Now that we’ve just changed the clocks again for Daylight Saving Time, there’s a lot to consider (time-wise) when planning a wedding. Timing is so important throughout the rehearsal, ceremony, and reception.
If your ceremony is on a Saturday (as so many are), your rehearsal and rehearsal dinner are often on Friday evening. You may need to allow more time for some participants to travel from work during what is usually the worst rush hour of the week.
Time is even more of a consideration if your ceremony is on Friday evening. Remind guests to allow extra time for traffic, especially when driving in what may be an unfamiliar area.
The starting time for your ceremony may be dictated by the venue you choose. Some churches allow ceremonies to be performed only at certain times of day because of regularly scheduled services or because of the demands on their custodial staff. Many commercial venues will limit how late ceremonies can begin because the subsequent reception must end by a specific time due to local noise ordinances and because their staff needs to finish cleaning up no later than a certain hour to avoid overtime charges.
If you are having a traditional Jewish ceremony on Saturday, you may need to wait until sundown. You can find that information online for any date.
Try to avoid starting your reception more than an hour after the ceremony ends. That might be necessary if it takes an hour or more to travel from the ceremony to the reception, but that’s usually not the case. Perhaps it’s because of incompatibility between times available at the ceremony site and the reception site, but it presents a problem. The bridal party and immediate family may be involved in photographs after the ceremony, but what are the guests to do during that time? They expect to proceed to the cocktail hour and/or reception, but if they arrive before the reception is ready, what do they do when they’re “all dressed up with nowhere to go?”
If your ceremony is outdoors, remember that the hottest part of the day in summer is around 5:00pm, and it doesn’t begin to cool until about 9:00pm. If there’s no shade, do consider your guests (who will be sitting in the sun waiting for you before the ceremony) when you choose your starting time. Remember, too, that between the second weekend in March and the first weekend in November, it’s really an hour earlier than the clock as far as the sun is concerned.
Finally, it’s always a good idea to hire a wedding coordinator to keep everyone on schedule and to watch the clock for you. Believe it or not, most ceremonies do start on time, which is important because a very late ceremony will delay the reception, which may affect the quality of the food service. Most brides don’t wear a watch on their wedding day, and you’ll be too busy to keep track of time and a hundred details. An experienced wedding coordinator can advise you on the best way to schedule your wedding day so everyone can enjoy that special time!
Please call or send an email if you have any questions. I’d love to hear from you!