Post # 1
Hello! I just wanted everyone’s opinion on the gap between the ceremony and reception… how long is too long? Do you think 2 1/2 hours is way out of line? If so, would 2 hours be okay? I would say about 1/3 of guests live in the area and can go home or to their parents home after the ceremony, 1/3 of guests will be staying at a hotel and the other 1/3 will just have to kill time. I was thinking of inquiring at the reception venue whether those guests would be able to go to the reception venue 1 hour early if the venue can do an open (cash) bar before cocktail hour. If they can not do that (or you think it’s not a good idea), there are plenty of restaurants/bars nearby.
Post # 2
I was a plus one at a wedding once that had a 2.5-3 hour gap. There was no consideration for out of the area guests and I was just kind of left on my own. The wedding was out in the middle of nowhere so there were no shops, coffee bars, restaurants, nothing for 30 miles. My Fiance was a groomsman in the wedding and had to ride with the bridal party so I was alone as well. I was bored and literally had no where to go and nothing to do. I actually did drive 30 miles away just so I could go to a town and walk around walmart to kill time. I think the shorter the amount of time you can do, the better. Cocktail hour is nice but if you can ask your venue about allowing guests in early and having a cash bar I think that would be very thoughtful and a good way to accomodate those guests who do not live nearby and don’t have a place to go during the wait.
Post # 3
I am not a fan of a gap, but as long as it’s not more than 90 minutes, I will survive.
If I am from Out of Town & in an area that is interesting, I can usually find something to do if pressed to do so. The last thing I would want to do is go to a bar or restaurant before heading to a reception (unless I am not expecting to be fed or be drinking at the reception.)
Post # 4
I guess if it’s near my house I would do it for family or a close friend ONLY. I know for Catholic weddings it’s kind of inevitable. But I really don’t want to drive home and sit there for 2 hours fully dressed up. I see no difference with 2 vs 2.5 hours. I would prefer (and made sure I didn’t do it to my guests) no gap at all. In my area the ceremony usually has half the amount of people when it’s a Catholic wedding bc of the gap.
Post # 5
Engaged1026: I actually think we didn’t have enough of a gap between the ceremony and reception. The cocktail hour started at 4, the ceremony ended at 3:15, then there were photos until 3:45, and the drive between was about half an hour. I wish we would have gone for a longer gap and been able to relax a little.
However, if there isn’t a drive people need to take, places nearby the reception to go, then I don’t see having anything longer than an hour to 2 hour gap.
And if the ceremony & reception are at the same place, don’t have a long gap without having an option for your guests to be entertained.
Post # 6
Engaged1026: Well, you asked, so in my opinion, any gap is too long. Why do you feel that you have to have a gap? You should go from ceremony to cocktail hour to reception in one, fluid motion. Therefore, between the ceremony and the reception there should be, at most, a one hour “gap.” And it should be hosted and called a cocktail hour.
Post # 7
carolinabelle: +1. OP, you need to either move your ceremony to a later time or bump up your reception so that it starts after the ceremony (or after a cocktail hour).
Think about it this way – imagine inviting someone over for dinner, then saying “oh I need to go run some errands for 2 hours. There’s a restaurant around the corner where you can kill some time waiting for me.”
Post # 8
Why does there need to be a gap at all? Have your cocktail hour start immediately after the ceremony ends.
Post # 9
Start your cocktail hour immediately after the ceremony. It’s okay if you arrive an hour or even 90 minutes after the guests. It’s not fair at all to make the guests wander around looking for something to do for two hours, regardless of who has family in the area or what restaurants are nearby.
Post # 10
carolinabelle: totally agree. I think it’s so rude to monopolize your guests entire day. Nothing is more annoying than the gap even if you live 10mins away… great I get to watch tv in my formal dress for an hour before I drive back out to the cocktail hour. or spend an hour or two drinking before drinking all night, I’m not 23 this no longer appeals to me. So so annoying. It’s a sure way to garuntee I will leave early, that’s a long day.
Post # 11
Engaged1026: I think anything over 2 hours is too much.
Technically I had a 2 hour gap- but it really neded up only being like 1 1/2-1hr because the ceremony was at 3, ended at 3:45, then we had a receiving line and it was about 4:30 by the time that was over and the cocktail started at 6pm. So guests had enough time to go home change or go to the wedding hall and wait in the lounge/bar area for the cocktail hour to start
Post # 12
- Wedding: December 2014 - Temple Beth Am/Love is Blind
We are having a three hour gap, it is a pretty small wedding, but it was important to us to take the time to get our portraits done and I didn’t want to take any pictures before the ceremony, most people are local so it is not a big deal.
Post # 13
I think any gap is fine. Gaps just become too long if the wedding is say in some remote place where there is nothing to do. Where I live gaps are usually at least 4 hours if not longer, maybe a Canadian thing? or just a church thing in general?
Post # 14
Engaged1026: Maybe its a canadian thing or a religous thing, but I’ve never been to a wedding WITHOUT a 2-3 hour gap lol. Yes most of these wedding were church weddings where they dont do them after a certain time because theres mass in the evenings. I dont think that means every person who gets married in a church should be banished to having a simple afternoon tea reception because people dont like gaps (god forbid they want a nice evening dinner with dancing the night away). Some people say you can have dancing etc in the afternoon but its not the same… it really isnt.<br />I’m used to it so I dont care.
also what about pictures? Maybe its selfish but Im not spending thousands of dollars on a photographer to only have a rushed 60 minute session of posed pictures with everyone standing in an assembly line (parents, extended family, Bridal Party, etc). Some people dont care much for pictures or that style is fine, but I personally did not want that….and NO a first look is not always an option due to other circumstances or (like me) Darling Husband REFUSED to see me before the ceremony. (I suggested it he wasnt have any of it). Its SUPER easy to eat up a few hours for pictures especially if your doing a second location (not like your going to stay by the church for them all)….our photographer personally got on a roll and she could have kept going….all our pics are phenominal and so different, I wouldnt change it for anything. But to each their own…..we wanted to capture the day as best we could because in the end thats all you have left aside from the blurry memories because it goes by so fast.
Before all this pinterest, and wedding etiquette ideas and websites/forums existed (and tv shows about outdoing eachother on the best “guest experience” Im pretty sure everyone just sucked it up 🙂
Post # 15
THREE. HOURS so you can get good pictures?! ^^ I cannot imagine.