How Long Should a Wedding Reception Be?
When it comes to weddings, one of the most common questions I get asked is how long the wedding reception should be. My answer is simple, and it follows the golden rule of entertainment.
I can tell you unequivocally, the VERY best weddings, the truly EPIC weddings, leave their guests wanting more.
Ask any entertainer, any comedian, any musician: the golden rule is to leave 'em wanting more. The last thing in the world you want at your wedding is people looking at their watches wondering how much longer this is going to be. I can't stress this enough: AVOID A MARATHON WEDDING.
One common error some couples make while planning their wedding is that they only consider themselves while mapping out their wedding day. They assume that since THEY are down with partying 'til the sun comes up that their guests will feel the same way. They won't.
I can tell you unequivocally, the VERY best weddings, the truly EPIC weddings, leave their guests wanting more. Every. Single. Time. It is music to my ears when I announce the last song and I hear groans coming from the crowd. Leave 'em wanting more!
I think a lot of couples make the mistake of just going along with what the venue offers. Usually, the venue wants a long event to sell more alcohol. Couples sometimes feel that since the room is available to them for "x" amount of hours that they need to use every single minute of it. Depending upon your venue, that is not always the best practice.
Here's a basic sample timeline for an ideal summer wedding:
- 4 p.m.: Ceremony (at the venue is most common these days)
- 4:30 p.m.: Cocktail Hour
- 5:30 p.m.: Wedding Party Intros/First Dance/Toasts
- 6 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.: Dinner/Cake/Parent Dances
- 7:30 p.m. -10 p.m.: Dancing
I'd say the sweet spot for the dancing portion of the night is somewhere between two and two and a half hours. The start and end times can vary (as can the total length of the reception) depending upon the location of the actual ceremony.
Avoiding a marathon wedding, however, keeps a majority of your guests engaged and energetic. You'll have much better attendance for things like the last dance and any unique things at the end of the reception (like pizza, sundaes, or a sparkler sendoff).
Then, the party can continue at a nearby bar or your hotel for you and your hardcore partiers.
Trust me. Less is more.
Get pre-registered for Fun 107's Wedding Show on January 27 at White's of Westport. You'll have the chance to meet with the SouthCoast's premiere wedding vendors. Book them early so you can get the best of the best!