(Closed) How late is too late for a reception?

posted 6 years ago in Reception
Post # 3
16213 posts
Honey Beekeeper

I’ve been to a wedding that served dinner that late before. I just had to feed my husband a small meal ahead of time, haha. But can I ask…is a cocktail hour necessary? Could you do all of your photos before the ceremony instead, so you could go straight to reception?

Also, I think you could get away with a 6:30 ceremony if you are concerned about time. I’ve been to Friday night weddings around that time, as well.

Post # 5
5494 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2011

That’s about the time our dinner was served.  We had a heavy cocktail hour before hand to tide people over.  No one complained.

Post # 6
5786 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2011

That was our exact wedding schedule and people seemed to do fine. Everyone knew so they could grab a snack ahead of time and cocktail hour had plenty of food. The issue we had was dinner service ran a little long so the dance floor didn’t open as early as I wanted it to.

Post # 7
1832 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: January 2013

What about a Sunday afternoon wedding? Did you sign a contract for Friday already? My venue’s discounted price was for Friday evening or Sunday. We went with Sunday, ceremony start time is 3:30 p.m., cocktail hour from 4 p.m.-5 p.m., reception until 9 p.m. We also choose Martin Luther King weekend on purpose, since some people will be off that Monday due to the holiday. And since the reception is over at 9 p.m., the people that have work the next day will not be up terrible late.

Post # 8
16213 posts
Honey Beekeeper

@MrsCreeToBe:  That’s funny! Must be such a regional thing, because most of the weddings I’ve been to haven’t had one. Will your cocktail hour have food? If so, I wouldn’t worry too much about serving a later dinner.

Post # 9
4193 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: July 2012 - Baltimore Museum of Industry

I was a Friday bride with a 6pm ceremony, and it worked fine. Was it an inconvenience? Yes, I’m sure a little, but no one was annoyed with us. Even having a wedding on a Saturday can be an inconvenience-your Saturday afternoon wedding conflicts with little Jimmy’s soccer game, etc.

We had cocktails start at 6:30, with dinner by 7:30. Which was even “late” for some of our older guests. Also- there were a number of guests (again, older) who left around 9:30 (reception til 11). Most of our local guests left work a little early, some came straight from work, which could even happen with a 7 or 7:30 ceremony, so I’d think people would be hungry!

Regardless of when you host your wedding, *someone* will be inconvenienced. If the date/time works for your immediate family and wedding party, then I say go for it. (We also made a point in our thank-you “speech,” to recognize how grateful we were that people made it/we realized Friday meant leaving work early, etc.)

Post # 11
16213 posts
Honey Beekeeper

@MrsCreeToBe:  Daaaang! Then I wouldn’t worry at all about a later dinner.

So now the question is… can I come tol your wedding? 😉 Sounds delish!

Post # 12
2363 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

@LGenz:  Ditto.

OP, I’d much rather have a 7pm start time (and a later dinner) than a 6pm start time on a work day (and an earlier dinner).

Post # 13
2781 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

@MrsCreeToBe:  Your guests will prepare for it. As long as you don’t make it sound like a full sit down meal to only end up serving cake and punch, then you shouldn’t worry.

If you are very concerned about the time, you could opt to do a cocktail reception instead. Then you are just consistantly having snacking appetizer like foods throughout the evening.

Post # 15
10453 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2014

I think as long as you let people know the schedule it will be fine. I would just eat a snack in the afternoon if I was coming to your wedding. 

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