stephbrown77 wrote:hi.. i noticed there will be half hour between guests arrival and your arrival, is this normal??? i personally think that may be too long to be waiting. in my case the bar wont start (well not on our bill) until we arrive so i wouldnt have my guests waiting that long.
my suggestion for the length would be no more than 4 hours as it is cocktail. there wont be any time taken up for all the seating and all the courses like other weddings so i wouldnt have it longer unless you want to party all night long pretty much. we are not too sure how long ours will be just yet (havent got that far), we only have a 4 hr drink package, but have up to 5hrs for the dj so i dare say we will end up staying 5 hrs. although we are having a sit down meal with pre-dinner starters, main, dessert and there will be cake served later (only having a small cake as most will already have dessert, plus we are having a brunch the morning after where we will serve the cake)..
i think it depends on the type of people you are really to determine how long the reception should go for. in our families we have a lot of 'party people' (not just the youngies) so it could continue until closing time
hope that helps
savethebride wrote:Hi Monica
I had a cocktail reception (from 7pm to 12.30am) and have been to others. I personally feel it works better to have the speeches before the dance. Once you have your first dance, others will join you and the dance floor gets rocking. It's hard to get people to sit down/stand still for speeches after that and it's a good signal that the formalities are over. We didn't have a cake but if you do, having the cake cutting between the speeches and the dance works well too.
Cocktail receptions can go as long as you want and as long as you band and venue will allow so when you leave is up to you but I think someone else's idea of telling guests you'll be leaving relatively early is a good one.
Don't take this the wrong way, but if your wedding starts mid afternoon, people will expect to get fed at dinner time. It doesn't matter whether it's a cocktail menu or sit down meal, I think guests should get adequate food without stopping somewhere else to eat on the way. Just an honest opinion and obviously you should do what works best for you - I just know of friends and family who have recently been to cocktail receptions that didn't have anywhere near enough food.
(In saying that, friends of ours went to a sit down reception in February and the caterers had miscalculated the food - half the last table had no meal!!!!!)