So you have decided on a ceremony location and now you are sitting down with your perfect wedding venue and they ask you “how long will your reception be?”
At that current moment the Bride will ask well what’s the big deal???
An average wedding ceremony is about 22 minutes, add in some travel time and then your reception begins:
Cocktail hour is 60 minutes of Hors D’ouerves and mingling guests and signature cocktails. Followed by your newly married self- grand entrance into the reception which will kick off the festivities. Formal dances- 15 minutes- followed by dinner-45 minutes and cake and people saying nice things about you-15 minutes, lead to the epic dance party where your guests will have the time of their lives shaking it to Ed Sheeran- 1.5. But how long does that take?? 3 hours and 45 minutes and 15 minutes for a grand exit.
If you are doing a heavy hors D’ouerves more cocktail style reception a 3-hour party will be perfect!
Events do inherit more cost the longer they run. Specific items like the bar and entertainment can rack up quickly. There is a chance you might have to sober your guests with a satisfying late-night snack adding to original catering quote.
Personally, I feel that that 4 hours is the perfect amount of time for a reception… if you are not having a plated 3 plus course meal. It leaves just the right amount of time for guests to enjoy dinner and become lively on the dance floor. I have seen it time and time again where the bride and groom go ahead and decide to add on the extra hour- the 5th hour- and the only one left on the dance floor are the over tired living off cake icing children whose bedtime was 3 hours ago.
I recommend to my clients to let your event leave on high note, making them want just a little bit more.
Circling back around, I just want to educate my clients in all their options and what each one of those options will look like when it comes to their budgets and to their guests.
Things to Consider:
Type of dinner that will be served
The amount budgeted for the bar
The hours you have your entertainment booked
Is this a Sunday wedding? Do your guests have work the day?
Is there a noise ordnance in place?
Does the venue charge per the extra hour