Post # 1
I’ve been to a wide range of weddings that go from having no reception to having a five hour long one. Our venue allows us three hours for both the ceremony and reception, so we’re figuring that the reception part will be around two hours long-ish. I’m worried that isn’t long enough (we’re having an late afternoon/early evening deal on a Thursday, but since we’re at Disneyland we’d thought of changing and going to the park afterward).
When is a reception too long?….or too short?
Post # 3
@renwoman: when you say reception are you including the dinner as well….our dinner starts at 7pm and we need to be out by 1am
Post # 4
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
Most of the weddings in our area start at 4 hours and then increase from there depending on how late into the evening they want to party. But we had a more casual wedding with only 40 guests so our ceremony began at 5:30pm and the official reception was over by 9pm. After everyone left the bridal party, parents, and close friends kept partying at the rented beach house we used as our venue until midnight though.
Post # 5
@mindy_pindy: I was pretty much including everything that wasn’t part of the actual ceremony. For us that’s dinner, cake, and dancing (not our thing to begin with!)
Post # 6
@beachbride1216: We’re having 18 guests, so maybe having a smaller wedding influences the timing…
Post # 7
Our cocktail hour started at 5 and we had to be out at midnight. Most weddings I’ve been to have 6+ hour receptions.
Post # 8
- Wedding: October 2014 - Church
@renwoman: The reception starts at 5:30 with a cocktail hour, then dinner at 6:30. We have the venue until 1 a.m. This is quite common for evening weddings where I am.
Post # 9
Cocktail hour + dinner + dancing was 5 hours and we planned a casual after-party at the bar down the street.
Post # 10
7 hours! And it will be too fast.
Post # 11
Size definitely matters. All you really need is time to thank all your guests for coming and lewt them congratulate you. For 18 guests, that could be half an hour! So, really, it’s how long do you want?
Post # 12
@renwoman: we will have 4-4.5 hours for cocktail hour, dinner, and dancing and 100-125 guests. And it will be over by 8pm even though its a Saturday. I could make it last longer, but every hour extra is $1000! No thanks! I think your reception will be enough time considering your number of guests.
Post # 13
We are doing 6.5 hours. I hsve never been to one under 5+ hours.
Post # 14
@renwoman: Pre-dinner drinks and canapes is from 5:30 and the reception finishes at 10pm… Now I’m wondering if mine is too short…
Post # 15
@renwoman: I’d say the fact that you’re having less people means that less time is necessary, definitely. When you have 100-200 people, it takes at least an hour just to get everyone fed, so that eats up a lot of time of the reception (no pun intended!). 3 hours will be a quick reception, but we have been to a short reception like that too. It’s just not meant to be a drunken dance party is all. Receptions are allowed to be different!
Ours is 5 hours, but it’s supposed to be the “typical” dinner, drinks, dancing reception. I wanted to do a cocktail reception or brunch reception though, but my vote got vetoed. lol
Post # 16
- Wedding: June 2014 - Ontario, Canada ♥ EDD- April 2016
I think it’s how much time you want in your situation, rather than how much time you need. Two hours will be plenty for thanking people and talking with them, it’s up to you if you want more time though. Ours will be about 4 or 4 1/2 hours and we’re having a backyard ceremony/reception with 80 people.