(Closed) Discouraged bee here :(

posted 6 years ago in Reception
Post # 3
2105 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

This is a huge part of why we’re doing all of our pics before the ceremony.  After being a guest to several weddings, it’s boring and frustrating to wait for an hour or more for the wedding party to arrive to the reception.  They’re kind of the main attraction, so without them, the reception seems pointless.

Post # 4
5960 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2018

Alright honey, stop worrying, it’s going to be beautiful!  But if an empty dancefloor plagues you, fear not, the solution is a simple one!

Booze + Music = Dancing!

And, just to hedge your bets, it is customary in polite society for the host and hostess to “open” the floor, a guest can’t dance according to the rules of etiquette until their hosts have the first dance…so those two things together, along with at least three really out going folks who are willing at any time to make asses of themselves, will greatly increase the odds that your reception will trip the light fantastic!

Post # 5
389 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

Well I really can’t imagine anyone leaving before the food!! Most people will stay at least until the cake cutting.

I think the amount of dancing will depend on your guests and your DJ. It is really important for the DJ to read the crowd and play pleasing music.

Post # 6
3471 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2012 - The Gables Inn, Santa Rosa, CA

Some people  just aren’t dancers– we didn’t have anything beyond our first dance at our wedding– it just wasn’t that kind of crowd.  But everyone had a wonderful time anyway, because they got to hand out and chat with friends and family, drink cold beer, and then head home after a few hours (our ceremony was at 11am and the reception was over between 3 & 4pm. 

How long was the photo session? What was available to the guests in that time? Was there a plated meal or anything that the guests were waiting on? Was there confusion about when/how long the guests would be there? It sounds to me like this was a failing on the  coordinator’s part in not keeping the guests entertained during the photo session. 

Post # 7
575 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

We had a reception that was 20 minutes away and did pictures that took an hour, but it was during cocktail hour. Our guests waited outside during the hottest day of the year for us. No one left and we had a great reception! I’m sorry for your friend but unfortunately it might just be the people that she invited rather than the order of events, I wouldn’t let it get to you.

Post # 8
2874 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

did they have refreshments for guests while they waited? im a bit baffled by the idea of guests leaving before the couple got there. unless they were out of towners who had a long drive back or something

to be honest, big gaps between ceremonies and receptions ARE a nightmare for guests. but i personally suck it up and deal with it. last wedding i went to had a 3 hour gap with nowhere to go andn othing to do….bleugh

this is why i think first look photos are better  in terms of guests. yes, the walking down the aisle ‘big reveal of dress and bride’ moment is awesome…but people do hate standing around doing nothing while the bride and groom are taking photos

dancing – is out of your control. you can have best music in world, btu if people dont like dancing – they wont do it

edit – just saw its an alcohol free wedding. whether is has an effect depends on the people. where i live in mexico…people dance constantly, in the supermarket, in the street…any kind of music they dance (esp my fi). where im from in london – a lot less people dance. particularly sober.

Post # 9
5662 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

Showing up to your own wedding 1.5 hours after the guests have is a sure fire way to make it seem like you don’t care about them as guests. Especially since I’m assuming all of your family were doing photo’s too, so NO one was there to represent. I recently went to a wedding where even though the ceremony and reception where in the same place, same room even, but the B&G where so often missing that a LOT of people left early and those of us that kept staying wondered the entire time why we were there when it clearly didn’t matter if we were there or not.

Don’t worry too much about this happening to you though, if you have planned your day well and have things to show your guests that you care about them having a good time then you will be fine. If you want to share your plan for the day we can help. I would definitely do pictures before the ceremony if at all possible, have hors d’ouevres and drinks, have good music, and show up.

I am sure everything will be just fine! 

Post # 10
4439 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: January 2013 - Harbourfront Grand Hall

WOW!  I have never heard of something like that happening, usually people know that there will be some downtime between the ceremony and the reception if pictures haven’t been taken yet.  Did your friend not clarify that by saying something like “reception will begin at ___time.”  If there was a dinner being served that people had RSVP’d for I couldnt’ imagine them leaving before eating!

As for your wedding, all the more reason to do a first look! ESPECIALLY because your ceremony and reception are at the same place!  That’s what we’re doing so immediately after the ceremony we can go into cocktails, followed closely by dinner and then dancing!

Post # 11
4803 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

We had our ceremony and reception at the same venue like you did, and we took an hour for pictures. We had a cocktail hour to keep people from getting too bored while we took pictures – the venue went ahead and opened the salad bar, there were a couple of appetizera available, and the bar opened. Plus it gave people time to find their seats, sign the guestbook, mingle, etc. I think you’ll be fine!

Post # 14
705 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

I definitly think that a good DJ can make all the difference! A good DJ will get a good feel for the crowd and entice them to keep coming back up to the dance floor! He/She will also keep the flow going, ensuring that you get to do your bouquet toss and such.

Also, having an hors’ doeuvres (or some kind of cocktail hour) inbetween ceremony and reception is key to keeping guests there while pictures are taking place, instead of getting board or feeling awkward while waiting for a prolonged period of time!

Good Luck 🙂

Post # 15
544 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

This is my biggest concern with the wedding — as I’ve been to several receptions where people left immediately after dinner.  But these weddings were missing several things — alcohol, a good DJ, and a defined timeline/order of events — all of which we have made a priority.

Most people have wedding programs that show the order of the ceremony, but they don’t lay out the events of the rest of the evening.  We are laying that out in the program — so people know there’s more to come (cake cutting, bouquet toss, late night snack, etc, bride and groom depature, etc.).  I’ve been to weddings where dinner takes 2 hours and guests have no idea if that’s it or more is going to happen and they’re just left sitting for hours. 

So that’s what we’re doing to ensure minimal departures before — communicated order of events, DJ who will keep the reception moving, and plenty of alcohol flowing.  Plus, we have family who enjoy a good party and a lot of people who know each other but haven’t seen each other in awhile and will use the full five hours to catch up.

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