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Hayley
Beginner May 2024 South East London

Evening wedding - need opinions on timings

Hayley, 18 of April of 2024 at 11:35 Posted on Planning 1 7

Hello brides!

My partner and I aren't doing a sit-down meal at our wedding, instead we are doing an evening wedding with canapes, grill and dessert. I've written out a rough timeline, and need opinions if you think too much time passes inbetween food.


7:30-8:00pm - Ceremony

8:00-8:30pm - Receiving line, getting everyone into position for group photo

8:30-8:35pm - Group photo

8:35-9:05pm - Drinks and canapes

9:05-9:35pm - Speeches

9:40-10:00pm - First dance, a few songs and a group dance

10:00pm - Grill opens

10:45pm - Dessert served

12:45am - Last call


I've never been to a wedding like ours, so really I want an outsider perspective!

7 replies

Latest activity by Greeny, 25 of April of 2024 at 09:41
  • R
    VIP July 2020 Monmouthshire
    RomanticGreenStationery27135 ·
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    Are you just having the one photo? If not, when do all the others happen?

    How many guests do you have? That will depend on how much time you need for your receiving line.

    Personally, I'd do the food first followed by the speeches and dances. Partly because it's quite late to be eating a main meal with your current timing, but also because people tend to listen better to speeches when they've been fed!

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  • L
    Beginner May 2025 Wiltshire
    Laura ·
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    Was going to say the same - I would move dinner earlier and have canapé/survivor breakfast towards the end of the night
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  • Hayley
    Beginner May 2024 South East London
    Hayley ·
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    We’re doing all our photos before the ceremony. Guests will know the timing of food, and will be told to eat something before they arrive. Canapes are coming around to be served on an outdoor decking area so it doesn’t really make sense to do them any later 😅 guests are only arriving at 7ish so I feel like waiting 1.5 hours for canapés and 3 hours for main food isn’t that late but maybe you’re right
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  • S
    Dedicated July 2024 West Midlands
    SL WaltonJones ·
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    Sounds gorgeous. Similar to others I'd swap your canapes and grill the other way round. Maybe reduce the time for speeches, but it depends how many you're having. As you said if people are coming to an event in the evening so they know to eat beforehand! The evening sounds lovely
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  • R
    VIP July 2020 Monmouthshire
    RomanticGreenStationery27135 ·
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    I was thinking more that I wouldn't want to be eating a lot that late at night. Maybe all your guests are night owls who stay up till the small hours, but for me, there is no way I would want to be eating a meal at 10 and a desert at 11pm!

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  • PhotographybyBillHaddon
    Super January 3000 Leicestershire
    PhotographybyBillHaddon ·
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    I'm a late eater and so I know that most people are not. I think 10 pm may be an issue for people.

    You could save a lot of time by not having a receiving line, I hardly ever see them now, the thing is it can take 1/2 hour filing past but I always think that half hour would be better spent mingling and chatting, then someone can announce the big photo. Is this happening in an outside space, how many people are there, have you discussed it with your photographer for their feedback on the best time and place to do it..

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  • M
    Beginner April 2024 Tamil Nadu
    Madhan ·
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