(Closed) Ceremony and reception gap in same venue. What to do?

posted 4 years ago in Logistics
Post # 17
2239 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2015


Gaps suck – especially if the ceremony and reception are at the same venue. I would have no clue, as a guest, what I was supposed to do or where I was supposed to go.

One of the best compliments we received about our wedding was that it was incredibly “user friendly” (this coming from a computer software engineer). By that, he meant that everything flowed smoothly, it was clear where you were supposed to go and when, etc.

Think about the “user friendliness” of your wedding. A 2.5 hour gap, at a venue where there is no actual space for these people (like, where would they even be allowed to go – the parking lot?) is not ok.

Have your ceremony indoors. It will still be beautiful, I’m sure!


Post # 18
1300 posts
Bumble bee

As a guest I wouldn’t be happy with a 2 hour gap at the same venue where the ceremony and reception are.  If they were in 2 separate places, I could understand that and could plan accordingly, but once I’m there (for the ceremony) I probably would not want to leave.

But I’m a little confused on the timing.  Why does the other bride get 1.5 hours for the outdoor space?  For pictures?  So if you have the indoor ceremony at 5 and your cocktail hour starts at 5:30, when do you get to take pictures outside?  At 5:30 when it’s cocktail hour?

Post # 19
2805 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2016

I think the best thing to do would be to move everything up. So make your cocktail hour go from 3:30 or 4 -5:00, and have dinner at 5:30 or 6:00. 

Post # 20
1262 posts
Bumble bee

aquabee:  Exactly what you said in your update – where would they go? Worst case, they hang around the ceremony location and then get confused when another wedding starts. I understand why you’re frustrated, but I think moving it inside to keep the 5pm time is the right move.

Post # 22
2076 posts
Buzzing bee

KinkyOrange:  Ah I didn’t notice you were from the UK.  Yeah here in the US ceremony, cocktail hour and reception combined will last only 6 hours or so.

But I agree with your point that since the gap isn’t actually a long cocktail hour (which I will agree would be better then nothing hosted) but rather an empty time where there is nothing for the guests, then things definitely need to be rearranged or plans/visions changed.

Post # 23
160 posts
Blushing bee


aquabee:  Gaps are one of my biggest wedding pet peeves because it’s such an inconvenience to guests, but I personally think a long gap where the entire wedding is at one location is probably the worst of the worst. Yes, guests want to socialize but they do not want to stand around waiting for 2.5 hours. I guarantee it. Even if you provie appetizers and drinks for the entire time. Or games. Or entertainment. If I spent that long milling around, I’d be peacing out early from the actual reception. In my opinion, it kills the vibe – everyone’s all excited after the ceremony and then deflated while figuring out what to do with themselves. Unless your venue is at a hotel where they will be staying at and they could go freshen up/relax, I don’t think you should do it. I would have the ceremony at 3, and maybe do a 90 minute cocktail hour if you want to get it closer to 5. Honestly, with a 3 pm ceremony and then dinner not being served until 7, that’s a really long day for your guests and I promise you do not need 2.5 hours for pictures.

PS: I would definitely be peeved at the venue! If they knew you wanted your ceremony outside they should’ve scheduled around both brides.

Post # 24
8917 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

aquabee:  You are right, that’s too long for people to be wandering around aimlessly. Your fiance is not thinking about this from the guest’s point of view. I can’t believe the venue didn’t ask you about booking the ceremony space, or talk about options if it had already been booked when you signed for the reception space. But now that you know the garden isn’t available, the only thing that is considerate to your guests is to have the ceremony indoors to avoid that long gap. It will still be beautiful!

Post # 25
1300 posts
Bumble bee

aquabee:  That makes sense.  Since the ceremony is only 30 minutes, I would just have it inside if it were me.  What happens if it rains?  Then the other bride will be scrambling trying to come up with Plan B.

Honestly, every outdoor ceremony I’ve ever been to has had some problem, usually weather related.  I would keep your timeline and take your pictures outside after the ceremony.

Post # 26
3225 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

aquabee:  I think you have two options: get married inside or have the ceremony at a different venue. My guests’ comfort was extremely important to me so making them walk around aimlessly and witness another wedding was not an option for me. 

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