Post # 1
After months of searching and debating, my Fiance and I finally picked a venue that we both like. The venue sales rep emailed me the contract yesterday, and as I looked it over, I realized that the set “event time” is only four hours. That gives us 30 minutes for the actual ceremony, 30 minutes for the pictures/cocktail “hour” (assuming everything goes smoothly, which it likely will not), and 3 hours for the reception including the toasts, first dance, and buffet dinner.
This is a Saturday evening wedding, and we’re fairly traditional, so there’s a lot of speeches, throwing things etc. that are probably going to happen, and I still want to dance and mingle with people afterwards.
Does three hours sound long enough for all of that? Or should I try to extend the timeline?
Post # 3
I think in order to get in all those traditional things, and still have time to enjoy yourself, it would be a good idea to add at least an extra hour. Three hours seems a bit short in my opinion.
Post # 4
I’m also having a traditional Saturday evening wedding and our reception is 4 hours. We aren’t having a “cocktail hour” and our ceremony is at a different location though.
I think you’d be fine with 3 hours but if you’d like it longer, most venues allow you to extend the “event time” past their standard for an additional fee. May be something you want to look into!
Post # 5
That seems like too much to do in too little time. Our entire event is 6 hours, and we’ll barely get in everything we wanna do! I wish it was longer so we can dance more.
Post # 6
Mine is 4 hours as well, an hour-long cocktail hour, a 10 minute ceremony, and then dinner and dancing. I think it’s plenty of time for my Fiance and I, but we aren’t doing speeches or bouquet and garter tosses, and our ceremony will be very short. Also, we’ll be attending the cocktail hour so we’ll get to mingle then, and we’re doing all pictures earlier in the day at a separate location.
It seems like for what you want you might be better off adding on an extra hour. Most places will let you do that for an additional fee.
Post # 7
- Wedding: September 2010 - The Glen Manor House
We have our reception site for 5 hours, which includes cocktail hour and dinner. I’m feeling a little crammed, so I think you’re going to want to push for more time!
Post # 8
we have a cocktail hour from 6-7pm, then dinner/reception from 7pm-midnight. sounds long, but i’m sure it’ll fly by for us… i just hope we get to enjoy it and not spend our time greeting tables all night!!
Post # 9
Thanks for the advice, ladies!
I talked to the venue, and I talked to Fiance. Apparently to add an extra hour onto the event time it’ll cost over $1000. Fiance is NOT interested in that. He really thinks that we’ll be so tired, we won’t care that it’s only a three hour reception… But I want to really enjoy my wedding, and make the most of the day (and my dress!)
The other alternative is to move up the wedding (instead of 6:30-10:30, going 5:30-9:30)and have an after-party at a local bar or club. Has anyone ever done/planning to do the after party thing? Did people go? Or did the change in location end up killing the mood and sending everyone home?
Post # 10
I would try to work in something longer whether it’s an after party or something. We had a really long reception. Wedding from 2-3, cocktail ‘hour’ from 315-430 or so. Dinner from 5-6:30. And dancing from like 645-midnight. We had like 2 people leave after dinner but no one else really left until like 9:30 or 10. But I wanted a long reception because I’ve been to a few weddings where they tried to cram everything in and didnt’ get to dancing or only had like 1/2 hour and by the time peopel were warmed up it was over.
Post # 11
I think you may want to consider having an after party, but you will run the risk of having people not come to that place which is no big deal if you’re not paying ahead of time. IMHO, I thinkthree hours is a little short for all that you want to accomplish, especially making the most out of your day.
Our reception is 5 1/2 hours not includng the ceremony which will be held at my mother’s church. I love our time slot (5:30pm – 11:00pm) which is on a Sunday but the day before a holiday and many people will be off work the next day.
Post # 13
We have five hours for everything at our venue. I’m thinking an hour, hour and a half for the ceremony and cocktail hour and 4 hours or 3.5 hours for dinner and dancing. We’re not doing any of the traditional stuff except for probably first dance and possibly cake cutting.
Post # 14
We are planning 4-5hrs because my family loves to party.
Post # 15
We have 7 hours AND are doing an after party.
5:00 pm Cocktail Hour
6:00 pm Ceremony
7:00 pm- 12:00 am Dinner, Dancing
12:00 am After party in hotel suite we have reserved and will stock with beverages, snacks and games.
3 hours is a really short reception.
Post # 16
Based on my experience, I think 5 hours is the standard, but there are definitely places that only allow 4 hours, and places that are much longer. Ours is 5 – we have ceremony at 4:30, cocktails 5:00-6:15, and then dinner and dancing 6:15-9:30. It may be a bit short, but I think it will work.
Because we want to keep partying and 9:30 seems really early (the city has a noise restriction policy – ALL venues have to end parties by 9:30), we are also having an after party. Well, we are having a designated bar (next door to the hotel that people are staying at) that we are having people hang out at – we are not paying for a private space. Not everyone will come, obviously, but I think most of our friends will, and those are the people we are going to want to hang out with at that point anyway.
We have been to a couple of weddings where the couple designated a bar for partying after both the rehearsal dinner and wedding. Friends spread the word, and a lot of people came in both situations. As long as you get the word out, I think you will get good numbers.