(Closed) HUGE Time Gap Between Ceremony and Reception

posted 6 years ago in Logistics
  • poll: What should we do about our huge gap?
    Ask to have the coctail hour moved up an hour (still have 3.5 hour gap) : (7 votes)
    17 %
    Keep looking for churches, could possibly find a church that will give us 3pm service (2.5 hr gap) : (15 votes)
    37 %
    Leave it the way it is, go to the church you love and keep the reception the same. : (13 votes)
    32 %
    Other - HELP! : (6 votes)
    15 %
  • Post # 3
    485 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: December 2012

    Why can’t you change your reception time?  have your reception start at 3?


    I would not do a 4.5 gap between the ceremony and the reception.  Plus, for a 1pm ceremony, most of your guests will have left their homes by 11:30 or 12, right?  They won’t have eaten since breakfast and to make them wait until 6:30 for cocktail hour and THEN even later for the reception is rude.


    Can you do a “lunch” somewhere?  Like maybe the party room at Maggiano’s and do family style Italian?  Or one of the greek restaurants?  A gyros buffet?

    Post # 4
    14657 posts
    Honey Beekeeper
    • Wedding: June 2011

    I think people can figure it out.  It’s a little annoying, but it’s for a once in a lifetime event.  I’ve been to 2 or 3 weddings with a huge gap, we mini golfed or shopped, or seomthing.  Not a big deal.  Keep with waht you love.  Besides, if most guest are out of towners, and that’s what they are there for, what else would they do?  sit in a hotel and wait for the recpetion??  I’m sure they’d make it the ceremony too.

    Post # 5
    3618 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: November 2011

    It’s my understanding that this gap is common with Catholic church ceremonies. As a guest, I wouldn’t think anything of it. And would find something to do with my extra 4.5 hours.


    Post # 6
    7173 posts
    Busy Beekeeper

    I’d come up with suggestions for what people can do to fill the gap …

    Post # 7
    201 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: September 2012

    I agree with others. This is fairly common with Catholic weddings. I recommend setting up a website with suggestions on what folks should do for 4.5 hours (mini golf, local movie theater, restaurants, etc). If people are coming from out of town then they weren’t going to be focused on anything else anyway…

    Post # 8
    5984 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: June 2010

    change your reception time. I am sorry but I would be really upset with that long of a window….


    Post # 9
    963 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: August 2011

    This is generally pretty common for Catholic weddings, but it’s still very inconvenient for guests (especially OOT). The best option would be to move your reception a bit earlier. If you can’t do that, I think you should at least provide light refreshments following the ceremony so people won’t starve before the reception dinner

    Post # 10
    8604 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: August 2012

    I’ll be honest, there was a 3 hour gap at the last wedding we attended and we skipped the ceremony. For Out of Town people it’s kind of a hassle…for us we have our dogs to think of too, as we can only be gone X amount of hours and a big gap is just kind of a waste of time.

    Post # 11
    198 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: April 2013

    I think you should do what is best for you – but as a guest I would probably skip the ceremony  if there was a 4.5 hour wait… unless I lived close enough to go home and chill until it was time to head back to the reception… 

    Post # 12
    1460 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: October 2012

    I actually didn’t go to a wedding one time because there was a huge gap between the wedding and reception.  I agree with Westwood…it’s a huge pain in the ass unless you live in the area.  I know it seems a little harsh but most people don’t really want to go that badly because they really don’t want to spend an entire day at someone else’s wedding.  It just becomes an obligation.   

    Post # 13
    11747 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: November 1999

    A gap is a gap whether it’s 2.5 or 4.5 hours – neither are really any less convenient.  If your option is a church you love with 4.5 hour gap or a church you hate with 2.5, go for the church you love. Maybe you could host a little reception with snacks after somewhere so people can eat.  I’ve been to gap weddings and even as an Out of Town guest, it’s not that annoying – in fact, sometimes I like it, that way I can change outfits and shower and nap in between.  If people have somewhere close by to go (hotel or home) it shouldn’t be THAT big of a deal.

    Post # 14
    1238 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: August 2012

    if you don’t belong to a church, then why are you considering a Roman Catholic church and full mass? I’m confused. and yes, your instincts are right on: the gap is too big.

    Post # 15
    1133 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: May 2015

    When my cousin got married, her ceremony was around 1-2 (can’t remember exactly, I believe 2), and the reception was at 6.  We just went home and got ready for the evening, had a mid afternoon snack, etc.  I don’t mind it, and any out of town guests can go explore in the meantime.

    Post # 16
    766 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: June 2013

    some friends of mine got married on a Sunday morning and had the reception later in the afternoon. it gave me just enough time to get some studying and deep breathing in…my now FI’s ex was there. I even had time to grab a glass of wine and calm my nerves down. 🙂

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