Help! When should the reception end? How much time should we have for dancing?

posted 3 years ago in Logistics
Post # 4
2273 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

Not married yet, but 12:30 isn’t too early to end a reception…at least where I’m from. I’ve been to many weddings that end by 11. However, I know that in Ireland, they party all night! 

I would nix the games you were thinking of. Usually people just want to get up and dance! Also, will you be playing music during dinner?

Post # 6
618 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

@stephanie1989:  seems like enough to me! We have to end ours at 10 because it’s a residential area but we are continuing the party at the hotel bar. Can you do that? Honestly though your wedding sounds pretty long so I don’t think you’d need to! People get tired (the older crowd). We will have about 3 hours of dancing total and I think it’s plenty

Post # 7
10456 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2014

Where we live, every venue closed by 1am at the latest so it was expected. We figured the DJ would start packing up around 12:30 to be done by 1 but they actually kept going and we kept dancing until 1am. 

Post # 8
858 posts
Busy bee

This is our timeline:


6-7 cocktail

7 grande entrance

715 dinner served

745 speaches and toasts

815 cake cutting

820 first dance

830 father/daughter + mother/son dance

1030 Bride//groom thank you

11 late lunch

1pm last call

130 done!

Post # 9
7656 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2012

@stephanie1989:  12:30 is just fine, and 4 hours is more than enough. After 4 hours we were ready to be done as we just wanted to get back to the hotel room. We danced until about 1:00a (but that’s because the poor DJs were so good about waiting for us to start the dance at 8 when we really started at 8:45p)

Post # 10
875 posts
Busy bee

it depends on your crowd.  Locally, I think that’s a good time.  I have been to longer celebrations, but it just depends on the group.  

Post # 11
8587 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

Most receptions end around 11:30/midnight here.

We are starting our ceremony at 4 pm, followed by a cocktail hour, dinner will be served at 5:30 pm.

Bar, candy buffet, photo booth will open up at 6:30 pm, with dj & dancing until 11:30 pm. We have the reception space all night, but we need to clean up after we are done [both sets of parents & some friends are helping]. So total, we’ll have 5 hours of dancing/other activities, but time will be take for cake cutting/bouquet/garter tosses.

Post # 12
111 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

stephanie1989:  Have you asked your DJ how he would do his time line?  I know my DJ wanted to be all set up before the guests arrive – although we do want him there to be playing music for coctail hour and dinner.  Just don’t forget that his 4 hours most likely includes his set up and break down time. 

Post # 14
3736 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

stephanie1989:  I’m 30-something and 1230 is LATE to me. PLENTY of time for me to eat, dance and scoot home.

Post # 15
979 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

stephanie1989:  Noise oridance for me reception must ent at 10 p.m. and venue must be cleared of personal items by 11 p.m.!

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