Post # 1
We will be having the unavoidable Catholic Gap. Our reception begins at 6pm, we were allowed a 12-5 slot or 6-12 there was no adjustment with the start time. The church will allow us to have our ceremony at either 2:00 or 5:30, therefore we had to chose the 2:00 slot. We will be having a full mass and a receiving line at the church so I’m assuming that everything will end around 3:30. There is a half hour ride to the reception venue so I am thinking guests will be there around 4pm. To avoid the gap we looked into having our ceremony and reception venue at the same place, but since we are getting married on a Saturday night our reception venue does not allow onsite cermony’s.
Does anyone have an advice on what to do for your guests during the gap?
There is a restaraunt and bar on site so there will be a place for guests to wait. I would like to do something for my guests to be considerate but I don’t know how much money I will have left over. Do you think just providing cheese and crackers in the bar area would be okay? We are having a full open bar at the wedding so I don’t know if I should pay for drinks during the gap?
Post # 3
My suggestion would be to organize/suggest a location for your guests to kill some time between the two. For example, is there a public garden or arboretum in the area? You could take your portraits there, and invite everyone to view the grounds. Welcome them with a personalized bottle of water or tea or whatever fits your locale.
Another idea, if the church will cooperate, is to see if you can use the community room to have a little afternoon tea. You could play a slideshow of pictures, and casually get all of the family portraits done. The tea would only require, well, tea, some shortbread cookies, and cheese and crackers or little sandwhiches.
The key to the gap is really just to recommend ways to kill time for people who aren’t local. My family is Catholic, so I’ve had the experience. We’ve spent plenty of time shopping in our nice clothes. Even a suggestion as simple as the location of a mall is nice.
Post # 4
Our church is only a couple blocks away from the reception site (hotel) so people can hang out in the bar, go the their rooms if they are staying at the hotel, or walk around the town.
Instead of saying “reception following” on the reception card, we said, “cocktail hour to begin at half past four” so everyone knows in advance that there will be a gap, and they can make their plans for the day accordingly. We will probably put a list of things to see and local attrations/bars/restaurants in the Out of Town bags.
Post # 5
You can give them a list of WHAT TO DO’s around the area so they stay nearby. Thats if you want everyone to go their own way during the gap.
the cheese and crackers idea also sounds good to me.
Post # 6
We have the same problem! The latest we can book the church is 3:30 and we cannot start our reception until 6:00 pm. Our reception is probably a five minute drive from the church so there will definitely be a gap. We are also having a full mass and receiving line at the church which will hopefully take up a little time.
We are doing what Jacqi suggested and writing that the cocktail hour won’t start until 6pm so that people are very much aware. The church is also at the college I attended and it’s beautiful so if it’s a nice day people might want to walk around a little bit.
Post # 7
I got married during football season and during the gap between my ceremony and reception (about 2 hours) they went to the hotel to watch the game. I was worried about it but apparently they loved having the time. Some of our guests with little children also liked it because the kids could blow off some steam in between. Your guests will find a way to entertain themselves; you don’t need to worry. Yes the gap isn’t ideal, but you will be fine just like all the rest of us it happened to! Just make sure that it’s clear that there will be a gap and people will make do. I don’t think it is necessary to provide an open bar during the gap; anything you do provide would be really sweet but totally optional in my book.
Post # 8
My aunt and uncle had a “hospitality suite” at their hotel for the gap, where they had appetizers and drinks and music (an ipod mix) You could even have non-alcoholic drinks. It worked out really well.
Post # 9
I’m trying to minimize “the gap” too. Our reception site is about a 20 min drive away. Here is my timeline if it helps:
1:30pm Church available to florist
2 pm Ceremony
2:30/2:45 Ceremony over
3 pm Kicked out of church
1:30 vendors arrive and start setting up
3:30 Guests arrive
4:30 Grand entrance. toasts? first dance?
5:00 Dinner served (buffet style)
6:15 Dancing starts
6:45/7 Cake served
8:30 cleaning up starts outside
9:30 kicked out