(Closed) The Average Duration of a Reception?

posted 10 years ago in Reception
Post # 3
1732 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

We are scheduled for 5-11pm including a cocktail hour.

Post # 4
529 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

I think something like 5-6 hours is normal, though it depends on if you have dancing or not.  Without dancing, it might only be like 3-4, while with it might go up to like 8 or so.  The wedding I was just in went from 5:30 to 10:30.  Another wedding was around 7:00 to 1:00.  My wedding was like 3:00 to 10:00 (although the last few hours were more just a few people still hanging out and chatting).

Post # 5
3563 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

We are expecting the reception to last about 4 hours…8:30 to 12:30. Cocktail hour will be from 7:30 to 8:30.

Post # 6
6593 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2010

Ours is going to be about 7 hours!

6-7 cocktail hour

7-9:00 dinner and speeches

9-1am dancing and festivities


Post # 7
26 posts
  • Wedding: August 2010

My ceremony starts at 3pm and the reception goes till 11pm.  This is the time line my coordinator sent me.  Hope this helps…..

Wedding Time Line:

3:00  – 3:50pm Ceremony

3:50  – 4:50 Cocktail Hour

4:50 – 5:20pm  Moving Guests from Reception to Dinner & Dancing

5:20 – 6:00pm DJ / Band Introductions of Bridal Party

6:00 – 6:10pm Bride & Groom’s First Dance

6:10 – 6:20pm Toasts

6:20 – 6:30pm Blessing

 6:30 – 8:30pm Dinner served

8:30 – 8:50pm First General Dancing

8:50 – 9:00pm Cake Cutting 

9:00pm General Dancing

Happy Planning!

Post # 8
1418 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

We haven’t really narrowed it down with all the details cause we haven’t figured them out yet…but ours will be from 5pm to 2am including cocktails, dinner, toasts, other fun wedding things like garter/bouquet/cake, and a dance.

Post # 9
860 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

Maybe this is a regional thing?  I’m on th eeast coast…. I’ve never been to a wedding that went past 12am.  Most receptions seem to be 4-5 hours around here… but usually closer to 4.

Post # 10
3997 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

Mine is 4 hours, not including the cocktail hour.  I think that’s been pretty standard with the weddings I’ve been to.  Except for one in the bride and grooms backyard, I swear that lasted for a full day.

Post # 11
541 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2010

Our reception is 5 hours, including a 1.5 hour cocktail reception and 3.5 hours for dinner and dancing.

Every wedding I’ve been to in this area (philadelphia, NJ) is standard 5 hours, with a slight price reduction for 4 hours. 4 hours seems so short to me, you blink and you’re done (after formal dancing, toasts, cake, garter, bouquet, blessing, etc)

Post # 12
11324 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2011

I think it varies. Our cocktail hour will be 6-7, dinner at 7:30, dancing starts at 8:30 and reception is done by 11!

Post # 14
5669 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2010

Most receptions I have been to last around 5-6 hours (including cocktail hour). Our cockatil hour begins at 6pm and our reception ends at 12am.

Post # 15
454 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2010 - Signature Events

Our cocktail hour was 5:30-6:30, and dinner was from 6:30-11:00.  Or 11:30?  Something like that.  We were supposed to be out of the building by midnight, but all the young’uns stuck around till 1am to chat and polish off the dessert buffet. : )

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