(Closed) How long is too long?! ceremony to reception

posted 7 years ago in Logistics
Post # 3
1087 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

I wouldn’t be happy waiting that long if the place was 10 minutes away.  What about the ones who didn’t get a room too?  At cousin’s wedding 5 hours away from here, half the family didn’t stay the night (they drove back!!). 

Maybe start at 4 instead?  I’d wait an hour, easy.  Something about over an hour just seems too long. 

Post # 4
29 posts
  • Wedding: September 2013

To be honest, long gaps between the ceremony and reception are a dealbreaker for me, having attended weddings with them before. The best thing you can do is make it clear on your invite that there will be an hour and a half between the ceremony and reception, and let your guests decide for themselves what to do about it.

You will need to brace yourself for the guests who decide not to attend because of it, but it enables the rest to plan ahead and find something to do during that time.

Post # 5
3828 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

Sorry, i hate when people do this. I have been to weddings with 3-4 hour gaps and it drove me mental.  If you are an out of towner and maybe not staying the night, you have to find some place to go.  I understand your reasoning, but i am just not a fan. 

Post # 6
1430 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

I hate long gaps between weddings and receptions. Especially when I’m coming from out of town. If I go to a wedding, I want the day to flow continuously, not have a random stop in events for 3+ hours between the wedding and reception. That just makes me want to leave sooner.

Post # 7
9948 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

The “gap” is very common in the Catholic world due to Saturday Night Mass.

Some people who are familiar with it don’t mind it… others do.  And yes some will find it irritating.

In my experience the best bets are to:

1- Be HONEST about it.  Let your Guests know this will be happening… don’t let anyone make plans to come to your Wedding, only to then be surprised to find out they’ll be sitting around ANY amount of time between events.  As someone else said, it isn’t usually that bad for OOTers who may have a Hotel Room to retire to, but it SUCKS for anyone who is not staying over.

2- Try to be inclusive in your plans for your Guests… (a 1 Hour Photo Shoot or less where you invite everyone along, and take group photos as well).  Or in the very least plan to minimize or eliminate the gap as much as possible.  Use your time wisely.  Consider doing the majority of your Photos with your Family, Bridal Party, & Groom (First Look) prior to the Wedding, and then finding a way to shorten or eliminate “the gap”… even if it means the Cocktail Part of your Reception happens earlier, outside of your Reception / Dinner venue… or elsewhere nearby.

Don’t be afraid to think outside the box of what a standard Wedding Itinerary looks like

Hope this helps,


Post # 8
2851 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

We’re going to a wedding in November with a 1pm ceremony and 6pm reception. Ugh. totally not excited for that! It’s FI’s cousin, so I’m hoping they’ll do some family pictures before the reception, so we can kill some time that way.

Our ceremony and reception are at the same location. 10am ceremony, 10:30 reception. It was important for us not to have any sort of gap.

I think 1.5 hours is too much of a gap if it’s only a 10 min drive. Is there any way you can have it at least at 4pm?

Post # 9
868 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

@jeffersonwedding:  is there any way you can plan an event or destination in between the ceremony and reception? i had a 3 hour gap,  but i had the option for people to go to a nearby beer garden if they did not want to chill at the hotel. from the guest reports/facebook pictures it looks like everyone who went loved it.

i did not pay for people’s drinks at the beer garden, but i did go there beforehand and check it out, make arrangements with the beer garden, have my Brother-In-Law act as “tour guide” and provided transportation there and back. As well as having an insert in the program.  So the only extra $ was extending the bus rental. I thought that was worth it to make it a really easy activity (and eliminate drunk driving risk)

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