Skip to main content

Post content has been hidden

To unblock this content, please click here

Newbie October 2024 Ontario

Ceremony start times - what’s best for the flow?

Caitlin, on March 12, 2023 at 07:54 Posted in Plan a wedding 0 7
Hi all! We are flip-flopping over our ceremony start time. We have three options; 1pm, 3pm, and 5pm (no flex in those). We haven’t really given consideration to, and have eliminated, 1pm as an option.

Things to note: our date is October 19, 2024 and we are located an hour or so out of Toronto, Ontario. And we are doing a first look followed by family photos before the ceremony. We anticipate a good number of people will be staying over. We don’t expect a whole lot of time being spent on speeches. We need to shut down by 1 am
3pm- allows for more reception time and avoids cramping that bit - as October can be a wild card for weather, it allows for the outdoor ceremony to hopefully be held at a ‘warmer’ / more comfortable time of day for guests- guests cannot check into the hotel first as check in is at 4 with no guaranteed early check in which leaves guests unable to freshen up in their own space upon arrival and leaves them to figure out when to best check (I.e., cocktail hour but that takes them away from things or at the end of the night)
5pm- tighter / less reception time yet we still want to make sure our guests have time to enjoy the “party” piece of it and not rush dinner. - may be too cool now to enjoy cocktail hour on the patio- guests can conveniently check in and remain with us for the entire festivities - we can join our guests for cocktails as most photos will have already been taken


Latest activity by Amanda, on March 16, 2023 at 20:03
  • Amanda
    Featured August 2022 British Columbia
    Amanda ·
    • Dispute
    • Hide content

    I think 3pm is a great time! My husband and I had our ceremony at 330pm

    • Reply
    Featured October 2023 Ontario
    KELLY ·
    • Dispute
    • Hide content

    We are getting married on a Friday and chose a 4pm start time. One thing I would keep in mind is if you want photos taken outside it gets darker earlier.

    • Reply
  • Carine
    Featured September 2023 Ontario
    Carine ·
    • Dispute
    • Hide content

    3pm is the perfect time. Give you guys time to prep and relax, guest don't have to wait so long between ceremony and reception.

    • Reply
  • Hank
    Featured September 2021 Ontario
    Hank ·
    • Dispute
    • Hide content

    You probably prefer 3pm in hopes you can have an outdoor ceremony but unless your reception starts fairly early (6pm dinner), that's a lot of time for people to kill. Them being an hour away from home makes it highly unlikely that they'll leave and come back. And while some will stay the night, quite a few people likely won't.

    I would personally do 5pm. I just wouldn't bank on Oct 19 having ideal weather for an outdoor ceremony. Just plan it for inside so you don't have to stress watching the weather reports days leading up to the big event. Even if it doesn't rain, it'll be cold and for seniors/kids, that's just a miserable time for when it's supposed to be a happy celebratory day.

    • Reply
  • Julie
    Featured May 2023 Ontario
    Julie ·
    • Dispute
    • Hide content
    Hmmmmm tough one. 3pm sounds like a better so you can go with the timeline ypu have in mind. Honestly your guests with rooms will figure it out. Our wedding is at 4pm, with check in at 3pm....we made sure to tell guests to call the hotel the morning of to see about early check in.
    • Reply
  • Brittany
    Featured August 2023 Alberta
    Brittany ·
    • Dispute
    • Hide content

    Personally, I would do 3 pm.

    It gives enough time in the morning for Bride and Groom with wedding parties to get ready. Followed by family photos and first look photos in the afternoon sun. Ceremony starts at 3 pm, after that you start the wedding party photos, which gives the guest time to check in and relax.

    Have your cocktail hour around 4:30 to 5:30 pm (when you are doing your photos with the groom). Every one move to the reception location and then do your grand entrance around 5:45 pm, dinner ready for 6 pm and the rest of the events follow.

    • Reply
  • K1327
    Featured August 2022 Ontario
    K1327 ·
    • Dispute
    • Hide content

    Hmmm... kind of a tough one. I feel like I'd be more inclined to do the 3pm because honestly, the day flies by and it already feels like there is not enough time so with 5pm, you may feel rushed. Is it a smaller party or larger guest list? I think it's sweet of you to be thinking about guests not being able to check in in time but honestly I don't think it's a huge deal. As a guest I would either stay over the night before or maybe cause it is only an hour away, just get ready at home and come ready - an hour is not too far to go for a wedding. Also if you have your ceremony at 3pm, what if you do dinner at like 6/6:30pm, with cocktail hour 5-6pm, that way everyone can maybe head back to hotel (if they want to check in at 4pm, after ceremony, but still head back and make it time for cocktail hour) - is this an option? Also, 3pm you still might be able to catch some sun for outdoor ceremony in October like you said which I know we cannot predict the weather but chances are higher and I think would be nicer.

    • Reply

You voted for . Add a comment 👇


Related articles


WeddingWire Article Topics