(Closed) Gap Between Ceremony & Reception – Suggestions for Guests

posted 6 years ago in Logistics
Post # 3
Member
9917 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2013

@MrsElle:  Can guests arrive at the reception venue early?  Perhaps there could be water, non-alcoholic drinks, some cheese and crackers, and some pictures of you  and the groom to look at while they wait.  

Post # 4
Member
964 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

You could probably just stretch your cocktail hour out for 30 more minutes. I’m actually doing my best to not even have the full hour for cocktail hour. If we can finish the family pictures faster, I’d rather move on to the eating and other festivities. Wedding scheduled for 6pm though and the wedding and reception are in the same venue. If you have a photo booth or a more interactive guest book, they could that during the time in between. Also, if you want to set up a camcorder for “message/wishes for the bride and groom”, that could keep guests entertained as they wait their turn to get their video filmed.

Post # 6
Member
13012 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

@peachacid:  I agree with this, it’s the best option you’ll be able to come up with.  You may need to start your cocktail hour earlier.  Honestly, a 1.5 – 2 hour gap is a long time, and truthfully, it weighs into my decision if I should attend a wedding, or just show up for either the ceremony or reception. 

Post # 8
Member
546 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2013

I am Catholic and most Catholic weddings have a gap of an hour or two.  I have been to so many that it doesn’t even phase me any more.  Usually we just get a group together and all go to a bar for a cocktail before.  If there are sports on a sports bar and the guys can watch them game.  We just spread the word of hey everyone is going to meet up here inbetween.  You cold maybe have some friends (that won’t be taking pictures and stuff assuming that’s what you will be doing) suggest a place for people to meet up.  Or if there is anywhere neat they might want to visit (that works with more formal clothing) you could suggest that as well.

Again being used to the gap makes it not a big deal to me and not something I am bothered by, its just a part of it.  So I never really worry. 

My wedding will only have a 1 hour gap (5 minute drive from site to site).  Its at 2pm hour long wedding and then reception starting at 4pm.  Its starting so early b/c the venue has an amazing view of the bay and since its a winter wedding it had to start earlier to allow the guests to enjoy the view and the sunset.   I assume people will just gather at a bar between the 2 places and have a cocktail and head out.  That is what they did for my brother’s wedding (same venue and church 2 hour gap) and almost everyone ended up at one of 2 bars or they just went back to their hotel or rental house for a bit.

Post # 10
Member
2281 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

If you can’t do anything earlier at the reception venue, see if your chapel will let you do punch and cookies or crackers on the church grounds following the ceremony. My church often has something after servies or ceremonies for people to mingle on the grounds for a hour or so. If people know each other at all, the hour passes quickly in conversation. 

Post # 11
Member
546 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2013

@MrsElle:  Are you doing hotel bags?  Maybe in those.  I know for my brothers wedding we had a whole guide of things to do in there as people were in town for the first time and there for several days.  You could maybe list suggestions for the gap. 

And I think the wedding website is also a great place for this. 

Post # 12
Member
3501 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2002

were suggesting that our guests check in to their hotels, change or just take a minute to relax – stop at a coffee shop – meet us at a certain bar after pictures – and listed some of our favorite sight events in the city!

Post # 13
Member
201 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

If your city/town has a touristy appeal, you can hand out a map (alternatively, you can post this on your website) showing a “loop” that your guests can drive to see the most of the city — they can drive along the neat little streets and see the beautiful architecture from the car, or they can stop, take photos and check out the landmarks along the way. Ultimately, the loop should take them to your reception venue.

Post # 14
Member
8435 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

Also don’t forget people like to stand around and chat after the ceremony. That normally takes up about half an hour!

Also I don’t think guests will want to traipse around the city in their wedding gear visiting museums etc. It is the last thing I wuld do unless I was attending a ball at the museum!

Post # 15
Member
2692 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

If they can head over to the reception venue early, then they can mingle and hang out there before coctail hour.  honestly, an hour mingling and talking and catching up, especially when a snacks and a meal will be provided isn’t that big a deal.  Most guests will appreciate the ‘down time’ when they aren’t being “forced” to watch something or listen to someone.  

Post # 16
Member
2692 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

Another suggestion is to have welcome mocktails at the venue for early arrivals.  You can have a mini bar set up with OJ and cranberry juice, fruit cocktails, etc, for guests to refresh their thirst while they wait and mingle before actual cocktail hour begins.

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