(Closed) Ceremony Timing Advice

posted 5 years ago in Logistics
Post # 3
5475 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

That’s a HUGE gap.  What will you offer to entertain your guests during the gap?  Are they going to be standing around for 3 hours, or is there anything to do locally?  

Honestly, if I were faced with a gap like that, I’d probably either skip the ceremony or the reception.  

Post # 4
3276 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

That is wayy too long of a gap in my opinion. Unless you are planning something for your guests to do during it, many will find it rude. I agree with PP, I’d skip the ceremony in this case as a guest.

Post # 5
360 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

I agree with PP that is way too much time.  Would you have something for your guests to do or are they just on their own?  I would maybe skip the ceremony as well if faced with this much of a gap and how far I was traveling.

Post # 6
2716 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

A 4 hour gap is HUGE and way too long (and this is coming from a bride who had the Catholic gap).  I think you should try and cut your gap down to 1-2 hours. Here’s what I suggest:

-1 hour at each location seems really excessive.  I’d try and cut that down by half and possibely drop one loation.

-1 hour for family/bridal party photos is also a lot.  If your photographer is good, those should go much quickly.  I think ours took 30, maybe 45 minutes tops.  I would try and cut back here too.  And make sure everyone who needs to stay knows they need to stay.  It will cut down on you trying to hunt everyone down.  Don’t assume that certain people will know to stay.

-Do whatever photos you can before the ceremony.  You can get pictures of you and your parents, and you and your BMs, etc before hand.

-30 minutes alone time is a lot.  I definitely think you should spend a few moments alone together, but I’d cut it down to 10 and do it right after the ceremony as guests are leaving.  That’s easiest.  Or you can opt to just bride/groom photos at one of your locations.  Then it’s just the two of you and the photographer.

-Don’t worry about showing up for cocktail hour.  If your ceremony ends at 1:30, I’d plan cocktail hour to go from 3:30-5 (a little longer) with dinner at 5:30.  Then you show up around 5.  That will give you time to make your enterence, mingle, get seated/situated before dinner.



Post # 7
10453 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2014

I’m also having a gap, but mine’s 2.5 hours. I think gaps are fine and they are normal where I live. BUT 4 hours is a pretty long gap. I understand about not wanting first look photos, because I don’t want that either. I think you could cut each location to 30-40 minutes and still have tons of photos. How many poses do you really need right? 

Post # 10
2958 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2013 - Wynn Las Vegas

That is a massive gap…are there things to do in the area? My photographer only had us for an hour and got a ton of amazing photos. If I were your bridal party I don’t think I’d be thrilled to be going about that for 4 hours.

Post # 11
9677 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

Do you have anything for the guests to do in the meantime?

What does your fiance think of this gap?  Is he okay with this huge gap just because he doesn’t want to see you?  Does he have something for the guests to do?

Honestly I would try to get him to change his mind.  We’re doing first look photos for this exact reason…because I cannot have (and do not want) a 2-3 hour gap.  Luckily Fiance is happy to do whatever it is I want. 

Otherwise you can cut out one of your locations, so you only have 2.  I don’t think you need 1 hour per location honestly. I think 30-40 minutes is plenty.   Also depending on how big your family is, my photographer said typically 30 min is all they need and even with the largest family she’s had, it’s never taken more than 45 min.

Honestly I think 2 hours is plenty for all bridal party photos, plus 40 min for family.  Then you just have your travel time between sites…I’m guessing that isn’t much?

Post # 12
2716 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

@FutureMrsA2014:  Sure, I get that’s what your photographer suggested.  But based on how my pictures went, 1 hour still seems like a long time.  We did 3 locations + family photos at the church, got some great pictures, and still made it to the reception in just under 3 hours (we missed cocktail hour). 

I know that you want to get your money’s worth and get some great pictures, but you do need to think of your guests.  A small gap is fine, a 4 hour gap is not. =/

Post # 14
794 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2015 - Backyard Forest

I think that’s too much of a gap as well. Do you need all three locations? Could you do pre-ceremony photos with your girls at one location, your groom and groomsmen at the second location before the ceremony, and then after the ceremony you go to the third/favourite location together… that way you get photos of all three locations and avoid the need for such a gap. 

Post # 15
2055 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

I had almost 3 hours for pictures.  Let me tell you, it was so not worth it.  We had great pictures, but I would have SO MUCH RATHER spent that time with family & friends who travelled and took time out of their lives to spend with us.

Do you need to have 3 locations? That seems like a lot. Can you do a photo shoot after your wedding day?’

Unless all of your guests are local and can go home inbetween the ceremony & reception, or you have events planned in the gap, it’s annoying to have a 4 hour window of time.

Post # 16
2490 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2018

I live in alberta and I wouldn’t be happy about a long gap

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