Informal Wedding Survey…

Our wedding is next week, May 29th at 4:30 in the afternoon. Originally, we had planned on leaving the reception at 9:30 and the reception would end at 10:00. Then we realized that we have a lot of family coming in from out of town, so we considered extending the wedding to 11:00, and we would leave at 10:30. However… we also have a lot of friends from here in Houston, and Galveston is about an hour to an hour and a half drive home for them. Asking them to stay until 10:30 might be a bit late. Or would it?

That’s where you come in. If you were going to a 4:30 wedding and the bride & groom didn’t leave the reception until 10:30 and you still had to drive an hour and a half home, would that be too late? (Those of you attending the wedding are definitely free to chime in!) I just want to make sure we have people there for the bubble-filled departure! (I love bubbles!)


By Christine

Christine is an Avenger of Sexiness. Her Superpower is helping Hot Mamas grow their Confidence by rediscovering their Beauty. She lives in the Heights in Houston, Texas, works as a boudoir photographer, and writes about running a Business of Awesome. In her spare time, she loves to knit, especially when she travels. She & her husband Mike have a food blog at Spoon & Knife.

23 replies on “Informal Wedding Survey…”

We got married at 2:00 PM. The reception started at 3:30. We left at 10:00. Last we heard, folks were getting kicked out of the ballroom at 12:30. They partied long after we (and the DJ!) were gone! I don’t think I made a decision beforehand about when we would leave — it had just been such a long day that I couldn’t stand to be there any longer!

Will you be having a breakfast or something for out of town folks the next day? We did that, so we knew we’d see people before our late afternoon flight and didn’t mind bailing on the reception.

ok, this is going to sound kinda wierd, but most weddings i’ve been to, the people who are going to leave early, leave right after cake.

I’ve never seen people worry about leaving before the bride and groom do. maybe that is just a california thing.

i don’t think getting home at midnight is too late. but, you have lots of better things to worry about besides this… i’d stick to those things.

I’d just leave when you want and let them party until the venue runs them out. I don’t think leaving at 9:30 would be too early.

By the way, I’ve loved reading all about your wedding plans, and I’m getting very excited for all of you!

Girl, leave when you want to. People who want to stay will stay until they are kicked out (regardless of how far they have to drive.) Those who want to leave early will do that too. You make your plans and let them work around it. Psssst, in case no one has told you this yet, this is YOUR day. Just thought you may want a reminder. 😉

Jenn, I haven’t forgotten that it’s our day – I worry about the photo-op moment though. However, I have great faith in our photographer, and I’m sure he will get the shot if there are just 5 people there or 50.

I am mainly trying to figure it all out because I actually have to ask the Tremont House to have the room staffed for later if we want it past the current time, and I need to reschedule the carriage too. If it wasn’t for those things, I would just leave when we felt like leaving. That’s much more my style!

My tuppenceworth:
I went to a wedding the other day where we had a 2.5 hour drive home. The wedding started at 2 (we drove down for 1). Because of the long drive, we did try and hold out as long as possible but finally caved in at 10. But the party kept going until 12.30 with ‘locals’. I reckon 10 is a fine time to leave, but let the reception go on til 11 perhaps?

My tuppenceworth:
I went to a wedding the other day where we had a 2.5 hour drive home. The wedding started at 2 (we drove down for 1). Because of the long drive, we did try and hold out as long as possible but finally caved in at 10. But the party kept going until 12.30 with ‘locals’. I reckon 10 is a fine time to leave, but let the reception go on til 11 perhaps?

You can find out if there are any restaurants or bars in the area that close late and make an announcement that anyone that wants to keep partying can move down there. I’ve been to quite a few weddings where the guests moved the party after the reception closed, especially those that had driven quite a distance to get there.

My husband and I did a fake exit at a reasonable time,took a little down time in the limo and came back. This allowed our little nieces and nephews that wanted to see us leave to participate. Of course, my wedding was in south La. and we had a 5 hour reception and still had to kick some people out! Just an idea! Good luck!

I agree. leave when you want to leave… Everyone will still be together and will understand that you had to leave… People that are driving far away will stay as long as they want and they are there to enjoy and be a part of your special day… the drive I dont think they will have a problem with… If you have things already planned out at certain times that work for the both of you then leve them… people that are there will understand. Just enjoy the day!!!!

I think the after party thing works for those who want to stay later. The last wedding I went to started at 6, the reception lasted until 10 or so, then all us hoddlums went to a local bar and stayed until they kicked us out, THEN we went back to the hotel. I think I was up until 5 am. But don’t worry I’ll behave at your wedding.

Leave at 9:30 or 10, I don’t think it’s too late or too early either way.

I’d vote for the fake leaving early on in the evening and real leaving later… oh but if you want pictures with the carriage… hmmm I’d leave at 10:30 though. No matter what you do the reception will seem to fly by for you. Maybe let ppl know that 10:30 is when you’ll be leaving and if they need to leave before then that’s cool but then they know how late to think of staying earlier in the evening.

People will stay later in the reception anyway, at least in my experience. For most receptions (at evening weddings) that I’ve been to, people have stayed until midnight or later regardless of *when* the bride and groom left. 😉 I have no idea what your family is like, but judging from the commenters on your site, I’d say it’s just fine to leave later. 😉

And I *finally* sent you a reply to your question about Paris … sorry it took so long. 😉

I agree with Martha – time will fly and before you know it you have to leave so I suggest leaving later (I wish our reception had been longer). And for those of us coming back in town, don’t worry. Not all of the guests will be driving that far (we only have an hour) and for those who live further out, they’ll leave when they need to leave. Plus, plenty of guests will stay around to see you guys off and the photos will look great! 😀

Our reception went by so fast. We were only there for like 2 hours, but it seemed like minutes. Literally. We had a six o’clock wedding and left the reception around nine, I think. The reception ended at 10ish. Others have said it, but people will leave as soon as you eat cake. Cake makes humans sleepy.

can I just pause and go on record as saying, “all this is making me long for my own wedding…” *sigh* congratulations girls, enjoy every moment and do what you think is best despite how others might react! it is, after all… your night!

Here on LI, at least at all the weddings I have been to, the bride and groom are always the last to leave, not the first. But if that is how it is done where you are, I don’t think 10:30 is very late at all.


If I am honest, I would say it depends on if the people in general had kids at home being babysat, had kids there, if they’d had too much to drink, etc.

I would guess that some will disappear by then, but in general, I see a bubblefest in your future. 🙂

The older folks will leave early, but if the reception turns into a good party the younger crowd will probably stay as long as they can. Our wedding was at 6 and we had to kick our friends out – but then we went and partied with them at the hotel for several more hours!

Yee. I must have bad wedding etiquette. I never consider whether or not it’s bad form to leave before the couple. I leave when I want to leave ~ usually after I’ve had some cake!

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