South Asian Weddings

Break between ceremony and reception?

How long of a break are you having (or did you have) in between your ceremony and reception?  I'm wondering if the cocktail hour is enough time for me to take some pictures with family/friends and then change/get ready for the reception.  This is assuming I take most of the pictures before the ceremony...

Re: Break between ceremony and reception?

  • edited December 2011

    What do you need to do to get ready for the reception?  Depends on if you need make up touch ups or a different hairstyle?

    One cocktail hour would make me nervous, based on what you want to accomplish, with the photographs and all. But I am not a pro!  This is my first time planning a wedding :)

    I have left 1.5 hours in between the end of the wedding and the beginning of the cocktail hour!  Invites have not gone out or anything.  I am thinking of taking that down to 1 hour.  That will give people time to enjoy refreshments, take pics in Jersey City, change in the changing rooms provided by my hotel, go to their car, etc., before the cocktail hour begins.  But I don't want them idle for too long... I feel bad leaving them without an activity.

    I also really want to attend 50% of my cocktail hour.  I know some people think this is against the rules or tacky or something, but cocktail hour is one of my fav parts of a wedding.  And I have some neat elements at my cocktail hour, so I feel I deserve to enjoy them.  The reason I mention it is that you may want to consider whether you want to attend your cocktail hour.

    To answer your question, in short, I will leave at least two hours between end of wedding ceremony and beginning of reception.  1 hour "break" and a 1 hour cocktail hour. 

  • edited December 2011
    We are having the ceremony end at 3 and the cocktail hour start at 4:30. Granted the church is 20 mins from the hall and there isn't a lot of out of town guests. We are taking pics on location. Should give me time for everything. Good luck!
  • MrsBMMrsBM member
    edited December 2011
    We had a long break....

    Our wedding (doli ceremony etc) ended at 2 and cocktail hour started at 630

    I know it probably was kind of inconvenient for guests but it gave me enough time to nap, shower, get dressed (changed dress, hair and makeup) for the reception and take photos....
  • edited December 2011
    We're planning for 1 hour. The other day while I was in the shower.... I seem to do my best thinking there... I started to think that an hour wasn't going to be enough time. I'm not sure if we'll get photos done before the ceremony since our muhurat is 9:30 am!
  • edited December 2011
    Thanks girls!  Yea, I've been leaning more towards the fact that 1 hour will not be enough time for me...  taking a few pics and then changing into another outfit, getting pinned, ect. makes me nervous.  I'm not going to have a long ceremony (45-60 mins tops) so I don't think I'll need a makeup/hair touch up.  I wonder if venues do a 1 1/2 hour cocktail hours? :)
  • edited December 2011
    Priya, I think you can ask for an hour and a half.  That's what I'm planning on doing.
  • edited December 2011


    You've gotten some great advice already, so I want to reiterate things that have been said and point out a couple items you may not have thought about already.

    First we are all assuming your reception location and the ceremony location are located in the same vicinity...which certainly makes it easier.  Are you using the same space for both the ceremony and the reception as well?  Will part of your room need to be transformed from the ceremony to the reception?  In which case you may want to chat with your venue and your decor team about the time they will need to flip the room.

    Second, if your day is starting very early, to accomplish photos ahead of time, early morning ceremonies before the wedding, you day will be VERY long.  It may be a bit incontinent for your guest to have a long laps in between the end of the ceremony and the beginning of your cocktail hour, but you and your fiancé will need the time to recover and having the 3-4 hour span will allow you to nap and recover for an hour before starting your prep for the evening.  It will also give you the chance to snap a few pictures.


    Third, how extensive are you planning the pictures to be after the ceremony?  A lot of times these pictures can get out of hand, since everyone wants a picture of the new happy couple in their wedding attire and they begin to flock by the thousands Laughing.  So your hour could easily be cut down to 30 minutes if you don't plan pictures carefully.

    Fourth, what time is your ceremony ending?  If your vadaii ends before 2 you won't want to start your cocktail hour before 6, otherwise you have a very early dinner.  I wouldn't advise starting cocktail hour much after 6 or you push dinner into 8 or 9 by the time all the guest and you get situated. If you start dinner early, you will end up with very hungry guests as the night progresses into the wee hours.

    Fifth,  I agree with TravelMal3, that you also want to take into account whether you plan to attend any of your cocktail hour, or if that is not important, you can factor the cocktail hour into your allotted "picture time".  

    The best piece of advice I can give you for the day is give yourself time.  The last thing you want to do is be rushed, because we don't think clearly when we are and often begin to snap at guests and love one's unintentionally.

    Feel free to message me if you have any other timeline type question...happy to help.


    Full Circle Eventi

    [email protected]

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