(Closed) Reception… not to follow immediately after the ceremony?

posted 9 years ago in Reception
Post # 3
Member
168 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

Down time in between the two is common in some crowds, especially with Catholic weddings since the church typically only has two set times it will perform a wedding – one morning wedding and one afternoon wedding. If you’re giving them down time like that, they can use it to go back to their hotel rooms for a while, but it would be nice if you gave them suggestions on what they could do to kill time – local tourist spots they may want to check out while in town. Your break isn’t all that large though – is there any way to plan something for them to do during the break? I know some people with a break in between will arrange for a tour of a local spot (like a historical building or something) for everyone interested in going.

Post # 4
Member
231 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: February 2010

How far do the guests have to travel between the Church and the reception venue?  And where is your reception? 

I once went to a wedding where there was a 2 hour gap between ceremony and reception.  Even though the wedding was in NYC and only 10 cab ride between locations, it was raining that day, and so all we could do was go sit at the hotel for 2 hours waiting for the cocktail hour to start. 

So perhaps you can work out something wtih the venue, like if it’s at a hotel you could ask if the hotel will give your guests drink specials for the gap period.  I also like doing something historical, especially since you’re getting married in Boston, and it’s such a wonderful city.  Or you could just let your guests fend for themselves!

Post # 5
Member
159 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: February 2018

We have about a three hour gap between our wedding and reception.  I have been feeling really guilty about the time but since all of our venues and the hotel and close to each other we setting up a hospitality room at the hotel for people before they come over to the reception. I think a time gap is almost expected for some weddings if they know the couple is being traditional and taking photos after the wedding. 

Post # 7
Member
231 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: February 2010

I love the idea of directing them to the vineyard!  Tastings usually only take 30 minutes or so.  What if you arrange for all the guests to go for a tasting?  I think that would be an amazing touch!

Good luck! And Have fun!

Post # 8
Member
199 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

We will have about a two and half hr gap and the reception is about 10 mins from the ceremony site. I was wondering about that too.

Post # 9
Member
159 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

our wedding is at 3 and our reception doesn’t begin until 6ish.  Church and reception are 30 minutes apart.  I’m just going to suggest some historic downtown, some malls, some places to get drinks/eat.  Most people are from around the area, and those that aren’t will likely want to go back to the hotel or meet up with other out-of-towners to catch up.

Post # 10
Member
383 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

We will have 3.5 hours between the end of our wedding and our cocktail hour. I am going to stick inserts into the invites recommending bars/restaurants that they can visit in between the gap. I am looking forward to it because I am going to do a little key so guests will have a better idea as to what each restaurant/bar has to offer. I am going to include: drink, food, outdoor patio, and waterfront. So for all 4 of them I will use symbols and add that underneath the address so the guests know what to plan for.

Post # 11
Member
2 posts
Wannabee
  • Wedding: May 2009

I would try to keep the gap as small as possible.  I personally don’t like the huge gap between the 2 events- but it is common with Catholic weddings.  I know that when i have been to weddings with gaps of 3 hours, some people skip the wedding all together and just show up for the ceremony.  I feel sorry for the bride and groom when that happens.  But- i get that some people can’t carve out 8+ hours of time for a wedding.

Post # 12
Member
1896 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2009 - St. Thomas of Villanova Church & the F.U.E.L. House

We’re having a block of time between our 1:30 church ceremony (which will run about an hour) and our 5:30 p.m.cocktail hour start.  During this time, we’re taking fun candids with the bridal party (since we’re doing a first look and formals BEFORE the ceremony), and advising our guests to make the ~ 12 mile drive and find parking!  There are plenty of places — two hotels, a Starbucks, etc. — for our guests to relax in the little bit of free time they’ll have!

Post # 13
Member
57 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

Totally appropriate, as long as you tell your guests this in your invitation….if they know ahead of time they can plan for it. I have the same situation as my fiance and I are Catholic and our latest ceremony start is 2:30pm. Our ceremony will be over around 3:30-:45pm, we will take pictures and goof around with our best friends in the bridal party until cocktail hour at 5:30…guests usually go to the bar, rest, or our guests could go to their hotel rooms which are very close to the reception location to freshen up. As long as you let your guests know they will be understanding….it is your day!

Post # 14
Member
1266 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

Our wedding will probably end at 2 and cocktails dont start at a different location until 5 (dinner at 6)

I have been to many of weddings like this and has never been an issue.

Post # 15
Member
2004 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2008

My wedding ended at 3 and the reception started at 5:30, so that’s a 2.5 hour gap. Everyone went back to the hotel and watched the football game on TV and drank at the hotel bar. People were surprisingly happy about this, as I think they really, really wanted to see that game. Our guests with children also appreciated the downtime as the kids could go back to the hotel and recuperate. Others came over to my parents house and hung out there. I appreciated the downtime as well.

I think as long as people know ahead of time that there’s a gap, and if you give some options (which they might not take—no one took mine, as they had their own ideas…) then everyone will be fine. 🙂

Post # 16
Member
85 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

I don’t mind a gap if I am staying at a hotel nearby. When that’s happened, we would go back and take a nap. I’ve even been a two dress girl- one for the ceremony and one for the reception! 

I am not a fan of a big gap and have to fill it with activities. A tour or boat ride in a cocktail dress and heels? Come on!  A restaurant to go to? But I’m going to eat a great meal in two hours! Starting drinking now? I’ll be ready for bed at 8:30!

I have to say unless it was a real close friend or relative, we would probably end up skipping the ceremony. A lot of the weddings I have gone to, a lot of people skip the ceremony. 

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