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Starting to panic...is my reception long enough??

So our reception is in the same place as our ceremony and after the ceremony, everyone will exit out of the ceremony room into the foyer/courtyard area for a cocktail hour while we do pictures (really only 45 minutes, not a full hour).  We were just looking at our timeline and freaking out because from the time we enter to the time we leave is only about an hour and forty minutes.  Is that long enough???  Our reception is cocktail style (served at stations in small plates but enough to be a full meal) and guests will get some of that food during the cocktail hour.

**I should also note, we're getting married on a Sunday...and we have people who live a couple hours away coming, so I didn't want anyone being out super late when they have work in the morning.

Here's the full timeline if that helps:

4-5 set up and pre-ceremony pics
5 wedding starts
5:30 wedding ends
5:30-6:15 pictures/cocktail hour
6:15 'big entrance'
6:20 toasts
6:30 first dance
6:35 "let's party"
7 bouquet/garter toss
730 cake cutting
7:55 send off
8 cleanup starts

Re: Starting to panic...is my reception long enough??

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    I'm assuming you have music and dancing since you say "let's party." I do think only 1.5 hours is pretty short for a reception that includes eating, drinking and dancing. The norm around here is 3-4 hours. I would personally say 3 hours at the minimum. I don't think I've ever been to an evening wedding that wrapped up by 8:00. There's nothing wrong etiquette-wise with it, but I do think you may have guests thinking it will be an all-night affair.


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    I feel like that is going to FLY by. There is no time built into your schedule for just dancing and socializing. There is constantly a spotlight event going on (first dance, cake cutting, etc.).  There is never even a full half hour for people to enjoy themselves.
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    You definitely need more time!  You make NO mention of dinner at all.  Are you having stations and a cocktail reception?  You are cutting your cake an hour and 15 minutes after you walk into the reception and  you have that time filled with your entrance, first dance, "let's party", and cake cutting.

    When in there are you feeding these people?
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_reception-ideas_starting-to-panicis-my-reception-long-enough?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:5Discussion:12d12649-6538-4306-bd9a-060a5ea05408Post:83a2b026-e385-4cc1-b6f2-e2df33e027c2">Re: Starting to panic...is my reception long enough??</a>:
    [QUOTE]You definitely need more time!  You make NO mention of dinner at all.  Are you having stations and a cocktail reception?  You are cutting your cake an hour and 15 minutes after you walk into the reception and  you have that time filled with your entrance, first dance, "let's party", and cake cutting. When in there are you feeding these people?
    Posted by kmmssg[/QUOTE]



    This.....you're in central Florida....are you doing stations or a buffet open the whole time? That's normal around here and most receptions last 3 hrs. If you're doing plated or a traditional buffet where guests form a line to go through it, you need more time.

    This is a dinner time wedding. You must serve dinner!
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    loca4pookloca4pook member
    First Comment Name Dropper 5 Love Its First Anniversary
    edited March 2013
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_reception-ideas_starting-to-panicis-my-reception-long-enough?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:5Discussion:12d12649-6538-4306-bd9a-060a5ea05408Post:85d25031-13d1-45b9-adf7-02d9c316df16">Starting to panic...is my reception long enough??</a>:
    [QUOTE]So our reception is in the same place as our ceremony and after the ceremony, everyone will exit out of the ceremony room into the foyer/courtyard area for a cocktail hour while we do pictures (really only 45 minutes, not a full hour).  We were just looking at our timeline and freaking out because from the time we enter to the time we leave is only about an hour and forty minutes.  Is that long enough???  Our reception is cocktail style (served at stations in small plates but enough to be a full meal) and guests will get some of that food during the cocktail hour. **I should also note, we're getting married on a Sunday...and we have people who live a couple hours away coming, so I didn't want anyone being out super late when they have work in the morning. Here's the full timeline if that helps: 4-5 set up and pre-ceremony pics 5 wedding starts 5:30 wedding ends 5:30-6:15 pictures/cocktail hour 6:15 'big entrance' 6:20 toasts 6:30 first dance 6:35 "let's party" 7 bouquet/garter toss 730 cake cutting 7:55 send off 8 cleanup starts
    Posted by mvance3[/QUOTE]

    I'm mixed. Are you eating more than cake? If not, you "really shouldn't be hostiing the wedding during a mealtime in the first place.

    with that said, if you are REALL sticking to this plan, your guests will WANT to leave by 8 cuz they are going to be STARVING and angry at you because you fed them "cake" during their mealtime

    If you are feeding them dinner, I do think you need a little longer as this doesn't seem like much time at all.

    My overall recommendation is this: make sure to FEED them dinner and extend your timeline

    OR

    Make this an early afternoon reception if it is only going to be a cake serving type of thing.
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    fallbride1109fallbride1109 member
    First Anniversary 5 Love Its Name Dropper First Comment
    edited March 2013
    I think for a Sunday you should end early, but I agree that I would add another hour and have the reception be over at 9:00 if, as you say, you are providing enough food for a full meal.  Not only for your guests but for you and your FI--that time is going to pass in the blink of an eye.  You are really only allowing an hour to dance and mingle with your guests.
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    Ok thank you everyone for your advice/opinions.  To answer a reccuring question about when we're feeding our guests...I mentioned in the original post that we're serving a cocktail style reception and guests will have access to that food during the cocktail hour...THAT is when we're feeding them...throughout the whole thing in small plates.  We have 4 food stations and some butlered items througout the entire reception and cocktail hour...so we are feeding them, just not having a sit down meal.  I will be adding another hour just to give guests more time to mingle and dance.  Thanks all!
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    In a similar boat due to the sunday thing and ceremony and reception aspect...however my reception is four hours ending at ten....we just viewed it as for our out of town guests or far drivers (like from southwest suburbs back downtown or to the northside of chicago) that theyd have enough food, sweets, pics and dancing by 8 if they need to head out and prepare for the monday ritual

    ****The Future Mrs. Ikeard**** wedding countdown
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    Hmmm... you said you have people coming from a couple hours away?  So that is like a 4 hour round trip? 

     Well, not sure i'd drive 4 hours for a 3 hour event.  More time would be good.

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    I  voted yes, your out of town guests are not required to stay as late as others and many may not stay that late since it is a Sunday but it's better to have it run later and have people leave early then to cut it short and have people feel in a sense like they were rushed through the wedding and reception!
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    It's official...we added another hour!  I feel SO much better about it!!!  So from start to finish, our guests will get 4 hours of wedding-ness.  I talked to my photographer to work out the logistics and he helped me arrange everything...I'm so glad.  Thank you ladies for your help!
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