New York

4 hour vs. 5 hour reception?

I am planning a wedding in Syracuse, and my reception starts at 7.  I would love to do a 5 hour reception, but my parents are worried that people might get to a thought was to close the bar for an hour (maybe during dinner).  Is it tacky to close the bar at all?  Should I just stick to the 4 hour reception so I don't have to worry about that?
Did you do a 4 or 5 hour reception?  What were some things that you liked/disliked about either?  Have you been to reception where bars were closed and people got irritated? 
I would love to hear some thoughts!  Thanks!! :)

Re: 4 hour vs. 5 hour reception?

  • edited December 2011
    I think it is fine to close the bar I dont know if during dinner is the best time though people may want a beer or glass of wine with there food but maybe likre the last hour have it be closed or do an open bar for the first few hours and then have it be a cash bar for the last hour my cousins did that and it turned out fine...good luck! : )
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  • edited December 2011
    There are a couple problems with having an open bar that turns to a cash bar at a certain point. 1) If your guests know this will be happening, often times they will binge to get as many drinks down as possible before they have to pay (won't fix the problem of guests getting drunk). 2) If your guests don't know it's going to change over, it causes a lot of discomfort and embarassment. Imagine going to a wedding assuming it will be open bar. I don't carry cash with me unless I know I'll need it. You go to the bar and order the same drink you've been ordering, and getting for free, all night and suddenly you have to pay.

    I don't love the idea of closing the bar during dinner because I think it looks a little tacky. What if I'm done with my drink? Most people won't really get too many drinks during dinner so closing won't change too much.

    I think you have two choices, either go with a 4 hour reception or trust your guests to not get silly at a wedding (or just don't worry about it!).

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  • SSBT2010SSBT2010 member
    edited December 2011
    We are having a 5 hr reception.  Our caterer won't close the bar during dinner because when they used to do that they would get a long line at the last call before dinner started. Also because when people went up there to get drinks right before dinner they would come back with 2 or 3 and they would get wasted, so it wasn't cost effective for the caterer. Since we wanted the 5 hr reception but didn't want to pay for the extra hr of open bar we decided to have the last hr be a cash bar.  HTH
  • lisainthecuselisainthecuse member
    edited December 2011
    I think having the last hour as cash bar is a great option.  I have never been a fan of closing it during dinner. 
  • edited December 2011
    We are having a 5+ hour reception. We are closing the open bar down at dinner time and opening it back up after dinner.  I've never been to a wedding where this didn't happen.  I have never been aggravated by it and I've never gone up to the bar when it was cash bar and the bartenders haven't told me that it was cash bar before I ordered my drink.  I just recently went to a wedding that shut the bar down COMPLETELY during dinner, nobody could order drinks at all, which didn't bother me but I know it bothered some other people.
    Erika & Joel
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  • apaadzzzzapaadzzzz member
    edited December 2011

    Have you thought about doing a wine service during dinner? My girlfriend just got married in syracuse...They did a one hour cocktail hour w/open bar, dinner with wine service, then four hours of open bar.  It was Very nice!  They actually decided to close the bar during dinner and have wine service at the table so that guests weren't constantly getting up and down during dinner and the traditional dances and speeches.

  • mizmastromizmastro member
    edited December 2011
    I always think 4 is a little short.  A lot of places will give you the option to add an hour and you don' thave to decide until that night.  I'm having my reception start around 730 immediately following a 7pm ceremony.  I already plan on buying an extra hour!
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  • edited December 2011
    My caterer also required that the bar close for dinner - I dont even think anone noticed! However, I also am a fan of the 4 hour reception... I think that we as brides want the party to never end, but for the guests, ending the reception at 12 might be a little late.

    If you are having your reception at a hotel, or new a downtown, you can always have an afterparty at a bar, where everyone can come if they want, but are responsible for their own drinks!
  • edited December 2011
    I'm a fan of a 5 hour reception! Especially if you have a lot of young people. But I guess it depends on your crowd. My family goes to the end and always make a mad dash when they hear last call for the bar. I think older people tend to leave early, regardless of how long the reception is. You can always start with 4 and just have some extra money on hand to have the DJ go for another hour if it seems like people don't want to leave yet.

    I have been to many weddings where they closed the bar for dinner and I think a lot of people almost expect it. most people don't get up in the middle of dinner to walk over to the bar, it looks tacky and disrupts dinner. You can always have wine on the tables during dinner. if people want to drink heavily, there isn't much that will stop them: 4 or 5 hours, open bar or not, drinks during dinner.
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  • edited December 2011
    I have been to 2 weddings recently where the bar closed during dinner. It really wasn't that much of an issue. No one even noticed it till the end of the hour that there was no bartender there.
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