Reception Time

Our venue offers a 4-hour reception (would include: the cocktail hour, dinner, cake, and dancing). We can extend it to 5 but we aren’t sure which amount of time would be better. We would love to get your input.




Filed under reception

9 responses to “Reception Time

  1. Michelle

    I suggest you guys think about how long you guys would want it to be. The guests will have a good time if it’s four hours or five hours however, you guys may be engulfed in taking pictures(Sometimes can take a long time) and greeting everyone (May take a long time). I think it depends on how much fun you guys plan on having. I had a five hour and I felt like it went by soooo fast.

    Well those are my two cents.


  2. Rebecca

    Depends on when the reception starts – – a 7-11 reception (4 hours) vs a 7-midnight reception would be different for me relative to a 8-midnight vs 8-1am reception.

    Generally, I would think 4 is good in most cases though! Of course if it starts at 5 – only going until 9 doesn’t seem quite right.

  3. mujerboricua

    If it helps people decide, Greg and I will be taking pictures *before* the ceremony (gasp!) so we can mingle with our guests.

    We are looking at a 5 to 9 reception or a 5 to 10 reception. Technically we could do a 6 to 10 reception but we’ll have less light to work with this last option.

  4. Ana

    Aye, CARAMBA….you are asking a Latina that traditionally does the all-nighter for these super special celebrations!! So, as you can see, I’m sorta biased. FIVE HOURS of course!! You see, I’ve gotta get some practice in. When my bambinos get married, we’ll do the reception and then come to my house for more food and more dancing!! Actually, it’s your celebration. If you say four hours, I’ll REALLY scrunch up the celebration time! Either way, it’s going to be GREAT!!

  5. Danny

    I would suggest thinking about how long Matt and Roberta’s wedding lasted between everything. It seemed like just when the party was starting we were told the music had to stop and I believe that was a five hour wedding (though there was an inclusion of the ceremony and photos.)

  6. Gene

    depends on when it starts and what goes on. I tend to lean toward 5 for fun and catching up, but 4 is good if efficient..

  7. Matt

    It depends a little bit on what sort of schedule you have. Roberta and I were shocked at how little reception we ended up with after all of the other bits of the dinner/ceremony – nothing actually happened according to the schedule!

    Unless cost is extremely prohibitive I say err on the side of length and go with five hours.

  8. Roberta

    If you are planning on having dancing at the wedding, then at least 5 hours. The single biggest mistake of our wedding planning was not having enough reception time scheduled.

    It will help that you guys are taking pictures outside of the reception time, but if the reception is going to have a schedule of events, the schedule will likely slip. I think this is a factor of how many guests and events you are coordinating.

    As Matt already mentioned, we ran much later than scheduled. Our wait staff was not well coordinated so a lot of time was waiting for dinner to be served or champagne for the toast.

    Here is the reception schedule from our reception to give you an idea of what we had planned and what we skipped in the reception. Again, if you don’t plan on having dancing at the reception then 4 hours is probably fine.

    6:00 PM Ceremony
    6:30 PM Hors d’ouerves (while we took pictures)
    7:30 PM Dinner
    8:15 PM Toast
    8:30 PM Cake Cutting
    First Dance
    Family Dance
    Open Dancing
    10:00 End

    Our biggest time sinks were
    *having a plated and served dinner
    *hors d’ouerves and drinks hour

    Things we skipped
    *bouquet and garter tosses
    *mother-groom dance and father-bride dance (we did whole fam in one dance)
    *toasts (we only had the best man give a speech)

  9. For us, after 4 hours, we were tired and ready to get to the hotel room. But definitely plan on things running late. Unless you have Duc doing your planning, because that dude is AWESOME! (Even then, nothing goes exactly according to plan.) Be flexible!

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