Post # 1
Please bear with me with a bit of a back story. So we’re researching venues in SoCal for our wedding next summer, and I’ve always had a vision on a late-night party. We’re Jewish, but not ultra-religious, so having a reform ceremony with a very chill Rabbi. Either way, the wedding has to be no earlier than sunset (we’re getting married on a Saturday, which until sundown is still the Sabbath) which in LA in July is around 7pm. So we will probably do a cocktail hour BEFORE the ceremony, inviting the guests to arrive at 6, and most showing up by 6:30 and then after the ceremony at 7 go straight into a 7:30 or 8PM dinner, which I realize is a bit on the later side.
I also have Russian background and Russian weddings tend to run really late into the night. We are looking into a few late-hour venues, and they are good butthey are on the pricier side. There is this other venue that has been really pleasant and nice to coordinate with, and is cheaper, but the party has to end by midnight. I’m getting a lot of pressure from my brother whom I love and whose opinion I value to host a curfew-free party, but will the guests really stay that late?
So my concern is, will there be enough time for dinner/dancing/cake/fun if we end at midnight? Or should be cough up the money for a late night venue?
What should I do? Thanks!
Post # 3
We have almost the same timeline as you (also Jewish)
Knowing our friends & family, the party will definately go on until at least 1h30-2am. So for us, late night is a must! I think this is especially true if your wedding is on Saturday (ours is on Sunday)! Your guests don’t have work the next day so they may be inclined to stay late and it would be a downer if you had to shut it down early when everyone is having a good time.
Post # 4
@Petite_Fraise: yeah, I agree, I just really like a lot of things about the venue. If it weren’t for the time restriction it would be perfect, while the late night ones each have their own issues. But nothing is ever perfect, is it? Any other thoughts, bees?
Post # 5
I should probably also add that the curfew-free venues are 4-6k more expensive, and one of them would even require bathrooms being brought in, cost of an addiotional 2k and an extra headache.
Post # 6
Thanks for the votes, ladies. I would love to also hear some stories of what timelines worked or didn’t or what you plan on doing with a later reception/dinner. Any examples appreciated!
Post # 7
Our venue allows us to have an 8am-12am rental or a 9am-1am rental; we decided to do the 9-1. I honestly want a really late night party but I don’t expect it to happen and have a feeling ours will be ending around 11:30. But that’s ok with us. We will also be starting at 4:30 so it gives us about a 5-6 hour reception which is fairly long for this area (most are only 4 hours).
Post # 8
We had our venue until 2am, and our last guests stayed until around then. Dinner for us started at around 7, and went until about 10, when the dancing started.
Really, you know your guests the best. If they like to party and dance, then it might be worth it. If they don’t, and most people will just leave after eating, then it won’t. Do you have any idea how long your dinner will be? You’re right 8 is a bit late to start, so maybe the caterer can give you a ballpark timeline on how long it will be.
Post # 9
Honestly, all of the weddings I have been to lately 50-75% of the guests have left after dinner. It depends on your crowd and how you structure the evening.
Post # 10
Our formal reception ended at 1 am and we kept the party going in a suite at the hotel with the younger set. We had pizza, wings and nachos + tonnes of booze. Our last friends stumbled out at around 5 am?
Our day was:
6:30-Travel to reception site
1:00-Move to after-party venue
We figured we had the rest of our lives to have romantic nights just us, so we should enjoy having all of our family and friends together in one place while we could!!
Post # 11
@SarahSmilesDec28: I really like that idea! Thank you!
Post # 12
The second location was pretty cheap in the grand scheme of things too: the suite (would have booked no matter), the alcohol (cheaper to provide ourselves than pay for an open bar out) and the food (ordered from local place, again, pretty cheap and yummy!)
Of our 125 guests, I would say we started with about 35 at the after party, all friends and younger family. It was at the hotel where most people were staying. And, we asked for our friends rooms to be around ours to avoid noise complaints.
Post # 13
I voted for the wrong one…I meant to put 12pm is enough time. Ours ends at 12! Reception starts at 7!
PS: Most wedding dinners are on the late side, it usually isn’t around a normal dinner time.
Post # 14
It definitely depends on the crowd. Our timeline was as follows:
7:30 – 8:30 dinner
8:30 – 12 – cake, dancing
12 – 4am – after party at a hotel nearby……there were only about 20 of us but we partied until the wee hours and had a blast.
Post # 15
Our wedding is earlier, but we are doing a:
5:00-6:00 cocktail hour
6:15-6:30 Kids eat and salads, first dance and parent dances
6:30-7:30 Dinner and speeches, kids are welcome to go to the playroom
7:30: Anniversary dance, start of dancing
8:15: cake cutting and dessert
8:45: bouquet and garter
9:00: photographer leaves
9:45: last dance
My venue said anything over 5 hours is too much for most people. Guests can always choose to do an after party (our venue is a night club and in the bar district– they can go upstairs to the rooftop for an hour until the venue re-opens or they can go to any of the 12 bars on the block)
Post # 16
If you eat dinner at 7:30/8:00 and have to be out by midnight, that still leaves 3.5-4 hours to party. I think it would be enough time. 3-4k is a lot of money that could be spent elsewhere. There is also the possibility of going out after the wedding; I know a lot of couples and their bridal parties go to bars after the wedding. Maybe that could be an option if people still want to hang out after midnight?