What is your opinion on these wedding options?

July 3rd, 2011

My fiance and I are recently engaged (April) and planning a small wedding (40 close family members) for Friday, July 8th. We have chosen the venue… now we have to decide on a time of day. We live in North Alabama so July is very hot and humid. I have family in GA who will be traveling around 4 hours.

Option 1 would be morning around 11 am with a nice lunch afterwards followed by cake and punch. The only issue here is asking people to travel 4 hours so early in the morning and the issue of people taking off of work since it is a Friday. Really, not many would be affected by taking off work, everyone is either retired, owns their business, or has a flexible work schedule and can ask off in advance easily.

The second option is around 8 pm (sun sets at 8 pm in July). We would then serve light snacks and cake afterwards. My only issue with this is that it would be very late for those who drive home afterwards or have children. Also, I hate that we would not serve them a full meal around 8:30pm. That is too late for a dinner so they wouldnt get to spend as much time with us. However, the venue would look so beautiful at night all lit up.

Tell me your thoughts. This is really a huge issue for us and the only thing we have left to solve.
The reason we are saying 11 am or 8pm is the coolest times. We dont mind getting ready early and we are not having a big wedding party, no bridesmaids or groomsmen.

everything is outdoors but the area for the food is a tent with lighting and fans. It will still be warm in July, there is no escaping it. There is an indoor area that has tables and restrooms for people to cool off but the event will be outdoors.

12 Responses to “What is your opinion on these wedding options?”

  1. Olivia J says:

    Congrats! I think later in the day is better – you won’t be boiling hot, and your family won’t have to wake up super early. Could you arrange for the out of town family to stay with another relative? Or at a motel? It would only be for one night.

    You could have your rehearsal around four pm, serve finger foods, thank your family etc, then go get ready for the big event. Your family can socialize while they wait.

  2. Vibiana says:

    I vote for the 11 AM plan. Some of your guests may opt to drive down the night before. It just sounds more hospitable.

  3. CeeCee says:

    If your reception is outdoors, then 11am is not really a good time period, since you said that you will be getting married on a July date in Alabama. Usually in the summer, the hottest weather occurs around noon to 4pm. As for 8pm, that does seem really late… why not 5pm? It’s not too late in the day, and your guests can always take off after lunch to get to the wedding. That, and the celebration would end at a decent point in the evening.

  4. CC 9/24/11 Bride says:

    I prefer the first option.

    We are marrying at noon and having a lunch reception at 1pm.

  5. mexi says:

    i think 11 would be fine. i’m assuming these people are very close friends and family, and would do what it takes to be there to celebrate with you.

  6. Jenny Lynne says:

    No. 1, if they want to come, they will drive and it being on a Friday, they will have the rest of the weekend to rest up. It gives you more time to be with family and friends and not feel so rushed and at 8 p.m. those with children who want to bring them or for them to see you being married, means for some very sleepy, crying children, just honest answer. This is their bedtime or close to it and people will have to leave right after the ceremony because of the children. So, to me the earlier one is the best option. If you want to invite friends/family with children, the kids will be so excited that they won’t miss nap time and will probably go to sleep on the drive home. Trying to think of their comfort also as you mention children and apparently want them at your wedding, which some people do not–it is just a matter of personal preference. Just me.

  7. Because I Said So says:

    You can’t have a morning wedding if guests are traveling 4 hours that day. I had a destination wedding last year and the problem we ran into was that our ceremony was 4pm- only one hour after hotel check in time. That didn’t allow our guests enough time to check in at their hotel, change clothes, and drive to the wedding venue, so many had to arrive the night before the wedding and pay for two nights’ hotel.

    You’re going to have to find one or two hotel options for your guests and send out that info with your invitations so they know nice local places to stay. You’re not paying for the rooms of course, but since they aren’t familiar with the area, you have to find hotel info for them. Once you confirm what check in time is (usually 3pm), use that to formulate your ceremony schedule. If your venue is near the hotels you choose, you could have the ceremony at 4:30 or 5pm, which means dinner would be served at 7 or 7:30pm after a cocktail hour.

  8. truefirstedition says:

    If it were me, I would do the evening wedding, just because that’s what I prefer. And you can certainly serve a meal at 8:30 – just let your guests know ahead of time that dinner will be provided, and they’ll save room!

  9. Perse says:

    Option one overall seems to be the better option, to allow more time for visiting. With either plan, guests will most likely have to book a hotel, so i wouldn’t take that into consideration. More importantly, of course you have to accommodate guests, but what do you and your partner want? Do you picture a morning wedding and day with family and friends, or do you see a romantic ceremony as the sun goes down and a celebration into the night?

  10. Aubree's Momma♥ says:

    Can you ask around? Ask what would work best for your family members/friends.
    Will they be staying in a hotel of driving both 4 hours there & 4 hours home in one day?
    I would assume that they’d be staying in a hotel rather than driving 8 hours in one day.

    If they would be staying in a hotel for just one night, Id do the 8pm ceremony/reception.
    There is something about the evening air, sunset, tent with dimmed lights that just
    screams romantic to me! 🙂 Good luck to you and congratulations! <3

  11. Debbie Rost says:

    I like option 1. The wedding in the daytime would appeal to me more then night. As you said most people would not have a problem taking Friday off and if you were my family i would drive up after work on Thursday and stay in a hotel so i would not have to drive early in the morning and kind of make it a nice 2 day trip. I would be able to drive home Friday after the wedding and i would not be driving twice in one day. If you have enough people willing to come on Thursday some hotel will give you a break on the price if you ask. Hope everything turns out well. To bad no flower girls. I work for a place that sells flower girls dresses but we also women dresses in case you are in need of that special dress.

  12. Sandy Ego says:

    Either way, the timing is awkward; but providing that the out of town guests will be staying in a hotel at least one night, the morning ceremony probably makes more sense logistically – they would drive down the night before, stay in a hotel, check out in the morning and head to the ceremony immediately, then after it’s over they can drive home and arrive at a reasonable time in the evening. The only thing is, it seems that 11 am would be too late to catch the morning “cool” – at least here in California, the heat starts early on the really hot days; by the time it’s 11-noon, it’s already as hot as it’s ever going to be. So not sure if having it at 11 am serves your purpose of avoiding the heat – an evening option might be a better solution for that.

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