Wedding Reception Forum
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Afternoon Reception vs. Evening Reception?

Hello everyone! My FI and I are just in the preliminary stages of planning for our summer 2011 wedding, and we've already run into a few conundrums. We're looking at a theme of simply "color." We have a lot of whimsical ideas to incorporate color in all sorts of ways. We're also planning on having a dry wedding, except for the champagne for the toasts.Here's the problem-- our whimsical ideas and the lack of alcohol, not to mention the cost of an evening meal, seems to lend itself very well to an afternoon, luncheon-style reception, with lighter fare, as well as cake, punch, coffee, tea, soda, etc. Will an afternoon reception seem to informal to do the traditional "first dance," as well as the father/daughter, the bouquet toss, and dancing in general?I've only been to one afternoon reception, and it was in a greenhouse on a hot June afternoon, so the heat and the noise of the fans prevented any music (if it was playing...?) from being heard.We're looking into having an indoor celebration, but we still want our guests to have a good time. Will the guests still want to dance if it's only 4 in the afternoon?-MP

Re: Afternoon Reception vs. Evening Reception?

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    Most of the knotties will say that an afternoon reception is more appropriate for a dry wedding, but I've been to weddings with open bars in the afternoon with no one wanting to dance, and my dry wedding in the evening where everyone danced.I'm always up for dancing, even at 4pm in the afternoon. I don't drink, but expect that some people may not be up for dancing especially without alcohol as a social lubricant.If you are limited to an afternoon reception, then definitely make sure the DJ has an appropriate playlist for the guests and see if your venue has different party lighting options. Example: Open bar afternoon reception played lots of "club-type" music with a venue with wall to wall windows. Dirty dancing isn't really appropriate, especially in broad daylight where the 70% of the guests were middle-aged to older adults.
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    You can still have dancing, first dances, and the tosses at an afternoon wedding.  You might not have many people out there dancing, but maybe you will, it all depends on your crowd.  Personally I think dry weddings are best in the afternoon.  People will want alcohol at an evening wedding with a DJ and dancing.
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    To be honest with you I think that what is appropriate or not in this case does not matter that much. It's your wedding. If you want it to be in the afternoon but you still want a bunch of formal stuff then do it. Or u can just have the reception in the evening. My best friend had absolutely no alcohol (not even for the toast) at her wedding and she had it in the evening time with all the formal dances, cutting cake, etc. It wasn't weird at all and everyone had a great time. Normal 0 MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman";} [url=http://www.theknot.com/?utm_source=ticker&utm_medium=UBB&utm_campaign=tickers][img]http://global.theknot.com/tools/tickers/tt3ac60.aspx[/img][/url]
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    We are planning an afternoon reception as well with a DJ and dancing included. Our friends are already telling us they can't wait to dance at our wedding. Like the pps said, the amount of dancing will depend on your crowd (like it does at every wedding), but no, it wouldn't be too informal to include the traditions you and your FI want.
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    I've been to a ton of afternoon weddings and they all had dancing.  Actually the dance floor was always packed.  But they all had alcohol too.






    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. 
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    I've never been to an afternoon wedding that was any different from an evening wedding. There was booze, a full full meal, and dancing. I actually didn't know people had evening receptions for the longest time. Personally I would rather attend a wedding with a cash bar than dry if you are looking to cut costs. And yes most people I know would drink at lunchtime!
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    Wow...you are in the same dilemma that my FI and I are in!!!  I really wanted to do the traditional dances and then have dancing but he wants to have an early family for out of town guests.  We are having a dry wedding and I was also worried about the same things that you are.  These post have really helped decide some things!!  Thanks for the advice ladies!!!
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