Post # 1
So I need some opinions here. We have gone round and round with churches and reception venues trying to make our fall 2011 wedding work, and we finally got dates all set, and even got our first choice of church! We have it narrowed down to 2 halls. Well, I just found out that the church only does afternoon weddings and we are planning an evening reception. I never wanted to have a big gap between wedding and reception. I am going to see if there are any other options at all with the church, but other than that I have a few options:
1. Just have a 2 or 3 hour gap between wedding and reception and choose the reception hall that is near a downtown area with things for people to do in the meantime
2. Find a new church and hope that reception halls and photographers work out with the new date (if my date is not available)
3. Have the reception earlier, which would make it end around 8 or 9 pm (not ideal)
Have any of you had to deal with anything like this? I just found all this out and am not sure what I should do. I definitely don’t want to inconvenience my guests, but it is really hard finding dates that all match up at this point in time. Does anyone have any suggestions??
Post # 3
This is a dumb question, I know, but why is it ending earlier, if you start earlier, a problem? I’m don’t really understand that part. Maybe I’m reading it wrong.
If you start a wedding in the afternoon (you forgot to mention the time it would begin…), then having it end earlier would actually make sense to me.
Maybe if you mention the time it would start, it would help figure out the logistics?
Post # 4
I would choose option 3. I think having a 2 to 3 hour gap between wedding and reception is too long. If ending the reception at 9 o’clock is too soon, maybe you can have an after party or go bar hopping with the younger guests. Some of the older guests might actually appreciate the earlier end time.
Post # 5
I would start and stop the reception earlier. I have been to plenty of receptions that started in the early afternoon and were a blast. Like I said on an earlier thread, If you are having a blast, so will your guests. You two will set the tone.
@Ryna – most venues give you a set amount of hours say $xxx for x hours.
Post # 6
- Wedding: October 2011 - Tre Bella, Mesa, AZ
I’m assuming the reception location charges per hour, and the OP wants her party to go into the night.
I’d just have it end earlier, or if you know some people will stay into the night anyway, pay extra to have the reception location for longer. I think with the 2-3 hour break in between you may have people not show up to the reception, versus leaving early (which people who want to leave early would do anyway).
Or if it’s really important to you that you have an evening wedding, find another church. I personally hate planning logistics, and wouldn’t do that if I had my heart set on the first church. I guess you have to weigh the ceremony location over the time of day.
Post # 7
My ceremony is at 2pm (catholic full mass). I assume it will go til 3. I am having my guests go back to the hotel, freshen up, check in, grab a drink, etc. and then we’re having transportation begin at 4:15 to take them to our 4:30 cocktail hour.
Our wedding will be 4:30 – 9:30 and then we’re going to organize some sort of casual after party for those still up for partying. At first I didn’t love that mine was ending earlier, but my venue is on the water and it also means more time with the view :).
I actually feel like everyone wins this way. Short gap, but long enough for us to take pictures so we dont miss cocktail hour. Wedding ends earlier enough for those traveling home, or going to bed early. There’s plenty of time left in the night to carry on the festivities.
I wouldn’t worry about ending early! It’s still 5 hours of fun – no matter which hours it is 🙂
Post # 8
When did you want your reception to start ideally?
Post # 9
@Zinzerena: The ceremony would start at 2pm and be over at or before 3pm. We originally planned on having the reception start in the evening, around 7 or so, and we really would still like the evening reception, but we realize that in this situation it may not be ideal. Not even sure if the hall would open as early as 3.
If the wedding got over around 3, and we started the reception around 5, that might be a better time frame for us, but not sure how guests might feel about that. This is why we are struggling to figure out what is best to do.
Post # 10
@capebride924: That is pretty much the same timing I am looking at. Thanks for the positive look on the situation!
Thanks, everyone, for the opinions. They are definitely helping!!
Post # 11
A 2 – 3 hour gap is really common in Catholic weddings so it wouldn’t be a big deal to me. Everyone can deal with it. Be prepared that some people might skip the ceremony (ugh) but I think this is th ebest option to get everything you want.
Post # 12
@JrzyGurl: I am thinking this may be what we end up going with. It makes me feel a little better knowing that this is more common than I thought it was. At my old church (catholic) they always had evening weddings, but I didn’t realize so many did not do that. All I have to say is that the most important people will be at both. Everyone else can do what they want as long as they show if the rsvp that they are coming!
Post # 13
My Wedding is an afternon wedding which is at 2:00 pm and then the reception is around 4 or 5 theres a gap in between mine.. but the thing about mine is my wedding & reception is an hour away from eachother meaning it will take and hour to get from where the wedding is to where the recpetion is.. So i dont think that is a bad idea.,:) there is nothing wrong with that
Post # 14
We are having our ceremony at 2 as well. Most catholic churchs will not do it much later because of confession usually occuring before evening mass. Our reception is starting at 5 with 1hr of cocktails and then dinner at 6. We got a hotel that is right in the middle of the church and the reception and neither is more than about 5 mins from each other. Most of my family weddings have been this way and none of us minded. We all just went back to the hotel and hung out with each other. I wouldnt worry too much. Hope that helps.
Post # 15
My daughter had a similar situation. She lives in Miami and only wanted the wedding during Jan, Feb, or March (not humid, not hurricane season, not close to Christmas) since she and her fiance wanted an outdoor reception. The church only had one date and time available for the ceremony- 2/26/11 at 12 noon. It was either that or wait another year which they decided not to do.
The guest list includes many family members from out of state and the country, so we did not want a large gap between the ceremony and the reception. I have been to a few weddings with a large gap between and I hated it.
So after much thought, my daughter and her fiance decided to start the reception at 2pm. It is going to be beautiful! The reception is outdoors in a botanical garden. Guests can wander around the garden during the cocktail hour and enjoy the beautiful scenery. We will be eating sitting underneath gorgeous trees and palm trees surrounded by flowers that we would not be able to enjoy as much at night.
They did not want a typical hotel ballroom wedding. I think it is different and guests will really remember it. It is not what they originally wanted but I think they made it work.
Post # 16
@JamaicaBride: I agree. An hour gap is fine, but when you start making guests sit around town dressed up waiting for the next event to start, it’s annoying. Maybe your reception will end at 8 and then you can have an after party later. This is what we are doing. Our reception will be over by 6 and then we are having an after party later in the night with our friends.