(Closed) How far is too far between ceremony and reception?

posted 11 years ago in Reception
Post # 3
88 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: March 2011

Honestly, as a guest, I wouldn’t love a drive that long. Especially if it is a relatively short ceremony. Are the locations central to anything else, or will guests be driving a distance to get to both places (and home at the end of the night)?

In the end, do what works for you. Your guests will go where you tell them to be and, even if there is some grumbling, they will be fine. Just feed them some good food! Wink

Post # 4
3579 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

I planned to have a 30 min drive between my ceremony and reception. However, it poured and my outdoor ceremony got moved to the reception location 🙁

But until our wedding day this is what we were planning! Nobody seemed to mind and some people went down to the ceremony location to see where the ceremony was supposed to be anyway :-(.

As far as pictures after the ceremony? We planned the cocktail reception to start a half an hour after the ceremony finished so cocktails and appetizers were sitting waiting for the guests when they got there!

I hope this helps!

Post # 5
418 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2011

Our ceremony is in Brooklyn, and our reception is in Manhattan. They are about 25 minutes apart without traffic (could be 45 mins w/traffic). We are providing a bus for out of towners from the hotel to the church and back. I don’t want my guests having to worry about taking the subway/paying $50 for a cab. There is a 2 hour gap from the ceremony to the reception. We are assuming people will go back to the hotel and relax for an hour or just go to a bar close to the reception site. Hotel and reception are walking distance from each other. Hope this helps

Post # 6
1309 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2008

I think it depends somewhat on how difficult the drive is. If you just hop on the highway and you’re there, that wouldn’t be a big deal. But if the directions are complicated, it may be a lot to ask for.

Post # 7
2018 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

i would say 30 minutes max

Post # 8
5 posts
  • Wedding: October 2011

Here’s my honest opinion… I HATE when people do this. Usually I don’t know about any of this until I’ve already bought the plane ticket and committed to going. Its frustrating to get around a city you don’t know. It forces your out of towners to rent cars, etc.

Also, it makes it hard to pick a hotel for your guests to stay at. If its far from the hotel it makes driving back after the reception a pain.


I think the worst part about the sites being this far apart is how much longer it makes the day. When the two components are this far apart there is more down time between and the overall wedding takes several hours longer. This is hard on people. Old people tire quickly and your guests who have spent the day driving there or flying there are going to be exhausted and a normal 5 hour event gets stretched to 7 hours. If you can avoid this, I think your guests will be sooooo happy. I always appreciate it when a wedding isn’t a marathon for me to get through.


I’ve been to weddings like this and had nothing to do between the ceremony and reception. And let me tell you, sitting at mcdonald’s drinking milkshakes out of boredom for an hour with my cousins wasn’t very fun.

I know everyone says “its your day” but I’ve always though that as the bride, I’m a host, and a host’s job is to make her guests feel comfortable. I searched high and low to find sites close to each other and hotels within walking distance of the reception site. I went to the extreme with this but its so much easier if the hotel is a $7 cab ride away and all your out of town guests aren’t lost 🙂

Post # 9
4460 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

It really depends. I have been to a ceremony in WV and the reception was in PA. BUT it’s a 20 minute drive on a highway that’s never congested. However, living in the city, I would never make the ceremony site and reception site that far away. There is lots of construction and I live in a major sports city so either there is a football, baseball, or hockey game going on that causes traffic. Also a lot of events happen that cause traffic. A 45 minutes drive that Google tells you that it will take may turn into a 90 minute drive. If you love the reception site, I would consider changing the ceremony site.

Post # 10
82 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

I think the inconvenience factor comes in for me when the drive is over 20 minutes. I went to one wedding in which the distance was about 40 minutes, but the programs mentioned that the bride had dreamed of getting married in that church her entire life. I think knowing that fact really helped to make the long drive easier to get over. Is there a special reason why you’re going with your location?

The topic ‘How far is too far between ceremony and reception?’ is closed to new replies.

Find Amazing Vendors