Post # 1
I had always wondered why my friends had a big gap between their ceremonies and receptions…now I’m in their shoes!
My church does weddings at 3pm or 6:30pm (because there is a 5pm mass). We plan on having a nuptial mass and our reception venue is nearby (about 10 minutes away). We don’t mind doing photos either before or after the ceremony. The wedding is black tie-ish and in NYC so we feel like it should at least go until around 11pm (it seems that most here go until midnight) and all the venues we are looking at give you a five hour time block.
So…the dilemma is whether to:
A) Have the ceremony at 3pm – 4pm. GAP, cringe. Start cocktail hour perhaps 6-7pm, then dinner/dancing 7-11pm. Not sure how we would fill the gap for our mix of local and OOT guests…procrastinate saying hi to everyone outside the church, send them along to local bars, hire a bus to drive everyone around.
B) Have the ceremony 6:30-7:30pm. Start cocktail hour 7:30pm (though realistically will be closer to 8pm), then dinner/dancing until 12:30-1am. Hopefully my grandma, and even my parents, will still be awake!
I have been going back and forth and have read just about every post on the issue and am still confused! Ideas?
Post # 3
A con to having it later is that your elderly guest and some of your married couples (if they have kids) will leave before the end.
I think most people are used to waiting a little in between mass and reception, so I vote for the first option.
Post # 4
I agree I would go with the first option, because most people expect to have some sort of gap in between the ceremony and reception. This will give you some time to relax and take pictures, and your guests can hang at a bar or take a walk around the city until the cocktail hour.
Post # 5
First option. The gap will give you a great time for pics. And with the later ceremony, your guests will start to get very hungry. Also, we had our ceremony at 4, our cocktail “hour” from 4:30 to 6:00 and then dinner and dancing until 10:30. It ended early but it was long enough (we were exhausted) and if you want you are in NYC, so you have a lot of options for a formal or informal afterparty. Ours was on a Sunday in Vermont, so no afterparty for us.
Post # 6
I think the gap is a bad idea unless all of the guests either live very close by or are staying in a hotel close by. There is nothing worse than having to sit somewhere and wait for 3 hours in between a wedding and reception. Catholic masses typically last closer to an hour and a half than an hour and even if the reception is 10 minutes away, it will take about 30 minutes for the first guests to get over there because people chat and dilly dally. How about doing the mass at 3:00, which will last until closer to 4:30 and then starting the cocktail hour at 5:00 pm. At 6:00pm or even 6:30pm guests will go in for dinner and you can take the reception until 10:00 – 11:00 pm without that awful gap.
Post # 7
I’m sorry but I HATE gaps. If her is a large gap and I don’t live near by or have a hotel room, I just go to either the ceremony or the reception. Sitting around for three hours in an evening gown? no thank you.
I say go for the latter option. Your guests will know ahead of time that it will be a late evening wedding and will plan their day accordingly. Grandma can take a nap during the day. I’ve been to lots of weddings that go until 2am and most people stay until at least 1am. Just think of it as a party.
Post # 8
second option!!! Gaps stink!
Post # 9
Some pros for having it later is that you have more time to get ready and take a ton of photos before the ceremony! Plus, no one likes gaps!
Post # 10
If you pick the 3:00 slot, then you won’t have much time for pictures afterward before people start wandering in for the next mass. You might have to do pictures offsite or before the ceremony. Your guests will be forced to leave the church by 4:30 or so, and the OOT guests will be stuck in limbo until the reception site opens. Maybe you can fill in the gap by having someone from your FI’s side of the family “host” a happy hour at a local lounge or something.
If you pick the 6:30 slot then you might skip the coctail hour in the interest of time, or make it a coctail half-hour. (Sorry for the pun!) Then push up the special dances, cake cutting, bouquet toss, etc close to the beginning of the reception, so grandma doesn’t miss anything before she has to leave. 🙂
Post # 11
I loathe gaps that are 2+ hours long… I vote for the evening mass.
Post # 12
I’ve never been to a wedding with a gap-what are people supposed to do, especially if they are from out of town? It seems like a huge imposition to me. But then I also think it is rude when the bride and groom take endless pictures while everyone stands around and waits for food and drink. I like Mrs. Louboutin’s suggestion.
Post # 13
I don’t mind the gap. I think you could easily give people a list of things to do in NYC for that time period.
But I voted for 6:30 because that way the mass would fulfill the Sunday obligation 🙂 And it would give your guests time to check into their hotels before the wedding.
Post # 14
I picked the second option. I don’t like gaps either. Especially if you are out of town, it is hard for guests to think of something to do that fills that time. If am in town and go home in between the wedding and the reception…it will be a pain to get redressed and go back out.
I am surprised that Jacqi is the only one who mentioned that a later mass would fulfill the Sunday obligation. That was my first thought…I find it more thoughtful for your Catholic guests….and for you as well. Do you really want to get up early for mass the morning after your wedding night?
Post # 15
I prefer weddings that start later, and I hate gaps, so my vote is definitely for the 6:30 pm mass.
Post # 16
I don’t mind gaps. Most of the weddings I’ve been to were Catholic. And the gap is standard. Why not poll your family an ask which they’d prefer. Maybe grandma feels up to cutting a rug at midnight? Or maybe they prefer the earlier mass.
The nice thing about an evening mass, though is that it would meet their Sunday obligation. 😉 Whereas the earlier would not. Well that’s debateable. But the evening one would definitely meet it, if it’s a full mass.