Post # 1
We met with our priest today who Is marrying us. We are getting married on Saturday Oct 1st next year. We discussed tthe time of the ceremony, I orginally wanted as late of a ceremony as possible say around 3. Our reception is at 6:30 so here’s the situation. Our priest and my Fiance started saying to have a ceremony earlier in the day. The priest said that He thinks it would be better to have a 1:30 ceremony insteaD. His reasoning was that the latest we can do the ceremony is 3 and if we chose that time unfortunately we wouldn’t have time for pictures and hanging around after because their mass starts at 5. So we would definitely be rushing to get out of there. my Fiance agreed that he didn’t want to rush out of there… So here were the arguments to convince me that 1:30 is a good time to start,
1. Even though the ceremony is supposed to start at 1:30 it won’t be punctual so by the time we actually get out of there it would be around 2:30ish..
2. We won’t be rushed out of there and can take our time, taking oictures, greeting people, etc..
3. the church is approximately 45 mins away from the venue (On a good day). It is a very high traffic area and on a very busy road, especially on the weekends. I’m worried that it could take upwards to 1-1&1/2 hours with traffic.
4. My Fiance thinks that if we take our pictures during that time frame then we will have more time in our cocktail hour and might have a chance to eat there.
5. Our venue has a bar downstairs from the room where they say our guests can hang out if they get there early.
im getting more convinced that 1:30 start time is the way to go. A lot of our guests live in the neighboring towns by the church so I do think people would be able to come to the church and go home after to get ready as they will have a lot of time to do so and then drive over to venue. If it’s too much for people to handle they can always just come to the reception instead.
I’m just wondering if this gap is appropriate and how you all would feel if given this timeframe to work with? Please help!
thank you all in advance. 😄
Post # 2
I am in the minority on WeddingBee, but I don’t think any amount of gap is appropriate, other than the time it takes to travel to the venue. So if the venue is an hour away and the ceremony ends at 2:30 – cocktail hour should start at 3:30 and you and your Fiance should arrive by 4:30. Cocktail hour is not meant for you and your Fiance to enjoy, it is meant to host your guests while you are busy taking pictures. You could do an entrance and first dance at 4:30, serve dinner at 5.
Other issues I’m seeing: why won’t your ceremony be punctual? If your invites tell your guests that your ceremony is at 1:30, the processional should start at 1:30.
If you tell guests to go to the reception bar, are you going to be buying their drinks and hosting them? You should also provide food because empty stomachs + alcohol = trouble. No one wants to go home in between the ceremony and the reception, what are they going to do – sit around in their nice clothes? Change and have to get dressed again later?
Post # 3
I would have as small a gap as possible. As a guest, I find the gap rude. I know they are necessary many times with church weddings, but extending it several hours for the ease of taking pictures hits a nerve for me.
If you are nervous about traffic, you should do a dry run on another Saturday to see how long it would take for your guests. Regardless of the length of the gap, I’d be pissed to spend 90 minutes getting to a reception. If you’re banking on the bar in the venue to entertain your guests, I’d most certainly make sure you’re also covering that bar tab.
Post # 4
I appreciate your opinion! I’m not really sure why it wouldn’t be punctual, the priest said it might not start on time for whatever reason.?.
also I would def pick up their tab if they were at the bar early waiting for us, and it’s definitely a good idea to have food there.. I think it might be possible to move our reception time up a bit too, I’m not opposed to that.. You’ve given me more to think about I appreciate it..
the reason why I said they can go home after is because that’s what I’ve done when there is a bigger gap in between, which seems to be the trend now in my area… since that’s the case, I don’t go to the church in my dress, I wear something decent then go to the hotel to check in and get ready or if no hotel then I go back home and change into my dress before going to venue… (We will also have room blocks at a hotel down the street from venue)
I’m def nervous about the traffic. We’re from NJ and the venue is on the Hudson River across from NYC and the traffic to get over there is either hit or miss, and the traffic is way worse on weekends because of people going into the City.. Our venue is on the same road that the NYNJ Ferry to go across to Manhattan so that’s always an issue…
Then again living in NJ we are ALL used to crazy traffic no matter where you are all the time unfortunately… I would def pick up the bar tab and as other PP suggestEd, some picky foods…
Post # 5
Traffic sucks. I live in DC, where I commute downtown every day. I’ve been to numerous downtown DC weddings where we’ve crossed the city to get between church and the venue. So I get it. But I wouldn’t give an absurd gap to a wedding in fear of traffic, because if the traffic isn’t too bad, people are going to be really annoyed about having to wait hours for you to show up
Post # 6
yes that’s true I think you’re right. I can always move the date up for the venue as well.. Just not too early as we wanted a reception at night… What do you think is a good timeframe? Start time of ceremony and start time of reception?
Post # 7
As a guest, honestly, if I was invited to a 1pm ceremony and a 6pm reception, I’d seriously consider ditching the ceremony, which I know is bad manners blah blah blah but I’m not going to want to dress up, then change so I don’t mess up my nice clothes, sit around a while, and then get dressed up again. If the reception is 6:30 and the ceremony lasts 1 hour, I’d start the ceremony no earlier than 5:00, assuming it takes 15 minutes oR so to get in between venues.
Post # 8
I think u have a good point. I don’t think people would want to go to the ceremony either if there was that big of a gap and I wouldn’t blame them.. Unfortunately our church is 45 mins or more depending on traffic from our venue so we would have to give some time to factor that in.. the gap is necessary however big is my issue. I didn’t want to inconvenience people but I also didn’t want to assume there wouldn’t be traffic and risk people being late…
Post # 9
You should definitely give people time to get to the reception venue. I don’t think anyone is arguing about that. But the reasons you give for thinking about having a longer gap aren’t acceptable. The whole reason “cocktail hour” was invented was to properly host your guests while you have pictures taken. It defeats the purpose and in fact, makes it worse, if you deliberately prolong the gap so that you can take pics and still join in the cocktail hour. If you finish your pics early and get to participate, that’s awesome — who doesn’t love drinks and appetizers? But it’s really rude to say “Thanks for coming, everyone. Now wander around aimlessly for 3 hours while we do some stuff.” I’m with Horeseradish — I’d probably just come to the reception and I don’t care that some people will get huffy and say “at least come to the important part!” Nope. If you’re going to make it inconvenient for me to do both, then I’m coming to the fun part. Not sorry. Also, the punctuality thing doesn’t make sense. Why plan to not be punctual? I don’t get that part. I’d stand my ground on this one — your priest and fiance aren’t being considerate to your guests.