(Closed) Early Morning Wedding with Late Reception

posted 6 years ago in Logistics
Post # 2
73 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

Althought your bridal party said they would prefer a Saturday to a Friday, I think the alternative (9 a.m. ceremong with 4-6 hour gap) is much worse. Asking your guests to drive 2-6 hours, get a hotel for two nights, then find something to do for half the day before your reception is a bit much. Turnout would probably be pretty low :-\ Also it’s just not a very nice way to treat your friends and family.

Can you change your date to a different Saturday? Maybe try off-season months like March/April or November? It’s hard to believe that the church would be booked every Saturday for a whole year, but I suppose it’s possible.

Best of luck to you!

Post # 3
1391 posts
Bumble bee

When is the reception? How much of a gap is there between the ceremony and reception?


If I were an Out of Town guest who lived more than 2 hours away, I’d probably come in the night before an get a hotel. I’d still hate waking up early to go to a 9 AM wedding. Maybe I’d get a hotel even if I lived closer. Because nothing sucks more than waking up early. Idk, I’d be afraid of guests dozing off if my wedding were so early. I also don’t want to get up so early and then stick around all day for a later reception, which will probably leave me very very tired at the end of the day. How long are you expecting guest to be up? 9 am to 11 pm or something? 

Post # 4
2266 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

View original reply
Ladybug16:  My very best advice is to do some more planning with your guests’ comfort in mind.

I would pick a different church close to the reception space and have a later ceremony with your reception immediately following. What time does your reception start?

This is already an out of town wedding for most of your guests, like you have mentioned. If these Out of Town guests were to attend the ceremony, they would have to pay for a hotel room for two nights.

If I’m being honest, If I received an invitation like this, I would likely either decline altogether or reserve the hotel room for the night of the reception, drive in that morning so that I could check in to the hotel and shower, and attend only the reception. 

  • This reply was modified 5 years, 6 months ago by  crackktheskyy.
Post # 5
2959 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2013 - Wynn Las Vegas

This plan sounds like it would be extremely inconvenient for guests. I think you should do a brunch reception with your current venue, or look for something new / different date where you can do the ceremony nearer to the reception time.

Post # 6
1932 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

when and where you choose to get married is definitely,your choice, but an early ceremony and a long delay between reception is actually enough to make me not go as a guest or to skip the ceremony. As a bride I refuse to have a long period of time in between. I’m even considering the ceremony and reception to be th same location. It means a church wedding is out which is something Ime having a hard time accepting, but I’ve been thinking about doing an informal ceremony in a church with immediat family the day before or after.

Post # 8
5152 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2014

View original reply
Ladybug16:  To be honest, if I was from out of town, I would not attend the ceremony. I don’t think its fair to ask your guests to go to a church at 9 am and then wait all day for the reception. I would guess a good majority would not attend the ceremony. 

Also – have you thought about getting ready logistics? I started getting ready at 9 am for my 5:30 pm wedding (had a lot of bridesmaids and did pictures beforehand). If you get up at 5 am, you’re going to be EXHAUSTED. 

I think you should find a different church. 

Post # 11
2445 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

Whatever you decide, don’t have a long gap. As a guest, I would hate to wait longer than 2 hours, and I think an hour and a half is already pushing it.

Post # 12
1228 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

I think having a super early wedding ceremony and an evening reception would make it seem to your guests that you don’t care about their comfort or convenience at all. I def would not want to get up early for a ceremony, hang around all day, and then party all night. I think you’re setting yourself up for either a lot of guests skipping the ceremony, or no-showing to the reception.

It can be tough to have to compromise your idea of your perfect wedding, but it seems that in this situation, you’re going to have to choose between this particular ceremony location and the evening wedding you’ve imagined.

Post # 13
1403 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

If you split between an early 9am ceremony and an evening reception, I can almost guarantee that no one but your immediate family will go.  That is just not reasonable to ask of your guests if they are traveling to the location.

Post # 14
1541 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

You should not do a 9am ceremony and late reception. It would seriously piss me off as a guest. But maybe you can do an intimate ceremony with just your family present in the church in the morning? And then only invite guests to the reception.

If it were me I would care a lot more about having all my loved ones with me, and not putting them through a major hassle, than getting married in a particular place. 

Why not delay the wedding until you can get a good Saturday spot at the church? I started a new job a couple months prior to my wedding and they let me have 4 weeks off for wedding/honeymoon (of course, that was part of the deal when I got hired ie I negotiated for it). 

Post # 15
836 posts
Busy bee

Is there a different date in the summer? Or maybe earlier? I know that you’ll be working on your thesis, so during that time there’s a ton of “down” time, or rather time that is more controlled by you. Maybe if you found a better day with the time you like in mind it’ll work out better? A long gap doesn’t sound the most fun to be. I know that people in my family who have had a 4 hour window had a lot less people come to the ceremony because they don’t want to have to go to a McDonald’s for a few hours until the reception. Even if you did have events inbetween, people will just be tired of having to be dressed up for that long of a day.

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