Recently, I had some clients ask me when their wedding day should end. I looked at them blankly because I thought the answer was obvious. They filled in the silence and explained they didn't want their guests to feel like they didn't get enough time with them at their wedding, didn't want to end the night too soon and look like old people, and didn't want people to leave wanting more.
The following is what I told them:
1) Don't worry about guests feeling like they didn't get enough time with the bride and groom.
Reality is, the wedding couple won't be able to spend "enough time" with each and every guest. If that was the case, your wedding would last weeks or you would have a small wedding of 10. Another thing to consider, it is a huge financial and time commitment to attend a wedding. Likely your guest will be delighted for the night to end and to go home to change out of their spanx and heels.
2) Listen to your body.
If you are tired and think you will be tired by 9pm, then call it a night. This has nothing to do with "being old." It is about listening to your body. So called "old people" leave a wedding earlier than younger people because they don't give a crap about what people think, they just had enough of celebrating with the happy couple, and they just plain want to get outta there.
3) if they want more, they can go for it.
By this I mean, you can leave your own party and your guests don't have to. If you have the venue and DJ booked until a certain time and you want to leave earlier, do so and allow your guests to enjoy the night on their own at your expense. This might be their night out without the kids so let them enjoy themselves. You can also suggest an after party with several guests or suggest they do the same.
One thing that you must do at the end of the night before you leave is to thank your guests for sharing your special day with you. It is special partly because all the people you love and love you are there.
Photo Credit: Angie Wilson Photography