What time did your reception end?

posted 1 year ago in Reception
Post # 16
9667 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2016

Ours ended at 11, but the ceremony wasn’t until 6:30 so it was still a relatively short reception (about 4 hours). It started winding down pretty close to 11.

Post # 17
2032 posts
Buzzing bee

I think our reception ended at 10 or 10:30 with clean up complete by 11.  A lot of our guests left by about 9:30, we got married at 35, most of our guests were past their big party days.  

Post # 18
16 posts
  • Wedding: February 2018

sollyb :  This will probably be contrary to what a lot of people say, but I LOVE weddings that finish early. Ours did, and both of us had a great night because of it. I don’t drink (though my husband and our guests did!) and neither of us are party people. It’s such an overwhelming day, and I knew I always find it hard to make it to the end of weddings anyway – I’m an introvert and feel drained easily.

Only a small group of our friends are party people, and so the key was communicating clearly how the day would run – that we were starting early, would be finishing at x time, and would have to leave the venue then (we imagined having to shoo out a couple of people with a broom, haha). Finish time was on the invites, so if anyone had felt “cheated” by a 4-hour reception (we also had our ceremony beforehand), they could have chosen not to come. But it worked great. People knew the finish time, so they got into drinking and dancing really early (rather than waiting til 11pm/everyone is drunk enough), and just before we left, our party friends invited everyone who wanted to keep going back to their house (a handful of people went, and they sent us some great photos!). 

I left absolutely at my sweet spot of being peopled out, but not quite ready for bed… My husband and I got changed into our jeans, got an Uber to town, went to a late-night cafe and had coffee and fries together ๐Ÿ˜€ It was such a special part of the day – we got to decompress, process and talk about everything while the memories were fresh. We still went to bed late, but I wasn’t having an introvert anxiety meltdown. It was awesome.

A number of people said to us afterwards that they appreciated having a good party and not getting home too late or feeling too terrible the next day. 

Anyway, I was so worried about being judged for it, but the people we invited knew what kind of people we are, and totally got on board with it. Don’t feel the need to book a whole other venue and pay for more stuff just so people can have two more hours at the bar, unless you really want that. You only need to worry about being generous hosts and giving people a good time while they’re there – as long as you’re clear about how long the event is, no one should feel entitled to a “time minimum” on a wedding. Especially since you only have 30 guests – we had 80 and it was still enough time to spend with everyone. 

Sorry for the rant, I just feel passionately about this, lol. Let me know if you have questions!

Edited to add: We did have an open-invite brunch the next day, at a large cafe, where everyone paid for their own brunch. All the out-of-towners came, and we were there for about 3 hours! It was also great.

Post # 19
1715 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

We partied till 3 AM. Then after partied till 5 AM. My group likes to party, lol. I had to eventually send everyone away because I was tired. Lol. 

Post # 21
1183 posts
Bumble bee

Our wedding went from 1pm-11pm. Some people grouped together and went to a bar afterwards xo

Post # 22
2657 posts
Sugar bee

Our ceremony was from 5-5:30 and then the reception was from 5:30-10…well it was supposed to be until 10, but I think it got shut down around 9:15-9:30 due to some issues that the venue was having.  But no big deal as they gave us a bunch of booze and we took it back to where everyone was staying and partied up longer.

To be clear, this was a destination wedding and no one stays up late on an island, so ending at 10 is a normal time.

OP, I would add maybe another hour, but that’s all.  Then take it to a bar.  My friend had her wedding end in a bar and she ordered pizza for everyone.  It was great.

Post # 23
408 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2018

We had about 40 people at our wedding. Cocktail hour was from 6:45 to 7:45 and reception started at 8:00pm. The reception ended at 11:00pm and the after party started at 11:30pm ๐Ÿ˜‚

Post # 24
185 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: April 2017

Our dinner reception started at 7pm and ended at around 10:30pm. Most of the guests left by this time but probably around 50 stayed (we had 200+ guests). We probably left the venue at around 1:30 am with the party ending around 12:30 to 1am.

Post # 25
1959 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2018

Close to midnight when we  left the party people left. As I left, i closed the bar and told the venue to kick them out ๐Ÿ˜‚. They would’ve still been at the venue at 2am otherwise 

Post # 26
104 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

I think it ended about 11pm, but then a bunch of us hung out at the hotel bar until 1 or so. You can’t always tell who’s going to be a party animal by their age. We had an elderly fun-loving family friend who went by “Uncle Bob” at our wedding, and he ended up meeting some 20-something stoners in the hotel elevator, and doing pot in their room with them until 4 in the morning, when they were chased down the stairwell by the police.

Post # 27
1965 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2017 - Pearson Convention Centre

Our cocktail hour started at 4pm and our reception ended at 2am.

Post # 28
279 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2017 - City, State

We had about 70 people at our wedding, dinner was at 6, ended at 12AM ๐Ÿ™‚ 

Post # 29
46 posts
  • Wedding: September 2018

Ours is similar to yours. Ceremony at 4, cocktail hour, reception 6-10. I think a 4 hour reception is plenty because the older guests will want to leave, and you’ll have been going all day. We are going to a bar after the reception is over. Especially for a Monday, I wouldn’t pay the extra cash to have it go later.

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