This Is How Long A Wedding Reception Should Take

By Fatime G

Image Courtesy of @andozo / Unsplash

When planning a wedding, the day’s itinerary is the most tricky part. How you plan your day directly affects the outcome. In many cases, the day is divided into the ceremony and reception. Figuring out the ceremony timeline is not challenging; the reception, however, is the tricky part. So much time and energy on planning are spent at this time of the day, which leaves many people confused about how long it should take. 

Every wedding is different, but in most cases, wedding receptions take four to five hours. However, it seems like a lot this time includes going to the reception venue, which leaves only a few hours for the wedding activities. Before deciding how long your reception should take, talk to the venue managers about their time limit. For clean-up and preparations for the following events, some places require people to leave the premises by a particular time. 

5 Tips To Stay Within Wedding Reception Timeline

Four hours is plenty of time to host a wedding reception. However, without a well-laid plan, it becomes a challenge to stick to the timeline, even with a schedule. So here are some essential planning tips to ace your wedding reception timeline.

1. Schedule a photo op session during early cocktail hour

During the first 30 minutes or one hour when guests are snacking, have your photographer take shots of you and your family and friends. Knocking two things off the itinerary while staying true to the schedule is great.

2. Cancel the buffet

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Having your guests stand in line trying to decide what to eat is time-consuming. Instead, opt for family-style options where the servers provide food options for guests at the table. 

3. Time the speeches

From family to friends, a number of people will be speaking at the event and giving toasts. Allocate 3-5 minutes to those speaking; otherwise, your Uncle Jerry will go on and on about that embarrassing story when you were in diapers. 

4. Make the schedule public

We all know those relatives who do not want to leave the open bar, even as the servers are closing up. You can hire a coordinator to keep an eye on the schedule and ensure the guests ate aware of the schedule. A shout-out by the DJ or MC every now and then should keep the guests on their toes. 

5. Get an after-party venue

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A more extended reception often means a longer tab. As an option, you can have a residential space where your guests can continue with the party. You will have to organize the means of transportation for your guests to and fro the venue for safety and convenience. 

Summing Up 

Of course, it is your special day, and you get to have all the things you wish. If you want your family and friends to dance the night away with an after-hours reception, it’s your call. But think about it. Are the extra charges for securing the venue worth just a couple more hours on the dance floor?