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Reception Ideas

How early is too early?

Hey everyone!

     So I found the perfect venue for ceremony and reception. I LOVE it. Only catch is that reception would have to end at 11:00 p.m. This wouldn't be an issue if I wanted to do a day wedding, but I've really got my heart set on an evening wedding starting at maybe 5:30 or 6:00. I'm really aiming for a very formal feel. How do you guys feel about a reception that ends at 11 p.m.?

Re: How early is too early?

  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    Personally I think 11pm is late enough for a reception to go.  My wedding ended at 10pm which allowed H and I time to go back to the hotel, pee, freshen up (well I did, H passed out) and then go hang out with our friends and family (who wanted to) after wards at a local bar.

    Our ceremony started at 4:30pm and only lasted about 20 minutes or so.  Cocktail hour started immediately after the ceremony with reception officially beginning at 6pm and ending at 10pm.

    I have only ever been to one other wedding that went on until about 1am but what I didn't like was eating dinner so late (wasn't served until almost 9 or 9:30 due to an hour and a half cocktail hour that had really nothing but sushi).  So by the time we ate and had dessert we were all pretty tired especially since the ceremony took place an hour away from where we lived so we had to leave around 4:30pm to get to the ceremony by 5:30ish and the ceremony which started at 6pm lasted an hour.  So even though reception went on till 1am, a lot of people left by 11 or 12pm.

  • Hey everyone!

         So I found the perfect venue for ceremony and reception. I LOVE it. Only catch is that reception would have to end at 11:00 p.m. This wouldn't be an issue if I wanted to do a day wedding, but I've really got my heart set on an evening wedding starting at maybe 5:30 or 6:00. I'm really aiming for a very formal feel. How do you guys feel about a reception that ends at 11 p.m.?

    We had about 200 people at our wedding. 5:30 ceremony, followed by happy hour, dinner, and dancing. We left at 10:30 and did a getaway. It was perfect. We were exhausted most people had left by then. About 50-60 were left for the getaway and those were like our family and my partier friends who were able to find somewhere else to party.  It is a decent time. :)

    TeriBeri06
  • KatWAGKatWAG Chicago member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I think this would be fine. Is there an option to keep the venue open later for a fee? If not and you have the energy, I would just go back to the hotel bar or a neighbothood bar.
    BabyFruit Ticker
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    If you're starting around 5:30 or 6pm, 11pm as the end time seems pretty reasonable to me.

    Is an after-party somewhere possible if that seems too early?
  • I'm having a 3:30pm ceremony (due to the sun setting early) Cocktails around 4pm Dinner at 5pm and we will end around 8pm. It's $400 a hour for every hour after 4 hours. It sucks that we will end early but 1) we don't have the budget for a longer reception and 2)this will give guests time to drive back to town (its in the mountains) and go to bed when they choose.

    melbelleup
  • 11 is hardly too early... Anyone who wants to continue to party can go out and hit up a bar if they want.
  • Receptions in my circle usually go until at least midnight, but I don't think that's the norm, nor is it required.  I think that an 11:00 ending would be just fine.
  • 11 pm is fine- that's when ours ended.

    May 2013 February Siggy: Invitations

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    Wedding Countdown Ticker

  • 11 p.m. is pretty typical, I think. Our ceremony starts at 5 p.m. and is an hour. Dinner starts at 6:30. We have to turn the music off at 10:30 p.m. I expect most people will probably be done partying by then, but we're planning to go back to the hotel bar and dance with our friends more.
  • I think that's fine. In Massachusetts, a venue can only have the bar open for 5 hours - so receptions are never long than that here. Mine will be 7-12, but I think 6-11 is perfectly fine. 
    Anniversary
  • Thanks guy! I just didn't want my guests to feel rushed or shafter! All of you replies have been a help. I am booking my venue this week :)
    melbelleupvainemerald
  • Thanks so much!
  • melbelleupmelbelleup member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary First Answer
    edited August 2013
    Mine is a 1:30 ceremony, reception 3:30-8:30 then all done. My OOT guests though if they're staying at the hotel can hang out at the bar in the hotel (must pay for drinks obviously) and we'll prob hang around down there for a little before going to our room to relax and enjoy. Frankly, I don't like late receptions because then I'm all tired. This way I can still relax and unwind before going to bed.

    ETA: plus my fiance's side is all OOT which is at least a 2 hour drive for them, so this gives them the option of going home after without missing anything if they wanted.
    Daisypath Wedding tickers
  • 11pm end of the reception is fine, and then you can do an after party. Don't just try to show up at a bar, though...make sure you plan it ahead of time! Actually, maybe it's different in different settings, but where I live in a city, you want to make sure that there's plenty of room, and probably some seating, reserved for you guys. And don't forget your ID for the afterparty! There was a rather humorous situation at a friend's wedding when they wouldn't let the bride into her own after party (for like 5 minutes until someone got her ID for her) at a swanky place in NYC>.
  • Fran1985 Fran1985 Narnia member
    Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 500 Comments Name Dropper
    ashleyep said:
    I think that's fine. In Massachusetts, a venue can only have the bar open for 5 hours - so receptions are never long than that here. Mine will be 7-12, but I think 6-11 is perfectly fine. 
    I haven't heard anything about this- my wedding is in MA and I was planning on cocktail hour at 4, reception ending at 10. Can you link to where you heard that? 

    image
  • ashleyep said:
    I think that's fine. In Massachusetts, a venue can only have the bar open for 5 hours - so receptions are never long than that here. Mine will be 7-12, but I think 6-11 is perfectly fine. 
    I haven't heard anything about this- my wedding is in MA and I was planning on cocktail hour at 4, reception ending at 10. Can you link to where you heard that? 

    Now that I look at it, I think I may have just read the info packet wrong from my venue. They put "no bar shall exceed 5 hours" right after the part about following Massachusetts liquor license rules or something, so I assumed it was law. But then reading my contract, it says "no bar shall exceed 5 1/2 hours." So, ah, just kidding?
    Anniversary
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