2 hour reception too short?

posted 3 years ago in Reception
Post # 16
542 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2026

Why don’t you have a family dinner at a restaurant and then everyone can drive to the ceremony and reception afterward. Or just cancel the reception and do the dinner at restaurant + ceremony.

Post # 18
1070 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

I would nix the cocktail hour because you’re adding an additional half hour of people not eating, which if they’re drinking cocktails, is going to make them more hungry and get drunk quicker.

I don’t think your menu screams “heavy” appetizers to me.  I would suggest having some sort of small sandwiches or meatballs or something a little more substantial as none of those options would fill me up.

You could take everyone out to dinner for less than $30 a person.  I would look into restaurant options.  Pizza is relatively cheap and I bet on a weeknight you would have a lot of places that could accomodate 40 people.

Post # 20
155 posts
Blushing bee

lindseyt311 :  for this many people you can probably have a really good prix fixe menu dinner in a very nice restaurant for the money you are spending on the appetisers. It’s not a lot not to be able to accommodate in a restaurant especially during the week.

Post # 22
7000 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

I would suggest changing it to dinner. A weekday wedding at 7pm means your guests will be rushing home from work to get ready and get back out and to your ceremony….meaning they likely will not have a chance to eat dinner prior. If you are hosting a wedding over a mealtime, a meal should be served. People don’t realize that apps are actually more expensive than a meal in most cases because you have to provide enough of them to equal a meal and they are more labor intensive to make.

Post # 23
4495 posts
Honey bee

Why is there a cocktail (half) hour when basically all you’re serving is apps anyway?  And is the venue the same for ceremony and reception?

Do your photos beforehand, ceremony at 8, right smack into reception, done by 10.  This way your guests have had a chance to eat dinner.  Call it a dessert reception and offer a couple more dessert options and keep a few savory options so it’s not overwhelmingly sweet. 

Or at the very least, skip the cocktail half hour and start the ceremony at 7:30 and bulk up the apps a little.

Post # 25
51 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: August 2016

I agree with PP that your appetizers as-is doesn’t seem heavy. Ours included shrimp cocktail, potstickers, chicken skewers and baked brie with French bread. Some more ideas for you – things like crab cakes or mini beef wellingtons if they offer it. Or just serve a meal like other PP said. 

Post # 26
386 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2018

lindseyt311 :  This is not heavy apps. Ask your caterer, I’m sure they will be able to provide more food

Post # 27
179 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2017

I think it sounds like a good amount of time, but I’m in the same boat 😉 We are doing our first dance, religious ceremony, and dinner in our reception; but plan to have everyone leave after about 2 hours.


–Our reception is about 3 hours away from anyone whos not coming from out of state, and would stay over night, so we’re making our reception short so everyone can drive home without it being too late/dark/tired whatever the case 🙂

Post # 28
2670 posts
Sugar bee

You are going to have some hangry guests if that is all you are going to offer during a mealtime hour.

Post # 29
1412 posts
Bumble bee

So you have the venue for 6 hours, so why is the reception only 2 hours? 

Post # 30
2357 posts
Buzzing bee

two hours is fine, but I need more food. Pizza is an option, but remember not all of us can eat that due to health issues 🙁 But you should know your family and their needs.

But you need more food. 

Leave a comment

Find Amazing Vendors