A common question asked by many brides is “how long should our wedding reception last?” There are many benefits to having a longer reception and there are also advantages to having a shorter one. For one, if you are trying to maintain a strict budget, you may want to keep a four hour reception so that you don’t have to pay for the extra hour. However if you have some wiggle room with your budget and have a late night crowd anyway, a five hour reception may be in your benefit.

You really have to gauge your crowd before choosing the length of your reception. If you have a lot of older guests with a strict 10:00 p.m. bedtime, many of your guests may head out after cake regardless of how much longer the party will last. With a younger crowd who you know will want to keep dancing and having a good time, then having that extra hour may be nice to have.

There is no rule book about how long your wedding should be or how your day should pan out. Many factors are accounted for when deciding on the smaller details and it is important to keep your budget in mind. If you feel there is room to add an extra hour, then you have one more hour to enjoy your special day with friends and family. If not, a four hour reception still includes ample time to eat, drink, socialize, and dance with all who came to celebrate. Regardless, the length you choose will be appropriate for you and your spouse and that is all that matters. Keep in mind: the longer the reception, the more time spent with cherished friends and family. However the shorter the reception, the sooner married life begins! Hello honeymoon!