Ellie
Devoted January 2020

What time does your reception start and how long is it?

Ellie, on August 13, 2019 at 8:41 AM Posted in Wedding Reception 0 23
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Right now I'm working on restructing my reception time due to a last minute change and I was wondering what time does the typical reception start and how long it goes on for? Originally I had my venue time set to end at midnight...but due to a change I have to change up the timeline. I'm wondering if 10pm or 10:30pm is too early for a reception to end or if I should somehow see if more time is possible to add on but then would adding time on make the reception go on for an unessarily long time? Thanks for any info!

23 Comments

Latest activity by Ellie, on August 14, 2019 at 11:47 AM
  • Amanda
    VIP December 2020
    Amanda ·
    • Flag

    Our ceremony will begin at 6:30pm and cocktail hour will follow ceremony, so our reception won't begin until 8pm and ends by 11pm. It seems like a short evening on paper but in reality it will be a perfect amount of time. That's 3 hours of eating, drinking and dancing. We will also have an after party at either the hotel lounge or in the village the resort is located in for those who want to keep the party going. I'm not sure if FH and I will be up for those kind of shenanigans after the long day of getting ready, pictures, all the attention and emotions but we will see. Is an after party an option for y'all?

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  • Mrs. H
    Master September 2019
    Mrs. H ·
    • Flag

    So our ceremony begins at 4:30; cocktail hour begins at 5; our actual reception is from 6-10:30, and then we are having a two-hour bonfire to close the night. Depending on what time your ceremony ends and your reception begins, I'd say 10:30 is a reasonable end-time for your reception.

    • Reply
  • Mrsbdg
    Champion August 2017
    Mrsbdg ·
    • Flag
    Ceremony 6:30-6:45
    Cocktail Hour 6:45-7:45
    Dinner 8-9
    Coffee/Espresso/Tea Bar 9:45
    Cake Cutting 9:45
    Late Night Snacks 11-midnight
    Last call 12:30
    Everyone out 1AM
    • Reply
  • Melle
    Legend June 2019
    Melle ·
    • Flag
    Mine started at six and ended around 1030-11p
    • Reply
  • Jess
    Super September 2019
    Jess ·
    • Flag

    Our ceremony begins at 430 and the reception ends at 1030. Cocktail hour 5-6, grand entrance at 6, then dances (first dance, father/daughter, mother/son). Dinner will begin around 630, toasts will begin around 715 and then the dance floor/photo booth will open from 745-1030. Bar is open from 5-10.

    Depending on what time your ceremony starts at 10-1030 end is plenty of time to fit in all the activities as well as dinner and dancing.

    • Reply
  • Formerbride
    VIP June 2019
    Formerbride ·
    • Flag
    My reception began with cocktail hour at 5:30 and ended at 10:30. It wasn't too early. We went to the hotel bar afterwards. Every wedding I've gone to ends up at a bar somewhere nearby regardless of the time it ends.
    • Reply
  • Nikita
    VIP April 2019
    Nikita ·
    • Flag

    My reception went from 6-9. About half of my audience would have a distance to travel 45 minutes+ and several were parents with newborn-toddler age. I also know that at around 10 pm I can get cranky-tired. So ending at 9 afforded us plenty of time for things to trickle over, breakdown the room, and everyone went home happy.

    10-10:30 may be ideal based on your audience and needs. A younger/partying crowd may want to go later. Slightly older and/or parents may want to leave earlier.

    I also suggest that if you're going for a sit-down dinner or a lot of traditional events, have at least 4 hours. 3 hours worked for us since it was kind of a cocktail dinner (just with more food).

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  • Lauren
    VIP February 2020
    Lauren ·
    • Flag

    Our ceremony starts at 3:00pm, and the reception will end at 9:00pm. We're planning to have our cocktail hour from 3:30pm-4:30pm or 5:00pm (still deciding) and will serve dinner at 5:00pm so our reception will be 4 hours long.

    • Reply
  • Brooke
    Expert November 2019
    Brooke ·
    • Flag

    Our ceremony is 5:30-6:00, cocktail hour is 6:00-7:00, then reception is 7:00-11:00.

    • Reply
  • Kelly
    VIP October 2020
    Kelly ·
    • Flag
    I'm having an earlier wedding at noon, my venue only allows five hours from start to finish, I think that's about average. To me 1030/1100 would be a good time to end a late wedding.
    • Reply
  • NextChapterReady
    Super October 2019
    NextChapterReady ·
    • Flag

    Our ceremony begins at 1:30 and ends at 2:30, then we are having cocktail hour begin at 5:00 and the reception begins at 6:00 and ends at 10:00. I think most people are exhausted by then anyway haha

    • Reply
  • MrsD
    Legend July 2019
    MrsD ·
    • Flag

    Our ceremony was planned 5-5:30, cocktail hour 5:30-6:30, reception 6:30-11! A lot of our guests went back to the hotel bar after though.

    • Reply
  • Virginia
    Super June 2021
    Virginia ·
    • Flag

    Ceremony: 5:30pm

    Cocktail hour: 6:00-7:00pm

    Reception: 7:00-11:00pm

    • Reply
  • Laura
    Master October 2019
    Laura ·
    • Flag

    We'e having both in the same venue, so immediately after, about 5 i'd say. We have the place till midnight, but we also have to clean up, so we put 11 p.m on the invitations

    • Reply
  • Alisha
    Super April 2021
    Alisha ·
    • Flag
    Our wedding starts 3:30pm, cocktail hour starts at 4 and the reception is from 5 to 9
    • Reply
  • Katie
    Super November 2019
    Katie ·
    • Flag
    Our ceremony starts at 4 and the reception starts at 6 and will end around 9 but we are having an after party at a different location for the 21+ who chose to continue the night.
    • Reply
  • Mrs. S
    Master November 2019
    Mrs. S ·
    • Flag
    My reception is 3:30-8 (including cocktail hour)
    • Reply
  • Mary
    Expert July 2019
    Mary ·
    • Flag
    We had our ceremony from 4 to 4:30. Cocktail hour until 5:30. Reception until 11:30. For reference, it was a Saturday weekend where most guests live a 4 hour drive away. Most of our guests were gone by 10pm, so I don't think ending then would be an issue.
    • Reply
  • Gen
    Champion June 2019
    Gen ·
    • Flag
    Our cocktail hour started at 12:30 and went until 1:30, then the rest of our reception continued right after and went until 5. It was plenty of time!
    • Reply
  • D
    Super July 2020
    D ·
    • Flag
    Our cocktail hour will start either 4:30 or 5
    Reception 5:30 or 6 and end at 10. We have to clean up ourselves.
    • Reply

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