The Catholic Gap–long or short?

posted 4 years ago in Catholic
Member
145 posts
Blushing bee

I’m having a catholic wedding, and have been to a ton of catholic weddings. I think if you have the option for a short gap, I would go for that. I think a lot of people enjoy going to the bar or whatever in between, but it does seem that most people are sort of left not knowing what to do with themselves during all that time.  I think people do enjoy being able to go straight from one event to the other.  Unfortunately we don’t have the option for the small gap:(

Pictures don’t really have to take that long depending on what you want.  We only have 20 minutes to take pictures in the church.  If you’re only going to one location to take outside pictures, I think a good 45 minutes would be good.  I think you could get it done quicker though, as well, if your photographer is decisive and organized. 

Member
85 posts
Worker bee

Our ceremony begins at 3pm, and we’re doing a cocktail hour at 5 so we can take our time taking pictures, with the “Reception” beginning at 6. So, our gap (as far as Catholic gaps go) is pretty short, but most of our guests are out of town and I didn’t want to leave them stranded.

Is there something you could plan for them? Just a place to have them be able to socialize without feeling stranded? A tour or sightseeing thing as an option to kill time? I’ve ended up at Wal Mart during some Catholic gaps because there was nothing planned and I didn’t know the area.

Member
1519 posts
Bumble bee

Is it called the Catholic Gap now lol?! We’re having a 3pm mass. Lasts ca 45-50 mins. Then receiving line, and group pic outside church. Then 20 min drive to hotel for reception, hope to arrive there at 5.  Then everyone has cocktail/tea/coffee while we take pics. Then the call in for dinner, hopefully 6-6.15. Speeches, then dinner begins.

Fingers crossed it works out as neat as that!

P.S. don’t worry about my timeline re length of ceremony – masses are still v long here. But I found a wonderful post on a photog blog I’ve been following, via facebook -

This post covers timing for brides and is really informative.

Member
1519 posts
Bumble bee

Sorry if you’re looking for that post it’s dated May 9th on that link page.

Member
1052 posts
Bumble bee

Go with short…I agree with PPs that people prefer NOT having nothing to do for hours & hours.  I’ve been to both short & long gap ones…the parties/receptions after the short gap ones ALWAYS were livlier & more fun…long gap ones seemed to have lost momentum.

We’re going with the no gap/afternoon welcome party rather than reception route, then having a full on reception two days later…but that’s what you can do when you make it a wedding weekend & pull every favor & sympathy racket to get people stick around for 4 days for your wedding.  I will not be able to ask favors for YEARS to come with my guests. ;)

Member
203 posts
Helper bee

I never heard of a “Catholic Gap” but I guess we’re having a Protestant Gap.  We’re doing all our photos in two hours between the service and reception.  We can’t afford a coctail hour, so folks will just have to entertain themselves.  It stressed me out for awhile, but I have since gotten over it. 

Member
3414 posts
Sugar bee

We’re trying to close the gap.

2 to 2:45 ceremony

3 – 3:30 people make their way to reception site (15 min drive)

3:30 cocktail hour starts

2:45 – 3:45 photos inside the church and out in the plaza in front of the church

4:00 show up at cocktail hour

4:40 people are asked to take their seats, toasts are made

5:00 buffet opens

Member
1012 posts
Bumble bee

We’re having a longish gap–1pm ceremony, cocktail hour starting at 4.  We are arranging an optional walking tour of the college campus where our wedding is taking place during the gap, and providing guests with a list of places near the ceremony site where they can waste time on our wedding website (ie Starbucks, the college’s bookstore, etc).  

Member
203 posts
Helper bee

@lergx6 Thanks for the explianation!  I learn something new every day.  Not the same rules – just if there’s a lot going on at the church during the day, the wedding window is limited.  We’re at 2 PM because the reception needs to be over before the restaurant turns into a nightclub. 

Member
4199 posts
Honey bee

One thing to consider, is that most photographers, videographers, transportation, etc will usually not “break up” hours. It’s usually best all around to keep things flowing as close as possible.

We’re doing mass at 4pm (we lucked out!) with cocktails at 6. We’re assuming 5-5:30 people will be chatting getting in cars and heading down. Venue is about 15-20 min. away. Hotels will be close to venue so if they want to freshen up they’ll have just enough time to do so… but not enough to get board… but possible short enough to be annoyed, lol.

We’ll be doing pictures during that time. We’ll be announced at 7pm. I’ve already payed a fortune for our photographer and as it is now, our 8 hrs will begin about 1 hr pre-ceremony. I’ll probably have to add another hour as it is. I can only imagine if we had a longer break how expensive it could get! 

Member
2222 posts
Buzzing bee

haha I love calling it the Catholic Gap! I am definately having one of these (not really by choice, just the nature of it)…I think having some time to relax is nice for the guests. My reception is in downtown Boston and near a very popular area so for our out of town guests there will be plenty to do. I think it all depends on your location.

Member
588 posts
Busy bee

I’ve never heard of “the Catholic Gap” before! I’ve been to weddings on Friday evening for couples who wanted an evening reception, otherwise the reception is usually right after the ceremony. There were a few sites that had set start times, but we just didn’t consider them when we found out about the timing issues. One wedding had a reception that was about an hour after the end of Mass, but they had tour buses for a bit of sight seeing during that time, so there wasn’t a gap really.

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