(Closed) Help! When should dinner be served during the reception?

posted 6 years ago in Logistics
Post # 3
23597 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2011

My instinct is that you should give yourself ample time before the reception for photos and a little bit of down time – I would actually make hors d’oeurves/cocktail hour start around 4pm, and reception starting around 4:30/5?  Even with hors d’oeurves at 3:30, I wouldn’t start the actual serving of dinner until at least 5pm.  Of course this all depends – if you are doing a first look before the ceremony, then you might not need that much time for photos.  But that’s just my best guess!

Post # 4
285 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

I had a fairly similar timeline so I’ll share my experience. If there’s minimal travel time between the church and reception than 3:30 cocktail start sounds about right. I’d let it go till 4:30, maybe 4:45, which gives you time to enjoy it as well. Then about 4:45, you do a head entrance, followed by your first dance and any other spotlight dances. This gets you to around 5:00, at which point you bless the food and start serving. If that feels too early, you can push some speeches before dinner too. One other thing- our reception actually ended around 8:30-9:00 because of this fairly early start. There was an impromptu after party in the nearby brew pub, but the room was really clearing out of all but my generation by that time. Just something to think about.

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