Post # 1
We have 2 hours between our ceremony and the start of our cocktail hour.
Ceremony = 3:00pm, 1 hour long
Cocktail Hour = 6:30pm, 30 minutes from ceremony site
My mom says I shouldn’t worry about it, but my fiance and I feel terrible that our guests will have nothing to do during that time. We can’t change the times because they are the only times available with our church and reception site.
I’ve been reading some other posts on the matter, and a lot of people suggest that some Out of Town guest might just skip the ceremony. I think skipping the ceremony is pretty unacceptable and rude. I would be totally hurt if a bunch of our guests skipped (they are almost all OOT).
Any ideas on how we should handle the 2 hour “layover”? My mom is unwilling to open her house to the guests (we will have 200). We thought maybe we could plan a tour or rent out a movie theater… but will people really want to do that in their dress clothes?
Plus, the hotel is a good 20 minutes away from the church (and 30 from the reception venue), so it’s not easy for guests to swing by there.
Post # 3
2hrs is really long. Even though it is rude to do so, some people feel that the couple doesn’t care about them if they have a gap. A gap can be avoided. In the situation where you have to have one, is there any way to have everyone meet somewhere to socialize until the reception starts? Possibly have a short coffee mingling session in the church fellowship hall immediately after the ceremony? Contrary to popular belief, no one wants to sightsee in fancy clothes, nor do they change clothes or take a nap, etc in between.
Post # 4
I wouldn’t plan anything. Your guests are adults and they can find something to do with themselves during the gap.
Post # 5
Honestly I wouldn’t worry about it..we had a 2 hour gap in between ours and went to a wedding yesterday that had one as well. I totally agree with you about the church things – it sucks that people may not come – I had good friends not show up at the church…but it wasn’t something I was going to stress out about.
People will find things to do – yesterday we stopped, got a slice of pizza, went to cvs..we would have hit up a bar if we had the time….the 2 hours goes pretty quick..we got to the reception a little early, but it wasn’t really an issue…
Post # 6
Where would the Out of Town guests be staying that night?
I’ve been an Out of Town guest numerous times and I usually go to the ceremony and then pick a hotel near the reception site. That way I check into the hotel after the ceremony and hang out there until the reception begins.
I honestly don’t think you need to stress about 2 hours. People will figure out what to do if they really want to go to both events.
Post # 8
I’ve been to several weddings with large gaps and we’ve always gone to a restaurant or back to our hotel (as Out of Town guests) and had a drink, or hangout and chat with people we haven’t seen in a while. No biggie. I don’t understand why people are so sensitive about this kind of thing (as guests) I would never be so childish as to skip one or the other. You’ve said it already, you can’t change either time. Your guests should realize on a wedding day that’s sometimes how the cards fall. Time to put on our big girl pants and deal, after all you’re treating them to a spectacular party afterwards not sending them to their room without dinner.
Sorry if that was heated haha, I despise that drama starts from this.
Post # 9
my friends wedding had an enormous 5 hour gap between ceremony and reception,this gave a lot of people with kids or animals at home (if they lived nearby) had a chance to go home,sort everything out change into evening wear and cvomfy shoes and come back.the people who stayed (inc me) we just hung out,caught up with each other and met new people that we didnt know. amazingly the hours flew by,so 2 hours shud be no problemo,people talk to each other,they meet new people. I wouldnt worry about it hun x
Post # 10
I worried about this so much and we ended up not even noticing the day of and the guests did not seem to care. I think as long as people know they find something to do. Some went to a friends house, some went to the bar, others checked into their hotel rooms.
And yes not everyone will come to the ceremony. Even if you didn’t have a gap that would happen still happen. But the people who really matter will still be there no mater what.
Post # 11
WOW – I was just talking about this topic with a friend of mine who got married last year – they also had a large time gap between events and she asked me, as an Out of Town guest, if I was annoyed by it. My response, “Heck no! The time gap was just enough time for Fiance and I to sneak back to our hotel room for some ‘alone’ time!” (Weddings make us amorous!). I am sure you guests will be able to entertain themselves for a while, especially since they won’t be standing around the same venue between events.
Post # 12
I personally have never attended a wedding with a “gap” and would be bothered by it as a guest. However, if I skipped anything it would be the reception and not the wedding… the wedding is the whole point anyway and I would never skip that.
Post # 13
I have a longer gap (1 pm ceremony and 6 pm reception). Unfortunately, that’s the only way to do it with the ceremony at my church and still have time for pictures. I doubt that people will think that we don’t care about them b/c of this. Will some people skip the ceremony? Probably but I honestly don’t care. The people that should be there will be there regardless. I’m looking into finding something for my guests to do in between. I’m not so much worried about my friends as I am willing to bet that they’ll either go home for a little bit or find a bar. Most people are local. For others, we’ll be in downtown Chicago. There’s a million things to do.
Post # 14
i have never been to a wedding where there WASNT a gap between the ceremony and reception.
In fact, I went to a wedding in April where the ceremony was at 1 and the reception was at 6:30!!! now THAT was too long.
I think most guests expect to have to find something to do for a little bit. It would be neat if on your invitation, you included a little card that had lists of restaurants, bars, or things to do around the reception site. If you guests are out of town, they probably wouldn’t know where to go otherwise.
Post # 15
It definitely makes me feel better hearing that other people are in the same boat… or experienced a long gap and didn’t mind.
Perhaps I will include a list of bars or someting in the program.
It will be mostly family anyway… so I guess they can just suck it up! 🙂
Post # 16
Consider that a lot of hotels have 3pm check in times, so your guests will have to choose between checking in just after the ceremony, and checking in at midnight after the reception when they’re tired. Trust me, Out of Town guests who had a long drive that morning appreciate a layover. I can almost guarantee that a few people will head straight to the reception though. So if your reception venue will be open earlier than 6:30, perhaps you can have iPod music playing and light appetizers set out, and maybe a photo album of you and your Fiance for them to flip through. Just a suggestion. 🙂