Post # 1
I have always wished that we would have a bit more reception time, but there just hasn’t been a way to work around it.
Our church has 3 times slots for Saturday weddings that they plan around their usual Mass times. We wanted an early wedding so we chose the 11am slot. Our time slot at the reception location is a strict 11am-4pm space. There is a wedding at the location after ours so there is no extra time to be rented out. The church is 10 minutes tops from the reception location.
That means that everyone will get to the reception location at ~12:30. That leaves 3.5 hours. We will have two buffet stations as well as tons of Hors d’oeuvres. There is no sit down meal but there will be seats for everyone. The location is broken up into 7 different rooms. There will be no toasts, garter toss, or bouquet toss. There will be a low key jazz band playing, so we don’t expect any wild dancing, but we will dance with each other and our parents. We will be cutting a cake and serving an ice cream bar. We planned on doing this at 2/2:30.
One thing that will help us it that we are doing all family pictures and most of our portraits at the church before the ceremony. We will do a few couple portraits at the reception location but that is it.
Do you think it’s okay since it’s an afternoon event? or am I going to have trouble and regret a short reception?
Post # 3
Is it possible to have a lunchon or breakfast with people the next day? Mainly for close people and those who have travelled…It is a little short…but if it’s what you got dealt then you just have to make the most of it 🙂
Post # 4
@russian_doll: My grandmother is hosting a brunch the next morning for anyone who wants to come, but we won’t be attending!
A lot of my family is coming in earlier in the week so I have plans to spend time with some of them throughout the week. I just don’t want guests to feel rushed or like it was too short! But I also don’t want to hold people through dinner time! We’re going to have 15-20 kids there and don’t want their parents to go crazy!
Post # 5
How many people are coming? Is it a lot of close family, or more extended? Is there a posibility of holding some ‘after party’ type event for those who want to stick around?
Honestly if I was a guest traveling for more than 1.5 hours I might be a little anoyed. I would at least let your guests know on the invites.
Post # 6
My only concern is that you have no toasts at all.I can’t imagine a wedding reception without some sort of speech(es), because they help give it a sense of occasion, as well as thank yous. But perhaps it’s a regional thing (note I’m from Australia). Anyway I think 3.5 hours is plenty, especially if there’s not lots and lots of dancing. I’m pretty sure most weddings finish the formalities (i.e. pretty well everything except more dancing) in that time.
Post # 7
@auggiefrog: It’s mostly close family and close friends (but there will be about 160 people there) There will be an after party at a local place, down the street from the hotel, but we will not be attending that either!
@paula1248: We will say a quick thank you for coming before the cake cutting. We do not have a bridal party so no best man/maid of honor toasts. There is not one room big enough to hold all of the people comfortably so if we did anything formal some people would probably feel left out. We want the reception to be low key because we want to stress the importance of the ceremony.
Post # 8
@moose91: I think it would be ok considering you are not doing speeches, garter and boquet toss etc.
However I would keep in mind that even the best laid plans can run over time. Our photos after our ceremony took a little bit longer than we had planned so everyone got to the recepetion a bit later. It wasn’t a big deal because we had the venue booked for the night and I know you are having photos before hand so hopefully getting to the reception wont be a problem!
Also our reception which was around 6.5 hours absolutely flew by! I was a bit disappointed when it was time to leave!
But I think it could work for you – and the guests have an option to go to the after party if they want to.