Gap between ceremony and reception?

posted 3 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
Member
11740 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

It really depends on how you feel about it.  I personally very much dislike the gap between ceremony and reception, but sometimes it’s unavoidable (I’m also Catholic, and there is oftentimes the dreaded “Catholic gap” between mass times and evening receptions). 

I would try to minimize the gap as much as you can.  Can you have a cocktail “hour” starting fairly close to the ceremony time on the beach/pavillion, but not have it as part of your reception?  Alternatively, could you negotiate with the winery owners and have a later ceremony if your guests leave immediately but you stay for pictures, but promise not to be in the way setting up for a night-event there?  Wineries are huge places, so I imagine there are loads of different backdrops you could use that aren’t immediately where a night event would set up.  That way, its really just a handful of people taking photos, and will also reduce the time of your gap.  Perhaps you could also arrange a later ceremony, but then have your guests take tours of the winery/vineyards, so they’re still making money but your guests aren’t in one spot where another event is trying to set up.

In the end, if you have to do a gap, you have to do a gap.  It’s not ideal, and some guests (like myself) won’t be thrilled – but if they’re local, the worst that will happen is that they go home for an hour, or go to an area bar/restuarant to grab a drink, or maybe they’ll go inside the winery for a tasting.  Also – if you’re in an area with a bunch of different vineyards, maybe you could provide directions for people to check out a different vineyard between the ceremony and reception (I’m always down for wine tasting, and wouldn’t mind doing that dressed up!)

Good luck!  

Post # 4
Member
11740 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Double! Sorry!

Post # 5
Member
1793 posts
Buzzing bee

I think if venue choices create such gaps they are the wrong choices.  I find gaps to be incredibly rude and annoying (and I married into a very Catholic family and have yet to attend a wedding with a gap).

If you are creating a gap because your FI refuses to see you first and you have to be out of this place by 3 pm that is a bad reason for a gap.  It isn’t one being forced upon you by Church rules, it is one you are creating.  Please rethink this.

Post # 6
Member
3223 posts
Sugar bee

@hermom:  Totally agree!

Personally, put guest comfort as my #1 priority. I would never ask people to wait for me, so that I can take pictures. Absolutely not.

 

Post # 7
Member
650 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

As a guest – I hate gaps.   They suck.  I once had a friend that went to a wedding with a 5 hour gap.  No.   It’s your wedding so you’re at liberty to do whatever you want but I don’t think it’s right.  

In order to avoid the gap we’re doing pictures before and rearranging things – it’s not ideal for us but I would do almost anything to avoid a gap of more than 1.5 hours (and that’s even with food for guests.)

 

Post # 8
Member
917 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2014

Gaps are generally unpleasant. Last weekend I went to a wedding that had a 3.5 hour gap… with nothing walking distance. So we all drove to the bar, a few folks stayed sober, drove back to the hotel, then some of us hopped a shuttle to the reception. A 1, maybe 2, hour gap is ok by me, but over 2 hours gets irritating.

Post # 9
Member
2642 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

Eh.  I probably wouldn’t do it.  It’s one thing to have a gap because your church can only do ceremonies at specific times, but it’s a whole other ball game if you’re one the one creating the gap because you want pretty venue.  I don’t think that’s very polite.  I would try and work with the winery to do a later ceremony or find a different ceremony venue.

Post # 10
Member
10495 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: January 2011

Most weddings I’ve been to have a gap.  I think this is more common in Canada than the US.  I don’t know about ON though.

Personally, I enjoy the gap.  It’s a chance to be with the people I want to see, maybe grab something to eat, change if I want to, etc.

Post # 11
Member
667 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

No. It’s very rude. Why don’t you have a lunch reception? That I think would be the right thing to do in this situation.

Post # 12
Member
3889 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

A 3-hour gap is pretty painful for the guests. If you must do this, make sure that the cocktail hour isn’t just an hour– it should run the entire gap– make refreshments available and provide some sort of entertainment. Music at a minimum, or something more actively engaging (lawn games or what-not). Be sure to communicate with your guests what time the different events will be happening WRT cocktail hour, dinner etc. And don’t be surprised if a lot of them leave early since they’ve been hanging around in the sun all day long.

Post # 13
Member
10748 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2014

I’ve never attended a wedding that didn’t have a gap – I think nothing is wrong with them, and I’m having one myself. Your guests are mostly local and they’ll know the times of the events in advance, so they can plan accordingly. 

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