(Closed) noon ceremony and dinnertime reception?

posted 8 years ago in Ceremony
Post # 3
2295 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

I hate the gap, but I am used to it because lots of friends have Catholic ceremonies – usually their wedding is around 2, goes until about 3, cocktail hour starts at 5, reception starts at 6 or something similar.

I think you have to ask yourself a few questions:

– How many of your people are coming from out of town? Is it close to where they will be staying?

– You say there are lots of places to kick back, but is there a place that is convenient? Can they go to your reception location and chill there, like a hotel with a bar?

– Why do you want the gap? Is there a way to shorten it?

Don’t love it, but with some churches it is unavoidable. I’d prefer people didn’t do it if they have the option though. I also think it leads to lots of people skipping the wedding and only going to the reception (which is TOTALLY tacky to me, I can’t believe guests do it, but I have witnessed it at every gap wedding I have been to).

Post # 4
1328 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

Every wedding I have ever beed to has been Catholic and the huge gap is standard there.  Sometimes a family member who lives near the venues will invite some people (like close family and friends) over to their place during the gap to hang out and kill time.  Or the guests just figure out something to do, like go grab lunch, sight see, whatever.  I think it’s fine.

Post # 5
1829 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: January 2013

I hate big gaps in weddings, so your ceremony is from 12 noon to 1, that leavs a 4 hour gap before your reception/cocktail hour. Its a really huge time frame to find something to do as a guest, espeically in dress clothes.

Post # 6
1112 posts
Bumble bee

I don’t like the gap. Out of town guests will really dislike it. In-town guests will still dislike it, because it will be useless to go home and relax if they will just have to come right back out. 

Post # 8
4464 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: February 2012

I’ve never been to a gap wedding and if I was invited to one I would probably skip either the ceremony or reception. Just being honest here, I think it’s rude to make your guests wait around. 

Post # 9
3569 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

Why do you need that gap?
 I think for dinner at five, 3 would be a good time


Post # 10
242 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

I’ve been invited to several weddings with gaps in between. As a guest, I realize this is done for a variety of reasons, ie church only holds ceremonies at certain times or they want time to take pictures etc. But, just be aware that a lot of people skip the ceremony and only go to the reception. Its a pain to get all dressed up and then go back home for a while then go back out. Unless of course I’m really close to you. then, I dont care how much gap – I’ll be there. 

I will say this – there were times when the gap was like 3 hours. that was ok because I just went to a bar and had a drink or 2 with a few other wedding guests. but there have been times where the gap is only an hour and i’m not sure what can be done in an hour. So i’ve just driven to the location of the reception and waited til cocktail hour started. 

Post # 11
2295 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

View original reply
@sherryberry:  Are you open to doing a first-look with photos before the ceremony? How long will your ceremony be?

Assuming no first look and a 30 minute ceremony, I’d do:
4:00 Ceremony
4:30 – 5:30 Cocktail Hour
5:30 Seating for reception begins
6:00 Wedding party enters

Post # 13
2389 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

That’s way too long, especially if they’re in the same place.  You want people to go somewhere and then come back or just mill around for hours?  Cocktail hour should start immediately following the ceremony.

Post # 14
725 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2012

We had a bigger gap…noon ceremony cocktail hour started at 6pm.  Since we got married in a destination mountain town we wanted people to have the day to explore.  People had a scavengar hunt to do, go see the sights and then had time to get dolled up for the party.  One plus was that the outside ceremony, reception and guests all stayed at the lodge hotel so it made the gap way more enjoyable.  People loved the down time to spend with friends and family, go shopping and they all came refreshed for the evening.

I say do what you want to do.  🙂



Post # 16
9128 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

Gaps are pretty standard here and yet I still hate them. Nothing worse than sitting around in your formal gear trying not to spill anything on your clothes. I feel especially bad for parents of young kids- trying to keep them neat and tidy whilst trying to combat the boredom of sitting around great aunt agnes house (because she lives close to the venue).

If you are going to have a gap I much prefer a bride and groom have an early am wedding then a 6pm reception. At least that way I will have time to go home or back to the hotel and get changed etc.

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