How long was your wedding? Including: Ceremony, Cocktail Hour, & Reception

posted 9 months ago in Reception
Post # 16
2771 posts
Sugar bee

Mine was similar, but shift it an hour later….

5pm Ceremony

5:30-6:30 Cocktail Hour

6:30-10 Dinner/speeches/dancing

It is important to note that we got married on an island and events don’t typically go super late.  We could have gone an hour later, but I knew everyone would be ready to go around 10.  

Post # 17
422 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2019

Our venue only does 5hr blocks as well. We have it 5:30 – 10:30. They said we can set up the morning of and though they won’t kick is out they will start cleaning at 10:30.

Post # 19
1361 posts
Bumble bee

Mine total was 5 hours. It was 11-4. My brother’s was 6 hours, but the reception was at a different venue than the ceremony. I think 5-6 hours is pretty standard in Northeast US. 

Post # 20
12207 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

I don’t think a 4 pm ceremony is too late at all. In fact it makes more sense to me in terms of when people will be eating dinner. 

Post # 21
735 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

 My wedding was 12 hours (1pm – 1am), but I’m UK based so we tend to do whole days – and feed people twice!

Post # 22
140 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: City, State

Ours will be 5 hours total. The ceremony starts at 5pm and reception ends at 11pm. Our venue requires us to be out by 11 and I’m totally fine with that because I’m sure I will be exhausted! Fiance is wanting an after party so we may have to add that in at another location. 

Post # 23
495 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2019

I’ve been to weddings that ended at 8 pm or 9 pm, and people definitely still danced. If there’s a band or DJ, people will dance, at least in my experience, no matter the hour. I’m in the planning stages right now and prefer a reception to end earlier, because I think I’d be too tired if it ended at 11! Plus I’d like to have drinks with people afterwards if possible.

Post # 24
9717 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2016

Our event was 5 hours (6 – 11). Which was the perfect length for us. I loved our wedding day but was 100% ready to just be alone with my husband by the time the end of the reception rolled around.

We did all our photos before the ceremony though we actually had the venue for 6 hours, we showed up an hour before the ceremony to do the first look and all the formal pictures.

Post # 25
430 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: February 2019 - City, State

The entire event was approx. 6 hours. Ceremony started at 4:30-5. Cocktail hour from 5-6. Dinner at 6:30ish. Then dancing and dessert and a tater tot bar for late night snacks. The event ended at 10:30, but people started leaving earlier due to an impending snow storm. We probably could have ended it earlier. 


My husband and I got to the venue at approximately 11:00am, got ready, and did photos together before the wedding ceremony, so that saved time on having to do photos during the cocktail hour. 

Post # 27
4661 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2018


I’m going to say 12 hours. UK wedding.


Ceremony was at 11am. Wedding breakfast at 2pm (different venue). Garden games, dancing and more food. We left at around 1030pm. My dad went to bed at 2 or 3am with the rest of the stragglers.


Post # 28
2077 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

People wouldn’t typically stay for a 10 hour wedding in the U.S. Our ceremony was at 6 PM (guests were invited to come beginning at 5:30 for pre-ceremony champagne) and the reception ended around midnight, so about an hour more than your plan. My bridesmaids and I arrived at the venue around noon to get ready and our photographer got there at about 2 PM and stayed until the cake cutting, which was around 9 PM. We did a first look and then a quick rehearsal before the ceremony and did all the family photos during cocktail hour and then joined everyone for dinner. It turned out great and everyone was on the dance floor.


Post # 29
374 posts
Helper bee

Ours was kind of long for the US, but it was a South Asian Hindu wedding so it’s more common in those to have longer ceremonies and longer gap times. People come and go to parts they want to, generally. 

Baraat: 1:30 pm

Ceremony: 2:30 pm

Photos: 4-5 pm

Cocktail Hour: 5:30-7 pm

Reception: 7-11 pm

Bidai Ceremony and Cleanup: 11 pm – 12 am

Post # 30
533 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2020 - Clarksville, VA

Mine will be 4 hours  5-9 pm. Like you I can add more hours on, but it’s going to be a super small wedding and I’m happy with the time/price.

youmaysayimadreamer :  

Leave a comment

Find Amazing Vendors