Savvy October 2020

How many hours ceremony & reception ?

Nicole, on October 15, 2019 at 10:37 AM Posted in Wedding Reception 0 14
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We are trying to figure out how many hours we should rent our venue out for the have a max of 5 hours for the event. The price they quoted us was 3 hours with 1 hour set up and 1 hour take down so a total of 5.. but we can add an additional 2 hours for about $560 per hour which isn't a problem. I want to add the additional 2 hours so that would be 5 hours with 1 hour set up and 1 hour take down.. FH is thinking 3-4 hours is fine but I don't want to feel rushed. We are a party and drinking crowd but our event will end by 9 pm with most likely an after party.


  • Sarah
    VIP September 2019
    Sarah ·
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    The only issue I see with only sticking with a 3 hour event is photos. Are you getting all your pictures in beforehand and can go right into dinner? Or were you anticipating having a cocktail hour so you can take pictures? If you were planning on a cocktail hour the 3 hours isn’t going to be enough time.
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  • Amber
    Rockstar February 2020
    Amber ·
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    I'm having a 5 hour event from ceremony start time to reception exit. With the timeline I've made, even that feels a little rushed. I wouldn't do anything less than five hours personally, unless maybe you planned on having a separate celebration afterwards.

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  • Melle
    Rockstar June 2019
    Melle ·
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    I agree with PP. I think five is too little.
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  • Kelly
    Champion October 2018
    Kelly ·
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    We had 6 hours for the actual event. 30 minute ceremony, followed by cocktail hour, plated multi course dinner, and dancing. We took pictures starting 2 hours before and rental companies were loading things all day for setup.
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  • Yoice
    Rockstar March 2019
    Yoice ·
    • Flag
    Our wedding was from 4:30 pm to 12 am. Guest all arrived around 4 pm (I provided transportation for everyone from the hotel) for welcome drinks. Ceremony was 30 minutes. Cocktail hour was 1.5 hour (we were taking pictures at this time) and then reception from 6:30 to 12 reception. We had 45 guest and did dinner, speeches, cake cutting, first dances and then full on dances after. 5 hour in general seems really rushed to me.
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  • Sexypoodle
    VIP October 2020
    Sexypoodle ·
    • Flag
    We’re doing 4.5 hours total. 30 minutes reserved for the ceremony (even though it will only take about 10 to 15 minutes)… 1 hour for cocktails/appetizers/mingling and 3 hours for the reception. Set up and breakdown is separately outside of the 4.5 hours. Most photos will be completed before the ceremony and, since we aren’t having a bridal party, there won’t be many pics needed after the ceremony. FH and I want to participate in the last 30 minutes of our cocktail hour. We also aren’t having a lot of activities during the reception and it will only include: dinner, first dance, open dancing, cake cutting and more dancing.
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  • Alisha
    Expert August 2020
    Alisha ·
    • Flag
    Our wedding starts at 3:30pm to 9:00 pm. Our ceremony is an half our, cocktail is one hour and the rest of the time for reception.
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  • Keisha
    Dedicated October 2019
    Keisha ·
    • Flag

    We're doing 5 and a half hours. Ceremony is 30 min, then cocktail hour and the reception. Honestly anything less than that would feel rushed for me since I actually want to have a decent amount of time for dancing and the actual party.

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  • Brittany
    Dedicated October 2020
    Brittany ·
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    We are doing ceremony and reception at the same place. Ceremony starts at 4, cocktail hour starts at 5 and reception starts at 6 and ends at 10. So we have a total of 6 hours, but we aren't doing any set up or break down.

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  • Alyssa
    Expert June 2020
    Alyssa ·
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    This is very similar to ours. Our ceremony will start at 5, cocktail hour 530-630, then reception until 1030.

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  • W-K
    Super October 2019
    W-K ·
    • Flag

    Our use of space from start to finish was 4 hours long. 1 hour before to get ready, 30 minute ceremony, 30 mins for photos (we had a bit of a break and didn't do a "cocktail hour"), 2 hours for dinner, toasts, and cake. We didn't do dancing or set up/ tear down. I would think for set up/ tear down, ceremony, etc you'd need AT LEAST 5 hours if not 6.

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  • Courtney
    Rockstar December 2019
    Courtney ·
    • Flag

    This is our timeline:

    3 hours prior: we are allowed to enter the property to start getting ready and set up.

    2 hours prior: photographer meets with bride and bridesmaids

    1 hour prior: photographer meets with groom and groomsmen

    Ceremony starts and last for no more than 30 mins

    Cocktail hour is well... and hour...

    Reception is 3 hours with 30 additional minutes at the end for cleanup.

    Our venue is very generous with their services and time. All that we need to do by the end of the night is to make sure presents are in my parent's car. Smiley laugh

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  • Rachel
    Devoted October 2019
    Rachel ·
    • Flag

    We are having a 3-hour ceremony/reception that also ends at 9pm. We're doing all pictures before the ceremony and we're having an after-party that we were able to spend more money on the drinks and food for since we didn't have the overhead that the venue was charging.

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  • Nicole
    Savvy October 2020
    Nicole ·
    • Flag
    Thanks again everyone the venue sent me over a timeline & we will be booking for 5 hours with 1 hour set up and 1 hour take down but since we’re doing it at a brewery we aren’t doing much decorations so she said we can use the set up and take down to start but beer won’t be served until 5 and it will stop at 10 & we have it from 4-11....
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