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For many, the reception is the highlight of their outdoor wedding—the guests are dancing, drinking, eating, and laughing. While the reception can be one of the most celebratory parts of your wedding day, you shouldn’t be surprised if you catch a couple of your guests sneaking out of the tent to leave early. There are many reasons—none of them personal—that can cause your guests to leave early. 

They Have Kids at Home

One of the most common reasons guests will leave the reception early is because they have kids at home. If this is the case, they probably have a babysitter or family member watching their kids for them. Even though they might be having a great time at the reception, if they told their babysitter that they’d be home before midnight, they’ll probably have to leave early. 

The Party Is Too Loud

Not everyone loves loud music and dancing. If your acoustics are too loud, some of your noise-sensitive guests might leave the reception. A great way to prevent this is to talk to your DJ or band about adjusting their audio set-up. If you suspect a good number of your guests would prefer a tame noise level, consider requesting an acoustic set-up that won’t mimic a pop concert. 

They Have to Work the Next Day

Most weddings happen on Saturday evenings, providing guests with a buffer day before the workweek. However, while most of your guests probably work on the weekdays, there are some who might have weekend jobs. If you have any friends that are doctors, waiters, or small business owners, don’t be surprised if they leave your reception on the earlier side.  

They Don’t Want to Get Stuck in the Post-Wedding Traffic

If your wedding has 200 guests or more, getting out of the parking lot at the end of the night could be a hassle. When all your guests leave at the same time, there is almost sure to be a bottleneck of cars leaving your venue. Even if the traffic getting out of the venue is minor, some people have little patience and want to leave the reception early to avoid any potential delays. 

They Have a Long Drive Home

Some of your guests probably drove a long way to attend your wedding. Don’t be surprised if these guests end up leaving your reception early to start their drive home. Be happy that they were able to make it to the wedding and wish them a safe drive. 

They Don’t Like Staying Up Late

Not all your guests will have the energy for staying up into the late hours of your reception. While some might get a second burst of energy, others will decide to leave the party early. When you see guests that are yawning or are visibly tired, it is safe to assume they might be in the first wave of guests to leave your wedding. Be sure to say goodbye before they head out. 

They Left After You Cut the Cake

At most weddings, the happy couple will cut the cake after dinner. To certain guests, this might signal the end of the “official reception.” If they aren’t the dancing type, they might use the cake cutting as an excuse to leave early. 

Plan Your Tent Wedding with Windows on the Water

Do you have your perfect wedding in mind but need help planning all the details? At Windows on the Water, we help couples plan the wedding day of their dreams. We know that your wedding venue will host one of the most important days of your life. Our expert wedding staff will guide you through every aspect of the planning process, including creating spectacular menus, seating charts, and floral arrangements. 

To talk with one of our experienced wedding planners, call today at (609) 208-9475 or fill out our online contact form