Wedding Reception Forum

How late is too late for a reception?

My fiance and I have decided that we want to have an elopement, just the 2 of us. We've always pictured a romantic private ceremony, followed by a long night of drinks, dessert and dancing with our family and friends. We have reserved our ceremony elopement location, and its absolutely beautiful. We will be married at a vineyard under a natural twig arbor in front of the point were 2 rivers merge into one. The problem is our reception location. A client of mine has offered his private event space to us for free, but it is 1.5 hours away from our ceremony location. Our elopement package is very strict, 6pm-8pm only, ceremony followed by a bottle of wine and meal for the 2 of us. We dont want to feel rushed, but given the time frame even if we leave at 7:30, we wouldnt arrive at our reception until 9pm. Do you think that would be too late for a simple cocktail reception? Since it is so late, we would only have beer/wine, cake/desserts, and dj. We are at a loss for ideas! I love the elopement location, but passing up on a free reception location sounds crazy to me. Help! 

Re: How late is too late for a reception?

  • Unless you live in some city where people routinely eat that late the time is a non starter.  

    Either change the private ceremony location (not an elopement) or have your party a different date.  It won't be a wedding reception because you won't have guests st the ceremony. 

    Just remember that in doing this you forego any bridal showers offered to you and any bachelorette parties too.
    short+sassy
  • I think that drive is too long to ask of your guests, rather than the time of the reception. But it would run me the wrong way to drive 1.5 hours from a ceremony to a reception at night for only a short cocktail hour and desserts. 
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    If you're having your ceremony with just the two of you, I would do the celebration party on a different day. 
    short+sassyMesmrEwe
  • I think that drive is too long to ask of your guests, rather than the time of the reception. But it would run me the wrong way to drive 1.5 hours from a ceremony to a reception at night for only a short cocktail hour and desserts. 
    I'm reading this that the guests would be going directly to that reception location and would not be invited to the ceremony.

    The other part to me is that you need to factor where the reception location is in relationship to the location of the majority of your guests.   For example in DH's family there are clusters in one part of our state and then another cluster a few hours away.    Factoring start time you also need to consider at what time the guests would be leaving and also when they'd get home.   When we planned our wedding we discarded the idea of getting married where we lived in the state and opted to do it closer to the majority of our family so they didn't have to face the 1+ hour drive home or a hotel cost.  
    short+sassycharlotte989875
  • If you're having your ceremony with just the two of you, I would do the celebration party on a different day. 
    I think this is the best idea.  The only "con" is the night of drinks, dessert, and dancing with friends will be a different night from your wedding.  But you could still potentially make it the same weekend or near the wedding date.  That's a small sacrifice as compared to the "pros".

    I think it's the best of both worlds.  You and your FI already have a romantic, private ceremony planned.  I'd think once you're in that moment, you'd want to keep that vibe going for the whole night.  You also wouldn't have to worry about rushing away from the beautiful venue to drive for NINETY minutes to your all's celebration party.  I know people are different, but I would have hated something like that.

    I think you all could relax and enjoy yourselves a whole lot more at both events, if you don't try to cram everything into the same night.
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    MyNameIsNotdowntondiva
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