A Community for Brides Planning their Wedding in Australia

 
Secret Love
Formally known as Monica23
Formally known as Monica23
Topic Author
Posts: 749
Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 9:57 pm

Length of reception? Please help!!

Sun Jun 21, 2009 7:20 pm

Hi!
My ceremony starts at 3:00pm - to finish at 3:30.
Family / friends photos & nibblies / champagne from 3:30 - 4:15.
Our photos from 4:15- 5:30
(all were in same location)

I don't know what time I should start the reception.
The reception is approx 30 mins away- so should I say guests arrive at 5:30, we arrive at 6:00pm?

How long should a cocktail reception then go for?
I have been told between 2-5 hours but I need a finish time for the dj & venue.
We will be having- 2-3 speeches, 1 x first dance, flower toss, garter toss & archway leaving.

I have no idea how long to leave the reception for & have music for etc.!!!

Please help
 
carly_buttons
Done and dusted
Done and dusted
Posts: 4293
Joined: Fri Mar 20, 2009 9:57 pm

Re: Length of reception? Please help!!

Sun Jun 21, 2009 7:32 pm

Hi,

Ours is really based around timing for vendors etc. Our band is only for 5 hours. Do you have things like that to consider? We are having a 5pm for guests, 5.30pm for us, as some of our guests will see us arrive from the balcony, and we wanted it to be like to take some photos at our front staircase (with all pretty fairy lights etc). I imagine we will finish by 10.30/11pm. Keep in mind at the end of the day you will be stuffed, and you'll want to enjoy the after party :D

what about a 3.5 hours/4 hours? That allows plenty of time to get round to your guests, for you and FH to get some nibbles and drinks, dancing time, speeches etc, and still early enough to enjoy the rest?
 
stephbrown77
I need a title
I need a title
Posts: 731
Joined: Fri May 01, 2009 6:34 pm

Re: Length of reception? Please help!!

Sun Jun 21, 2009 7:35 pm

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
 
Secret Love
Formally known as Monica23
Formally known as Monica23
Topic Author
Posts: 749
Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 9:57 pm

Re: Length of reception? Please help!!

Sun Jun 21, 2009 10:18 pm

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


We are leaving the half hour time because we are leaving the travel time a bit short- if you don't know where you are going you will get lost. Plus because it is a busy location it may be more difficult to find a park as it approaches dinner time. The reception room will open at 5:30pm so is people do arrive on time they can go upstairs and have a drink etc. And we also have suggested to grab a bite if they are unsure of if the cocktail menu would be filling enough for them.


We are a bit half and half, though most of our guests are younger than 30, so I can imagine it lasting for as long as we set it for.
 
kemseyelle
I need a title
I need a title
Posts: 652
Joined: Sun Mar 08, 2009 2:03 pm

Re: Length of reception? Please help!!

Sun Jun 21, 2009 10:31 pm

We're having a 4.5 hour cocktail reception. Starts at 6pm, drinks for the guests for 30 minutes while we finish having our photos taken (we are doing most of our photos before the ceremony but 30 minutes with family after the ceremony) then we arrive at 6.30pm, food service starts about 6.45pm, savoury food served until speeches at 8pm, then cake is cut and served, then all finishes up at about 10.30pm. Our reception venue, which does stacks of weddings and also a lot of corporate events etc, suggested 4.5 hours as a good amount of time. HTH!

ETA - we are not leaving during the reception, we're kicking on till the bitter end, but are having our MC announce this at the start and let people know that the formalities are over once the cake is cut, and people should feel free to leave anytime after that rather than hanging about waiting for us to do a big farewell. So the guests who don't want to kick on can leave anytime after about 8.30ish, and the young drunkards like us will no doubt hang out as long as the drinks are still being served!
 
Secret Love
Formally known as Monica23
Formally known as Monica23
Topic Author
Posts: 749
Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 9:57 pm

Re: Length of reception? Please help!!

Sun Jun 21, 2009 10:44 pm

Ok, from what you have told me so far:
Guests arrive at 5:30pm
We arrive at 6:00pm.
Food starts at 6:15pm
First dance at 6:45pm.
Speeches at 7:45pm
Bouquet & Garter toss from 9:00pm
We leave at 9:30pm-10:00pm

Is that a proper order? Or should the speeches & dance be switched? Is it adequate time between each event?
Please give me some feedback!
 
kyliemartin79
Lady K
Lady K
Posts: 15286
Joined: Wed Mar 18, 2009 7:17 pm

Re: Length of reception? Please help!!

Mon Jun 22, 2009 6:12 pm

My ceremony will start at either 3pm -3;30pm, then the guests will have cocktails and canapes.
Sit down reception will start at 6pm and drinks will be served up until 1130pm and the venue will finish at midnight and I thought this was too early as every wedding we have been too, has finished at between midnight and 1am.
 
lili 2010
I just love to talk
I just love to talk
Posts: 119
Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2009 6:33 pm

Re: Length of reception? Please help!!

Tue Jun 23, 2009 7:28 pm

I think that's a long time between the end of the ceremony and the reception. What will people do in the mean time??
 
Secret Love
Formally known as Monica23
Formally known as Monica23
Topic Author
Posts: 749
Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 9:57 pm

Re: Length of reception? Please help!!

Tue Jun 23, 2009 9:48 pm

Drive to the reception location.
At 3:30pm nibblies & cocktails will be served while taking photos and walking around the gardens.
 
flutterbygal
Member
Member
Posts: 67
Joined: Sun Jun 21, 2009 3:08 am

Re: Length of reception? Please help!!

Fri Jun 26, 2009 7:32 pm

I don't want to be a downer, but have you thought of the drinking and driving aspect? I know this should be the drivers responsibility but when people are happy and distracted they seem to drink more as they are not aware of what their doing... maybe talk with whom ever is serving it on ways to keep every one happy and not tipsy.... perhaps smaller flutes half filled, or mixed with orange juice or just serve a light punch? ... only bringing it up as 30 mins in peak hour even if it is the weekend , requires a lot of concentration and after a few cocktails ..wel I would hate for anything to happen on your special day :heart:
 
savethebride
Member
Member
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Jun 19, 2009 8:16 pm

Re: Length of reception? Please help!!

Fri Jun 26, 2009 8:22 pm

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!!!!!)
 
Secret Love
Formally known as Monica23
Formally known as Monica23
Topic Author
Posts: 749
Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 9:57 pm

Re: Length of reception? Please help!!

Sun Jun 28, 2009 9:42 am

The glasses are only half full and there is water and orange juice available also. My guests are just casual drinkers and wont be drink driving. It is just one beverage to walk around the gardens and relax.
 
Secret Love
Formally known as Monica23
Formally known as Monica23
Topic Author
Posts: 749
Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 9:57 pm

Re: Length of reception? Please help!!

Sun Jun 28, 2009 9:46 am

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!!!!!)



Hi
Our reception venue is offering more than enough food for everyone with 10 savouries & 2 sweets per person. I will also have a sweet buffet open the entire time. We all believe there will be more than enough food. Not to mention the food at the ceremony as well.
GZIP: On | Load: 0.34