Gap between ceremony and reception

posted 3 years ago in Reception
Post # 3
6447 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2013

So you can hold the wedding at 2? How long is the ceremony? I think your best bet is to hold it at 2 and then pony up the extra money for the cocktail hour.

Are there any hotels at all near the ceremony or reception site? If there are I would suggest booking a block of rooms there so that the gap won’t be as much of a nuisance to guests.

From my point of view, a 2 hour gap is much worse than a larger (4 hour) gap. I don’t have time to go anywere during a 2 hour gap where as I could at least head home or something during the 4 hour gap. 

Post # 4
208 posts
Helper bee

my best friend did that. and honestly… if I hadnt been maid of honor… I would not have gone to the reception. It’s very obnoxious to be sitting aroind waiting for the reception to start for such a long period of time UNLESS there is a cocktail hour. That might make it manageable… A LOT of people didnt end up showing back up until way after dinner. So she paid for way more food than was actually used. This can be contributed to the fact that most people had the idea of “two hours? screw that. I’ll come back later at my conveniance”


This is totally completely and 100% my opinion though. Your guests may be differant… but that was the way it worked out for her.

Post # 6
357 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

@mmccann13:  If there is a gap, it should be hosted. The cocktail hour is the perfect way to do this. You could even just host sodas, water, iced tea and some apps if you can’t afford to host alcohol.


Post # 7
3394 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

@mmccann13:  My cousin married into a Catholic family and we had this exact situation. Her wedding was at 2 and the reception started at 5. It was so annoying. We ended up going to McDonald’s (in our dress clothes) because we were starving and 5 hours from home. It’s harder to waste 2 hours than you think it is. Ugh.

Post # 9
652 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2012


Is there a park nearby? Restaurants nearby?

When I live it is completely normal to have a 2-3 gap! I am actually surprised when there isn’t one. I usually relax with friends in between, get changed into even fancier clothes, or go to a restaurant/lounge and get some drinks. I don’t think you need to have a cocktail hour if it’s out of your budget. Given that the reception is across the street I probably wouldn’t go home, but I would probably go to a lounge with friends. To me it wouldn’t be a big deal at all.

Post # 10
1311 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 1994

I would find some sort of activity for everyone to do!

Post # 11
8720 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

2pm ceremony and pay for the cocktail hour. Problem (easily) solved!

In my area, many people are Catholic and a lot of guests skip the ceremony bc of the gap. It is annoying.

I have a wedding on Black Friday (!!!! I am a huge shopper!) and the ceremony is at 1 and reception at 6. There is no way I am going to both and giving up my whole day on a holiday weekend. 

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