Ceremony & Reception time gap-Please help!

posted 2 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
Member
43 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: October 2014

After travel from the ceremony, we were forced to have a two hour gap until cocktail hour. At first, I was stressing majorly about this. I know there’s a lot of “gap” hate, but FI finally calmed me down. There was nothing I could do about it (church had set mass time and reception had set start time) and I had to let it go. Turns out, we then attended a wedding with a large gap. They suggested guests to check into their hotel, relax at a few suggested local bars, and get ready to party! We actually loved the gap. FI took a quick power nap, and we were refreshed for the reception. We are suggesting to our guests the same. Luckily, 95% of our guests have a hotel room to do this. My suggestion is to list a few things to do near the reception to pass the time. Your guests will understand!

Post # 4
Member
2353 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

eriiiberry: I’ll be honest. Attending a 4pm ceremony would mean I left work at least 2 hours early to get showered, dressed, and to the ceremony. And that’s if I’m local. If not, I already had to take Friday off of work to attend the ceremony. Then, after 30 minutes, I’m expected to stand around for an hour and wait for you to take pictures? I would be very, very annoyed. Please arrange a cocktail hour for your guests! It doesn’t have to have alcohol and it doesn’t have to be expensive, but some refreshments while they wait for you would be nice. 

Post # 5
Member
1590 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

A lot of people on the bee are very anti-gap. I’m a Long Islander and I will tell you that gaps are very common here.

Post # 6
Member
498 posts
Helper bee

Gaps are annoying, but very do-able if you give your guests something to work with. My cousin got married last year and there was a THREE HOUR gap between the ceremony and the cocktail hour. It was kind of obnoxious but she contacted a local brewery/restaurant and let them know about the situation–they ended up making a deal in the same fashion as a hotel wedding block…guests go there for some food/drinks during the gap, and if we mentioned the wedding, we got a discount. 

It was extremely thoughtful and we enjoyed the brewery, but it was a little dumb to go out for food and drinks before the cocktail hour, which was food and drinks, which is before the wedding, which is more food and drinks. Im all for gluttony but three sessions of food and drinks was not necessary. Try to avoid as much of a gap as possible, and if you cant, provide something to do for your guests.

Post # 7
Member
1099 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

I agree with carolinabelle that I’d be pretty annoyed if I took off of work early and then there was a 2 hour gap. Gaps are annoying but I think better on a Saturday wedding where people aren’t taking time off of work, otherwise this seems pretty rude and inconsiderate of your guests. 

Post # 8
Member
3223 posts
Sugar bee

Will you have time to drive (wth the traffic) to your picture location, heard the party out of the cars, get set up for the pictures, and then load everyone up, and get back to the reception (with traffic) in the time you have allotted?  It seems like it is going to be tight.

As a guest I would be very irritated.  I would be losing lots of money by chosing to go to your wedding versus work.  Which I wouldn’t begrudge a close friend or family member.  But I would want to actually spend time with you and your other guests.  I wouldn’t want to be responsible for entertaining myself, feeding myself a snack, or getting myself a drink.

Gaps are ok (not good, but tolerable) if they are one hour or less.  The whole guests can nap or rest or tour museums is total bunk.  Once I have a full face of make up and hair do, I am not going to lay down and have to re-do it all.  Nor am I going to walk around a park or museum with heels and a fancy dress.

Could you do your pictures a head of time?  Just leave a few bridal portraits for afterwards?  Even if hosted 2 hours is a long time to leave guests on their own.

Post # 9
Member
139 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

OP, is it possible to adjust the time of your ceremony? That does seem like a long gap.  And I agree with andielovesj, once I’m dressed and made up, I don’t fully enjoy other activities touring wineries or napping or whatever else other couples think of.  For a Friday night, I might be more inclined to skip the ceremony and go straight to the reception.

Post # 10
Member
725 posts
Busy bee

That gap seems pretty long for a Friday especially. My wedding is a Friday as well – we are having our ceremony at 5:30pm and cocktail hour starts at 6:30pm. The reception is about 7 minutes away from the church. I would try to have a later ceremony if you can. 

Post # 11
Member
170 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

 

eriiiberry:  A one hour gap is really not a huge deal! Will your venue allow your guests to arrive early & charge you by consumption for them to have drinks while they wait? Make cocktail hour  more like “cocktail 2 hours.” My gap will probably be a little shorter than yours because my ceremony and reception are a little further apart, but I am going to have the guests go straight to the reception venue for drinks & I might have the caterer put out the antipasto, cheese, and fruit a little earlier than passed hors d’eouvres start, or maybe add something smaller for the early arrivers to munch on, just like the nuts that you see at nice bars maybe. I’m originally from the Nassau/Queens border area, and I would much prefer a longer gap than getting on the Belt at 5 PM on a Friday. PS- my best friend is having her reception at Chateau Briand next July, you are gonna have the BEST food, they give you sooo much!! When she finished telling me what they have for cocktail hour, I thought she had told me everything for the whole wedding. You could definitely spread that out a little to make a longer cocktail hour. Since it’s a Friday and you aren’t competing for time with a vigil Mass as you would be on Saturday (if you’re Catholic), would you consider asking the church to start the ceremony at 4:30 or 5? Or asking the venue to start cocktail hour at 5:30 or 6? Or both.. Good luck!

Post # 12
Member
8720 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

Double post

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 4 months ago by  .
Post # 13
Member
8720 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

Gaps are very common in NJ and NY. But I will say that on a Friday I would most likely only come to the reception. The last Friday wedding I went to had an earlier Catholic ceremony and then a later reception at Leonard’s in Great neck. Most people did not go to the ceremony. That’s also what happens in NJ. I know guests can figure out something in LI but traffic sucks and people work on Fridays. Isn’t Roosevelt Field nearby??

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