Post # 1
The earliest my ceremony could be done was at 2:00pm. The reception starts at 6 pm though. The locations are about 10 minutes apart. Some guests can atleast hang out at the nearby hotel where we have our room block but what about the guests who are not staying nearby? Most people are coming from out of town, I don’t know what to do about this huge time gap! I guess they will be on their own during until 6 pm:/
Post # 3
@missdream: Why can’t you start your ceremony later?
Post # 4
I am used to the time gap, most of the weddings I have been to have them. Some people go home and change, some take a nap. Going out to grab lunch or cocktails is pretty common too. As long as there is something nearby, people figure it out!
Post # 5
If there are any nearby attractions, add them to your wedding website as ideas for entertainment. We had our wedding at a conservatory at a zoo at like 9am, and our reception didn’t start til 1pm at our house. Some guests stayed at the zoo, some went home, some went to my MIL’s house… I came home and ate McDonalds because I was starving 🙂
Post # 6
Is there anything that can be done? You said the earliest your ceremony can be is 2. Why don’t you have it at a later time.
Can you move the reception up or have cocktail hour start earlier.
I think a 4 hour gap is too mich. I think you will get many guests who come to one or the other.
Post # 7
I think a four hour gap is too much. Can you move up your reception? Perhaps there is somewhere at the church or a nearby park where you can put out lemonade and cold drinks? I used to the catholic gap and it’s annoying but I can’t remember the last time I went to a wedding where it was four hours.
Post # 8
I think every wedding I have ever been to have had at least a 3 hr gap inbetween. Don’t stress 🙂
Post # 9
That’s a REALLY big gap… I’d also be worried about people skipping the ceremony and just coming later, because not only will they have to pay to travel and get to the wedding, possibly pay to stay overnight, but then also pay to eat/drink in between. Can you have your ceremony somewhere else to have it later in the day?
Post # 10
Are you having a Catholic ceremony?? I only ask because every Catholic wedding I’ve ever been to, including my own in less than 3 (!) weeks, has a huge time gap. Our ceremony is at 3pm and cocktail hour doesn’t start until 7pm and there was absolutely no way to move back the ceremony since the church has a 5pm Mass on Saturdays and no way to move up the reception since the venue has a Saturday afternoon wedding, so our gap is about the same as yours. Another bee sent me her ceremony program and she had the ingenius idea of putting in a “things to do” section for the guests, including local museums, shops, pubs, sites, etc. Don’t sweat it, your guests will understand!
Post # 11
I concur with PPs. Definitely give options or things to do inthe area. I recall one Four Weddings episode where the bride had the guests go on a scavenger hunt which turned into a disaster.
Post # 12
Are you having a lot of guests? I went to a wedding last summer where there was a 3-hour gap, and one of the family’s close friends set out a spread of fruit and cheese in his living room and invited a lot of people over to hang out to pass the time. I dunno if you’re expecting a LOT of people but that definitely works if you’re having a smaller wedding!
Are you having an outdoor reception? If so, you could set up lawn games – croquet, badminton, bocce ball, etc. – for your guests, or other activities. But those would entertain people for maybe 1 or 1.5 hours before dinner…
If there are parks or things to do nearby, you should make sure to provide some info on things to do nearby on your wedding website and/or an insert in your invitations, since out-of-towners may not be adept at finding things to do in the area. Older people seem to prefer personal recommendations, they might appreciate a list of some good restaurants, cafes, parks, etc. nearby.
Post # 13
I recently went to a wedding with a gap where the bride’s parents hosted people at her house for a few hours. She set out crackers and cheese (and the most amazing zucchini bread ever), had a few bottles of wine out, and called it a day. I also like the idea of adding “things to do” in the program.
You can actually even mention the gap on your website and embed a custom Google Map where you’ve highlighted nearby attractions. If you’re interested, but that sounds complicated, PM me and I can help!
Post # 14
Thanks for all the replies! I actually meant to say 2pm is the LATEST that we can have our ceremony. Sorry about that error!
Post # 15
Does your budget allow for a cocktail hour with drinks and snacks? You could put a cocktail hour in there to keep guests hydrated and then from there they can go over to the reception?
Post # 16
@littlegraykitten: Also a Catholic ceremony and we are date twins 🙂
We have a big gap too, 2pm or 2:30pm to 6pm. I listed a long list of things to do in the area on our wedding website. I think people are OK for the most part, I know as a guest it isn’t the most convenient thing, but there is always something you can find to pass the time 🙂