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Hank
Featured September 2021 Ontario

Ceremony Time and Length

Hank, on January 19, 2022 at 11:00 Posted in Wedding ceremony 1 18
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What time is everyone having their ceremony: earlier in the day or closer to the reception? How long do you plan your ceremony to be? Do you have any specific elements in your ceremony that you'll be doing?

An early ceremony means less time to set up and get ready (unless you wake up really early) and potentially have a large gap in between the day before the reception. Some venues, like a church, require an early ceremony. But you can take advantage of the longer sunlight hours for bridal photo sessions regardless of the time of year.

A later ceremony means more time to get ready but depending on the time of year and where you are, outdoor options are limited as it can be dark or cold in certain parts of the country or certain times of the year. But if you're in a single venue, it presents a cohesive event for your guests that doesn't take up someone's whole day.

We had ours at 5:30pm and it lasted 25 minutes including the procession. We then spent 20 minutes taking portraits with all our guests at the ceremony, which was nice as it allows us to have formal photos with everyone in attendance. It worked for us because our wedding was all held in one venue. Photos were also better since the sun is not as harsh as it would be around noon hour. We also took advantage of it's close proximity to golden hour for photos while guests enjoyed cocktail hour.

Ceremony Time and Length 1

18 Comments

Latest activity by Vinod, on January 25, 2022 at 14:31
  • Vinod
    Featured August 2017 Ontario
    Vinod ·
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    Our ceremony time was 4:30pm as we started our day schedule at 1pm. The plan was getting all the shots of the outfits/suits/accessories/wedding items; and then 1 hour each with each family for getting ready shots before the wedding time. This cut down the time with family after to get the group pictures taken after the wedding itself and moved on with the reception and couple shots in our suits.

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  • Annieroydube
    Beginner September 2024 Ontario
    Annieroydube ·
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    Noted!!! Thank you
    • Reply
  • Rayanne
    Featured June 2022 Ontario
    Rayanne ·
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    Definitely have to find the positive in all this right now.
    • Reply
  • Hank
    Featured September 2021 Ontario
    Hank ·
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    SCORE! So glad things are working out nicely for you.

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  • Rayanne
    Featured June 2022 Ontario
    Rayanne ·
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    For us everyone safety about not driving in winter plus older guests not walking through snow was worth it but definitely not worth it in the summer 🤣
    • Reply
  • Rayanne
    Featured June 2022 Ontario
    Rayanne ·
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    I get the entire chapel (decorated) and officiant fees for under $700 the room at the venue was $2000 PLUS I still had to get the officiant for about $500 and pay for any decorations.
    • Reply
  • Hank
    Featured September 2021 Ontario
    Hank ·
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    Wow, it's actually cheaper to rent an external venue than getting an extra room in the hotel for the ceremony? If that's the case, nice! Glad there's a silver lining to the postponement.

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  • Rayanne
    Featured June 2022 Ontario
    Rayanne ·
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    Originally we were booked for a 4:30 ceremony and down the hall to our cocktail hour starting at 5. Now that we are changing gears from winter wedding to summer we are now having a 2:30 wedding. We had everything booked for one venue in case of weather but since there (shouldn't be any snow) we have a chapel booked. The cost savings is totally worth it. We had to choose between 11:30 or 2:30 that day. I still want to get our first look pictures done before reception so we will most likely meet at the botanical gardens for pictures at around noon then go to chapel for 2:30. The chapel is ours for an hour so we can get some photos there after the ceremony and then over to reception which we are hoping to start cocktail hour for 4:30. My workplace is in between the chapel and reception so I would like to stop by work to see some of my residents before we head over. Some of them are so excited about my wedding 😊 I'm looking at having a photographer only for first look and ceremony. So from noon till 4 definitely a huge saving there as well. Everything else will have to be with phones. We don't care about the cake cutting or first dance photos.
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  • Hank
    Featured September 2021 Ontario
    Hank ·
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    If you're having an early dinner, then that works. Since your time is not locked, I would look into what direction the property faces and how the sun will hit it at 3pm. You may have to adjust the time a bit depending on that. Wouldn't want all your photos at the ceremony to be squinting your eyes hahaha

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  • Hank
    Featured September 2021 Ontario
    Hank ·
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    Nice! Just make sure you're not near water or else the bugs will eat you alive Smiley atonished

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  • Annieroydube
    Beginner September 2024 Ontario
    Annieroydube ·
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    We want a sunset ceremony and plan on keeping it short & sweet🥰
    • Reply
  • Hailey
    Featured June 2022 British Columbia
    Hailey ·
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    We are having the ceremony and reception in at my family's backyard!
    when my fiance and I talked about the time we thought 3:00 would be a good time since it's on my familys property also along with the fact the family will be heating up all the food. (Orginally thought we had to end early as I didn't want to go all night on my uncles property now I know we can go till whenever we want! No time limit haha)
    We also are opening up the photos to all our guests (after we get family photos),we have yard games and a photo booth so it opens up some flexible time for the "cocktail hour" I figure dinner will be around 530/6..
    I'm pretty go with the flow.. speeches during dinner maybe start dancing around 730/8 that's all unknown right now! Haha
    If you have any advice for a timeline I'm all ears!
    • Reply
  • Hank
    Featured September 2021 Ontario
    Hank ·
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    Haha, did you pick that time or is it a venue restriction? Are you having the ceremony where the reception will be?

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  • Hailey
    Featured June 2022 British Columbia
    Hailey ·
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    Our ceremony is at 3:00pm hoping it will be short and sweet.. that's all I have for a timeline right now lol
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  • Liberty
    Featured May 2022 Alberta
    Liberty ·
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    After the ceremony all the guests can head right to the reception hall for a cocktail hour then dinner service will start around 6pm
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  • Hank
    Featured September 2021 Ontario
    Hank ·
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    The shortest ceremony I've been to was 8 minutes. The longest ceremony I've been to was just under an hour because there was a lot of religious script readings and prayers (plus a few hiccups during the procession).

    Are you going straight to dinner after the ceremony?

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  • Liberty
    Featured May 2022 Alberta
    Liberty ·
    • Dispute
    Our ceremony is at 4pm, we're doing a first look and bridal party photos before ceremony. I personally don't like when there's a huge gap between the ceremony and reception.
    We haven't met with our officiant yet but ideally we would like a 20-30 min ceremony.
    • Reply
  • Amanda
    Featured August 2022 British Columbia
    Amanda ·
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    Our ceremony is happening at 330pm and it will be less then 30 minutes. Short and sweet
    • Reply

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