Post # 1
We have the catholic gap. Wedding is at 3 and cocktail hour starts at 5:30, so the gap is not significant except that the bridal party will be missing cocktail hour to finish up with pictures. I guess I’m just wondering what is normal here. Do the dates come and hang out during pictures? Do they go to the cocktail hour alone? Is it expected that we provide transportation for their dates (rent another limo)? We are not so close with any of their dates that they will be involved in pictures, and personally I would not want to stand outside in the middle of july to watch other people get pictures taken. It just seems rude to seperate them all day..
Post # 3
I wouldnt worry about it, 2.5 hours really isnt alot of time… they can figure it out. YOu have to worry about what needs to be done, you and the wedding party!
Post # 4
I’ve been the date of a wedding party member and my husband has also been my date when I’m a bridal party member. We both just went to the cocktail hour alone and mingled. I would rather entertain myself than watch others have their pictures taken.
We didn’t expect (or receive) transportation from the bride and groom as the dates.
Post # 5
My FI was in a wedding party last year, I just went to the cocktail hour myself and hung out with the other wedding party dates haha. We had fun! It’s not like the dates don’t know ahead of time that their significant other is in the wedding party and will be busy taking photos.
Post # 6
As a date of the wedding party (whose brother was getting married), I hitched a ride to the reception with his family’s friends and then mingled until they arrived.
Post # 7
my DH has a close group of guy friends who pretty much ALL have gotten married in the last 4 years. So, by this time, all of us “plus one” gals know each other really well and have a blast at weddings while our dates are doing groomsmen stuff. but we’re lucky.
This is one thing that is GREAT about the rehearsal dinner. (any any other events that may happen before the wedding- like a welcome party or something, if that is part of the plan). people meet eachother, so by the time the wedding day rolls around, the dates have people that they know and can hang out with.
I also told the best man’s wife, who is a good friend, and also really outgoing, to be sure to make friends with the dates that we don’t happen to know all that well, so that they were comfortable and had a good time. It all worked out just fine. 🙂
Post # 8
I agree with @delovely13:! The rehearsal dinner is a fantastic opportunity to get the wedding party dates introduced to one another, or to introduce them to wedding guests that you think they’ll get along with.
For us, we’ve invited the wedding party’s dates to come along with us for photos if they want to. We have a table set up with food and stuff so they can hang out and eat while their dates are taking photos and then they can spend time with their dates while family photos are being taken. They also have the alternative of going back to the hotel, where the reception will be, and relaxing there or heading to cocktail hour, whichever they want.
Post # 9
When I was the date of the best man at a wedding last year I just chatted to people and made new friends! So I would say go to the cocktail hour and enjoy themselves there 🙂 it’s not a big ask really.
Post # 10
@kapalua67: FH was in a wedding a couple years ago, I dropped him off at noon, wedding was at 5:00, I went shopping, hung out by myself. Then after the ceremony he disappeared for another hour and a half or so and I just mingled with guests.
It was made worse by the fact that I was then placed at a table where I sort of knew one person from high school. I knew a ton of people at the wedding but I wasn’t put at a table with any of them (or sat next to the wife of the other groomsman…that would have made sense, make us a couple…) nope. FH was at the head table and I was at a table with the photographer and his wife and a couple of the brides school friends that I didn’t know.
That said, my BM’s SOs won’t be with us during the getting ready part of the day and they’ll take the shuttle to the location with other guests, but if they want to hang around during pictures instead of going to cocktail hour, I’m okay with that. We’re going to have dates at our head table as well.
Post # 11
I’ve been a groomsman date more times than I can count (FI is the last of his friends to get married!). Luckily at most of these weddings, I am already close with the other wives and girlfriends and we have fun by ourselves until the boys arrive. I have also been put in really awkward situations where I literally only know my fiance and the couple getting married and have had to figure out what to do with myself. And that was totally fine, because it wasn’t about me!
Maybe just let them decide. If they’d like to grab a drink and mingle at the cocktail hour, great! If they’d like to head back to the hotel to relax for an hour or two, fine! If they really can’t bear to be separated for that amount of time, by all means let them watch the pictures from afar under the hot sun. Most of all, don’t let it be your worry. It is not your job to provide anything for them other than what you are already providing!
Post # 12
@kapalua67: These individuals should be able to take care of themselves. They should be able to get themselves to and from the ceremony (if they choose to attend) as well as the reception. Remember, your friends/bridal party are choosing to bring a date and is therefore taking on the responsbility of this person.
Post # 13
@kapalua67: I have a 4-hour gap, and due to our bridal party size, there is no room for their dates on the limo, nor will I be offering an additional mode of transportation for them (outside of the free shuttle to and from the hotel-reception for all guests staying there!).
The way I see it, they are going to be in the same boat as every other guest, meaning, they all need to find something to do…whether it be go home, go to eat, go to a bar, etc. I have far too many other things to worry about other than how I need to entertain guests, so I am going to assume they are adults and can figure it out 🙂 You should do the same, and save yourself the worry!
Post # 14
So theres a chance I’m over thinking this? Haha wouldn’t be the first time! I think I’ll just leave it up to them on the day of. I never thought that the dates would hang out together, but they do all know eachother so that seems like the obvious choice..We’re not having a head table so they’ll have time together!
Post # 15
@kapalua67: I tend to think along the lines of “they’re adults, surely they can manage themselves for an hour or two for one day”.
I also included in our invitations that they can either go straight to the marina (where our reception cruise is docked) and hang out at one of the many bars/cafes/restaurants nearby, or just go back to their hotel rooms and chill out until boarding time.
Post # 16
@kapalua67: you won’t be done pictures until cocktail hour is over? What are you doing from 4 to 5:30? Sorry I feel like I am missing something here!