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wedding day timing?

TooPatient

Ideal_Rock
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Help! I'm having an awful time setting times for the events we need to include in the invitations. I want to get the invitations out in the next couple of weeks, but can't until I finalize the times.

The event coordinator at the winery sent me a tentative schedule to look over. She's able to shift the times a bit in the next few months, but I need to get the times set so that guests know what to expect and can plan accordingly.


Here is what she sent:

private wine tasting 3:00-4:00 (optional -- we pay for any guest who wants to attend, otherwise they can relax and do whatever)
room check in 4:00 (since most/all will be staying over)
ceremony 5:30-6:30
cocktail/hors d'oeurves 6:30-7:00
plated dinner 7:00-8:30
reception 8:30-11:00
brunch before leaving 9:00-11:00


I think I need to include wine tasting time (plus RSVP to get count), check in information, ceremony time, then just roll cocktail/dinner/reception into one since it is back to back?

How is the timing of this? I don't think the ceremony will be that long so people should have time to go back to rooms if wanted.
 

vc10um

Ideal_Rock
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Aug 22, 2009
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On the invitation itself I would just list the ceremony time as half past five in the evening, and then add "dinner and dancing to follow" on the bottom. And then, if you're ceremony is going to be short like you say, I'd start cocktail hour at 6. I don't think people will need to go back to their rooms and for just 30 minutes it's not really worth it, IMO. (Alternatively, push the ceremony back to 6:00 and keep the rest of the timeline as-is.)

Then include an enclosure card with the times of the wine tasting, check-in, and brunch.
 

aviastar

Brilliant_Rock
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I agree with vc about the invitation info; less is more. Enclosure cards for what they need to RSVP for and programs the day of will fill everyone in on everything else. If people are staying over at your venue, consider a welcome bag in their room with some of that info, too.

But as far as actual times go be sure to think about your pictures! Will you be doing first look pictures or blocking in some time after the ceremony for pictures? Both? As it stands you have your cocktail hour starting immediately after the ceremony, which I like for your guests, but it only gives you 30 mins for pictures. If your ceremony is not going to be a full hour long, I would shift back and make cocktails a full hour so you have more picture time and perhaps some time to mingle after your pictures are finished.

Also, check with your photographer and check your sunset time for the day. A sunset ceremony is gorgeous, but it does mean the pictures after the ceremony will be in that weird half light and you have to go pretty quick to catch any light at all. I started with the sunset time for my wedding day and worked backwards that I wanted pictures finished by about half an hour before that. We ended up with beautiful late afternoon golden light for everything and the photographer was really happy and the pictures turned out really well.
 

TooPatient

Ideal_Rock
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Great information and ideas!

Sunset is 6:08pm on 10/17/13
sunrise is 7:21am

If we shifted to 5pm ceremony then did 6-7 cocktails would that leave enough time for people to get checked in? Check in is at 4pm. (I've asked and they can try to have rooms ready earlier, but can't promise)

Photos...
I think I'd really like to have first look photos. That should be easy to arrange before the ceremony, but is part of why I think an hour and a half between wine tasting and ceremony is probably good. We'll have already been there a night and won't have to deal with check in.

Does a plated dinner take an hour and a half? They are doing a 3-course meal.
What about doing coctails from 6:30-7:30, dinner 7:30-8:30? I suppose that could leave dinner feeling rushed.
 

vc10um

Ideal_Rock
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TP, the venue should tell you exactly how long it should take to serve 3 courses to the number of guests you have. And since you're not changing rooms for the remainder of the reception, dinner will just start at its prescribed time and take however long it needs to to get everyone served. To me, the reception starts with dinner, not at a random time determined thereafter, so that should just all be one block of time, IMO, into which you insert things like "cake cutting after second course is served" and "first dance before the first course" (or whatever you're planning) and not worry about when the 3 different courses will be served and how long it will take.

As for extending the cocktail hour, I would only do that if you are serving more than just a few nibbles...people will start to get hungry and while time to mingle is lovely, I think for your size wedding 30 minutes is enough.

I would leave your 5:30 ceremony time...I doubt people will travel in their wedding clothing/makeup/hair out to the venue and an hour to get ready once they can check it may not be enough for some people.
 

TooPatient

Ideal_Rock
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I think I don't want to shift the ceremony earlier. That would just be too little time to get ready. I like just including ceremony and wine tasting times. We can have additional info as people arrive if we decide later it is needed.

Pictures we should be able to fit in before the ceremony and the immediately after. We aren't having bridesmaids,groomsmen, or anything so it will just be us and maybe a few with my grandparents.
 

aviastar

Brilliant_Rock
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Oh pictures will go much faster with smaller numbers of people!

Are you planning on attending the tasting?
 

TooPatient

Ideal_Rock
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aviastar|1362775156|3400089 said:
Oh pictures will go much faster with smaller numbers of people!

Are you planning on attending the tasting?

I plan to! Which is why I had them take off the several bottles of champaign and mixed drinks they had estimated fi and I would drink while getting ready... Yeah. All we need after a wine tasting is more wine! I think I'm going to have my nails done on Tuesday then we'll drive over and stay Wednesday. I think we have to do the rehearsal the morning of then I can have my hair and make up done before the tasting so I just have to get in my dress before the ceremony. Maybe make up should come between the tasting and ceremony?

FI and I are also planning to have a quiet lunch together before the tasting.

We're going over Sunday to meet with some of the suggested vendors. Hopefully I will find hair and make up people I like. They have a DJ service that looked promising. The event lady has us scheduled for wine tasting, "tidbit" tasting, main dish buffet, q&a with chef, and dinner reservations among other vendor meetings. Should be fun!
 

4ever

Ideal_Rock
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Dec 9, 2008
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Hmmm, I would personally put ceremony 5:30pm and dinner and dancing to follow or formal reception to follow etc on the invitation.
The check in, tasting and brunch times I'd want on a separate info sheet or website and on the RSVP. The reason being I don't like to overcrowd the invitation with extra info and if the tasting etc was just on the RSVP guests wouldn't have a copy of the times to hold onto.
 

aviastar

Brilliant_Rock
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Talk to your hair and makeup people before finalizing this, I think. Many people have hair done in the am, hours before a ceremony so I think you can certainly do that. Makeup, I would want closer to ceremony and picture time, but if you are doing first look pictures be sure you have enough time.

One of the very best decisions I made for myself on my wedding day, was to simply to retire from everything about 1 pm for a 6:30 pm ceremony. I showered, had my hair and makeup done, had time to spend with my bridesmaids while they got ready, too. I needed that time when nothing was expected of me and everyone else came and went, but I didn't have to- it was so calming. Not everyone needs/wants that, but just food for thought.

Just want to say, I hope I am being helpful, I used to be a stage manager/event organizer so I think there is high value in building in time for everything and having it spelled out that way. Ignore me if you find this unhelpful!

So let's think about the whole day and how it all fits together:


9-11 am: Rehearsal. You may not need the time, but if you only schedule 30 mins and need more time it will be stressful. Will everyone who needs to participate in the rehearsal be here at this time, including officiant? Does the venue know you need to be in this space at this time?

Question: Is your venue/event person taking care of receiving the florist delivery and placing them, decorating, receiving the cake, putting programs out on chairs? The vineyard has an event manager who is taking care of that for you, right?

12:00: Relaxing and private lunch with FI (definitely eat now! You will be starving later!)

1:00-3:00: Shower, hair, get dressed for wine tasting

3:00-4:00: Wine Tasting

4:00-5:00: Guests can check in and get ready. Hair touch ups (veil or flowers added?), makeup, get into weddings dress, shoes, bouquet/bout hand out. Groom gets ready.

5:00-5:30: First Look pictures
(do you want a few mins after pictures to be separate from FI while you get ready to walk down the aisle?)
5:30- 6:00/6:30: Ceremony

6:00/6:30-7:00: Cocktail Hour. More pictures if needed/wanted.

7:00-11:00 Reception.

Personally, I think the time between the tasting and the ceremony is your most crunched and I would want more time to get ready and take pictures. You do have time after the ceremony during cocktails to do family shots, so I would plan on more photos then to make more time before the ceremony. Is your photog with you all day? Do you want any getting ready photos or wine tasting photos?

Also, I was a BM in my bestie's destination wedding at a venue that sounds similar- we all stayed in the hotel attached to the grounds where all the events were held. Don't forget to factor in the time it takes to get places- you're guests are super excited to be there and see you!! They will stop by your room, stop you in the hallway, want to chat after the tasting, take pictures; your extra minutes will get eaten up, so build them in generously! This was one of the best weddings I have ever attended because of lovely, personal feel of all those moments!

My wedding was small (30 people) and at home, so I certainly wasn't going for a rigid to the minute schedule, but being really organized about it in advance allowed me to be more flexible with my time the day of cause I knew it was all taken care of, there was no need to rush. Make sure at least one other reliable person (other than FI) knows the plan, so that if you get off schedule they can gently bring you back or extricate you from conversations, etc.
 

TooPatient

Ideal_Rock
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4ever|1362825599|3400482 said:
Hmmm, I would personally put ceremony 5:30pm and dinner and dancing to follow or formal reception to follow etc on the invitation.
The check in, tasting and brunch times I'd want on a separate info sheet or website and on the RSVP. The reason being I don't like to overcrowd the invitation with extra info and if the tasting etc was just on the RSVP guests wouldn't have a copy of the times to hold onto.
Crowded isn't good. I like your idea of separate info sheets and a website. Most of our guests wouldn't bother with a website, but it may be nice to have as an option. At the very least, I think the wine tasting needs to be a separate card in the invitation along with a separate line on the RSVP. The winery is flexible enough that a few adding or dropping the day of won't be a problem. I'd just like to be able to give them a rough estimate to be ready with wine & munchies.

I like the wording with "formal reception to follow". I've seen "dinner & dancing" used in this area with the people we're inviting to mean semi-formal sort of organized chaos. That is NOT the impression I'd like people to have!
 

TooPatient

Ideal_Rock
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Joined
Sep 1, 2009
Messages
8,467
aviastar|1362858998|3400731 said:
Talk to your hair and makeup people before finalizing this, I think. Many people have hair done in the am, hours before a ceremony so I think you can certainly do that. Makeup, I would want closer to ceremony and picture time, but if you are doing first look pictures be sure you have enough time.

One of the very best decisions I made for myself on my wedding day, was to simply to retire from everything about 1 pm for a 6:30 pm ceremony. I showered, had my hair and makeup done, had time to spend with my bridesmaids while they got ready, too. I needed that time when nothing was expected of me and everyone else came and went, but I didn't have to- it was so calming. Not everyone needs/wants that, but just food for thought.

Just want to say, I hope I am being helpful, I used to be a stage manager/event organizer so I think there is high value in building in time for everything and having it spelled out that way. Ignore me if you find this unhelpful!

So let's think about the whole day and how it all fits together:


9-11 am: Rehearsal. You may not need the time, but if you only schedule 30 mins and need more time it will be stressful. Will everyone who needs to participate in the rehearsal be here at this time, including officiant? Does the venue know you need to be in this space at this time?

Question: Is your venue/event person taking care of receiving the florist delivery and placing them, decorating, receiving the cake, putting programs out on chairs? The vineyard has an event manager who is taking care of that for you, right?

12:00: Relaxing and private lunch with FI (definitely eat now! You will be starving later!)

1:00-3:00: Shower, hair, get dressed for wine tasting

3:00-4:00: Wine Tasting

4:00-5:00: Guests can check in and get ready. Hair touch ups (veil or flowers added?), makeup, get into weddings dress, shoes, bouquet/bout hand out. Groom gets ready.

5:00-5:30: First Look pictures
(do you want a few mins after pictures to be separate from FI while you get ready to walk down the aisle?)
5:30- 6:00/6:30: Ceremony

6:00/6:30-7:00: Cocktail Hour. More pictures if needed/wanted.

7:00-11:00 Reception.

Personally, I think the time between the tasting and the ceremony is your most crunched and I would want more time to get ready and take pictures. You do have time after the ceremony during cocktails to do family shots, so I would plan on more photos then to make more time before the ceremony. Is your photog with you all day? Do you want any getting ready photos or wine tasting photos?

Also, I was a BM in my bestie's destination wedding at a venue that sounds similar- we all stayed in the hotel attached to the grounds where all the events were held. Don't forget to factor in the time it takes to get places- you're guests are super excited to be there and see you!! They will stop by your room, stop you in the hallway, want to chat after the tasting, take pictures; your extra minutes will get eaten up, so build them in generously! This was one of the best weddings I have ever attended because of lovely, personal feel of all those moments!

My wedding was small (30 people) and at home, so I certainly wasn't going for a rigid to the minute schedule, but being really organized about it in advance allowed me to be more flexible with my time the day of cause I knew it was all taken care of, there was no need to rush. Make sure at least one other reliable person (other than FI) knows the plan, so that if you get off schedule they can gently bring you back or extricate you from conversations, etc.
Aviastar,

Your advice is amazing! I'm not suprised to hear that you did event organization. I like having planned in time for everything (and extra time for stuff like chatting on the sidewalk). Even when we're just doing dinner for a handful of people I like to know how long each dish will take, how long the oven takes to heat/cool, how far in advance water can be placed on the table, etc. I'm not really a "go with the flow" kind of person (I have been working on this for stuff that really should be just "go with the flow"!) and never have been.
The challenge I've run into with wedding planning is that I don't know all the detail bits to plan for. I've only been to a small number of weddings and all were super informal. The people in my life I should be able to call and brainstorm with aren't available for this kind of thing. They don't see a wedding as anything "worth spending money on" and think I'd be better off having a potluck (yes... ask the guests to bring food :-o ) in the backyard.

Will be back later tonight to type a longer reply. Will hopefully have more information after spending a day at the winery with the coordinator and others.
 

TooPatient

Ideal_Rock
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Messages
8,467
9-11 am: Rehearsal. You may not need the time, but if you only schedule 30 mins and need more time it will be stressful. Will everyone who needs to participate in the rehearsal be here at this time, including officiant? Does the venue know you need to be in this space at this time? -- Good idea! If there is extra time, we can maybe have lunch early or just spend some time relaxing.

Question: Is your venue/event person taking care of receiving the florist delivery and placing them, decorating, receiving the cake, putting programs out on chairs? The vineyard has an event manager who is taking care of that for you, right? -- She receives everything. If it is small (like programs or favors or whatever) we can drop it off or have it sent to her a week early so it is ready to go. She works with the staff at the winery to get all tables, chairs, flowers, decorations, etc set up and cleaned up so we don't have to worry about it.

12:00: Relaxing and private lunch with FI (definitely eat now! You will be starving later!) -- I've got reservations in the restaurant tentatively for 11am. I think what we may do is have rabbi, cantor, and their wives (if they are able to attend) enjoy lunch in the restaurant and then FI and I sit on the private patio and have a quiet lunch together. I don't do well if I don't eat anyway, but with the wine tasting I really want to make sure we've both eaten!

1:00-3:00: Shower, hair, get dressed for wine tasting -- I think as part of this time I will have my hair actually done for the wedding. I'll check with the hair stylist (once I check out a couple and find one!) and make sure she thinks this is a good idea. I don't see why it wouldn't be, but it never hurts to ask what other people know.

3:00-4:00: Wine Tasting -- Yum! We just did a tasting of 14 wines (plus a glass with light lunch) yesterday. If I could stay standing for that, the 6-8 we'll be tasting should be no problem! The event coordinator suggested that we consider shifting hors d'oeurves to be served with the wine tasting. After people have driven a couple of hours, I think this may be nice. It would also address my concern that people may not take the time for lunch and would have difficulty with the tasting.

4:00-5:00: Guests can check in and get ready. Hair touch ups (veil or flowers added?), makeup, get into weddings dress, shoes, bouquet/bout hand out. Groom gets ready. -- This should be easily done in an hour. I'll have to make sure I'm good at getting into my dress and know how long it will take. (plus leave extra for the unexpected)

5:00-5:30: First Look pictures
(do you want a few mins after pictures to be separate from FI while you get ready to walk down the aisle?) -- Eh. Not important to me. The pictures are good, but once they are done I'm fine just going straight into the ceremony.

5:30- 6:00/6:30: Ceremony -- I need to check the sundown for the day. Depending on that and when the light is best, we might be able to shift to 6pm to give people more time to get ready and then get most/all of the photos done before the ceremony. We had dinner there last night and it looks like (at least for this time of year) the sun is amazing from 6-6:30 but gets pretty dim/dull/dark soon after. We might be safest sticking to 5:30.

6:00/6:30-7:00: Cocktail Hour. More pictures if needed/wanted. -- As RSVP's come in, we may choose to add more hors d'oeurves at this point or just skip it and go into the 3 course dinner. They have this amazing fresh baked bread and herbed butter that sits on the table as they serve and they'd keep refilling as needed. The hors d'oeurves we had yesterday (which were really yummy!) looked rather small and lite, but with even just a few it was really quite filling. By the time we got to dinner (some hours later) I was already pretty stuffed.

7:00-11:00 Reception. -- I need to remember to talk to the DJ and see about adding lighting. The pictures of the room I loved so much had delicate uplighting provided by the DJ.
 

aviastar

Brilliant_Rock
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Oct 5, 2010
Messages
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Excellent! The event planner at the vineyard should be able to go over this stuff with you, too. And talk to your vendors, too, about time estimates. This is a good basic outline, but if your hair dresser thinks she will need an hour and half between blow drying, setting, and styling, then you have to readjust. I think you should be fine to get your hair done early- most people do- unless you decide to go with loose curls or something. That lasts approximately 10 minutes in my hair, so it could never stay nice if done in advance. But I wouldn't want my flowers or veil on for the wine tasting. I wore flowers in my hair and they needed to be placed when the style was done, some veils are the same. So it depends a little on your final choices.

Skip the cocktail hour if you think it's not going to add anything to the day and you don't want/need the extra time for pictures. It can be a big extra expense and if your party is small then most likely they can mingle/chat over dinner. Especially since there will be bread and drinks available, go ahead and let your guests just head on into dinner, but leave like 30 mins before dinner is actually scheduled to be served. That first few moments when you have finished the ceremony and walked back down the aisle with your husband(!!!), all I wanted in the whole world was a few minutes alone with him. I didn't think of that in advance; luckily, after a few family members who wanted hugs- especially the kids- we snuck off with our photographer and let everyone else wander over to the appetizers. I mean, I JUST married this man, I want to be hugging him, not my father in law! Some of my very favorite pictures are from those moments; so happy, so private, so un-formal.

Oh, and if you do have a cocktail thing with food- ask the kitchen to set up a plate for you in advance. Some of those little yummies go fast- I paid for them and I want to make sure I actually get to eat some!

I like plans, and schedules, :twirl: , they make me feel in control; even if I change things mid day, it's an intentional and rational choice, rather than a chaotic slide into whatever happens. I can't seem to talk about schedules and plans without writing a novel- sorry! :oops:
 

TooPatient

Ideal_Rock
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5:30-6:30 will be "twilight"

Just posted in the "getting lost" thread too.

Gah! To shift or not to shift!!!

I didn't want to shift and make the getting ready time shorter, but I don't know that "twilight" is good either.
I've got to e-mail and see if we can move up the check-in times even 1/2 hour. That would really help.
 

atp223

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Aug 27, 2011
Messages
290
We just had a "destination" wedding in the bahamas, and we had events on Thurs and Fri (day and night), as well as buses that had to pick people up in their respective towers of the hotel at particular times on the Saturday (wedding day!). We didn't put any of that info in the invitation (the invite just had the ceremony start time; everything followed directly/sequentially after) - we put it all on the website and on itineraries we put in the welcome bags. Everyone thanked us for the itineraries and said they were really helpful. I could be wrong, but most people will probably not bring the invite or enclosure card with them, and having a detailed itinerary waiting for them would probably be very appreciated. That would be my recommendation!
 

missy

Super_Ideal_Rock
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TooPatient|1364713547|3417236 said:
5:30-6:30 will be "twilight"

Just posted in the "getting lost" thread too.

Gah! To shift or not to shift!!!

I didn't want to shift and make the getting ready time shorter, but I don't know that "twilight" is good either.
I've got to e-mail and see if we can move up the check-in times even 1/2 hour. That would really help.

I would move it up half an hour then as a compromise. Enough time to get ready and enough daylight left.
No matter what you decide it's going to be an amazing day TP!!!
 

audball

Ideal_Rock
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missy|1364850456|3418117 said:
I would move it up half an hour then as a compromise. Enough time to get ready and enough daylight left.
No matter what you decide it's going to be an amazing day TP!!!
I like this idea!
 
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