Post # 1
Our ceremony is at 4pm (more like 4:15, but we’re saying 4), with cocktails immediately after in the same place (5ish), which will lead directly to the reception at 6ish (again, all in the same place). When we met with our DJ, he said that since he has to be there to set up before the ceremony, he doesn’t start the clock for his time until the reception, but that he has microphones we can use for the ceremony. Now he says that since his equiptment will be in the “on” position, his time clock will run, and that he doesn’t charge for his set up time (well duh, how could you? I don’t get paid for my getting-ready-for-work time). I believe I specifically asked if the ceremony/cocktail time would be factored in, and he said no (and so agreed the 3 of us in attendance at the meeting w/ the DJ). It just teaches me to make sure everything is very specific in writing, rather than just signing basic contracts.
So if we go with his new interpretation of the contract, the reception will be done at 9. He said that’s too early, and will “give” us until 10 for free, and it’s another $175 if we want to go till 11 (again, at the meeting he said he usually charges $175, but would only charge us $100; after we left, I was kicking myself for not getting that part in writing).
I’m going to see if I can find anyone else to provide mics so we won’t need any of his stuff till the reception. But if that doesn’t work, what should we do? End at 10? Pay up till 11? Or have him end at 10, and use the ipod on a Bose system until 11? I figure the people who are still there at 10 will be more of the party crowd, and I don’t think the ipod transition would phase them. I went to an ipod-transition reception before and we barely noticed.
Most people are coming from out of town, so I don’t know if they’ll be tired from travel and sightseeing during the day such that they’d appreciate it ending at 10, or if, since people are coming from so far away, we should give them a longer reception. We’re also providing shuttle service (not cheap!) from the venue to the hotel, so ending at 10 means we can save an hour there as well. We’re doing a brunch the next day, so while I want to enjoy my reception, a part of me also likes the idea of ending at 10 and going back to our fancy hotel room and enjoying some alone time in the room with my new husband (wink wink) before we have to leave early the next morning to set up the brunch. When I’ve been to receptions in the past, I’m often surprised to see that it’s much earlier than I think, and I don’t think I’ve ever stayed much past 10. But I don’t want to shortchange our guests.
Post # 3
What time do you have your venue until? That may help you out with that decision.
We have our venue until 12 am so we told the DJ to start winding down at 11 so everyone could get out if they wanted before the venue deadline hit.
Post # 4
If you decide to go an extra hour, I would pay for the DJ. Once you switch to an Ipod then people might think the party is over and start packing up. Plus I think it would be odd to see the DJ start packing up is things in the middle of the party.
Post # 5
@mkim: I agree – if I saw the DJ pack up I would get the message that the party is over. I think that 10PM seems too early to end a reception.
Hopefully you can find someone else who has mics to use – have you asked your venue?
Post # 6
I have the same timeline, i.e. ceremony at 4, cocktails at 5, seating of guests at 6, dinner at 6:30. We have a live band from 8:30-12:30. In between, when they’re taking breaks, we plan to have the couple dance, the toasts, the mini speeches, the cake cutting, fireworks display, etc.
We’ll have the cake cutting at 10:30pm followed by our thank-you speech and fireworks display. This will give our guests the option to leave at 11pm after the fireworks, or stay till the band finishes after midnight.
If you want your DJ until 10, I suggest you have a little something at that point, perhaps a speech or whatever, to cue in your guests that if they wanna leave early, this would be a good time, otherwise, the “after-party” goes on till midnight. You can switch to iPod then and your guests know they’re welcome to hang out for another 2 hours.
Post # 7
Our ceremony is at 4 cocktail is at 7 and reception ends at 12. Go for the 11pm!!!! 🙂
Post # 8
Our Ceremony is at 430 and reception ends at 10pm 🙂 Its up to you!! I say go for it!
Post # 9
Thanks all! It’s at a private residence (my FI’s cousin’s amazing farmhouse), so there is no time cut off. I just got an email from the guy who manages the property (who is a musician), and he said they have what we would need. Yay! So we’ll go to 11 with the dj, without paying extra. The DJ is going to be pissy when I tell him. When I wrote him going over some details, I mentioned that we had a violin duo for the ceremony/cocktails. He got all huffy in his response, saying he thought he was doing the ceremony/cocktail hour. When we met, we told him we weren’t sure what we were doing, and asked what our options were if we didn’t have live music. That’s when he said that he would do the ceremony and cocktail hour, because he had to be there anyway to set up, and he didn’t charge for it. That’s when I asked if it impacted the hours in the contract (we only met with 2 DJs, so I’m certain I’m not confusing this with the other one). So it’s like he was willing to go till 11 if he did the ceremony/cocktails, but since we’re asking less of him, he’s pissy. I wonder if he’ll say, if we supply ceremony mics, that we can’t use his mic for the toasts at the reception! Ha!
Post # 10
i though 4 hour reception was normal and expected. I don’t see any reason to go until 11 unless you want it longer. I’d say most guests would leave before then anyway (unless you have a large group of drinkers and late night partiers)
Post # 11
we had last call at 1 am. ceremony was at 6, cocktails 6.30, dinner 8, dance 9-1
Post # 12
- Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort
I’ve NEVER been to a wedding no matter how fun (including a recent one with a live local band of international fame) that I was not ready to leave from by 5 hours after the reception started (including cocktails, so 4 hours after the dinner recption part started). The only exception would be my own wedding. The time flew for me, so I couldn’t believe it when 11pm came (cocktails 6-7, dinner 7-11), but most of the guests were trickling out already and the rest were ready to leave or take their party to South Beach. I’d end at 10 if I were you.