Wedding Reception Forum
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Reception time??

Our wedding ceremony will start at 3:00.  Should last a half hour.   The drive from the ceremony to reception is about 25-30 min.  Were thinking reception starting at 4:30.  Cocktail hour from 4:30 to 5:30.  Dinner at 5:30. There will be photographs after ceremony.  What do you guys think?

Re: Reception time??

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    My only problem is-- what will people do for that extra half hour? Could you push it up to 4:00 instead? Not all of your guests will be sticking around for the photo part, so that kind of leaves them hanging.
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    Cocktail hour should start at 4, not 4:30.  Gaps are rude.



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    The cocktail hour needs to start immediately following the ceremony so that as soon as guest leave the ceremony and arrive at the reception venue 25-30 minutes later, the cocktail hour is available to them. 
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
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    If the reception starts at 4:00 can we have the cocktail hour last till 5:30? Have the cocktail hour last longer than an hour.  That way it gives the bridal party enough time after taking pictures to get to the reception. 

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    @marip123 you can definitely have a longer cocktail hour.  As a guest I would much prefer an hour and a half cocktail hour then to have to deal with any gap.

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    Also what is normal time for the bridal party to arrive at the reception?   1/2 hour after reception starts?  Hour after reception starts?  I'm afraid if we make the reception start right after ceremony by the time bridal party finishes up pictures it will be an hour by the time they get to the reception.  Isn't that too long to keep quests waiting.
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    marip123 said:
    Also what is normal time for the bridal party to arrive at the reception?   1/2 hour after reception starts?  Hour after reception starts?  I'm afraid if we make the reception start right after ceremony by the time bridal party finishes up pictures it will be an hour by the time they get to the reception.  Isn't that too long to keep quests waiting.
    No, not if you're having cocktail hour.  I don't think I've ever been to a wedding where the bride and groom attend the cocktail hour.  Usually they are annunced after everyone sits down at the reception.  I think it would be good to have ceremony from 4-4:30, cocktail hour 4:30 - 5:00, and you show up at 5:00 - 5:15 after everyone is settled in at their tables.
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    Start the reception at 4:00.  Your cocktail hour should be an hour.  A little over an hour is ok, but going to 90 minutes is pushing it.  If you do go 90 minutes, make sure you have plenty of seating available in the cocktail area.  

    Any decent photographer can get the WP photos done in an hour.  WP normally trickles in during cocktail hour or comes in just before B&G after the guests are seated.  
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    Not sure on your point of view but if you are not already dead set on doing photos after the ceremony one day to get rid of most of the wait time for guests is to do most or all of the photos before the ceremony. That also has the added benefit of everyone looking fresh (like hair and make up still in place for girls, no one really sweaty if its hot that day, etc). Even if you did every photo except for the ones with both bride and groom, that would take a lot of the wait time off. Just a suggestion :)
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    I agree gaps are not appropriate for your guests unless you plan on having some type of entertainment for them?? I wouldn't appreciate driving the 25-30 mins and then having to sit and wait for the reception to start.
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    Our ceremony and reception timeline worked out great.  Ceremony started at 3::00. It ended at 3:30.  There was no pictures taken after the ceremony because the church is pretty small.  Instead the bridal party and our quests we mingled outside and talked for a half hour.  At 4:00 our bridal party left the church for pictures to be taken at a near by park while our guests took off for the reception which is a 25 min. drive for the 4:30 reception.

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