(Closed) How Long is Too Long of a Wait Between the Ceremony and Reception?

posted 8 years ago in Reception
  • poll: What to do?!

    Arrange for the reception site to accommodate early guests

    Nothing. They can find something to do to kill the time.

    I like polls! :D

  • Post # 17
    340 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: November 2014

    Oiii, I think if the guests had something to bide their time it wouldn’t be AS bad. However, last year I attended a wedding where the ceremony was at 11AM and probably wasn’t longer than a half hour, and the reception didn’t start til 6, and we didn’t eat until 9!! It was even more stressful that it was 90+ degrees out, the ceremony was outside, and we couldn’t go into the reception hall until it officially began. We were all pretty stressed with that and by the time the reception began, we were exhausted.

    Post # 19
    2947 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: February 1998

    Its too long of a gap!

    People will probably arrival early to the reception and then have to just stand around.

    The last wedding I went to there was 2.5 hour in between and that felt like ages. They had finger food and drinks served but only after waiting for almost 2 hours. We were all getting bored and hot as we had to remain outside. Not a great start to the night:(

    Post # 20
    47429 posts
    Honey Beekeeper
    • Wedding: November 1999

    View original reply
    @maya2008:  Realistically, no one is going to start a reception at 4:15. That would mean dinner being served about 5 pm. Toddlers might like it, but for most adults it would be far too early.

    View original reply
    @FisherQueen:  I agree with you, that’s why it wouldn’t be an issue for me.

    Post # 21
    3274 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: June 2014

    I don’t like gaps but since it’s so long guests will likely go home or to their hotel, relax and go to the reception later if they’re close by. But expect some people to only come to the reception because of the gap. Not having a gap was a hugee part of my timeline planning and we are having the reception immediately following the church ceremony. 

    Post # 22
    10450 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: February 2014

    If I was a guest at your wedding we’d just go to a pub in between for snacks and drinks. I’ve done this for friends weddings before and it’s totally fine. It’s actually one of my favorite parts of the day – just relaxing with friends in a casual atmosphere. 

    Post # 23
    236 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: May 2013

    View original reply
    @julies1949:  I have been to two weddings where the receptions began around 4:30pm. Dinner was served closer to 5:30pm. But then again, they were receptions of my cultural heritage and a lot of activities/introductions and the such occur before dinner is served.

    View original reply
    @silkspectre94: Anyway the ceremony can be moved to 1:30 or 2:00pm?

    Post # 25
    1176 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: June 2013

    Four hours to travel 25 minutes and take some pictures seems a little excessive. Why can’t cocktail hour start while you’re taking pictures? It seems really inconsiderate to ask your guests to get all dressed up and then cool their heels for so long.

    Post # 26
    244 posts
    Helper bee

    That is a big gap, but I think you have a few options.

    You could arrange for your reception site to have a room available for guests to relax (like a conference or meeting room, not a hotel room). There, you could have some lights refreshments and maybe something for them to kill time — like those question and answer games (like “would you rather” or something like that). That might sound weird, but I think you could do it classy and wedding-like. (I suggest a separate room because I don’t think I’d want people hanging out in the reception area before it starts!)

    Alternatively, just be sure to have a list of available things to do — maybe list a few relaxed locations near the reception site where they can grab a drink.

    I think as long as you have an option for them that, although it’s not ideal, you can make it work. I’ve been to plenty of weddings with long gaps — some so long I went home and changed in between the wedding and reception. You won’t be the first or the last bride to do this!

    Post # 27
    9875 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: August 2012

    That’s a huge gap IMO. I’d try to work the timing closer together, or arrange for someone to host people at their home for some drinks and finger foods in between or something.

    Post # 29
    756 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: August 2013

    I think it depends how many people are from out of town, and how far they have to go. If lots of your guests have a 30-45 minutes trip to either site it will be annoying, but if they can go home thats fine. Also make sure the hotels are near either the ceremony or the reception site.

    Post # 31
    2552 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: April 2013

    View original reply
    @silkspectre94:  if you can wait till september, you can wait a few more hours!

    you could have a later ceremony and take pictures while your guests are at the cocktail hour of the reception

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