(Closed) gap between ceremony and reception

posted 10 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
Member
12 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: May 2008

I have the same issue.  My ceremony will run from 3:30 – 4:30, and my cocktail hour starts at 6:00 p.m.

My mom decided to pick a bar area at one of the hotels where we have room blocks, then we will include in our welcome note in the gift bags, "Some guests are gathering at ___ in between the ceremony and reception, if you would like to join them."

I know it’s not an ideal situation, but it’s the best we can do.  One of our friends had a similar situation, and my girlfriends (the dates of the wedding party) and I just went to a sports bar and grabbed drinks and appetizers.  Not a big deal.

Post # 4
Member
388 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2018

It’s understandable that you want to allow for appropriate picture time.  Is there any possible way you can extend your cocktail reception by starting it early?  I think your guests would think it was very thoughtful of you to be taking good care of them.

If it’s cost prohibitive to start the food and booze earlier, even if you just set out big jugs of lemonade, iced tea and water, and some mood music, it would make it look like you were prepared and ready to host your guests.

Post # 5
Member
2293 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2008

Another option is to have at least some of the photos before the ceremony.  Even if you don’t want to have your FI see you in your dress, the photographer can do bridal party photos, you with your parents, him with his parents, you with the BMs… etc.  Then you will be left with only the photos in which the two of you are together to take after the ceremony. 

I don’t know if you have a driving time issue as well, because you have left 90 minutes, which is quite a bit longer than your photographer should need even to take all the bridal party photos.  I would check with the photographer on the time they believe is actually required.

I am actually not a big fan of the "delayed reception."  There have been a lot of posts about it, and a corresponding number of opinions.  FI and I agree that a 90 minute break would tend to find us, for a local wedding, skipping either the ceremony or the reception (unless we were very, very attached to the couple).  For a travel event, it would tend to find us either late to the reception (hotel room time) or already under the influence (bar time), or both…  The majority of couples manage to get perfectly wonderful photos without ditching their guests for 90 minutes along the way, and with a little more thought you probably can too.

Post # 6
Member
32 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: November 2008

The time gap isn’t always about pictures.  For us it is just a scheduling coflict between the church and reception site.  Church can’t start later then 3pm and cocktail hour can’t start earlier then 6pm, there is nothing we can do about it!

We are incliding a meeting place, either my parents house or the hotel bar, as well as, local attractions in our program and on our website. 

We have a decent amount of what I would consider out of town guest deciding not to stay over.  I have found however, in talking to a few of them that once they realized there was a gap they were more interested in getting a hotel room so they would have a place to relax.

I would say plan something even if it is casual for guest and get information regarding the time gap to guest early so they can plan accordingly. 

 

Post # 7
Member
412 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

That’s not a big gap at all in my opinion. One of my friends had a huge gap (2-3 hours) and that became awkward.  We went back to our hotel since we were not familiar with the area and I was worried people would nap and have trouble waking up for the reception. It ended up ok and I know the timing wasn’t something she could control but it’s something I’m definitely going to try to avoid if I can.

Post # 8
Member
604 posts
Busy bee

My aunt did a wedding renewal there was a gap..of like 4 hours it was mostly family, but it was terrible!!!!!! We were all starving, cranky, and really annoyed. We all wondered why in the world there would be such a super gap like that?!?! My house is 45mins away so I went back home showered, changed, ate and came back for the reception. I felt bad for everyone else that had to hang out at her house.

Post # 9
Member
3344 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

I’m having the same issue. Our ceremony is at 2pm and will probably take 30-45 mins, but we want to have a dinner reception.  I was thinking of starting cocktail hour at 4 or 4:30.

Post # 10
Member
1403 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

That’s not rude at all, in fact it’s the norm.  How else are you supposed to get your pictures taken while your dress is still imacculate?  If you have a lot of guests coming from out-of-town, ask a friend who’s not in the wedding party to “host” a happy hour at a nearby lounge or bar.  That’ll keep your guests occupied between the ceremony and the reception.

Post # 11
Member
245 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: February 2018

Don’t worry about a gap, people have time gaps all the time!  I went to a wedding with a 3 hour time gap, we just went to a bar and had some appetizers and drinks!  It was fine!

Post # 12
Member
1573 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

Yeah, most people are aware/expect a time gap.  They know you have to take pictures.  We’re have about a 2 hour time gap too.  Since our wedding is a destination wedding, we’re going to give everyone a map of the city and ideas of places to visit or do some wine tasting. (It’s in Temecula, CA which has a lot of wineries.)

Post # 13
Member
200 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

We have a time gap as well, our ceremony is from 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. and our reception is starting at 4:00 p.m.

I was thinking about renting out one of the room’s in my church’s parish house and offering some sort of a hospitality suite for our guests where they could have tea and coffee and just relax for a bit before the reception.

Our reception is just four blocks away from the ceremony site which isn’t too bad of a walk/taxi ride.

@honeybee, I noticed that you’re also based in NYC – is either your ceremony or reception site close to a museum?

I don’t know if this is something that your guests would be interested in, but it could be fun to arrange a tour for them at the Met or something or if it’s in your budget, you could rent one of those double decker tourist buses and give your guests a brief tour of the city.

Post # 14
Member
21 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: February 2010

We are serving appetizers and having a cocktail hour in between the ceremony and the reception.  I think most people realize the reception won’t start right after the ceremony due to pictures and other such things.  I think as long as you have something to entertain them like food and drinks, they’ll be ok.  We are also setting out pictures and other memories for the guests to look at.  Maybe set up a slide show that they can watch while they’re waiting for you to begin the reception. 

Post # 15
Member
372 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

As some of the other Bee’s have mentioned, that’s not too bad of a gap.  We went to a friend’s wedding that the ceremony was a noon and the reception at 5 PM. Even then it was fine, a few of us just went and grabbed a snack and drink in between.  We have similar gap to yours 3 PM Ceremony, 5:30 PM.  Thankfully our reception is at a museum so our guests are welcome to go there and walk around for the hr or so before the reception starts.  (That said, I’m sure a bunch will go to the bar too.) 

Post # 16
Member
751 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

technically everyone has a gap if they do pictures after the ceremony.  I think that is a good idea. I know that is something im worried about i don’t want to get to the reception after phots and realize half my family has ate and left ;(.

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