Post # 1
Fiance and I met with our priest on Tuesday. I’ve been trying to hold it in all week, but I’m still really disappointed and feeling sad. We will be getting married in the Catholic church (something that has always been a must for both of us, as we are both very devout Catholics). We went into the meeting anticipating that everything would turn out great and that there wouldn’t be any major set-backs in what we were hoping to plan for our wedding.
We were hoping to have our ceremony at 5pm so that we could have a night reception and serve dinner to our guests. Our priest doesn’t want to do a Mass after 1pm on Saturday because he has to hear confessions and offer a Saturday Mass at 4pm. We asked if we could combine our Mass with the one offered at 4pm and just invite our parish to attend our wedding Mass (we didn’t mind). The answer was no.
We’ve chosen our date because it is a date that is very special to us. We really would not be able to have any Saturday evening ceremony at our church from the sounds of it. 🙁 We don’t want to change to another day of the week, but the only way to have it on a Sunday in our church, with our priest officiating seems to be if we have it in the morning/early afternoon. This would spoil our ideas for a night reception – I have this whole idea in mind and want it dark with lots of candles for light, and the atmosphere just doesn’t seem like it would work with it being in the daytime.
I’m so disappointed and frustrated. We thought that since our church is quite small and we know him very well that he would make some allowances for us. I realize that this makes me sound arrogant, spoiled, and perhaps pretensious which is why I was refraining from saying anything, but I could really use a little support.
Any thoughts on what we could do? I could really use some uplifting words… 🙁
Post # 3
Sure, just have a breakbetween your ceremony and reception. It’s not ideal, but that way you can do both. Have a noon to 1 mass, then break for a few hours for photos, then start the reception at 4 or 5.
Post # 4
If it’s any consolation it’s not uncommon for Catholic weddings to have a gap between the ceremony and reception. Whenever a Catholic friend gets married I don’t bat an eye about the gap 🙂
Post # 5
What time are you planning your reception? I would start cocktails no later than 5pm. This is a very common thing for Catholic Ceremonies. When my Fiance and I met with our priest, he told us the wedding would be at 2pm and that it’s not negotiable (he has confessions are at 4pm and mass is at 5). We are planning a 6pm reception (might bump it up to 5, not 100% sure yet). Thus we’ll have a 2-3 hour gap. This isn’t ideal and some people think it’s rude, but every wedding I’ve been to that’s had the ceremony in the church has had some sort of gap of at least an hour or more. My and many other people’s view is that wedding’s are all day events. You’re guests will figure out something to do in between – it’s not a huge deal. However, be prepared for only about 50% of your invited guests to show up to the ceremony.
Post # 6
Yeah thats pretty normal for Catholics. I have never been to a Wedding later than 2 P.M at a Catholic Church. Just have the big break between the two events, I know it sucks, but you know what, you will have time to go somewhere really cool and get photos done!
Post # 7
We had to do our ceremony at 1:30 in order for there to be a 4:00 mass, so I feel your pain. I would have liked to have less of a break for our guests, but our reception place wasn’t available until 5 to start our cocktail hour so we had a pretty long gap. It really turned out just fine. We had suggestions on our wedding website of things that guests could do in between, and it was nice because we had plenty of time for pictures. I think that most people understand that it common for church weddings to have a significant gap between ceremony and reception. As for the atmosphere at the reception, it was light when we did cocktail hour and a little while into the dinner, but after that it was dark enough to have that feeling. Our wedding was in September, however, so it stayed light longer at night. In December, it’s usually mostly dark by around 5:30 or 6, so you should be fine. Also, if you have a reception hall that doesn’t have windows (like in a lot of hotel ballrooms, etc), then it will can be dark and romantic no matter what time of day you have the reception.
Post # 8
Ah yes, the “Catholic gap” as it’s so fondly called.
Post # 9
My wedding was the latest Catholic wedding I’ve ever been to and it was at 4pm. Lots of my Catholic wedding guests were surprised by this. An early wedding with a gap is normal and fine. You can still do you candles and evening reception.
Post # 10
Don’t worry! I know a lot of people complain about a Catholic gap – but you have just illustrated why they are necessary.
Have an eairler mass and then an evening reception. If you would nice to list some attractions/restaurants in the area for people to kill time between the two (either on a website, in the wedding program, or invitation insert).
Post # 11
Just have a gap. Every wedding I’ve ever been to, church or otherwise, has had a gap. If you want a night reception, do it. =)
Post # 12
I think PPs offered some workable suggestions as to how you could handle the timeframes your parish has given to you. Regarding having the priest make an exception, I completely understand why he cannot do this. The church cannot realistically allow one couple to do something that many other couples have requested but were denied and for which many other couples to follow would request a similiar exemption.
Post # 13
My friend chose to do her wedding on Friday because of this reason. If given the option, as a guest, I would do the gap on Saturday and plan something for your guests to do. I couldn’t go to her wedding because of the day it was on.
Post # 14
Gaps are perfectly fine in this case! Don’t sacrifice your night reception… it willbe great!
Post # 15
Just go with the gap. It will be ok and as so many PP’s have stated, it is normal and expected with a Catholic ceremony. Perhaps create a special page in the program of something guests can go do during the gap time? Like local activities? That is, only if you are worried about people being bored/hungry.
Post # 16
Just go with the flow. It’s okay if you have a gap between the ceremony and reception.
I know you had it all planned out in your head but it can’t be done that way. you need to play the hand you’ve been dealt.
Everything is going to work out fine!