Wedding Reception Forum

Reception End Time

What time is your reception ending?  How long is too long?

Re: Reception End Time

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    How late a reception goes depends on what time it starts and what kind of reception you are having. 

    Our cocktail hour is starting at 6:00 with the dinner part of the reception starting at 7:00.  We're having a plated dinner followed by dancing (with a live band).  We have a 5 hour open bar package included, so the reception will go to at least 11:00.  Depending on how long dinner and speeches take, it might run a little longer than that (at which point we would start being charged per drink).

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    We had a 5 hour reception. It ended at 11.  Originally we were thinking about extending it an extra hour but I'm glad we didn't. A lot of the older guests went home right around 11 and those of us that wanted to still party just went to the hotel bar for the "after party".

    It wasn't worth the extra cost in our situation because the way our venue was set up we would have to pay $X for every person that attended even though only 1/2 the guests would have been there for the extra hour.
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    I think what time a reception ends is not the question at all.  What time it ends depends on what time it starts.

    Typically receptions are either 4 or 5 hours.  Longer than 5 is, IMO, too long.  Shorter than 4, if you're having dancing and a meal, is too short.

    "Trix, it's what they/our parents wanted. Why so judgemental? And why is your wedding date over a year and a half ago? And why do you not have a groom's name? And why have you posted over 12,000 posts? And why do you always say mean things to brides?" palegirl146
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    We have our hall for 5 hours, so we will be going from 4pm-9pm.  We live in a neighborhood with plenty of bars to go to, and a hotel right there, so we'll definitely be going out after!
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    edited January 2010
    We're going to have a 5 hr reception. Cocktail hour will be 6-7PM and the reception will end at 11. IMO, five hours is the perfect amount of time if you're having dinner and dancing.  
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    Here is how our reception timeline went - Everything went pretty much according to schedule

    6 to 7pm: Cocktail Hour (Open Bar)

    7:00pm: Open Bars close & Wine Service begins at tables
    7:10pm: Intros - WP followed by Bride & Groom

    7:15pm: MOH Toast & BM Toast

    7:20pm: Our Thanks/Toast

    7:25pm: Mr. Colatosti Intro/Welcome & Blessing by Reverend Bryan Wilkerson
    7:30pm: Appetizer Course Served

    7:50pm: Salad Course Served

    7:55pm: Wedding Video

    8:00pm: Cake Cutting
    8:10pm: Pasta Course Served

    8:30pm: Entrée Course Served and Bars Re-Open
    9:00pm: Cake, Cookies and Candy Buffet Served
    9:05pm: First Dance

    9:10pm: Candy Buffet Announcement by DJ & Dancing/Open Floor

    9:30pm: Favor Table set up in Venetian Room
    10:00pm: Anniversary Dance

    10:30pm: Flip Flop Baskets put out in Venetian Room
    11:30pm: Late Night Snacks – Fenway Favorites

    12:35am: Last Dance & Confetti Bomb Surprise

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    Cocktails at 5, dinner at 6:20, reception was scheduled to end at 11.  There were so many people still on the dance floor that they left it open until midnight.
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    Ceremony at 7, cocktail hour 7:30-8:30, dinner and dancing 8:30-12:30  

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    Although we are having an informal reception it's going to be from 6:00 to 11:00.
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