Savvy June 2019

Leaving your own wedding early???

Sarah, on June 8, 2019 at 1:44 AM Posted in Wedding Reception 0 31
So my wedding is tomorrow. My future mother in law has been mentioning for weeks that we should be leaving the wedding a bit early, and in my head I've always been like okay yeah we'll leave at like 10:30. Our reception is from 5:30-11 (music ends at 10:45). We're not doing a formal sendoff. Our photographer is leaving at 9 and won't even be around to take pictures of us leaving anyway. Today my future mother in law said it again: "don't forget you guys have to leave early," but then she said "probably around 9 or 9:30." She says that people won't know when to leave if we're still there. To me, even 9:30 is way too early to leave. All the pageantry stuff (cake cutting, first dance, father daughter dance) will go until 8 or 8:30 and I feel like I won't be able to actually relax and enjoy the party until all those events are over. (Sure, we'll enjoy those events, but it won't be the same as dancing with our friends and finally being able to let loose a bit.) So that's not even 2 hours after all of our events are over. Is it normal to leave your reception that early? Am I wrong in thinking we should be able to stay longer? Will people actually not feel comfortable leaving until we do?

She was also taken aback that we had arranged for a friend to drop us off at the hotel after the reception, and assumed we would be driving ourselves. If we leave as early as 9, we definitely won't be sober enough to drive, but I wouldn't want to ask a friend to leave the wedding that early. Is it expected that we don't drink?

I just hope I'm not missing the memo on some huge wedding faux pas. Would we offend or make anyone uncomfortable by staying until 10 or 10:30?


Latest activity by Judith, on June 8, 2019 at 2:47 PM
  • LB
    Champion November 2016
    LB ·
    • Flag
    If you're not doing a send off there is zero reason to leave early. We stayed until the very end. Guests will know to leave when the music stops playing. FMIL is being ridiculous IMO.
    • Reply
  • Cori
    Devoted June 2020
    Cori ·
    • Flag
    I mean you paid for the time to enjoy the venue and the DJ so I would say stay. I would not budge if someone told me that with all the money I’m putting down. Enjoy your wedding! You earned it.
    • Reply
  • Patrice
    Dedicated July 2019
    Patrice ·
    • Flag
    Let it happen organically. Leave when you’re ready! She can’t tell you when to leave your own wedding lol. Or how you’re leaving for that matter.
    • Reply
  • Brandi
    Devoted September 2021
    Brandi ·
    • Flag
    Congratulations!!! Enjoy your day
    • Reply
  • Cheryl
    Expert November 2020
    Cheryl ·
    • Flag
    That's an hour and a half early. She's being rediculous, but traditional. My FMIL is the same. 🙄 According to, traditionally, the bride and groom departing queued the winding down of the party and signaled to guests that it was time to get going, but nowadays, and Martha Stewart Weddings say that the bride and groom can stay as long as they want and the cake cutting signals to the guests that the formal events are complete and it's ok to leave.
    • Reply
  • Melle
    Legend June 2019
    Melle ·
    • Flag
    Congrats! Enjoy your time Smiley smile I know it sounds like a long day but I'm sure it'll go by fast and you'll have a blast
    • Reply
  • Hannah
    Master July 2019
    Hannah Online ·
    • Flag
    ....why would you leave your own wedding an hour and a half early? I feel like, unless you are doing a sendoff to rush off to your honeymoon, I don't see the reason to leave the party early. I have yet to attend a wedding where the bride and groom leave before the end of the party. Obviously, you are free to do what you want, but I wouldn't leave early just because some random outdated tradition suggests it. I paid a lot of money for my wedding. I'm staying the whole time.
    • Reply
  • Caytlyn
    Legend November 2019
    Caytlyn ·
    • Flag

    We're not paying tens of thousands of dollars to miss the last hour and a half of the party. Stay as long as you want. It's not her place to decide when you leave.

    • Reply
  • Molly
    Savvy May 2020
    Molly ·
    • Flag
    I don’t feel there’s any reason you should leave early but, I think it’s 100% you and your FH opinion!
    • Reply
  • Sarah
    Master September 2019
    Sarah Online ·
    • Flag
    We aren’t leaving early. We’ve paid a lot of money for a late night snack, bar, and our DJ and we don’t want to miss any of the party.
    • Reply
  • Katie
    Dedicated October 2019
    Katie ·
    • Flag
    We're not having a sendoff either so we're planning on staying to the end. Guests will leave when they want to leave and I want to spend time with people who show up!
    • Reply
  • C
    Super July 2019
    Crystal ·
    • Flag
    Were not leaving early lol
    • Reply
  • Amanda
    Dedicated August 2019
    Amanda ·
    • Flag
    You and future hubby certainly can leave at the time of y’alls choosing!! This is a day of celebration and spending time with loved ones, so no need to leave early for no reason! For me, we hired a band that should be pretty good, so I want to be sure to join in with the dancing! Well also have a mini send off planned, but our photographer will leave before then. No car exit, since reception is at a hotel resort and we can just walk to our room. Good luck and happy wedding day!!!
    • Reply
  • FirstTimeMOB
    October 2018
    FirstTimeMOB ·
    • Flag

    Not only did my daughter and husband NOT leave early, they joined us all at the hotel bar for the after-party.

    It's your wedding day - enjoy it to the fullest!!

    • Reply
  • S
    Expert October 2019
    Sara ·
    • Flag
    Happy wedding day! You guys should stay as long as you want to, I’ve never heard about what your FMIL is saying. To flip it around too, if you left as early as she says you should, what if guests didn’t get to talk to you before you left so suddenly? Some older folks might depart after the cake cutting, that’s usually what signals that all the wedding events are done.
    • Reply
  • Courtney
    Super September 2019
    Courtney ·
    • Flag
    It’s your wedding so you can leave whenever you want. If you wanted to leave a bit earlier than guests that’s fine but I don’t see a reason why you have to leave 2 hours before the party ends if you don’t want to. We’re staying the whole time and taking the shuttle with our guests back to the hotels and after party. And no I don’t think expected that you won’t be drinking, it’s your wedding so you can have a drink to celebrate just like your guests. I’d probably get and Uber or arrange a taxi rather than relying on a friend to drive though!
    • Reply
  • Yoice
    VIP March 2019
    Yoice ·
    • Flag
    I was one of the last one to leave my wedding. I didn’t want a sendoff and I didn’t want to miss a minute of it. I feel like if you leave so early people would follow and leave as well and the party would soon be over. Is your wedding and there’s no rule that says what your future mother in law is making you do so follow your lead not hers. People that want to leave would go usually after the cake and you do want to have some time to dance and let loose and enjoy with your guest. Don’t listen to her and have your friend drive you at 10:30
    • Reply
  • Emily
    Expert May 2019
    Emily ·
    • Flag
    We stayed until the very end and even as family members cleaned up. I didn’t see any reason to leave early. Everyone left around between 10:45 and 11 with the wedding actually ending at 11. I definitely would not be leaving that early
    • Reply
  • Andrea
    Super October 2019
    Andrea ·
    • Flag
    That’s odd. The best wedding are when the bride and groom stay until the end. I’m planning to stay at my wedding until everyone is gone. I’ve spent months planning this and thousands of dollars. I’m going to enjoy every last second of it!
    • Reply
  • Vanessa
    Expert September 2019
    Vanessa ·
    • Flag
    I’m not leaving my wedding early or doing a send off. We are paying good money for our special day so why would we leave early? We want all of the time we can get to spend with our family and friends, and of course each other. My photographer said that instead of a send off we can do a “last dance” song where our guests crowd around us and it’s me and my fiancé in the middle and my guests blow bubbles she said those pictures always come out cute! And it also doesn’t have to me our actual LAST song of the night. We can always play a song or two after and then end the night like that. To me it sounds good 😁 hope this helps. Good luck!!
    • Reply

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