(Closed) How long are you having between ceremony and reception?

posted 8 years ago in Catholic
Post # 17
Member
412 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

Our Ceremony starts at 2 pm (they wouldn’t let us have it any later because they have a 4:30 mass on saturdays) should end about 3 and out reception starts at 6. That’s a 3 hour gap which I am not crazy about! But like a PP said that gives them time to check into the hotel if they are getting a room and take the shuttle over to the reception. I figure a majority of our guests will probably skip the ceremony anyways so in the end it’s really not that big of a deal I suppose.

Post # 18
Member
2104 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

Ceremony 5-5:30

Cocktail 5:30-6:30

First Dance followed by Dinner: 6:30

Hope that helps!

Post # 19
Member
1663 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

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@Tiffmorris:  My friend had a Catholic wedding without communion a few years ago and it was about half an hour.  Maybe a few min under.

We are meeting with someone from the church in a few weeks and that’s one of my questions– we’re doing this too!

Post # 20
Member
1663 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

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@MrsMermaid:  Interesting to read other people’s timelines!  Due to church restrictions we will probably have our ceremony at 1 or 2… debating what time to start cocktail hour/reception.  And I’m totally nervous about what time we’ll have to start hair/makeup– we want to do pictures before the ceremony!

Post # 21
Member
714 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2020 - establishment theatre

about an hour and a half between them , but we are having a cocktail hour set up for that time since everything is at the same location…

Post # 22
Member
134 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

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@Almost Mrs.P:  Yea, since we have the large gap, we are doing our pictures in between. Also, because I don’t want my Dear Fiance to see me until I am walking down the aisle. 🙂

Post # 23
Member
95 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

My Catholic wedding ceremony with mass was 2:00 – 3:00 pm and our cocktail hour started at 5:30 pm.  We did not do a receiving line. On the back of our programs I made suggestions of places to go in between like a bar/grill place that is very nice with a big bar area, Barnes & Noble with Starbucks inside, and mentioned there were numerous shopping plazas around.

We also had a friend who hosted mutual friends at her house on the lake which was nearby.  My family went back to the hotel to relax and my in laws took our daughter back to our place so she could take a nap.  It really worked out well and we had a good amount of time to get pictures done in between with about 15 minutes to spare and enjoy our cocktail hour and greet a few guests.

Post # 24
Member
3696 posts
Sugar bee

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@Tiffmorris:  The longest Catholic wedding I’ve ever been to was nearly two hours long. The shortest was right around 25 min. In my experience, the average with Communion is just about an hour, maybe an hour + 5 min. and without Communion, around 45 min.

The biggest differences seem to center on how long the priest’s homily (sermon) goes, and how much music is included in the program. My cousin with the 25 min. wedding had only one song in the program, and no congregational hymns (and no Communion). The cousin with the 2 hour wedding had a really long homily, they did every single verse of every single one of the congregational hymns (and some of them had 7-8 verses!) and they included the full Litany of the Saints in Latin. (They were doing the Tridentine (traditional Latin) Mass). And yeah, that one definitely included Communion.

The happy medium that most Catholic weddings aim for is to have the usual four pieces of music (opening song, offertory, Communion, and closing song) but you generally do 2-3 verses, not 7-8. And sometimes they’ll skip the opening and closing hymns and just have the processional and recessional music cover that base. And the Litany is beautiful and I love it when it’s included, but it can be edited down to something a little more manageable.

Rule of thumb: if it’s a more conservative, traditionalist priest/parish, it’s going to run longer.

Post # 25
Member
2966 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

ceremony is from 2:00 to 3:00. dinner is at 5:30; we’re not having an official cocktail hour. i’m thinking people will start arriving 4:30/5:00. 

Post # 26
Member
1734 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

A rough outline. Some things might take less/more time than what I’ve written here.

Ceremony 2:30 – 3:00

Cocktail hour 3:30-4:30

Introducing the bridal party/newlyweds, first dance, and speeches 4:30 – 5:00

Dinner at 5:00

Dancing and partying until 8:30 (darned 5-hour rental limit)

After-party! (Possibly, depending on how tired we are, haha. If we do have an after-party it’ll probably just be bar/club-hopping downtown.)

So there’s 30 minutes between the end of the ceremony and the beginning of cocktail hour. Our venues are about 10 minutes apart, so this gives people time to travel/freshen up, etc. And it gives us a bit extra time for pictures. Also, knowing our families, we’re gonna get mobbed at the church after the ceremony anyway, so might as well not bother having the cocktail hour start immediately afterwards since we’re gonna be busy with greetings and hugs 🙂

Post # 27
Member
141 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

@Tiffmorris:  Thanks for posting this, I had asked myself the same question. I think the ladies gave good suggestions. My ceremony begins at 12:30pm and the reception starts at 4:30. I’m assuming we’d be leaving the church by 2 and going to an offsite location for pictures while guests go back to my MIL’s for cocktails and snacks before heading to the venue. The distance between the church, Inlaw’s house, and venue is about 15 min. so it’s not too bad.

Post # 28
Member
857 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

We’re looking at the reception starting immediately after the ceremony is over. The gap is, in my opinion, one of the most annoying things to deal with as a guest. Also, we want everyone who is coming to the wedding to attend the ceremony, and we’ve decided no gap will be the best way to prevent people for just showing up for booze & food. 

Post # 29
Member
285 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

Our timeline is very similar to HeyKaraoke’s. Wedding mass 2-3, reception 4-8. Yes there’s an hour gap, but it takes 30 minutes to get from church to reception, so we figure with travel time and people hanging around the church after it’s over there shouldn’t be much gap at all for our guests. Plus, our reception is an art gallery with a sculpture garden so our guests can wander around looking at the outside art until the gallery opens for cocktails if they do get there early.

Post # 30
Member
45 posts
Newbee

Any comments on a 7hr gap? My ceremony is at 10a and my cocktailaria at 6p. 

 

Figire ceremony done by 11am and it’s a 45min drive to my reception. 

 

what ya all think? Change my ceremony time? Or leave it as is?

 

 

 

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