(Closed) Reception for 19 guests – We dont need a 5 hour party!

posted 5 years ago in Reception
Post # 3
5064 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2014

A friend of mine did this, her wedding was lovely. She had the people who loved her most at her wedding. After her wedding she had bubbly and cut the cake and then went on to a restaurant, and had a meal. I personally think 5 hours is a little long as a timeframe. 

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

If you otherwise like the package they offer do it. You don’t have to stay for the entire 5 hours. Did you talk to someone there? They might be able to create a package for you that suits your needs. Don’t cut it short just because it’s small though, especially since people are traveling in.  Wait to cut the cake if you want, no need to rush through all the formalities.  These are obviously the most important people to both of you and you probably don’t get to see them as often as you like so relax and enjoy the time.  For the invites put the ceremony time and place with words like brunch to follow and the restaurant location.  If you want more informal you don’t have to have the meal in courses and it doesn’t have to be served all at once. That way people could eat as they please and it would encourage people to get up and move around and mingle. I’d also think of a couple special things you could do with a small group that you couldn’t do with a large one, like invite anyone who wants to share a story or give a toast. 

Post # 5
1193 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

@Notcool:  I sorta did what your describing with 7 guests but our ceremony and reception were held in the same venue. So after the ceremony we all went downstairs and enjoyed some hors devours, then my Darling Husband gave a toast, followed by cutting the cake. while the guests were eating the cake we took some photos.  We only had the venue for two hours but we got everything in. In retrospect I would’ve liked 3 hours just not to feel rushed or maybe I would’ve booked the photog for 3 hours (to do the outside shots after we were done with the venue space). 

I’d say three hours should do it. 

Post # 6
1856 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

@Notcool:  We had 11 people (my husband and I included) and did almost the same thing. We got married in our officiant’s garden in the afternoon, then we went back to my husband’s house for wedding cake and champagne, and then went to a restaurant for dinner. Cake and champagne lasted about an hour and a half, due to the time of driving from the ceremony and leaving for the dinner, and dinner lasted about 2.5-3 hours in total. It was the perfect amount of time.

I forget what we put on our invitations, “Drinks and dinner to follow” I think, with a separate card giving the time and address for ceremony, for cake and champagne, and for dinner. It was all family except two friends who came for the dinner, so it was really intimate and gave a chance to talk quite a bit.

Post # 7
138 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

We did the same for a little under 50 guests.  Our restaurant didn’t offer a package, though, but we were able to reserve it for 4 hours.  We did a cocktail hour, dinner, toasts, cake cutting/eating and an exit, which came to about 3-3.5 hours.  


We had a wedding certificate made for all of the guests present to sign, rather than a guestbook.   Got lots of photos, and we have photos with most of our wedding guests.


It may be worth the package, because you will not have to worry about decorating, it sounds like.  


What I might do in your situation:

-30 minutes of cocktails/signing guestbook (if you are comfortable with the drinking – it is a really nice touch and gets everyone in a celebratory mood.)  If you want, you could do a first dance with just the two of you during this time.

-1 hour for the meal

-15 – 20 min for toasts and cake cutting

-30 – 40 minutes for eating cake/coffee/settling food


So, that plan comes to about 2.5 hours.


 Brunch and lunch weddings tend to be short.  Perhaps you could plan some casual activities for your guests  later in the day.  Otherwise,  it will be nice to have the rest of the day with your new husband!  

Post # 9
973 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

We didn’t think ours with less than 15 people would either, we figured a couple hours for ceremony, to eat, and hang out… maybe three… it was right about 5 hours.  And then only because it became “Seriously, we have to go make like newly weds, do laundry, finish packing, and get up at 4am to fly off on our honeymoon!”


Luckily for us we didn’t have to worry setting a time since it was at a friend’s house in the country and she said as long as it didn’t go til 9 or 10pm they didn’t care (ceremony was at 1pm on a weekday so they had to work the next day).


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