Time at the bar!

You may be wondering when the best time is to shut up shop and end your wedding celebrations.

Well, these wondrous occasions make for a long day. You would be surprised how a day full of excitement (and alcohol!) can have an effect on you and your guests’ stamina.

There are a number of aspects that can determine the finish time of your nuptials. So, take a look below at the factors that may influence when your wedding will finish.

Mick Cookson Photography


Hiring a venue or DIY venue?

If you are holding your wedding at a specific venue, then you may be subject to certain rules and regulations that dictate when you have to finish your wedding.

If you are holding a DIY wedding, in a marquee in your back garden or a field, then there are very few or no restrictions on when you can finish. It’s a last man standing job!

Restrictions of a hired venue

Many wedding venues will require your music to finish by a certain point, such as midnight or even 11 o’clock.

Turning off music at a certain time is very often the case with hotel venues and venues in close proximity to residential areas. Your DJ or wedding band will most definitely disturb guests or people nearby and keep them awake!

A given venue may also not have the necessary license to serve alcohol past a certain point at night. A 24 hour alcohol licensing is possible here in the UK. However, establishments have to purchase a special license to serve past a certain point – and not all venues do.

This means that some venues will only serve alcohol up to 11 o’clock – we’re sure your guests will start to leave once the bar is closed.

Christian MichaelMick Cookson Photography

A good time to finish

Your finishing time should bear in mind the start time of your wedding day. If you started around 12 or 1pm, then people may start to wind down around midnight.

When your wedding reception finishes may also be effected by the entertainment you have planned. If you have a comedian, magician or funfair rides during the early evening and then move on to the dancing a bit later, the time will fly by for your guests because they will be occupied.

The amount of evening guests you have invited will also have an impact on the time your occasion finishes.  If you have kept it intimate and not invited too many extra guests then the evening may fizzle out early doors anyway.

However, if you have invited quite a few reception guests, they may not appreciate an early finishing time! The extra influx of guests can also give your celebrations a burst of energy and encourage the celebrations to go on until the early hours.

when should my wedding finish


1am is an average ‘last orders at the bar’ time for many weddings.


Whether you have accommodation options on-site will possibly make a difference to the end-time of your wedding reception.

Enable all of your loved ones to stay in one place by choosing a wedding venue that provides on-site accommodation. Obviously a hotel venue will ordinarily provide ample bedrooms as do large manor houses.

Providing rooms for your guests at your venue means that your loved ones don’t have to worry about taxis to other hotels or driving home themselves.


Your wedding day is an amazing event, and with all the planning and preparation you put into organising it, the last thing you want to think of is the end of it! But it is worth a quick ponder, and it’s a question that your venue will ask you. So be prepared!

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