(Closed) Would you expect dinner

posted 5 years ago in Reception
Post # 31
2009 posts
Buzzing bee

Absolutely. It’s 7:30! 

Post # 32
7658 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2013

I personally would expect dinner as I would arrive at the ceremony before I typically eat dinner. I would suggest pushing your ceremony back to 8:30 if you don’t plan on doing dinner or perhaps having it around 2pm.


Post # 33
586 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

I was born and raised in the south and agree with others that early dinner may not be as common as you are thinking (sounds like you’ve come around to that already though). I would definitely expect dinner at a wedding with a 7 pm ceremony and 7:30 pm reception.

Post # 34
3107 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2016 - Surfer\'s Beach, Grand Cayman

I usually eat dinner at 7 or 7:30 so I would likely expect it. I’m sure I could survive and make plans to eat earlier if I was made aware but it wouldn’t be ideal, I don’t think that cake alone would be enough food to satisfy people. 

To give you an idea we had an at home reception for our elopement at 8:00 pm and we had passed hors d’oeuvres, and a cold food station and hot pasta station as well as cake and every single guest was loading up their plates, even though they presumably may have ate dinner earlier. 

Post # 35
221 posts
Helper bee

Yes, I would expect a meal

Post # 36
313 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

I would expect some sort of food, maybe not a full meal but something to snack on and eat. I went to a wedding at your same time, live in SC, and they didn’t have any food at all. It was all the guests could talk about is how they were hungry and confused why there wasn’t food. We had to leave within 45 min we were so hungry. I would suggest looking into something for your guests. 

Post # 37
2317 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: January 2015

I usually eat dinner at 730-8pm which is common where I live, so I would be expecting dinner. At the very least lots of appetisers.

Post # 38
69 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

I would expect dinner or substantial canapes. 

I also grew up in the south. With the exception of Thanksgiving and the occasional Sunday meal, I can’t think of ever having my last meal between 3-5. Most aren’t even off work.

Post # 39
226 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

7:30 reception…  Absolutely I’d be thinking there would be dinner.  I’m not familiar with your region but most people in my area don’t eat dinner until 7 at the earliest…  I have 2 kids and we eat dinner at 7-7:30.  

I have no problem with a dessert reception, they seem super fun, but I’d make it VERY clear on the invites so people can eat between.

Post # 40
2107 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

I absolutely would expect dinner! 7:30 is a very normal dinner time.

Post # 41
1521 posts
Bumble bee

Service for dinner for my reception begins at 7:15 pm.

I would be hella cranky if I rolled in for your reception and wasn’t fed dinner without explicit forewarning (on the invitation itself). I try to avoid eating before I go to weddings because I know how much the couple have spent on dinner, so I try to save room for everything they have to offer.

Post # 42
441 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

Yea, I would also expect food. If the ceremony is at 7pm and people have to drive 20 minutes that means they would have to eat dinner at 4:00/5:00 to give themselves time to get ready beforehand. Also, almost all weddings I’ve attended started dinner around 7pm, so this seems to be really normal timing.

Unless you make it very clear on the invitation (“light refreshments only”), I would not be eating beforehand. If I did eat beforehand, I would also probably be hungry again by 10ish, since I’m not used to eating a full meal in the middle of the afternoon. But I eat dinner every day at 8pm; growing up it was always at 7pm.

I’m a bit confused as to who eats dinner between 3pm and 5pm on a regular basis… when do people work?? Are they eating at the office?? I know not everyone works a 9-5 job, but to say that anything earlier than 5pm is a common time for dinner just seems strange (but I’m not from the south, so maybe I’m wrong).

Just a note, the timing of our wedding was:
4:30-5:00 – ceremony
5:00-5:30 – short drink after the ceremony (it was in a castle, so it was mostly to give guests the chance to have a drink in the courtyard and stay there a bit longer)
5:30-7:00 – cocktail hour at reception venue (it was across the street, so travel time was less than a minute between venues)
7:30 – start of dinner

Post # 43
1260 posts
Bumble bee

View original reply
joesbride1226 :  I’m not from the south, but I would absolutely expect dinner. Ceremony starts at 7, so let’s work backwards:

Guest will want to arrive by 6:45

20 min drive time with some cushion in case of delay: guests leave by 6:15/6:20

even for a casual wedding, say they need 30-40 mins to get ready, so they’ll need to start around 5:30/5:45.

that puts dinner time before 5.

I would serve dinner and trust that anyone diabetic will have a snack before they leave. It’s much more reasonable to expect that a few guests will have a snack at 430/5 than to expect that everyone will have dinner then.

Good luck! Serve food!

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