Post # 1
Fiance and I are going to his cousin’s wedding today and the timing is a little confusing to us. I checked their website to get directions and it says the ceremony is at 3pm, and the reception starts at 6pm. So I figured, well, maybe the reception venue is a bit of a drive from the church? I looked it up and nope, it’s not even 5 miles down the road.
I’m guessing the ceremony will run until about 4pm (it’s Lutheran, I don’t know how long those usually are as I’ve never been to one, perhaps it’s longer?), so if the reception doesn’t start until 6pm, what are we going to do for 2 hours? Fiance and I live about an hour away, so we don’t have the opportunity to go home after the ceremony and come back in time for the reception — as soon as we’d get home it’d be time to turn back around to go to the reception!
Neither of us have ever been to a wedding with a gap like this, so my question is, is a cocktail hour usually implied on a wedding invite, even if it doesn’t say so? If so then we would only have one hour to kill before going to the reception venue around 5pm. I’m just worried though that the cocktail hour (or whatever might be in that gap) was invite-only and only close family and friends got invited? I don’t want to accidentally gate crash if that’s the case haha.
Bees, what would you do in this situation? Assume there’s a cocktail hour, or wander around an unfamiliar town for two hours killing time until the specified reception time?
Post # 3
I’m pretty sure cocktail hour starts at the “reception” start time. This is a problem many wedding guests have. The bridal party goes off to take pictures after the ceremony and the guests are left to twiddle their thumbs in the meantime. Do you know anyone else going to the wedding? You could grab a coffee and chat. You could go back to the hotel with someone staying there and hang out. You could wander around the town during that time.
Post # 4
@Kant: The gap could be for the wedding party to take pictures. I have been to several weddings where there was a large gap of time for this. However there was still a cocktail hour, though that is what may start at 6PM….
Post # 5
no. I would go to a bar, maybe find some friends to hang out with who are at the wedding, ask them what they’re doing. This situation is very common where I live, and we’re doing a similar thing for my wedding, but I don’t feel bad b/c 95% of the people coming will either have a hotel to check into cuz they live quite far away, or else they live in the same city and can go home if they want.
Post # 6
I concur- the reception starts at 6. You will have couple of hours to fill on your own.
I personally would rather have that accurate information, than have the invitation say ” reception immediately following”, only to find out when you show up that you are standing around with no refreshments waiting for the wedding party.
At least this way you can make plans.
Post # 7
Alrighty thanks for the input ladies 🙂 I guess we’ve got some time to kill!
Post # 8
I had a wedding like this earlier this summer. And yes, you’re supposed to find entertainment for yourself during the downtime until 6pm. I realize that people think it’s okay for those who live in the city to deal with, but I have to admit it was a HUGE PAIN IN THE ASS for me and my fiance. There was almost a 3 hour break between ours, and we didn’t want to just go sit in some random coffee shop for that long, so we drove all the way back up to our house (45 minutes driving time) and back down again. An hour an a half was spent driving in the car, and once we sat down on our couch we didn’t really want to get back up again. It made for a very, very long day to be honest. 12 hours total.
It’d be nice if the couple provided some information about things to do during this downtime so you could clearly understand what the plan is. Our friends didn’t do this and a lot of people were wandering around wondering what they were supposed to do.
Post # 9
Weddings that I’ve been to, usually the cocktail hour is when the wedding party takes pics, etc. (Isn’t that the whole point, that it’s something to entertain the guests?)
I think the best thing to do is just call the bride/groom/someone in the wedding party and ask. (This is what I’d do, because if they’re close enough to invite me to their wedding an hour away, they’re close enough to answer one measly little question about what starts when. But then I’ve always been that girl with the annoying questions, so… 🙂 Then if you’re stuck with two hours waiting in between, you can ask them right then, “Hey, is there any place near by that’s good to get a cup of coffee or a drink while we wait?”
Post # 10
@KristenGotMarried: Okay I’m glad that someone else feels annoyed by this type of situation because yeah, this is a giant pain in the ass. Even two hours is a long time to kill in a coffee shop, and we’re definitely not driving home and back for the reception. There’s nothing on their website or in the invites about “things to do in the area”, so we’re kind of left to our own devices. And because this is sort of distant family (it’s FMIL’s deceased first husband’s family; she stayed close to them after his death but Fiance was born to her second/current husband, so Fiance isn’t blood related to the wedding couple or any of the people there, and he only actually knows a handful of them) so it’s not like we can just glomp onto some of the other guests and hang out with them. We’re kinda on our own.
I know the wedding party and immediate family wants time to take plenty of pictures, but they need to think of their guests too, damn. This makes me even more glad Fiance and I are doing 90% of our pictures before the ceremony…now at least I know our guests won’t have to deal with this!
Post # 11
You’re so nice. In that situation, I’d just RSVP no.
Post # 12
It may be a pain in the ass, but a lot of times there is nothing the bride and groom can do about the gap. Our wedding couldn’t start any later than 1pm, and it’s the only Catholic Church is the area…our reception hall doesn’t close to the public until 4pm, which means we can’t have our cocktail hour start till 5pm. Did we want a gap? No. But we couldn’t do anything about it.
Post # 13
@Miss Audrey:Agreed. My ceremony begins at noon (catholic ceremony) and we don’t have the hall until 5:30. So there will be about a four and a half hour gap. I am fine with it because it is quite normal where I am from. I am going to a wedding in 2 weeks and there is a 4 hour gap. What can ya do?
ETA: Although we are providing a light lunch (sandwiches, vegetable and fruit trays right after the ceremony for people) in the church basement. It obviously won’t fill up the entire gap but it’s something to fill out a bit of the time!
Post # 14
I would just go to the venue and see if you can get in. I would assume there was a cocktail hour before the time stated.
Post # 15
I would go find yourselfs a bar or a starbucks and have a nice little happy hour yourselves!
Post # 16
Gaps are a pain in the ass no matter what, but there are things you can do to make it more bearable. Darling Husband and I went to the wedding of a distant cousin over the summer, and there was a two-hour gap. Luckily, most of DH’s family was there, so we just hit a bar with them to kill some time.
Maybe you could do some light touristy things to fill the gap–check out local attractions or something. Google it up!