When the Time is Right

Written by on . Posted in Info for Brides

…Choosing the perfect time for your ceremony.

Our appointment had been planned almost three weeks in advance.  I was nervous and anxious, so my fiance picked me up from work early so that we could get there a few minutes before the time our meeting was actually scheduled for.  In my little tote, I carried my thick binder and all my ideas and checklists.  We were visiting the church to secure our date!

We sat down, began talking vaguely about what type of ceremony we wanted to have, and what size bridal party we had.  Then, I remember the church coordinator returning my beam while sliding her planning sheet across her desk to us.  My smile slowly dripped into my lap when I realized that the paper was a list of the available times for our ceremony.   There was an 9am, 11am, and a 4:00om slot. My fiance and I exchanged what I’m sure were very puzzled faces as we tried to shield our embarrassment for not having a clear idea about this in advance.  No one ever told me this was an important thing to think about.

If you and your intended are anything like me and my husband were, don’t panic!  It is okay, I promise.  Here are a few things to keep in mind when selecting the time that you start your future:

  • Food - What kind of food would you like to serve your guests at your reception?  A light brunch would be a perfect follow-up for a sunrise ceremony, and also a welcome cut in the cost of your catering!  Wedding receptions held after 5, traditionally serve a heavier meal.
  • Formality - A formal, black-tie affair, for instance, usually takes place after 5pm, but changing trends lend themselves easily to a 4:30 time slot if necessary.  Be aware, contrary to tradition, an after-five reception does NOT have to consist of a full-course meal, and can also be executed with heavy hors d’oeuvres.   However, be sure that if you go this route you release your guests at an hour that won’t cause them to have to run out of your reception looking for a 24 hour joint that will feed them!
  • Are you a morning person? – On a regular day, I can stand to keep collecting beauty sleep until nearly 1pm if I’m left undisturbed.  Knowing this about myself, and my family members, led me to select a 4pm time.  I did not want to leave it to chance that any of us overslept or that any appointments could run late, etc, which would cause my wedding to be delayed.  Be honest with yourself and select a time that is most appropriate for your personality and needs.
  • Distance – If your ceremony is taking place in a location that is pretty far from where most of your guests live or will be boarding, select a time that will give them the opportunity to make it to your venue.
  • Special Effects -  Having sparkler’s lead your way from your reception into your getaway car is a beautiful sentiment, but not at 2pm.  If you are planning for any special tweaks to wow your guests as you leave or arrive, be sure to make the time appropriate to showcase them!

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