(Closed) 3 hour reception..

posted 12 years ago in Reception
Post # 3
2434 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2008

It does seem tight to me.  If you don’t arrive to the reception until 8:30, you will only have 2 hours to celebrate with your guests.

Are you planning on having a DJ and dancing or just the dinner?

If you’re just having dinner it will probably work, but if you plan on having a grand entrance, first dance, parent dances, bouquet toss, cake cutting and all of that- it will definitely fell rushed.  It’s just too much to cram into 2 hours.

I had my ceremony and reception at different locations, but here is the timeline of my reception:

4pm cocktail hour

5pm reception begins, guests seated

5:15-5:30  introductions and first dance

6pm- main course served

6:30-7:15 dancing

7:15-7:30 cake cutting and parent dances

8pm cake served

9pm reception ends

Post # 4
398 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: February 2009

It sounds tight to me, but as Rosy said it kind of depends on what your plans are. 

I know my wedding day started at 2:30 with the ceremony and unbeknowest to me the dancing didn’t stop until 11 (should’ve stopped at 9).  People were having such a great time we just didn’t want to end it 🙂 

I would say the more time you can spend with your guest the better!

Post # 5
192 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2008

I agree it does seem a little tight to me. We were going non stop (except to eat) from 3:00 uintil 10-10:30. The reception could have gone on longer I was just EXHAUSTED and the only folks left were a few relatives who continued the party at the hotel bar. You don’t want to be rushed through this it is one of the biggest events of your life and you want to have as much time as possible in the dress, with the guests, and of course celebrating with your new husband!!

Post # 7
228 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2021

I think it is a great plan to have the buffet start when the guests go into the reception hall it will definitely speed things up. Also you could always ask if you could have a table with pre made cocktails or servers holding trays with a beverage maybe a signature cocktail? As guests arrive to the reception area since your not having a cocktail hour, just a thought. It is not weird at all to have a grand entrance while people are eating. Usually people are seated already when the couple are announced so whether or not they have food in front of them is not a big deal. imo. 

Post # 8
1276 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

I think you could hold off on the food (I do think it’ll detract from your entrance if it happens after the buffet starts) and still get everything in.  But you will definitely have a much shorter dance/DJ fun part.  I went to a wedding on a boat that had a similar time line (though I think they started maybe 1/2 to 1 hour earlier).  They had planned for everyone to meet up at a bar near the dock afterward.  That might be a fun way to keep the party going without rushing the main events.

Most importantly, though, if this is the norm for this facility I think you should stick to the timeline they recommend.  They have tons of experience doing weddings I would presume, and they will definitely be able to guide things along to make it all work.

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