(Closed) 4pm wedding lunch or dinner acceptable?

posted 10 years ago in Reception
Post # 3
286 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2007

If I know that food is served at 3 or 4pm, then I would plan accordingly and have brunch at 10 or 11am (depending on your ceremony time).  But if I didn’t know, then I wouldn’t be hungry enough if I ate lunch or starving if I thought it was a lunch reception and didn’t eat breakfast.  I can’t say I’ve ever been inconvenienced by party food…no matter what time.  =) 

Post # 4
735 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2009

we are kind of in the same situtaion. My venue allows us to have 5 hours but latest ceremony can preformed at 2… so all over by 8:30 :e(

Our ceremony is at 2pm (mass so it’ll be long)

Cocktail hour 3:30-4:30

probably squeeze in our slide show and thank you’s to our guests.  

then dinner served at 5

dancing,  cake blah blah blah 

 We are going to take pictures before the ceremony so we can enjoy our reception and help move things along.  



Post # 6
13 posts
  • Wedding: May 2009

No need to worry.  Our venue has noise laws that we must be done by 9:00pm.  So our ceremony starts at 3, cocktails at 4pm, and dinner at 5pm.  Yes, its a bit early, but as long as guests are aware in advance, it should be fine.  We’lll be serving a full meal, but I’m emphasizing lighter food (seafood, salads, no heavy mashed potatoes) so guests don’t feel gross having an early heavy meal. You’re fine!

Post # 7
735 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2009

We were going to do all of the father-daughter, first dance, etc while the guests were eatting dinner. Then have dancing around 6:30. Our wedding is in January so it gets dark earlier I hope they dance, if not Oh Well :e)

Post # 8
282 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2008

If the early end time is a concern, could you budget for an afterparty elsewhere?

Post # 9
443 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

People will dance no matter what time it is at a party. Just make sure the music is good and the MC knows how to get a party going!

As for having dinner early, just make sure you let people know ahead of time. Like Yach said, guests will plan their meals accordingly if they know dinner will be early. I know my family usually eats early during holidays. Usually Easter, Christmas and the like we have our big meals around 3-4pm.

I think you’re good to go. Try not to stress too much, and remember to have fun in the process! Good luck.

Post # 10
972 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

Our ceremony is at 230 and reception is from 4-9, our venue is allowing us to extend extra hours for $300.  I love how it is an early reception because im getting married may 29th and we cant take beautiful pictures outside on the terrace and cazebo rather then in a photo room

Post # 11
2695 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

I would say that most people when they see an invitation and the time isn’t during normal meal times then they plan to eat before or after the event.  So if you are wanting to serve a full meal then be sure to note that dinner will be served on the invitations so that people know to come hungry. 

Here’s another thought…Why do you have to serve a full meal?  Why not just do a dessert bar, popcorn bar, fruit/cheese bar, ice cream bar OR do light finger foods.

If you really love your venue I wouldn’t change the venue just to serve people food.

Post # 12
687 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

My first wedding was a brunch and people danced. I think the cool thing about weddings that end around 8 or 9 p.m. (or earlier) is that there is always the option for a less serious after party at a lounge, bar, or club, or even home or hotel room!

And people will eat when food is served. 🙂 I don’t know many people who pass up a free meal!

Post # 13
2207 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

Couple thoughts.

First, I’m with vintage. It is an awkward time for a full meal. A nice cocktails and hors devours event would probably fit better, or a fancy tea.

Second, have you considered a true lunchtime event?

Third, If you did go for dinner, I would skip dancing, honestly. Have dinner later (6), and conclude with cake and a grand exit. You will have time for an after party.

If full dinner and dancing are important to you, I would seriously reconsider the location. For an event in a very fancy location, it just seems too rushed. I TOTALLY understand the desire to be different, but I keep asking myself this: is this a choice that makes the actual celebration better, or is it just about me wanting to be different/special/cooler/etc.

Post # 14
4485 posts
Honey bee

4pm is not lunch. It’s the early hour of dinner. 3pm is not dinner since it’s the tail end of the lunch hour. I never eat a full meal at that time under normal circumstances, and as a guest, I would never expect a full meal to be served at a non-meal time which both of those are. Then again, I have never once expected a full meal at a regular meal time either. I’m not against eating a full meal at that time but it is a bit odd, however I wouldn’t feel awkward as a guest. Actually, I don’t know anyone else who would either. Whichever you decide, make sure that you mention on the reception card that it will be a full meal if that is what you intend to serve. That time of day though is better suited for an afternoon tea. If you want a full meal, move your meal to the actual lunch hour (11-2pm)

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