Post # 1
- our wedding ceremony will start at 1 p.m. and end around 1:45 due to church rules
- we’re having a winter wedding
- we can start our reception at any time during the day
That said, do you think people would side-eye a longer-than-usual cocktail hour? Like, between 3-5? Do we still call it a cocktail “hour” if it’s so long? Are there any fun activities, etc., besides alcohol and appetizers we could provide that would be fun for our guests?
Is 5 p.m. too early for a winter dinner?
Ack! So much to think about. Thank you in advance for your thoughts!
Post # 2
I personally don’t like the idea of gaps at all, but some people don’t mind. My only thought is that if the ceremony is over at 1:45, that means there’s already an hour and 15 minute gap before the cocktail hour. So then if cocktail hour was 2 hours long I’d be antsy for the reception. Yes, you could do it, but I personally feel that dedicating 4 hours (from 1pm-5pm) to the wedding before the reception even starts sounds like a really long day for someone who’s an average guest. Your immediate family/bridal party kind of have the mindset that this will be an all day event, but your typical guest would probably notice more. Just my thoughts tho. Of course I’d never say anything about waiting so long for the reception to start, I’d just be thinking it. But again, plenty of people don’t mind that.
Post # 3
beebae : so your wedding will end at 1.45 and the reception at 5pm?
Thats so long. I would not be very impressed if I were a guest.
Post # 4
I would not wait around that long as a guest. Is this a local wedding for most of your guests where they can easily go home for a bit or will they be stuck at the venue?
Post # 5
What is a “Catholic gap”?
Does that really take 3 hours?
Post # 6
ispeakingifs : Many Catholic churches have time requirements for weddings that are often earlier in the day so that they don’t interfere with Saturday services. Having an early afternoon ceremony but an evening reception means there is a “gap” of time between the ceremony and reception.
Post # 7
FutureMrsBex : My boyfriend said Catholics are expected to consummate the marriage before the reception?
Post # 8
ispeakingifs : I’m Catholic and I’ve never heard that.
Post # 9
FutureMrsBex : Interesting.
beebae : If I was a guest at a friend’s wedding, I would be tempted to leave; if this happened at a family wedding and I had to hang around in heels, makeup, and a dress for three hours doing nothing, I would be even more upset. This sounds like a bad idea.
Post # 10
Why dont you just start the reception early?
Post # 11
I’ve been to tons of weddings with a Cathy gap. It has never once fazed me. People in my area either check into hotels at that time, get drinks at a local bar, or go run errands. I guess this is the norm in my area though, because people just don’t complain about it. It is ripped on the bee a lot though, so I think it’s a know your crowd thing. I would find your timeline great!
Post # 12
Also, I’ve been to a few Catholic weddings where the couple has had games or other activities people could do before the cocktail hour officially starts for those who don’t have something to do/place to go to. It has worked great!
Post # 13
Is there a reason why you can’t do the reception earlier? I’d be okay with starting dinner at 3-3:30…i’ve never been to a catholic wedding so i’m not sure how this all works.
Post # 14
beebae : that is pretty normal for every wedding I’ve been to. The Bees always have something negative to say about the Catholic gap but for guests who are used to going to a Catholic wedding it’s pretty standard and nobody gets bent out of shape about it.
We usually either go home and chill out there or go get a drink with other guests. People on here seem to act like it’s a chore or burden to attend the wedding of family and friends. Have your wedding ceremony at the time allocated at the church. Go get some photos after your ceremony and start your cocktail hour at the time you prefer. Your family and friends will deal with it and if they are Catholic they will provably be used to the gap.
Post # 15
You said you can have the reception anytime, so IMO this really isn’t any kind of dilemma. I personally wouldn’t make your guests wait more than the amount of time it takes to get from the church to the venue. There’s nothing wrong with an afternoon affair. You could make it a lunch, but serve the same exact thing you would at any dinner, have music and dancing etc.