What’s the Ideal Duration for a Wedding Reception?

What’s the Ideal Duration for a Wedding Reception?





Oh Yes! Wedding season and anticipation level steps higher when it’s wedding in family and things can’t be more heavenly than planning your own wedding. Challenges also come along with all the anticipated joys. The most important question! How long is a wedding reception?  Let’s try to reach the most appropriate answer.

Question from a friend: Having no issues with the starting time, but the selected venue doesn’t allow playing music beyond 22:00 hrs. I was thinking of enjoying till midnight but can’t see a solution. Is it appropriate to replace the venue or is there no issue with an early start?

Answer: This is a common question and over 75% of the brides have to sort it out one way or the other. It hurts even the dullest people if the party isn’t able to run through midnight. But there is another consideration, we need to think for the guests as well. Everyone can’t afford or may not like to attend the party till 02:00 midnight. You need to go for a better plan acceptable for all. You’ll never want to let the guests get irritated. So, first, you need to consider how long do weddings last?

Before anything else, you need to determine the maximum length for the wedding reception. Ideally, it mustn’t stretch beyond 6 hours (with a 30 minute +/- margin). One hour is enough for cocktail and you must ensure the beginning of the ceremony soon after cocktail. The ideal duration for dancing and dinner is somewhere close to four hours.

If you plan the wedding ceremony on a different location than that of reception then you’ll have to plan it accordingly because traveling from a location to the next will require some time, depending upon the distance and arrangements. Same location for both events will surely save you time and help proper management.

So, you can’t stretch it beyond 22:00 hrs. in the case of your chosen venue, let me sort it out for you!

16:30 hrs. Starting Time (to ensure it starts right on time, you’ll have to mention Ceremony Starts at 16:00 hrs. it’s always better to keep the margin)
17:00 hrs. Cocktail (an hours is enough)
18:00 hrs. Announcement, requesting the guests to settle and occupy their seats
18:15 hrs. Introduction and greetings
18:30-18:40 hrs. It’s time for MOG/FOB/First Dance
18:45 hrs. Serve the First Course
19:00 hrs. It’s time for the toasts
19:15 hrs. Serve the Second Course
19:30 hrs. Let’s dance again
20:30 hrs. It’s time for knifing the cake
20:40 hrs. Serve the cake
22:00 hrs. Closing time





Regardless of what the rules and restrictions say, most of the guests, friends and family members would hate quitting by 22:00 hrs. It’s a tough ask to determine how long are weddings but keeping the venue restrictions in mind, the above schedule seems ideal.

Who forces you to end the party? I mean, why not continue it at home or the hotel bar. Everything is not about venue, it’s more about having the loved ones around and letting them enjoy as much as they can. Wish you a great, entertaining, blessed and successful wedding!

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