(Closed) in tears!!! only 3 hour wedding?!?! panic attack help

posted 6 years ago in Logistics
Post # 3
10453 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2014

Maybe you could do a signature drink only for cocktail hour? 

Post # 4
665 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

I would omit cockatils during that hour, there are other brides doing it, I think its the best option, just tell them bar starts at dinner time….

Post # 5
418 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

You keep saying a 3 hour wedding. Don’t you mean a 3 hour reception? Who is going to be drinking during the wedding itself?

Post # 6
1460 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

3 or 4 hours is plenty of time.  Five actually seems like an eternity.  I’m sure it will be fine.

Post # 7
8576 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

How long is your ceremony? Also, will be there dancing? Garter/bouquet tosses? First dances & dollar dances?

If you were inlcluding other things with your wedding, I would say this wouldnt be too bad.

You’d have your ceremony, let’s say no more than 1 hour long for everything. Dinner, another hour, which makes 2. Have your toasts, garter/bouquet tosses, and first dances. This will probably take another hour, for 3. The dollar dance can take anywhere from 30 minuts to 2 hours, depending on guests. So total your wedding would be 6.5-8 hours. That would be long enough?


Post # 8
3942 posts
Honey bee

We only had a 4 hour wedding reception. 30 minutes for the ceremony, 30 minutes for guests to get to cocktail hour, 1 hour cocktail hour (while we took pics), and 3 hours for dinner and dancing. It does fly by but that seems to be the norm in my area.


Post # 9
2743 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2014 - Disney

My reception will only be about 4 hours. I’m fine with this. I’m also not offering alcohol other than champagne toast, or dancing :). They do get to have a 4 star meal though and the best view of the epcot Illuminations Reflections of Earth during the cake cutting. I’m also providing them with a welcome party at a nice bowling alley with gourmet food before hand, so I really dont expect to hear any poop.

Post # 10
4948 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

I think 3-4 hours is plenty. By that time, I’m getting antsy and want to leave anyway. 🙂

Post # 11
9053 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2010

Can you split the time?  LIke, open for cocktail hour (get somebody to grab a round for your bridal party just before it closes) close for dinner, and reopen again for dancing after?

Post # 12
11271 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2012

during cocktail hour serve only a couple of signature drinks or champagne cocktails or rum punches, even regular punch.  find out how much that would be.  if you have food during that time, guests won’t be drinking as much as you think.

this will leave the full 3 hours of open bar for after dinner.

Post # 13
642 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2013

We (and everyone I know) have cash bars for the whole entire night. NO open bad at all.

I would do as PP said and have a signature drink for cocktail hour, or not have drinks during that hour, OR let it be very clear what time the open bar will close, and then make it a cash bar. 

Post # 14
2239 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

My wedding ran from 11am (ceremony) to 3:30pm.  That entailed about a 20 minute ceremony (if that), we ran off to take pictures for like an hour which was cocktail hour, we came back, ate, bar opened again for an hour, dancing and such.  We had a decent amount of time.  We only had beer/wine at our wedding and the bar was open for a total of like 2 hours.  I ended up drinking ONE glass of wine.  2 hours was enough time, lol.  Everyone had fun.  We had an earlier wedding but I seriously wouldn’t sweat it.  Three hours sounds like a pretty good length of time.  I’d do that and if you wanted it to be longer have a cut off time where it switches to a cash bar.

Post # 15
732 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

Our ceremony and reception will onyl be 4 hours. Its not for everyone but I would like to know why the reception has to end because theres no open bar? Id just put a sign up notifying the guests that open bar closes at a certian time but the party is still on? I might be misreading what you mean but thats what I would do

Post # 16
1357 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

Our reception was a Sheraton, and we had a 5 hour bar included in our reception package, which was a flat fee for each guest for food/room rental/bar/gratuities/service charge/taxes/etc. So our reception was 6 hours with dinner. 4 hours isn’t ludicrous; a lot of people have 4-hour receptions.

If you’re set on a longer reception: You’re right that you can close the bar for dinner to add an hour. Another option to add more time would be to negotiate. Would they be willing to give you more time if you knocked the bar down to well drinks or just wine and beer? We negotiated for two free hot apps served with cocktails and an extra hour of bar (up to 5 hours from 4), and they were perfectly willing to do it. Just try talking with your coordinator to see what your options might be.

Alternatives if that doesn’t work: switch to cash bar after the open bar ends, but give proper warning to your guests and have your DJ announce that the open bar is ending and will be converting to a cash bar 15 mins before it does. Or, have the formal reception end after 4 hours and have an afterparty somewhere else.

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