Post # 1
I’ve been lurking for a bit, reading your wonderful advice and support, and thought I’d finally write and see what you think. My FI and I finally decided to get serious with wedding planning, and we were lucky to find a church with availability for May 28, 2011.
But, the church is only available for an 11 a.m. ceremony. We would like to have an evening reception though (with the understanding that this may make some people skip the wedding and only come to the reception). I’m still working on finding us a place for a reception … things book early in Chicago!
Would it be too weird to have that long of a gap? It would be nice to have plenty of time for pictures, unwind, etc. But then our guests would have to get lunch for themselves, while we’d supply dinner.
Post # 3
Personally, I would really not enjoy that as a guest. I really really really hate the gap although I understand why some people choose to do it. The earliest wedding I’ve been to is 2:00. If you start at 11:00, that means people will be getting up at 8:00 at the latest to get ready, and drive to your ceremony venue. Is it possible to find another place for your ceremony? Personally, I wouldn’t feel right skipping someone’s ceremony but attending their reception later in the day. I’d likely just be pretty grumpy about having to get up so early on a weekend, and then wait around all day (or come home, get undressed, relax, wait around, then get dressed back up again), and then come to the reception. That would make for one long day for everyone not just the wedding party!
Post # 4
It does make it harder for guest esp the guest that have traveled to be there. You will prob find that people will sikp one part of your day and go to the other. If you have no way around having a big gap maybe you could help guest find things to do while they wait and hekp them find good places to get something to eat. That might help
Post # 5
I think maybe you could compromise and have a 4pm reception or something. That way it’s not too late in the day but still a gap. I would keep looking to see if you can find another church or perhaps another day maybe. I would atleast create some to do’s for people for that afternono if you do end up with that large gap!
Post # 6
As a guest, unless I was one of your very closest friends, I wouldn’t attend both. Since I would consider it rude to attend the reception without the wedding, I’d probably go to the wedding and skip the reception. The gap is awkward. Also going to both would pretty much monopolize an entire Saturday in the spring which tends to be very busy for most people.
Post # 7
Thanks, all. I appreciate your quick feedback! I will double down my efforts to find an available reception venue that can start earlier in the day.
What would be more in-line then? Say ceremony is over by noon (catholic wedding), would it be more normal to start at 2pm?
Post # 8
I’m also having similar doubts about our timeline as well. Our civil ceremony will be schedule for 11:30 in the morning. We also will be having a cultural blessing ceremony at 4:00 pm located at the same venue where we’re holding our reception so right after the blessing ceremony, we’re going straight into the reception. We’re expecting only close friends and family will be at our morning ceremony and majority will come to the cultural blessing ceremony.
Your idea of finding a venue that will allow you to start your reception early sounds great. Goodluck!
Post # 9
I’m having a 11:00 am ceremony, but we’re having a lunch wedding. I think the gap is too long for people, especially those from out of town.
Post # 10
My cousin had his church reception at 12pm and then his reception started at 5pm. Less than half the people actually showed. His wife said that 70% of people rsvp’d yes, but of those RSVP’s that said yes, 28 of them didn’t show. I rsvp’d no. I thought it would be a total waste of my entire day. They were getting married on the shore which is about an hour away from us, and the majority of the family. So I would have had to leave at 11am, ceremony was 30 minutes. Drive an hour home, then drive an hour back, blah blah. Totally inconvenient for guests.
Post # 11
as a guest – long gaps are the worst! esp if you’re from out of town… however – i can understand your situation trying to book everything that you want and being limited to certain time frames…
are there any other churches in the area that may have more flexible timing? or perhaps, if you really think a lot of your guests won’t attend the ceremony, then having the night reception would be okay in your case 🙂 good luck with planning!
Post # 12
We’re planning on having an 11am outdoor ceremony with a 2pm lunch. So far we have the site for reception and ceremony as well as the musicians and officiant. My concern is finding a salon that would be willing to open as early as 7am to start on hair/makeup for the bridal party.
Post # 13
I love the idea of having an awesome lunch style reception.
You could always do a fun afterparty too.