Wedding Customs & Traditions Forum

how long is too long?

How many hours can you get away with for your event? Is 8 hours too long?

Re: how long is too long?

  • Around here, the typical wedding reception lasts about 5 hours. Add 1/2 hour for the ceremony and 1/2 for travel time.
    Eight hours seems like a long time to me. What is your time line?
  • tentatively  our time line is 2-2:30 sign in and find seat
    2:30-3:15 ceremony
    3:30-4:30 cocktail hour
    4:30-5 find seats/ bridal party announced
    5-6:30 dinner and karaoke
    6:30-7 move into dancing area
    7-8 dancing
    8 cake
    8-10 dancing

    We could cut it down we are having a lot of activities too. We are doing karaoke, having a crafts table for adults and kids alike and a bounce house for the kids. It is more like a huge party with a wedding attached. What do you think?

  • So basically, 2:30 ceremony, 3:30-4:30 cocktail hour, and 4:30-10:00 reception.  That's a pretty long reception but with all of the stuff you have planned, I think it's totally fine. 

    I don't think an hour and a half is going to be long enough for dinner AND karaoke though.  Usually people allot one hour just for dinner, and it's doubtful that people will sing karaoke during dinner.  Most people won't karaoke until they've had a few drinks.  I think you'd be better off having the karaoke mixed in with dancing later in the night.
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • I think it's fine since you don't have a gap between the ceremony and cocktail hour. You were considerate enough to make sure your guests aren't going to be standing around with nothing to do. You may find that some people leave before the end, especially those with young kids or older guests. But it sounds like a fun wedding.
  • Thanks for the suggestions and you are probably right about the drinking and karaoke I will look into that
  • Thanks for the input. I figured people will start to leave after the cake but the younger guests will hang around and then come to the after party. At least that is the hope. And I hope it's fun and not as stressful as the planning has been.
  • We're doing 5 hours - one hour ceremony and four-hour reception.  You could extend your reception longer but then I'd cut cake earlier so only those who really want to stay that long will do so.  My brother had the wedding from hell.  Ceremony at 3; reception (an hour's drive away!) started at 6 and they didn't finish speeches/dances until 8:30 (!!), at which point we finally got food and water (yep, no water on table and a dry reception!) !!!!  Some people left before dinner was served (it was a Friday night) and the reception didn't end until midnight when the cake was FINALLY cut (and very few people were left - weird).  Ugh!  All this is to say that if you drag it out, at least serve food and beverages (water on tables too much to ask?!?) and cut the cake at a reasonable hour.
    Our Wedding Day
  • I ultimately feel like 8 hours is a long time to ask of your guests.  But guests aren't being forced to stay, so they can really leave whenever they want.  And lots of guests feel they can gracefully make their exit from the reception once  the cake is cut. 

    I am having a 4 hours reception and will be cutting the cake during the last 1.5 hours. 
  • We had a 4:30 ceremony, reception started at 5:20, and people stayed until after midnight. It was an amazing evening, but we were completely exhausted by the time we got back to our hotel!
    **i'm a little drunk on you and high on summertime** Photobucket
  • All the receptions I've been to have easily lasted from 6 to midnight, unless it was dry or small, like 50 people.  Ceremonies are typically at 3-5 o'clock, depending on the day of the week.  HTH!

  • What is HTH?
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