Post # 1
I am having quite a dilemma. Our Catholic ceremony starts at 2:30 and will last till about 3:15. Then, we will take pictures inside the church and do a receiving line. The whole bridal party has to be out of the church by 4 because of confessionals and mass at 5. The reception location is 30 minutes away so we are at 4:30 now. Ultimately, I would like my reception to start at 6 and end at 11, but that is 1 1/2 hours in between for guests to do nothing. My mom wants to move the time up to 5, which I do not mind. 5-6 cocktail hour, 6-10 reception time. However, I am 23 years old and I do not want my reception ending at 10. I am getting ready to go to the club at that time! 11 was perfect because you still stay for about 30 minutes after that saying good bye’s and such. Then, we are going to the hotel afterwards to party a little more with the bridal party. Is it worth it to extend the reception one hour? It would be about $1500 to extend it an hour (for the hall rental and DJ only, no liquor or obviously no photographer or food). I just don’t know if it is worth it financially. I guess it depends when it gets closer to the date we can decide if we need to extend it or not depending if we have the extra money. This is a constant fight between me and my mother so I was just curious how you all feel. I’m only getting married once so I would like to enjoy it!
Post # 3
I had the same problem. Every Catholic church had strict rules about wedding times and none of them worked with having a 6-11 reception. In the end we found a catholic chapel at a university that allowed us to have a 4:30 ceremony…perfect! Are you willing to switch churches? Personally, I do not think that anyone wants to be at your wedding from 2:30-11pm. I would either start it later at another church, or have an earlier reception. You should not leave your guests wandering for an hour and a half.
Post # 4
I don’t think it’s worth it to extend it. Everyone involved in the wedding will be exhausted by then and so will you. You’ll be up early that day doing what last minute things there are to do and getting your hair and makeup done and pictures, so if you think about it, if it ends at 10 you’ll have been on the go for over 14 hours by then.
Post # 5
@cs71904: I am also getting married in a catholic church and the ceremony begins at 2pm while the cocktail hour doesn’t start until 5:30pm. When you get married on a Saturday, it leaves little room for negotationing with the church. If I were you, I would keep the cocktail hour at 6pm. Your guests are ADULTS, they can find something to do inbetween the time. (grab a coffee, have a drink in the lounge, mingle with people they haven’t seen in awhile) I’m sure that most of your guests are used to that kind of thing anyways.
In my experience, only 50% of guests go to the ceremony. Some guests have to work on Saturday days but it gives them plenty of time to make your 6pm cocktail hour. I’ve known some women to go to the church in plain clothes and go home afterwards and get dressed up.
Stick with 6-11pm, its your day.
Post # 6
I don’t see a problem with having your reception at 6 like you want. Based on my experiences, if the couple is doing a receiving line at the church, they do it before pictures and then the guests aren’t just standing around the church bored during pictures. I’m not sure which order you’re planning on doing it based on your post,, but I would say do the receiving line and then pictures. Your guests aren’t going to stick around while your bridal party takes pictures anyway, so they’re still going to have to wait a little while for you even if you start the cocktail hour at 5. I’ve been to weddings where there were a couple of hours between the wedding and the reception and never had a problem finding something to do, whether it was go to the mall, grab a drink at a bar, or just go home and relax. It’s your day, do what you want. If people can’t find something to do for a couple of hours, I’d seriously worry about their every day life when no one is planning every minute for them. =)
Post # 7
My daughter had this same dilemma too. Her Catholic ceremony had to be held at 12 noon. The 3:30 time slots were booked solid for months. She wanted an evening reception, but most of our guests are from out of town and I did not want people getting bored in a hotel room or getting lost in an big, unfamiliar city (Miami) or worse, getting tired from sightseeing in between. Her reception is outdoors in a garden, so daytime will enable the guests to enjoy the beautiful scenery. The worst wedding I ever went to was the one where we had a long gap between the ceremony and reception, the bar wasn’t open, no snacks provided, and it was in the middle of nowhere.
It was going to cost us well over $1000 to extend the reception to 5 hours. After DAYS of mulling over this, we decided not to do it. We wanted to save the money and most guests will be ready to leave after 4 hours anyway (based on other people’s weddings that I have spoken to). My daughter and her new husband, bridal party and other younger guests may go out partying after the reception. My husband and I are hosting a very casual evening BBQ or pizza party for the guests at the hotel just to relax and talk.
Post # 8
stick with 6:00. Chances are, since you are having your ceremony in a Catholic church, one or both of your families is also Catholic. This is the norm for Catholic weddings, and guests at other weddings occupy themselves just fine. Enjoy your day 🙂