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Reception Ideas

Shutting the Party Down

I have recently begun the search for a reception venue and have found one that my fiance and I absolutely love. However, there is one thing that we think is a major issue. Due to a city ordinance (which means we cannot pay money for this to not be an issue), the reception must end at 11 pm. We just feel like this would really ruin the party if we had to shut it down so early. Have any of you had/been to a wedding where the reception ended at 11 and if so, what were your thoughts about it?

Re: Shutting the Party Down

  • I have recently begun the search for a reception venue and have found one that my fiance and I absolutely love. However, there is one thing that we think is a major issue. Due to a city ordinance (which means we cannot pay money for this to not be an issue), the reception must end at 11 pm. We just feel like this would really ruin the party if we had to shut it down so early. Have any of you had/been to a wedding where the reception ended at 11 and if so, what were your thoughts about it?
    I have. I mean its a bit of a buzzkill for me, though I'm sure there are plenty others happy to call it a night. It sounds like its out of your hands though. I assume that this is the same for all weddings in this city, or is it a question of particular dates? If it is the norm in the city then guests will be used to it, if it is due to a particular date then can't you move dates to a time when you can party later if thats what you want? Does this 11pm curfew apply to bars too? If not you can always have an afterparty for those wishing to keep the party going? 
                 
    ei34
  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    Most weddings I've been to have the receptions end at 11:00 (I'm in the U.S.). I think some people have gone out to after party kind of activities. When DD was married, we had to be out of the venue by 11:30. A lot of guests had already left by then. Cocktail hour started at 5:30 so that was a long time for most people.

  • I've been to receptions that ended at 11pm and even 10pm. It was fine. Think on the bright side... wouldn't you rather leave people wanting more than have people thinking "is this thing over yet?" 

    I'd rather have a reception end at 10 or 11, and then I have the option to after party if I'm in the mood. But if I'm tired and it's been a long day, I can go home and sleep. 
    --

    missJeanLouiseOurWildKingdomlc07
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    11 is plenty late enough for a wedding reception for me. 
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
    image
    InLoveInQueenslc07
  • We ran into the same issues with our venue (it was located in/very close to a residential area, which is why there was a curfew in the first place), and I had the same worries as you. Honestly, when I first heard the 11 p.m. curfew, I counted the venue out and then we came back to it for other more logistical reasons. It was totally fine and I don't think anyone felt like we were making them leave early. Our ceremony was at 5:30, reception started by 6-6:30ish, and we left around 10:30. We had a blast and we went to a bar after with our bridal party and I know some of my family got together at their houses. If people want to keep the party going, they will, but I don't think anyone felt our reception was too short.

    I actually think we even went to a wedding last summer with a 7:30 p.m. ceremony and the bride and groom were gone by 10:30 and it was fine. And in their case, probably more than half the crowd was gone by then anyway.
  • I think I've only been to 2 weddings that ended later than that. Mine was over at 10, or at least that's when the music stopped and we cleaned up and left... The ceremony started at 4, and 6 hours is more than enough for most people. I think by that time everyone who wasn't staying at the venue (basically a camp) was gone, though I did later hear a few people stayed up late at the campfire.
  • SP29SP29 member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Most of the receptions I have attended have ended at 1am, but I don't think there's anything wrong with ending it at 11pm. You could always go out to a bar afterward, and if anyone wants to join, they can.

    Since this is a city ordinance issue, I assume any other venue in the city would have the same situation? Thus I am not sure how you'd change this in any way, except to relocate for an after party- or, go back to your hotel and "sleep".
    ei34
  • End time was important to me an my partner, so we picked a venue where we don't have to be out until 2 AM (they said most groups wrap up around 1 to allow time for tearing down tables, trucking out decor, an such.)  What was originally our second choice venue required everything to be out by 11, which would have meant last call would have to be 9:30.  No way!  We are barely getting started at that hour!
    OurWildKingdom
  • bohobrideCAbohobrideCA San Diego, CA member
    100 Love Its Second Anniversary 10 Comments Name Dropper
    End time was important to me an my partner, so we picked a venue where we don't have to be out until 2 AM (they said most groups wrap up around 1 to allow time for tearing down tables, trucking out decor, an such.)  What was originally our second choice venue required everything to be out by 11, which would have meant last call would have to be 9:30.  No way!  We are barely getting started at that hour!
    FI and I chose our venue for the same reason. It really limited us but backyard weddings that go into the early morning are the norm in my family and I couldn't imagine having to clean up and rush everyone out early. This is very much a crowd thing though! 
    OurWildKingdom
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    I don't think I've been to a wedding that went past 11-11:30.

    Our wedding ended at 10:30.    All of the weddings at the club I work at now ended at 10:30 for noise ordinance.   10:30-11:30 end is pretty standard not only in my social circle, but all of the weddings I've worked around the country/islands. 

    I will have to be honest, my social group does not party according to what time of the day it is.  If we are together and there is booze,  it's a party.   It can start at 9am and end at 2pm.  It can start at noon and end at 5 or it can start at 5 and end at 11.  It's still a kick-ass party with full meals, tons of booze and dancing.

    I wouldn't be too caught up on ended at 11pm.  






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
    lc07SP29
  • ei34ei34 member
    Seventh Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I'm used to the 7-8pm cocktails followed by 8-12 reception, but I'd be thrilled with the whole thing being moved up an hour...I think 11 is fine.  And if it's a city-wide thing, local guests wouldn't be surprised. 
    STARMOON44
  • I love weddings that end on the earlier side. If you love the venue, go with it.
    STARMOON44
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