I had been really worried about our reception timeline for awhile. When we booked our ceremony and reception venues, the only things we asked ourselves were: Love the place? Check. Fit our budget? Check. Available on our proposed wedding date? Check. We were good to go. The thing is, our church schedules morning weddings at 11 a.m. Our reception venue is booked from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. What we didn't realize was that an 11 a.m. ceremony would cut our reception to about three and a half hours. A very cramped three and half hours. Our ceremony will last at least 30 minutes, and with 1 hour of portraits and photos, and about 10 minutes of travel time, lunch won't get started until close to 1 p.m. I figured we would be tossing dishes in front of our guests and as soon as they take their first bite, we'd be moving right into dessert. Bouquet toss? Forget about it. Speeches? Say "Thanks and good luck," Dad, and move right along. Seriously, I never knew that one lost hour would cost us so much.
So what to do? We already put down our deposits for both venues. Any way we can borrow time? Our reception venue told us extending our time slot was not an option. Great. My fiance thought it was a lost cause. We would just have to live with a very casual reception. I can live with casual, but darn it...we would barely have time to eat with that time frame, let alone dance. Would we even get through a song?
So, I thought I'd try and talk to our priest to see if starting our ceremony earlier would be an option. I thought it would be a long shot...perhaps they would have events already lined up for the day. If it wasn't possible, it would be ok. We had already resigned ourselves to a bare-boned, lunch-only-and-that's-it reception.
When I called our priest and sheepishly asked to move our ceremony earlier, say 10 a.m., he was more than willing. Not a problem, he said, that actually works out better for us. Perfect! It's an early ceremony (yeah, I'd like to see my punctually-challenged relatives be on time for that!), but hey, it gives us more time to really enjoy the day! We don't have to rush the ceremony or reception. Now we can listen to their embarrassing speeches!