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What time should you plan your symbolic wedding ceremony?

What time should you plan your symbolic wedding ceremony?

Dear brides & grooms,

I am currently preparing the 2017 wedding season and I realised that most couples ask themselves the same question: What time should they plan their symbolic wedding ceremony? It is indeed a relevant question as the time chosen for your symbolic wedding ceremony will necessary have an impact on the running of your entire wedding day. Moreover, brides and grooms realize that this decision needs to be made early on in their planning process as they need to include the time of their wedding ceremony in their invitations.

There is no rule however, in order to determine the most suitable time for your symbolic wedding ceremony I suggest you ask yourself the 3 following questions:

What time should you plan your symbolic wedding ceremony?

Will your civil wedding ceremony and your symbolic ceremony take place on the same day?

If you have decided to kill 2 birds with one stone and have both your civil and your symbolic wedding ceremonies on the same day, you need to plan for approx. 20 minutes at the French Mairie, another 20 minutes to allow for a few photos and for your guests to have a chat. Also, work out how long it will take for you & your guests to make your way to where your symbolic wedding ceremony take place without breaking the speed limit. Do not rush, allow yourselves a few more minutes to relax and freshen up. Finally, let your guests take their seats; the more guests you have the longer i twill take. As a result, for example, if your civil ceremony takes place at 3pm, plan your symbolic wedding ceremony for 4.30pm at the earliest.

If your civil ceremony took place a day or so before your symbolic wedding ceremony, you will benefit from more flexibility but still, plan for sufficient time for your guests to make themselves comfortable. Allow approximately 20 minutes for 100 guests.

Are you planning to have an official photo session between your civil ceremony and your symbolic wedding ceremony?

Some couples prefer to have their official photo session with their photographer between the 2 ceremonies. If the photo session takes place before the civil ceremony, this means that the groom will see his bride’s wedding dress before the ceremony, which spoils the surprise therefore it is a good alternative to keep the moment as magical as possible. A professional photo session usually lasts around 2 hours therefore allow sufficient time between the two events. If only your close family is due to attend your civil ceremony, i twill make things easier as you will only need to mention the time for your symbolic wedding ceremony on your invitations. If, however, you wish all your guests to witness your civil ceremony, make sure they are kept entertained whilst you are going through your photo session. Make sure they know what to do and arrange for non-alcoholic drinks to be served, particularly if they cannot go home or back to their hotel room between both ceremonies.

What will happen after your symbolic wedding ceremony?

If a cocktail is due to take place after your symbolic wedding ceremony followed by diner, make sure your wedding ceremony does not take place too early in the day in order to avoid down times during which you will not know what to do with your guests. A symbolic wedding ceremony generally lasts between 35 and 45 minutes, therefore, if you plan it for 3pm, add another 1h30 for the cocktail, another 1hr or so for a photo session, then diner could be planned for 6.30pm. if you feel it is a little early, push back your wedding ceremony or organize outdoor games or any other kind of entertainment.

The ideal time for your symbolic wedding ceremony will therefore depend on many elements, however, most of the ceremonies we have the pleasure to celebrate take place after 4pm.

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