Gap between ceremony and reception

posted 3 years ago in Reception
Post # 2
Member
551 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

Elevenses refreshments on offer while photos are being taken?
Mini games or activities for the guests to promote mingling?

Greeting all the guests might be tricky as they will travel over as they please, some arriving way earlier than expected, some arriving late…

Gaps are difficult to justify even if you are having the wedding near touristy sites or places of interest.
Those people have travelled to your wedding, and many of them would like to see you having your pictures taken or be involved in group photos…

Post # 3
Member
9733 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2016

Typically there is a hosted cocktail hour between the ceremony and reception. You should have some food and drinks available for your guests immediately following the ceremony either at the ceremony or reception site.

Having an unhosted gap for any amount of time and expecting your guests to figure out what to do on thier own for that time is rude.

Post # 4
Member
356 posts
Helper bee

I know this is really unconventional, but I’m a bridesmaid in an upcoming wedding where the pictures are being done before anything else, including the ceremony. That way, hair and makeup are unharmed (especially since it’s an outdoor ceremony on the beach- it could get windy) and there’s no gap between ceremony and reception. I love the idea, and we don’t really care about the groom seeing the bride thing. 

Post # 5
Member
113 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2018 - Historic Mansion

We’re doing a cocktail hour so the guests will be able to munch on something and schmooze while we’re doing pictures. Or if you want to do photos before the ceremony and do a first look? 

Post # 6
Member
3450 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2017 - Poppy Ridge Golf Course

I keep flipping between a 10:30 or 11 am ceremony but I really dislike gaps so here’s our plan if its at all helpful. Park ceremony, quick first dance under the gazebo, individual champagne bottles and oj for mimosas + fruit and cheese platters set up on a picnic table, (its not an official cocktail hour but we wanted to have something available for guests) all photos taken until 12:45 pm including group photos then head to restaurant reception 10 min away. We have a limo bus big enough to transport all our guests if they want to utilize that option, there’s only 35-40 ppl total. However you can make things work without a gap would be much appreciated by your guests. 🙂 

Post # 7
Member
1258 posts
Bumble bee

We’re planning a first look for this reason and I think logistically it’ll work very well.

Post # 8
Member
3450 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2017 - Poppy Ridge Golf Course

Quick question. Is there some reason you don’t want to have pictures taken at the ceremony site? This or a first look might make things a lot easier. First look isn’t an option for us. Fiance is totally against it but I would have preferred it to get photos out of the way.

Post # 9
Member
13674 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Yes, rude to make your guest hang around with nothing to do so you can take pictures.  You should be having a hosted cocktail hour during the time you want to take photos so the guests can be occupied.  That’s the entire point of the cocktail hour. 

In my opinion, a gap is only tolerable when it’s determined by a religious schedule (i.e., the church only does a ceremony at 3pm and your reception starts at 7) – and even then, I think the couple should be doing everything possible to minimize the gap and inconvenience on their guests.

Post # 10
Member
4570 posts
Honey bee

Gaps are rude no matter which way you cut it.  I think it’s especially rude if people are already travelling an hour or more and now you want them to just hang out for awhile.  Sometimes, you don’t get to have your cake and eat it, too.  Your guests should be properly hosted the entire time.  Cocktail hour is usually when you have photos done.  How far away is your reception venue from your ceremony venue?

You can either

a) Do your photos before the wedding and move directly from ceremony to reception, be the first to get there, and have your receiving line at the reception site greeting people as they come in, or

b) Have a receiving line at the ceremony site where you are standing at the exit and you individually thank them for coming as they exit, you go on to the reception site and do your photos and they go onto the reception site and have cocktails and hors d’oeurves for an hour while they wait for you to join them for the reception.

Because with your plan – what happens if you get a flat tire on the way?  Or pictures take longer than you anticipate (trust me, I’ve had this happen at more weddings than I care to remember and was thankful there was food and drinks to tide us over while we waited for the reception to start)?  Or your guests get so caught up milling around town that they lose track of time and are late to the reception?

Post # 14
Member
411 posts
Helper bee

Your updated plan sounds good. As long as there are some drinks and nibbles at the venue, adults can entertain themselves for an hour.

Post # 15
Member
4570 posts
Honey bee

I agree with pp – the updated plan with snacks and drinks available in a separate room sounds like a good compromise that would work.

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