(Closed) Wedding reception ending early?

posted 6 years ago in Reception
  • poll: Do you think afternoon tea for a wedding reception is a good idea?

    Great idea! You should do what makes you happy and end the day earlier

    Yes, but only if you follow it up with extra food for the evening

    Terrible idea, not enough food or I would find it boring

    Another opinion - listed below

  • Post # 2
    47439 posts
    Honey Beekeeper
    • Wedding: November 1999

    I would love it.

    Post # 3
    1632 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: September 2010

    Afternoon tea sounds fine. Just serve enough of everything so guests can fill up. No need to host two events if the first has enough portions for everyone.

    Post # 4
    1915 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: April 2012

    I think afternoon tea is fine, but the timing of your wedding means that your guests will be pretty hungry.  I know I probably wouldn’t get a chance to eat lunch before your wedding and waiting until 3 pm for just tea sandwiches is a long time.  Would it be possible to move your schedule up to a 11:30 ceremony and 1 pm tea?

    Post # 5
    621 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: July 2014

    Sounds good to me but I’m a bit biased because I’m having an afternoon ceremony with a short reception from 2-5 (:


    Happy planning!

    Post # 6
    7560 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: October 2014

    1pm ceremony then the photo gap before 3pm tea is not fair on your guests. They’ll be hungry and they also don’t have anything to do in that gap. Start a bit later so that everyone can have a proper lunch before your ceremony, and get rid of that gap, and it will be okay, unless you’ve got a large number of folks traveling. If I had to go a considerable distance and only for a tea reception, I’d be disappointed; it just seems too short and too bare to justify buying a plane ticket or driving for many hours if it’s just a 2-hour event.

    If you go with the destination wedding you’re probably better off doing a more traditional reception; since people are spending a lot to get there, you should, at least buy them a full dinner reception.

    Post # 7
    794 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: January 2014

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    Splodge2003:  Sounds lovely!  I went to a Sunday morning brunch wedding that was over by 1pm and I enjoyed it.  It worked for the couple, and they were happy which is really the most important thing. 

    Post # 9
    47 posts
    • Wedding: November 2014

    I am doing something similar. We are having 100-120 guests to our ceremony at 3:30pm followed by champage, canapes and sweet desserts with a jazz band until 7:30pm. The Bptanic Gardens close at this time so everyone has to leave. 

    Just our very very close friends and family are invited to a dinner afterwards. 

    This was the best compromise between my mother’s desire for a big wedding and my fiance’s preference of a small and intimate one. 

    Post # 10
    849 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: September 2013

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    Splodge2003:  I went a wonderful afternoon tea wedding a few years ago and think it is a great idea. I think you timings are fine, as they are so usual for every wedding I have been to, and if you have a fancy enough afternoon tea then everyone will be full as a full high tea with lots of sandwiches, cakes, scones, pastries etc. is really filling. The wedding I went to was finished by around 6-6.30pm which fitted the theme, if you want a later party then it might feel strange. However if you had a sunday wedding people may be quite pleased that they get to go home and get to bed early and you would save on venu costs. I think a afternoon tea, followed by a dinner later might be the wrong way around.

    Post # 11
    8904 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: Dorset, UK

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    MegzE:  That sounds like a divine plan!


    View original reply
    Splodge2003:  I think an afternoon tea sounds lovely and I think the timings are fine. Most weddings I have attended here in the UK seem to have a fairly big gap between ceremony and eating time, so not unusual. At the end of the day, do what you want to do and whatever will make you happy. Not everyone has to have a massive piss up and dance party until midnight! It will still be an enjoyable wedding reception.

    Post # 12
    6414 posts
    Bee Keeper

    View original reply
    Splodge2003:  I think it sounds great and the timings are fine 🙂 You can’t really serve food much earlier, and I doubt 1/2 an hour/an hour will make much difference (FWIW our ceremony is also at 1pm, and while we will serve light canapes at around 2pm, the proper meal won’t be served until 3.30pm).

    As far as the type of wedding goes, I think it sounds lovely; though I admit I’d probably plan on going out somewhere after to make a night of it, esp if it was on a Saturday (I work Saturdays so if I have one off, I tend to make the most of it lol). People always have that option.

    The only way I’d be disappointed would be if it went on until quite late; I’d feel I had to stay, and to be honest, I wouldn’t want to stay at that type of event until very late. I think provided it winds down around, say, 7pm, it will work really well; just don’t have it going on until 10pm, as that’s when you’ll potentially have people wanting to leave.

    Post # 13
    2478 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: May 2013

    Afternoon tea happens to be my favourite meal and I love an afternoon tea style reception.

    However, as pps have said, you really need to move the ceremony from 1pm because a 2 hour gap hanging around for a relatively short reception is not ideal.

    So have the ceremony at 2, followed by very light canapes while you do pictures, and then go straight into tea at no later than 3.30. That way, people will mingle, talk, enjoy tea and champagne and almost certainly be ready to disappear before 7.  With these timings, people can have a decent sized breakfast or early lunch before your wedding and be home in time to eat something more substantial if they wish during the latter part of the evening. Either way, nobody will go hungry!

    Post # 14
    6414 posts
    Bee Keeper

    View original reply
    Steampunkbride:  It’s not going to be a two hour gap though, as the ceremony will account for some of that time, likewise moving between venues/having group photos (if applicable). If it’s a civil ceremony at the same location, then yeah, it might be a tiny bit long; but only by about 30 minutes IMO.

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