Timeline question gap between ceremony and reception

posted 3 years ago in Reception
  • poll: Which ceremony/reception timeline would you choose?
    Option 1 : (17 votes)
    47 %
    Option 2 : (19 votes)
    53 %
    Other (please suggest something!) : (0 votes)
  • Post # 3
    10748 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: February 2014

    Hmmm well I’m having a gap for the same reasons – pictures. Super common here, and we are in a city with tons of places to go. I’ve been a guest at similar weddings and it has never bothered me. So that’s where I’m coming from…

    People are adults. If they have traveled to your wedding anyway and the ceremony didn’t start until 6, they’d be entertaining themselves that afternoon anyway. I think if you let them all know the timeline ahead of time (invitations, website, word of mouth, etc) it shouldn’t be a problem. 

    Post # 4
    3280 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: June 2014

    Honestly I would annoyed as a guest at option 1. With option 2 you’d still have an hour for pictures if you missed half of cocktail hour which seems like a good option if you insist on doing pictures after the ceremony. You can get all the BM, GM, fam pictures before the ceremony so you’d have plenty of time. I just would not want to sit at a bar, especially if I brought kids for 2 hours, then go stand around at cocktail hour for another whole hour. 




    Post # 5
    3007 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: May 2013

    @Honey-Bee:  I’d do option one. Worst case scenario- you get done with pics early and have some time to freshen up and breathe.  This was what happened for us and it was nice to not be rushed.

    Post # 6
    917 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: February 2014

    As a guest I very much prefer option #2. I’ve had some unpleasant experiences trying to negotiate the gap as an out of town guest. I’ve only been an “in town” guest once, in the past 15 weddings I’ve attended, actually. Once I was left without transportation! FI was Best Man and hadn’t been given a run down of the plan for the day and was whisked away in a limo with the car keys. I ended up hitching a ride with an acquaintance to waste the blank two hours before the cocktail hour even began. We stopped at a gas station and bought Twinkies. Seriously. There was nothing to do and it was unpleasant. I’m a failure at sentimentality at weddings, though, so I see every reason to do a “first look” and maximize time with family and friends.

    Post # 7
    756 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: September 2013

    My photographer requested an hour and a half gap. But my ceremony and reception are at the same location. And food, drinks, and lawn games will be available.

    Post # 8
    1036 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: August 2013

    I’ve been to weddings before and had to wait over one and a half hours. It doesnt bother me in the slightest. I know the bride and groom are getting pictures that they will have for the rest of their lives (god knows we all pay our photographers enough!). 

    If I am staying at a hotel that night, I check in and freshen up and just enjoy the down time to talk to whoever I am attending the wedding with. 

    My fiance and I are also having a fairly long gap. 

    The ceremony ends at 2:30. Pictures with family members will take about 15 minutes. Then at 2:45 provided transportation is taking all our guests to the reception venue (1 hr away)

    They will arrive around 4:00, and our cocktail hour begins at 4:30-5:45, Dinner at 6:00. We will be missing our entire cocktail hour as we are aiming to arrive at 5:30/5:45.

    I know we are trying our best to make it work for our guests and make it as easy as possible, but this is the only timeline that works for us and allowes us to get our pictures and get from one place to another. I always try and respect that the bride and groom probably did their best and that guests are there to support the couple they love and hopefully have a great time! 

    Anyhow, thats my opinion – so i say go for the first option!


    Post # 9
    8513 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: September 2013

    I’d prefer #2 as a guest.  We are doing a first look because I want to get almost all of our pictures over with before the wedding.  I don’t want to be worried about doing pictures afterwards, I want to celebrate.  As a guest, shorter would be better…especially if there is only 1 place to go.  If it was at a place with more to do, like shopping or something else like a walkable area of downtown then I think people would be better off.  If there is nothing to do it can get a little boring just waiting.

    I will say, as an out of town guest with a long (2 hour or more) gap…I ended up drunker than I normally would have because we had nothing to do but go have some beers at a bar/restaurant while we waited.  So you might have drunker guests lol.

    Post # 10
    362 posts
    Helper bee

    I would be super annoyed and bored by option 1, I think it would dustrupt the whole flow of the wedding

    Post # 11
    86 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: September 2012

    what if u have the cocktail at 4:30 or 5 pm with option 1? (cocktail can start without wedding party) usually, guests at weddings haven’t seen each other for a while so a long cocktail just flies by….just a thought 

    As a reference, our ceremony was from 2-2:45, cocktail around 3:45/ 4, dinner was planned at 6:30, but didn’t start until 7, because everyone was having so much fun at the cocktail. (Note:we had sangria and finger food, then open bar, pool tables and a photo booth. )

    hope this helps

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