Post # 1
My reception is currently scheduled for 4 hours, but I am concerned that it’s not long enough. I want to make sure everyone has plenty of time to eat, drink & dance their butts off. We are doing a cocktail hour & then buffet, then passed dessert trays.
How long is your reception? What time does it start?
Post # 3
Mine is shorter! Ceremony and reception is a total of 4.5 hours! I used to worry about it not being long enough–but that’s what we could afford at the venue we like. We’re doing an after party at 11 p.m. (reception is over at 10 p.m.) for all our friends & family our age that will go until the wee hours of the evening.
I think no matter how short or long–it’s all going to zoom by quickly on the day of.
Post # 4
OUr reception is 5 1/2 hours. This is how we broke it down:
6:30 to 7:30 cocktails and appetizers
7:30-8:30 dinner, speeches & champ. Toast.
8:30 – 12:00 Dancing, cocktails and cake – Ends a midnight
Depending on how late it goes and how much your friends and family likes to dance and stuff, 4 hours might be enough…
Post # 5
My ceremony is at 6p.m., with a cocktail hour from 6:45-7:30, and then my reception is from 7:30-11. I think 4 hours is fine. If you think about it, you’re going to be pretty beat as well. My friend is having a SIX hour reception, and I get downtrodden every time I even think about attending a reception that long.
Post # 6
My ceremony is going to be from 5-6 cocktail hour, 6-10 reception, afterparty.
Post # 7
Thats a good question!
Our ceremony is at we have the ceremony/reception hall booked from 5-11, but the wedding doesn’t start until 7. So ours will be fairly short,from about 7:45-11.
And then of course I expect all our friends our age to head to the bars and party into the wee hours!
Post # 8
Our reception is an hour-long cocktail hour from 5:30-6:30, with four hours for dinner and dancing from 6:30-10:30, so five hours total. I believe that’s pretty average, so I think you’re fine.
Usually after the reception, if people still feel like celebrating everyone will organize an impromptu after party, typically held at the hotel bar or someplace else that’s pretty casual.
But just remember, four hours for one person might not be long enough, while for others, it might be two hours too long. Keep what you have, and see who wants to keep partying after!
Post # 9
Our ceremony is starting at 4:30, lasting about a half an hour. Then from 5-6 will be the coktail hour. And then dinner and dancing between 6 and 10.
Post # 10
I am marrying an Irish guy and receptions here are VERY long. Like wee hours of the morning and then start again the next day and then for fun repeat a third day. Not officially of course but that’s the approach.
We went to my brother’s wedding in May and it was FI’s first American wedding. The reception ended at 9:30 and everyone had to leave the ballroom. FI was mortified – he made it very clear very quickly that at least having the option to keep partying for a few extra hours was very important to him.
So in the search I went to a few country clubs and hotels and wound up choosing a social club where my parents had their reception and so did my sister and BIL. The club VP said – you can have the place for 5 hours from the time you get here. I told him we’d get there around 5 pm. He responded that we should probably be out by around midnight. That’s my kind of ‘five hours’!!! There’s a bar downstairs from the function room so if the official reception peters out, the hard core folks can keep going. I’m excited just typing it out!
Post # 11
I was concerned about our 4 hour reception going by too quickly, so I made the cocktail "hour" only 30 minutes. We also took pictures before the ceremony so that my husband and I could arrive at the reception right when it started.
Post # 12
Our reception was 5 hours long. It started at 5:30 and ended at 10:30.We would have loved to have an after party, but my husband was the best man in our best friend’s wedding the very next afternoon. Our cocktail hour was from 5:30 to 6:30. 6:30 to 10:30 for all the other festivities.
Post # 13
Our reception starts (in theory) at 6pm and will last until about (again in theory) 10:30 or 11pm. That’s about 4 1/2 to 5 hours.
Post # 14
Our photos were from 5-7, ceremony from 7-7:15, cocktails 7:15-7:45, first dances 7:45-8:00, buffet opening right after that, dancing til 10:15, bus left at 10:30. I would’ve loved another hour but our venue rental was really short.
Post # 15
Cocktail "Hour" 5:30-6:00
So, 4 hours total.