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Kayla and Noahs day!
Savvy August 2020

How long should a wedding reception be?

Kayla and Noahs day!, on October 29, 2018 at 11:24 PM

Posted in Planning 28

Hi everyone! My fiancé and I are trying to arrange our wedding and how long everything is. So my question is, how long does a wedding usually last? I have to keep in mind, the photos after the ceremony, which will probably be an hour, and toasts from the wedding party and family. We have to stop...
Hi everyone! My fiancé and I are trying to arrange our wedding and how long everything is. So my question is, how long does a wedding usually last? I have to keep in mind, the photos after the ceremony, which will probably be an hour, and toasts from the wedding party and family. We have to stop music and all the partying by 10 PM. SO we are thinking 5-10 PM wedding? Is that a too short of time?

28 Comments

  • Jen
    VIP July 2018
    Jen ·
    • Flag

    My ceremony started at 4:30pm and the dancing ended at midnight.

    • Reply
  • MrsD
    Legend July 2019
    MrsD ·
    • Flag

    Ours is 6 hours. 5 PM - 11 PM. Half our ceremony, hour cocktail hour, 4.5 hour reception. All the weddings I've been to are between 5 and 6 hours.

    • Reply
  • Heidi
    Just Said Yes June 2018
    Heidi ·
    • Flag

    My church mass was at 2pm and we bought an extra hour at the reception so it was 2-10pm. I have no regrets about this at all because for the amount of money we spent it should be an all day event. So total - 8 hrs not including the getting ready and after party

    • Reply
  • C
    Savvy June 2020
    Christina ·
    • Flag
    I'm thinking 1 to 6 for ours. Then we can arrange the kids with the sitter and clean up and go to our honeymoon
    • Reply
  • FutureStephD
    Super March 2019
    FutureStephD ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment

    Ours is basically the same!

    OP, Most receptions are 3-5 hours. Ceremony's are 10 minutes to an hour to two hours for super traditional religious. I think you're good with 5pm-10pm.

    Here's our timeline if it helps:
    12-3:30 get ready

    3:30-4:15 any pre-pitcures (not doing first look)

    4:15-4:45 touchups and calm down

    4:45pm places

    5-5:30 ceremony

    5:30-6:30 pictures and cocktail hour

    6:30-6:45 time for people to find their seats

    6:45-7 bridal party intros

    7:15-8:15 food service/ speeches etc

    8:15 dances

    9:15 cake cutting

    11pm THE END

    I think you'll be good with what you're thinking!

    • Reply
  • K
    Just Said Yes February 2020
    Kerry ·
    • Flag

    Ours is from 4-10 .... The ceremony is at 430, cocktail hour 5-6, and then the reception 6-10 (we actually paid for an extra hour because I thought 3 hours didn't sound like enough time. Thinking back now, perhaps 3 would of been good enough. Paying $300 for the DJ to play for an extra hour, plus $200 to rent the room for an extra hour, just doesn't seem worth it. But who knows ...
    5 hours seems plenty long enough in hindsight, but hopefully people will stay the full 6.

    • Reply
  • AlmostAMurphy
    Devoted November 2018
    AlmostAMurphy ·
    • Flag
    Our wedding ceremony is at 3, and everything has to be cleaned up by 11. Idk what time everyone will leave but I’m hoping no later than 8-9, unless they’re staying to help clean up!
    • Reply
  • Lynnie
    WeddingWire Administrator October 2016
    Lynnie ·
    • Flag

    On average, wedding ceremonies are 30 minutes long followed by a one hour cocktail hour and a 4-5 hour wedding reception! 🍾

    Here's two other community discussions where over 100 couples shared how many hours long their reception will be: How long will your wedding be? and How long will your wedding be from start to finish?

    • Reply

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