Post # 1
I booked my venue for 4 hours based off what the recommendation was for the length of receptions: too long, and you’ll lose guests as the evening progresses. Well, because of cocktail hour, that means we have a 3 hour reception. Is this too short? I was sampling the timeline for 3 hours, and it looks like it’s only going to be an hour for dinner, an hour for dancing, and the last hour spread out at various times for things like first dance, toasts, cake cutting, etc.
Should I go ahead and try to get an extra hour or do you think 3 hours is manageable?
Another note: we were going to invite guests back to the hotel bar/restaurant for an after party. I doubt there will be dancing there, and we were planning on having games at the reception (like cornhole) so dancing and games will be limited to cocktail hour and dancing hour and to me that sounds limited.
Post # 3
I think a 3 hour reception is perfect, because it will still be 4 hours of socializing, including the cocktail hour. I think that’s a good amount for most people. The party animals can keep it going at the hotel bar.
Better to have it too short and leave people wanting more than to drag it out and have the reception hall half empty before it’s over!
Post # 4
Who told you receptions were generally too long? In my circle, receptions are min 5 hours and they seam too short.
I don’t know what cornhole is, but do you usually have dancing at your cocktail hour? We don’t start til after dinner.
I want my wedding to last a bit so I can soak it all in (See Mrs. Cola’s blog posts about too short receptions). I think your afterparty idea will give you a nice addition if you are worried about your day being too short.
Post # 5
My reception is 5 hours and I don’t expect anyone to leave early.
Typically the only people who leave early are parent’s friends or in town guests (from what I’ve seen). Your friends will generally party until the last song.
Post # 6
Cornhole is a popular northern game that is played at a lot of breweries in which there’s two teams trying to throw a bean bag in a hole. You get a variety of points based on how close you are to the whole or in the whole (like darts on the ground with bean bags).
Dancing would be after dinner, yes; I’m sorry I didn’t realize that sentence was as confusing as it was, I was writing it really quickly!
Post # 7
Our reception was 4 hours, including coctail hour (when we took pictures) and I have to say – it went by way too fast. We spent the cocktail hour (and some of the reception – wrangling our families took longer than expected) doing pictures, ate fast, and visited tables, cake cutting and a couple dances (literally) and we were done and the staff was tearing down the room. My advice would be to either 1 – do pictures beforehand or 2. extend your reception. And enjoy yourself. 🙂
Post # 8
@amidette: If you have the budget to do so, I would probably add another hour. Dinner usually takes longer than an hour (at least at the weddings I go to), and you need to factor in time for you to say hello and talk with all your guest.
Post # 9
Ours is the same way and I have the same worry. I plan on doing a first look and getting all the posed photos with the bridal party and immediate family done before the actual ceremony and then limiting the cocktail hour to a half hour or even skipping it all together. We also plan on going out bar hopping after the wedding so I know a lot of our friends will join us then too.
Post # 10
I think if your going to a bar/hotel afterwards, thats juuust fine. We are having our reception at the church (no drinking) and we absolutely want to go get a congrats drink after, so we are inviting whoever wants to carry the party on. I think 3 hours is FINE. Most people who stay late will go with you to the bar anyway. 🙂
Post # 11
We added 2 hours so it is 6 hours total with one hour for cocktail hour. I have people saying it will be too long and people saying it will be just fine and 4 hours was way too short.
So I have no idea.
Post # 12
That’s about our timeline. We have four hours, total, although the venue said they’d stay open for us (reverting to restaurant/bar) possibly, afterwards.
Ceremony: 30 min
Cocktails: 45 min or so
Dinner/reception: just under 3 hours.
Post # 13
Honestly not sure, around here they are all like 8 hours long. But it really depends on your guests. If they ren’t HUGE partiers it will pobably be perfect. Weddings here basically turn dance club after dinner and we all just drink and dance and party.
Post # 14
I feel like we have a good mix of people. A lot of older adults, family, friends of parents, etc so I’m not sure how they will do and I would say that’s 50% or so of the guests. The other 50% are in their 20s. And there’s only about 50 people coming, so it’s going to be intimate. I know people will do whatever they want to do, and they say intice people to stay by offering something fun at the end of the ceremony. But I (A) don’t want to feel like everything’s happening too quickly or it’s too short and (B) really want to take advantage of all of our loved ones being there with us — since many of them we rarely or never see. I guess I just answered my own question? But even my bridesmaids are back and forth!!! I just don’t want to get another hour and then have that end up being a problem.