Post # 1
We are having a really hard time figuring out when to have the reception! We are having our ceremony at 2:00pm. The Priest has said that the ceremony will last about 35-45 minutes. Origionally my Fiance wanted to have the reception later so that our guests can party into the night. But, since our wedding is at 2:00, that will leave them with a pretty big time gap to wait out. About half of the guests are traveling about 30 minutes and the other half is traveling about an hour and a half to get to the ceremony and reception location. What are some suggestions that you guys have for begining the reception?
Post # 3
Our ceremony starts at 12:30 and reception starts at 4:30. They are an hour away from each other, and we have to have a gap due to allowable entry times to each venue to set up decor, etc.
Luckily, 1/2 our guests are close to ceremony and the other 1/2 is close to reception.
I’d say that if the guests are farther away than 10-20 minutes, just have the reception right after ceremony. You can always host an after-party with a few people!
Post # 4
our reception is from 6-11pm. Our ceremony starts around 3pm, It should take about an hour and then then another 30-45 for photos, so we should be arriving at the reception just in time..
Post # 5
I can see where your FI is coming from, it’s nice to have a party that goes late into the night! Could you do a cocktail hour starting around 5:00 and then the reception at 6:00? Are your ceremony and reception at the same place?
I went to a wedding last summer where the bride had designated someone as “games master” and she brought all kinds of lawn games for guests to enjoy during the break between the ceremony and dinner. Is there a space where you could organize something like that?
Post # 6
Our ceremony is at 3pm. Then our reception starts at 6-11
I think considering your guests will be out of town.. It may be ok if you give them like a list of sights or something in the area to pass the time. Im assuming you will be serving dinner, so hopefully they wont eat, but maybe put a coffee shop on there etc. Idk hope that helps.
Post # 7
I just thought, we’re going to a wedding friday that we are the OOTers for, and it starts at 3, with the reception at 6. We’re going to an outlet mall between them, so I think guests will always just find something to do between. Some may actually like going back to their hotel to relax!
Post # 8
My MOH thinks that 7 is a bad idea because she thinks that their side of the family wouldn’t come back to the reception (even though most of them only live about 30 minutes away). I spoke with some of my out of town aunts, and they said they would probably go to their hotel and rest or swim (if there is an indoor pool).
Our reception and ceremony are at the same place BTW.
So now, here is the problem: I’m worried that if I have it at 7 my FI’s grandparents would leave the ceremony and just not come back to the reception at 7. And if I have it at 4, I don’t feel like people would stay very late and party with us!
Post # 9
You can either start the reception right away and have an after party, or have someone that lives near one of the venues host an interim activity. My stepsister had a big gap and her husband’s sister hosted a little get together so everyone was able to go to her house rather than just waiting around. I’d suggest starting the reception earlier though and having an after party maybe at a hotel or something. Someplace where you just have to reserve the room but you don’t have to pay anything. Everyone can pay for their own drinks at that point.
Post # 10
I agree with M.Ruder and sit1010 that it would be a great idea to have the reception immediately after the ceremony, and then do an after party later in the evening. You could even get a cute white cocktail dress to wear for the after party! Also, you could save on food costs for your reception, since it would be too early to serve a full dinner. You could do heavy hors d’oeuvres or tapas instead.