Every week, all year long, we get numerous planning questions for weddings, quinces, and other events. The number one question is: "How many hours do I need?" The simple answer is, it's totally up to you. The better answer is, it depends on your needs. For simple parties, like holiday parties, boat parties, birthday parties, or wedding receptions, 4 hour should be sufficient. For Quinceaneras and weddings, 5 hours (or more) is best.
For quinces, there are some ceremonial components involved, such as the father/daughter, mother/daughter, court dances, the giving of gifts, changing of the shoes, the last doll, etc. This can take up to an hour to do these dances and ceremonies. The toast and cake cutting will also take about 30 minutes of the evening, too. Many people want Mariachis at their Quinces, so to save money, have the DJ start after the Mariachis play. This will save you from paying for an hour for the DJ to sit there. Overall, a good number of hours for Quinces is 5 hours (not having the DJ for the extra hour will save you some money).
For weddings, there are numerous components to consider: the ceremony (usually 20-30 minutes), cocktail hour (couple takes pictures with wedding party, guests mingle), dinner (usually 1-1.5 hours, depending on number of guests), and the reception. These things, alone, take 2 - 2.5 hours of your night. The reception includes the first dances, cake cutting, toasts/speeches, bouquet/garter toss, and send-off. These moments will take about an hour, total. So with a 5 hour event, you're looking at about 2 hours of dance time. You can certainly add more hours, but keep in mind that many of your guests traveled to get to your wedding, and so usually about halfway through the dance, guests start to leave (especially grandparents and older relatives). We always recommend doing all the necessary parts of the reception, earlier, rather than later. All in all, 5 hours is the ideal time that we've found works for weddings, too. It is totally your decision, and we're happy to play for as many hours as you need us to, but we're just offering some planning tips! Feel free to email us if you have additional questions.
Austin's Best DJs
We've taken our decades of experience and compiled it into a few helpful articles, to help you plan your wedding or event!