Church ceremony start times

Hello all, I am new to the forum having got engaged on bonfire night

We  have decided to have a winter  wedding and in order to make the most of the winter daylight hours the Church of England ceremony will be starting at 10am. The reception is 40 minutes drive away at Northbrook Park.

me and my fiance are happy with this timing, but his mum thinks that we should shift the times so that his Grandfather (92 years old) who is travelling from Somerset to London can make it. 

The only problem is that if we shift to a later time then the guests will miss the beauty of the reception venue, am I being selfish?

 

 

Posts

  • SadieeeSadieee Posts: 1,781 New bride

    We are getting married in December, our church ceremony at 2.30pm. After watching the light on our date we know that it will be light when we get there, and after a 40min-1hr ceremony, it will be light when we come out as well for some pics (our venue is next door so no travelling)

    For us though, the point of picking winter wedding was to enjoy the lighting it gives. Pics in the dusk, pics using christmas lights etc although yes the reception venue is important, as it's winter are your guests really going to stand around outside looking at your venue? Most will want to go straight inside where it's warm, so will only see inside anyway, which of course will be lit.

    On our date (8th december), the official sunset time is 3.44pm, though it's around 4pm that its dark. Using this timing (it only varies by a small bit throughout the winter months) working bakwards, if you wanted your guests to glimps your venue as they arrive they could arrive for 3pm, meaning leave your church at around 2.20pm, to give a bit of room for travel, say leave at 2pm. A CofE ceremony is around 40mins to 1hr roughly, so you would want this done by 1.45pm to give room for people chatting, using toilet etc, a 1hr ceremon before this takes you to 12.45pm.

    So, basically in a long winded way what I am trying to say is...

    Ceremony 12.45pm

    Leave for venue 2pm

    Arrive at venue 2.40pm

    Guests still have an hour to an hour and half of daylight to see the venue before it gets dark.

    That way you are keeping everyone happy :)

  • MrsMcSMrsMcS Posts: 235

    10am does sound like a very early start to me, the earliest ceremony I have ever been to was 12pm and that felt like a long day!

    Are most of your guests local or will many be travelling? Unless I lived very close by, a 10am start would probably mean I felt the need to stay over the night before. Are there affordable places to stay nearby? Otherwise a 2 night stay could be prohibitively expensive for some guests.

    Also consider whether you want your guests to be dancing and celebrating with you until the end. A wedding is a long day and when we have been to 12pm ceremonies I have struggled to make it to midnight. A 10am start would be even worse, especially if I had to get up very early to get there.

    Hope you don't take this negatively, just a couple of other aspects to consider when making this decision.

  • SadieeeSadieee Posts: 1,781 New bride

    Yeah I also have to agree, I went to an 11am wedding once and I was home in bed by 10pm, couldn't do it any longer!

  • lubeslubes Posts: 1,555

    You're not being selfish, but I do think you're being foolish. With all due respect, 10am is incredibly early for a wedding ceremony regardless of the daylight hours. If you're planning on an early finish or not having an evening reception, then an earlier ceremony could work, but if you're still going for a traditional day in terms of a wedding breakfast, evening reception, first dance...then I seriously think you need to shift the times by a good two or three hours. You'll struggle to retain people beyond your first dance otherwise. As MrsMcS says, weddings are lovely, but long and tiring for all involved. I think a 1pm ceremony would be a much more acceptable time. If your guests got to the venue by 2:30pm, there's a good hour to 'appreciate' it before it gets dark. 

    Sadie raises a really valid point about guests only staying inside. Don't get me wrong a beautiful venue is a nice touch, but I think you're very mistaken if you think your guests will appreciate it for more than a few minutes. What if it's raining for example? I would be bolting inside from the car! 

    I think you both need to have a think about your day from a guest's perspective. I don't mean to be harsh, but you are asking an awful lot of them...and all because you want them to see how pretty your venue is. No offence, but your priorities are a bit wrong here! x

  • SadieeeSadieee Posts: 1,781 New bride

    Plus, this is your H2B's grandfather, I don't know their relationship but I would do whatever it took to ensure my grandparents were there, in fact we have! We chose a church and venue (a 700 year old  barn) that are on the same grounds as well as being a 1 minute walk to a recommended hotel so that one of my grandfathers (I am lucky enough to have all 4 grandparents still here) didn't have to walk far and could get himself to bed early and easily if needed

  • Amanda198Amanda198 Posts: 152

    I personally also think a 10am wedding is very early, you need to consider if people are travelling, if they have children who are or aren't invited as they will need to get them sorted and also the time you and your bridal party will need to start getting ready. My makeup artist and hairdresser want me in my dress 45-60mins before so they can do any last minute touch ups and gives the photographer chance for photos.

    When we booked our wedding for July this year we had only 2 slots available for the regustrar, 11am and 2.30. We opted for 2.30 as we're aware people are travelling but also we felt we would need to cater or give the guests something to do for the time between the wedding breakfast and evening reception as not everyone will be staying over which was going to add more expense.xx 

  • bella2015bella2015 Posts: 1,903 New bride

    Have to agree with the others that 10am is way too early. Have you considered your own preparation time in terms of hair, make up etc , and for your bridesmaids too if you're  having them? 

    A 10am ceremony makes it a really long day and I think you'll find you'll have a lot of guests leaving early. 

  • WynterWynter Posts: 7
    Thanks Sadieee , this is super helpful and makes sense. They probably won't spend endless amounts of time outside marvelling at how pretty the venue is. I am currently trying to work out a 12pm ceremony which should be pretty reasonable for everyone. 
    We are having an engagement shoot, we can do that during the daytime, a couple months ahead of the wedding.

     

  • WynterWynter Posts: 7
    MrsMcS wrote (see post):

    "10am does sound like a very early start to me, the earliest ceremony I have ever been to was 12pm and that felt like a long day!

    Are most of your guests local or will many be travelling? Unless I lived very close by, a 10am start would probably mean I felt the need to stay over the night before. Are there affordable places to stay nearby? Otherwise a 2 night stay could be prohibitively expensive for some guests."

    The vast majority of the guests are from London, So i dont think they would be to phased by the journey. You are right though, two nights hotel stay might be a bit much.

     

     

     

  • WynterWynter Posts: 7
    lubes ouch! Thank you for the honesty, albeit a bit harsh. It is true though - probably not best to stress out the guests unduly  
  • WynterWynter Posts: 7

    Thank you everyone for your advice - I think we will shift the times so that the ceremony starts at 12pm.

    I think I may be considering H2B's granddad a bit more than my H2B is, he is such a lovely man - would be a massive shame to not to have him there.

     

     

  • SadieeeSadieee Posts: 1,781 New bride

    Glad you are getting it sorted in a way that will hopefully keep everyone happy :D Good luck!!

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