Post # 1
We are having a full Catholic wedding Mass at 2pm, but our reception will likely not start until 6pm. I am still playing with the timing, but either way, there will be a time gap. Either 2 or 3 hours.
I am almost done stressing out about my guests and what they will do in between, but after reading many of the postings on Wedding Bee, I feel SO much better about it. Thank you for your positive energy! This was seriously the most stressful part of all my planning. 🙁
My question has to do with what my wedding party should do during this time. I think it would be fun for us to all stay together, but I’m wondering if I should plan an activity of some sort, or just have a place for us to hang out before the reception? Has anyone been in a wedding with timing like mine, or have any ideas about something we could do? Of course we’ll take pictures, but not for 3 hours! 🙂
Other question – do most brides go to their own cocktail hour? I think it would be fun, but then is it weird if the bride/groom and wedding party get to the reception before some of the guests?
You’d think I would have figured this out by now, but I guess I just didn’t pay much attention when I was at other people’s weddings!
Thanks for your advice!! And for reading this long posting!
PS: What do you think would be better – starting the reception at 5 (2 hour gap) or 6 (3 hour gap)? We thought 3 hours would be better b/c it gives people time to actually go do something if they wanted to…
Post # 3
You could join the cocktail hour or if your hotel is nearby maybe have a meal or snacks sent up for you, the groom and the BP?
Post # 4
I have been to several weddings with the "catholic gap" and trust me, it’s not a big deal! We always find something fun to do in between – or we just go back to our room and regroup/freshen up. Don’t worry about this – your guests will be fine 🙂
Regarding your wedding party, during this time you can go take some great pictures.
A good friend of mine had the gap. She and her hubby took the wedding party to get some great photo ops. Then they stopped and had a cocktail at a local pub. It was so fun and relaxed. The best part of her plan was that she and hubby arrived at the cocktail hour before any guests and did their receiving line as all their guests entered the reception. It was perfect: everyone got to talk to them and they got to enjoy their own cocktail hour. Just an idea!
Post # 5
mrs k2be is right – your issue is so common it has a name – the "catholic gap." i have one too. our ceremony is at 1:30pm (the latest we can have it) and our cocktail hour starts at 5pm. we figure this will give us time to take our pictures after our ceremony and do our receiving line at our cocktail hour. it will be a nice time to mingle with our guests. all of our guests are from out of town, so this will give them time to check into their hotel rooms before the ceremony (check-in time isn’t until 3pm) and have a little break before the reception. we arranged a shuttle to pick up guests at the hotel 4:30pm to bring them to the reception. in addition, we also have recommendations on our website on how to ‘fill the gap’ if some guests want to explore the area a bit.
Post # 6
Over 90% of the weddings I’ve been to have had this gap. I think every one of them has had the Bp going to take pictures during this time.
Post # 7
Thank you so much for your advice and encourgaging words. I am seriously going to bookmark this thread and read it whenever I start to feel stressed about my "Catholic Gap"! You have really made me feel better about it . . . and I like your ideas for what to do with my new husband and our friends in between!
Post # 8
Oh hgood, I thought I was the only one stressing out, my ceremony is at 3pm ends at 4pm, so theres 30 minutes for the church pics, then me and my new hubby will take pics at central park, that leaves one hour for the guests to hag around the hotel lobby before reception at 6pm, I stressing what will they do, but Im glad my gap isnt that long 1 1/2 hours tops
Post # 9
What about going to a local park if the weather’s nice? I was at a wedding with the "catholic gap" and that’s what we did, along with several of the bridesmaids.