Post # 1
Has anyone ever had a 3 hour reception before? Plus 1 hour for cocktails and mingling, of course, while we do pictures.
Here’s the deal. I’m not doing a lot of the traditional wedding hoopla that takes up extra time: no receiving line after the ceremony, no bouquet/garter toss, money dance. Everything will be taking place in the same location, no traveling between spots. My wedding will be the only one hosted at the venue this day.
Anyway. How did it work out for you?
An added note: I am late to the wedding game. I’m 27, but the last of my friends to get married. Everyone has kids or they’re older adults in my family and his family as well, so it’s not like I have a young party crowd to please, lol. And most people will be traveling 5 hours to attend on the same day. In addition, we are planning an after party at the hotel for those whole want to attend with us.
I was just at a wedding with the same type of crowd. 2 hours into it, people were BORED and even left. And they did all the hoopla! This made me feel better about mine, but I still think about it. Since it’s on a Naval Base, I’m not sure how strict it is… if they’d let me add an extra hour for additional cost. Doesn’t hurt to ask, which I can… just wanted some outside opinions on this. THANKS!!
Post # 3
I’m curious as well. I’m not planning to have the traditional “hoopla” either. Is 3 hours longer than normal or shorter? LOL I don’t even know what is considered a “normal” length of time for a reception.
P.S. You are not a “late” bride in anyway. But I understand where you are coming from. I’m 30 and the last of my friends to get married too.
Post # 4
@RiverBride13: Normal around here is 4 hours + 1 hour cocktails. But I’ve never been to one where all 4 hours keep guests entertained. So it’s like I’m between possibly boring people and possibly rushing everything! Maybe I need an extra half hour? LOL.
Post # 5
@SaltyBride: +1 normal is 4 hrs plus 1 hr cocktail and some people do plus 1 hr venetian.
I would say 3 hrs is sufficient. By the end of the night, people are ready to go home and lot’s of people leave early.
Post # 6
@futuremrsk18: That and I’m figuring if they crave more, they’ll come to the after party with us.
Post # 7
This is very much the norm in New Orleans. We had our ceremony at 5:30 pm, cocktail hour started immediately afterwards. We had passed hors’ douevres, sushi bar, roast pig, carving station, shrimp and grits station, pasta station, cheese, fruit and salad display. We did our intro as a couple, first dance, father/daughter dance, mother/son dance, skipped speeches, cut the cake, did a cake pull, threw the bouquet, tossed the garter and had plenty of time for dancing. At 9:00 p.m. the reception ended and we had a brass band leading us for a second line parade to Bourbon Street.
Post # 8
@SaltyBride: Speaking of the after party, our venue requires us to have everyone out by 7:30pm so I was thinking of organizing an after party too. Is that something that’s included on the invitation? Or more word of mouth? One person told me that the bride and groom CANT attend the afterparty…. I was like, really? I’m pretty sure we can do what we want on our wedding day 🙂
Post # 9
@RiverBride13: Usually word of mouth! I’ve seen some couples announce it after the last dance. & some just told select people. I’ve never heard that the bride & groom can’t attend!! They always organize it here. Everyone just heads to a bar (usually the hotel bar they’re staying at). I’ll be at mine, lol. It’s a chance to wind down after the big event with close friends.
Post # 10
I think 3 hours will be fine if you aren’t doing the usual hoopla and if you offer an after party for those guests who want to keep the celebration going. This was our timeline:
- 7 – Guests enter
- 7:20 – Ceremony
- 7:40 – Cocktail hour
- 8:40 – Dinner (buffet)
- 9:10 – Toasts
- 9:20 – First dance
- 9:45 – Cake cutting
- 11 – End of party
- 11 to ? – After party
We had a friend announce the after party after the last dance. Our family and older guests went home at that point, and our friends kept the party going until 2 or 3 in the morning! We left the after party at 1:30.