Post # 1
Our church has no hall to do a cocktail hour and neither does our reception venue. We have a gap of approx 2.5 hrs while we get pics done and before we get access to our reception venue. We feel our only option is to have a cocktail hour at another location (close to church, on the way to reception) so guest have somewhere to go. Most guest are out of town so we’d like to give them something to do, and we will be providing transportation to each location. Is having 3 different venues for ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception too much? Or would that be ok? I’m reluctant but can’t think of any other options. Any input or experience would be appreciated
Post # 3
Most of our guests were out of town and we had a 4 hour gap. No coctail hour. Since they were from out of town most people went somewhere neat, checked into their hotel or met up with others for a drink before hand. Nobody complained.
Maybe make up pamphlets with ideas of what they could see/do that is close by to fill the time.
I think 3 venues would just be a lot to manage and added expense.
Post # 4
I’m an event planner. With brides who have catholic ceremonies, we often choose a “middle” venue and offer it to guests, in order to give them an option for the long gap. I would however, suggest picking something that is very close to the reception venue rather than to the church. You don’t want people throwing back a few and then driving. Unless you are willing to offer transportation.
Post # 5
I’ve been to a few weddings with a “gap” in between the ceremony and reception. I usually use the time to check into a hotel or meet up with other guests somewhere near the reception location. I don’t think a third venue is really necessary, but I would give your guests some suggestions of places to hang out or go.
Post # 6
Have you considered maybe doing a few pics before the ceremony starts? At first I was against this idea but it would not hurt anything me taking pics with my parents and the FGs and the bridesmaids. Then when we finish the groom and his fam and groomsmen take the pics. Ive decided to go this route to cut down on the “gap” of time. Then after the ceremony we will get bride and groom pics and the entire bridal party pics.
Post # 7
I dont think an added venue just for cocktails is necessary. Even if you are providing transportation. If theres a 2.5 hour gap, would the cocktail hour be that long as well? I agree with the idea of doing a brochure or pamphlet to let guests know of thibgs to dl in thd area.
Post # 8
Thanks for all the input, I appreciate it! The cocktail hour would go for the full 2.5hrs and I would provide transportation. Another concern is that our wedding is in December and it will be cold so there isn’t a whole lot I can suggest for them to do that wouldn’t cost them money. Ahh I’m so torn! I could do pics before for sure, but I don’t get access to my reception venue until 5:30pm so we’re still stuck 🙁
Post # 9
I think 3 venues is too chaotic. Honestly, if it were me, I’d go to the ceremony and cocktail hour and probably bail before the reception because it’s too much going around from place to place, even if transportation is being provided. I feel like you get into a groove and settl einto a new place when it’s time to go to another place. It’s just a lot.
Post # 10
I know you’re trying to give your guests things to do, but I worry that 2.5 hours of cocktails plus the ceremony and reception is almost too much. As a guest, I’d be much more likely to stay for your whole reception if I hadn’t just attended a 2+ hour cocktail event.
Post # 11
I think 3 venues would be too much, and if most of your guests are Out of Town anyway, they can just go back to their hotel to relax in between. I’d say just to let your guests know in your programs some local activities/places to go before the reception.
Post # 12
I’ve experienced the ‘catholic gap’ several times. Most of the time, nothing is planned for the regular guests and it’s no big deal. I don’t mind finding something to do on my own. The only thing I don’t like about the ‘gap’ is that you are all dressed up for a formal event, if you go catch a quick bite or drink at a dive bar, you look totally out of place.
There’s really nothing you can do about it – I would just let people figure it out for themselves.
Post # 13
I can’t thank you all enough. Fiance and I are thinking we’ll skip the cocktail reception. He is going to think about it until tomorrow and I’m ok with ditching it now. Funny it was his idea for me to ask on here, he said “what about asking brides on your bee site?” LOL