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Reception Ideas

Reception Timeline

mlynn93mlynn93 member
First Comment
edited December 2018 in Reception Ideas
Hello,

My fiance and I ordered invitations the other day, and spent a lot of money on them so we won’t be ordering new ones. However, as I’ve thought about it more we probably wouldn’t have needed so much time between the end of our ceremony and dinner. So just asking for thoughts on how we can make our guests the most comfortable possible with this timeline:

Wedding Mass 2pm to about 3:15/3:30
4pm Social Hour (with wine and beer and snacks) 
5:30 Dinner 

The reception place is about 10 minutes away. We’ll just spread the word that it will be open right after the wedding.

My thought is we probably would have been fine with a 5pm dinner (we’re taking pictures in between but it shouldn’t take too long). However since we wrote 5:30 dinner on the invitations, my thought is that we would just come in around 5 or a little after for our entrance with our wedding party, and then greet some guests before dinner starts since we’re going to be doing table visits instead of a receiving line. Then we would have dinner be served promptly at 5:30. 

Thoughts? Any other ideas?
We also have space outside so I was thinking of putting a couple of lawn games out and maybe even a couple games inside in a basket just for something different for people to do. 

Re: Reception Timeline

  • Yeah, an hour and a half to two hours is long for a cocktail hour but your are stuck with that. Is there any way you can change your time for dinner with your venue/caterer then add an insert in your invitation to change the dinner time to 5:00? I'd do that if you could.
  • mlynn93mlynn93 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2018
    Yeah, an hour and a half to two hours is long for a cocktail hour but your are stuck with that. Is there any way you can change your time for dinner with your venue/caterer then add an insert in your invitation to change the dinner time to 5:00? I'd do that if you could.
    The main thing is it already says dinner at 530 on our invitations. 
    Would it be alright to just start dinner a little early (between 5 and 5:15), since they’ll already be there for the social hour, even though it says 5:30 for dinner? 
  • eileenrobeileenrob member
    Sixth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited December 2018
    mlynn93 said:
    Yeah, an hour and a half to two hours is long for a cocktail hour but your are stuck with that. Is there any way you can change your time for dinner with your venue/caterer then add an insert in your invitation to change the dinner time to 5:00? I'd do that if you could.
    The main thing is it already says dinner at 530 on our invitations. 
    Would it be alright to just start dinner a little early (between 5 and 5:15), since they’ll already be there for the social hour, even though it says 5:30 for dinner? 
    Are the guests all local?  Do you think they’ll all be at venue the entire time?  (Like would anyone say “okay the ceremony ends at 3:15 and dinner is at 5:30, I’m going to run home and let the dog out”. Or something like that.) If everyone will be there then I’d say it’s okay to go ahead and start the reception at 5:15. I agree that that’s a long cocktail hour if it doesn’t include tons of food stations where guests would need the time to pace themselves.  

    Edit - TK submitted before I finished my sentence 
    charlotte989875mlynn93
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I think you're OK to start dinner earlier than what is stated on the invites. In my experience, most everyone shows up for cocktail hour. 

    charlotte989875ILoveBeachMusicmlynn93
  • eileenrob said:
    mlynn93 said:
    Yeah, an hour and a half to two hours is long for a cocktail hour but your are stuck with that. Is there any way you can change your time for dinner with your venue/caterer then add an insert in your invitation to change the dinner time to 5:00? I'd do that if you could.
    The main thing is it already says dinner at 530 on our invitations. 
    Would it be alright to just start dinner a little early (between 5 and 5:15), since they’ll already be there for the social hour, even though it says 5:30 for dinner? 
    Are the guests all local?  Do you think they’ll all be at venue the entire time?  (Like would anyone say “okay the ceremony ends at 3:15 and dinner is at 5:30, I’m going to run home and let the dog out”. Or something like that.) If everyone will be there then I’d say it’s okay to go ahead and start the reception at 5:15. I agree that that’s a long cocktail hour if it doesn’t include tons of food stations where guests would need the time to pace themselves.  

    Edit - TK submitted before I finished my sentence 
    Thanks for your thoughts! Most people will be coming from out of town so I think it should work to just start early. My thought is even if they go somewhere in between, they’ll likely still be there by 5 or at the latest 5:15
  • mlynn93 said:
    eileenrob said:
    mlynn93 said:
    Yeah, an hour and a half to two hours is long for a cocktail hour but your are stuck with that. Is there any way you can change your time for dinner with your venue/caterer then add an insert in your invitation to change the dinner time to 5:00? I'd do that if you could.
    The main thing is it already says dinner at 530 on our invitations. 
    Would it be alright to just start dinner a little early (between 5 and 5:15), since they’ll already be there for the social hour, even though it says 5:30 for dinner? 
    Are the guests all local?  Do you think they’ll all be at venue the entire time?  (Like would anyone say “okay the ceremony ends at 3:15 and dinner is at 5:30, I’m going to run home and let the dog out”. Or something like that.) If everyone will be there then I’d say it’s okay to go ahead and start the reception at 5:15. I agree that that’s a long cocktail hour if it doesn’t include tons of food stations where guests would need the time to pace themselves.  

    Edit - TK submitted before I finished my sentence 
    Thanks for your thoughts! Most people will be coming from out of town so I think it should work to just start early. My thought is even if they go somewhere in between, they’ll likely still be there by 5 or at the latest 5:15
    Yes then like I’d said in my original comment, if all guests will be present the entire time, I’d go ahead and start a bit earlier.
    mlynn93
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