiting. Are you doing all of these? How long for each? What about general dancing?
    EXTRA!!!: Make sure you build “buffer time” into your day calculations and in your payments for suppliers. Better to be ahead of a looser schedule then behind on a tight one. 



    So continuing on a sample wedding day for you might look like (assuming stuff is set up before except caterers and tents and you want a “traditional running” )
    9:00 – Bridal Party arrive
    9:15 – last walkthrough of area to make sure everything is set up
    9:30 – start the beauty prep and eat something light
    2:00pm – Bridal Party is ready –  photo time!
    2:30pm  – guests arrive
    3:15pm – Ceremony starts
    3:45pm – Ceremony ends
    3:45 – 5:00pm Cocktail/photo hour & tent set up
    5:00pm –  Mr and Mrs entrance
    5:15pm – Speeches start
    5:45pm – Speeches end / first course served / buffet open
    7:15/7:30 pm finish the food / first dance
    7:35pm PARTY!
    8:30pm –  tosses and cake cutting (if not done already)
    9:00 – 9:30pm Party end.


    wow Kittikats that was all so very helpful ! thank you so much !!! a lot of questions there i hadn’t even considered… will copy and paste that somewhere for later so i don’t foget it all… THANK YOU !! guess timing also comes into what time the sun goes down depending on what time of year you have it too… arghhh so much to think about ! lol



    Glad I could help.
    I always find it is better to have a general plan than an overly detailed one as my detailed plans come unstuck!
    My advice is try to get as much help as possible and as much stuff set up before so you can relax a lot more and enjoy your day.
    Get lists and timelines to all your major people (caterers, tent people, photographers, band, bridal party) so they know where and when they need to be places and doing things.
    Also they can let you know if the timelines you’ve given them are workable or not (4 piece band and you’ve given them 10 minutes set up time right before the reception for instance is not gonna happen.)



    There are some great general planners for the big  day both in bridal mags and online, plenty of blogs give great insight, so do your research and find the right fit for you.
    As for the photographer, make a detailed list of the types of shots you want to capture, and where you’d like them (giving them a marked map of the property will work in your favour) the photographer should be able to give you a rough estimate about how much time they’ll need, but always give yourself at least a time buffer or 20-min to an hour to account for any mishaps.
    The ceremony could last anywhere from 1-2 hours depending on the length of speeches, vows and the celebrant you choose, but some are short and sweet at half an hour, so do a practice run. A cocktail hour shouldn’t run longer than 2-3hours even with games to prevent tiring out and boring your guests.
    And last, but not least, a reception can go anywhere from 2 hours to 3-4 easily, and depends a lot on catering, distance, speeches/toasts and whether or not you want dancing etc. Some will go even longer if you make a party out of it, so make yourself a list of what you want to fit in and how long you’d roughly like to allocate.
    – HappyG

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