November 1st 2015 was daylight savings time. Fall Back! Your ceremony time should fall back slightly as well if you are looking into an evening ceremony! You want to have beautiful dusk ceremony pictures, but you also want to have pictures where you and your guest can your kiss as Mr. and Mrs! (** 2016 brides, daylights savings is March 13th 2016 Spring Forward!)I advise you work with your wedding photographer and your wedding planner/director they will be able to help direct you to choose the perfect time for beautiful pictures as well as what will be the best ceremony experience for your guests!
Other than lighting details, there are other things you should consider to enhance your experience and your guest’s experience!
- Hiring a shuttle bus for your bridal party if you are planning all day mimosas or a big party reception! This is the group of people that are going to be with you from the moment you wake up to the moment you and your groom are sent off! If there is a central location where you are meeting and staying together such as a hotel or someone’s home they are graciously letting your party camp out the weekend of, be generous to your bridal party! It is also a great way to get people there at the same time as well as a safe ride back.
- Serve a heavier menu if you are going to have a later ceremony. ESPECIALLY if you plan on serving alcohol. You want your guests to stay a majority of the reception, but we have seen it. People will dip out quickly after saying hello when their tummy’s are rumbling and we will be doubling up on sparklers with the remainder of guests for your send off. Southern House and Garden’s The Southern Bliss Menu is a great one for an evening wedding with alcohol. It has food items to choose from to satisfy even the pickiest of eaters and heavy enough to be able to serve alcohol comfortably. If you do not want to serve heavier foods, but would still like to serve alcohol, we suggest The Southern Rustic Package. It is light food, but still a little heavier than your traditional cake, punch and nuts. If you don’t want to feed your guests, or it’s just not in your wedding budget, and you still want alcohol, we advise a champagne toast or a couple bottles of wine. Stocking a full bar is not safe on your wallet or for your guests.
A ceremony generally lasts 20- 30 minutes from processional to recessional. Sometimes even quicker than 20 minutes! A majority of your time is the processional, so when you are choosing a ceremony think about the size of your bridal party! This includes grandparents, parents, groomsmen, bridesmaids, flower girl and ring bearer, and of course the Bride’s March! Then your personalized or traditional vows/ unity ceremony is up to you, your groom and your minister! Your prelude starts 30 minutes prior to your ceremony time. That is generally the earliest your guests will start arriving. So for some of your guests, your ceremony will last an hour for them.
If you take only one thing from this post let it be this: Have the ceremony you have always dreamed of, but also be mindful of the experience your guests are having as well!