Post # 17
Our ceremony was over around 4:00 and the reception opened for guests at 5:30. The wedding party arrived around 6:00.
I don’t understand how people can say that your gap shouldn’t be more than an hour. You need at LEAST an hour to get a decent number of pictures, and then you have to figure travel time. The travel time between our ceremony venue and reception venue was about 20-30 minutes so I don’t think our hour and a half gap was so bad.
It’s pretty typical where I live and for most weddings I’ve been to.
I’d say 3 hours is where I’d draw the line.
Post # 18
our cocktail hour starts as soon as the ceremony is over, that’s when we’ll take pictures
Post # 19
This is really helpful insight-I’m nervous about our gap. Our ceremony is at 2 and the social hour starts at 5. We are having a full Catholic mass and I figured by the time that was done and everyone was through the receiving line it would be about 3:30, but that’s still an hour and a half until cocktail hour. The church is only about a 5 min drive from reception location, and there’s really no space to set up lawn games or anything. Have any bees included ideas with invites/on their websites of suggestions of things to do during the gap?
Post # 20
Would a photo booth be an option for you? You’re going to have to stand in a receiving line for 90 minutes to greet your guests? I hope you’re wearing comfy shoes
Post # 21
@ju5tdance: I’m having couple photos, portraits and bp pics taken before the ceremony after our first look, ceremony at 3.30-4, cocktail “hour” from 5.30-6 and we will come in at 6.15. But. We have a 45 minute drive across country to get from one to the other, so even friends who go straight from the receiving line (probably take till 4.15) to the reception will only have 30 minutes or less to wait 🙂
So, i put 1.5, but really it’s 30 mins.
Post # 22
Genuine questions: why have a gap? What is it for?
also, why does Catholic wedding = gap? I have no idea.
ETA I wouldn’t consider a “gap” that allows guests to reach the reception venue to be a gap – however I am also of the opinion that the reception venue should be a half hour’s drive max. I’m talking about these 2, 3 hour gaps – what are they for?
After our ceremony, we expect people will want to mill about outside the church, say hi to people, and then faff about getting into cars before driving 5 mins to the reception. So we have told the caterers to expect people to arrive about half an hour after the ceremony. We will probably take pictures for about 20 minutes outside the church.
In the UK, pictures are normally taken while the drinks reception is ongoing, so we will take a few more pictures while our guests have drinks and canapés.
Post # 23
I agree. We are not having a ‘first look’ so all our photos as newly weds will occur after the ceremony before the reception. There will be a gap of about 1 hr between ceremony finishing and reception starting.
Post # 24
I think it depends on where the venue is. our ceremony and reception were right in a very active, lively part of the city so no one minded entertaining themselves for two hours. locals had time to duck home and change shoes/drop kids off at the babysitter/whatever and people who’d traveled were excited to be in the city so they went off and explored the area. I think most people ended up going to a pub or cafe in between, which seems fairly normal for Australian weddings – at least the ones I’ve been to.
i think a gap is fine as long as there is somewhere for people to go, and people know about it in advance. it also might be a nice idea to take care of people who dont know many others – like I told my friends before the wedding that my cousin and her boyfriend wouldn’t know anyone, then introduced them straight after the ceremony, so they could all go to the pub together and my cousin wouldn’t be left in a strange city wondering what to do.
Post # 25
@ju5tdance: we had a 2 hour gap. No complaints. I think it helped that the wedding was local. We had a handful of Out of Town guests that were able to go back to other family members houses or go to the bar or go to the lounge at the venue which also has a bar until the cocktail hour started. Our ceremoney was from 3-3:45 we greeted the guests at the church, then we headed to the venue to take pictures which was a 5 minute drive from the church. Then we toom pictyre from 4-6the cocktail hour was from 6-7. Gaps where I live are pretty common bc its not common for people to get married locally. A lot of peoole we know pick venues that are over an hour drive, so the gaps can be used to travel from the ceremony to the venue
We just got lucky and got an awesome deal on the venuewe selected and it worked out great that no one had to travel. Everyone was able to pay a few dollars for a cab so they dont have to drink and drive
Post # 26
We will have no gap. All photos will be taken before the ceremony and we will join guests at cocktail hour right after the ceremony. We will head back to the beach just the two of us for a few sunset photos though.
Post # 27
- Wedding: June 2013 - Upstate NY
@ju5tdance: People are generally fine with a small gap. I’ve been to a few weddings where there was like 1.5 hours and the church was really far away…THAT was annoying.
I had about 20 seconds in between mine- had ceremony at the venue then right to the cocktail hour then right to reception. That’s how it’s usually done up here.
We did all photos beforehand so we could enjoy the party we spent thousands and thousands of dollars on!! DH and I snuck out at the reception for just a few more. We even ccelebrated cocktail hour with everyone!!
Post # 28
- Wedding: July 2012 - Baltimore Museum of Industry
Catholic weddings usually =s gap because the church will allow the ceremony during set times in order to have time to prepare for an evening mass or next day’s services (somewhere between 2-4 is usually the latest).
So the couple will have the ceremony at 3, finish at 4, but the reception is in another location from 6-11, for example.
We had a 45 minutes cocktail hour right after the ceremony. We did a first look, so we were able to join our guests for the last 15 minutes or so of cocktail hour.
Post # 29
Ah ok that makes sense, thank you. Although, in the UK a 3pm ceremony would be pretty standard and then you would just go straight into the reception at 4, 4.30, and still go on into the night! 🙂 I have noticed that UK weddings tend to last much longer than US ones.
Post # 30
- Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA
No gap (no poll option for that). Our ceremony and reception were at the same place, so our cocktail hour started immediately following the ceremony. We took group photos for about 45 minutes and then joined in the fun.
I’m not a fan of anything over an hour. People say “Oh but there are a lot of interesting things to do in the area!”… Yeah, I’m not going to go hit the mall or check out the local park when I’m all dressed up for your wedding. Bring on the snacks and booze and fun!
Post # 31
We didn’t have a gap – there isn’t an optin for that so I picked 30 minutes!
We had the ceremony, cocktail hour and reception all at the same place. So after the ceremony the guests walked about 15 yards away to the cocktail hour. We did most of the pictures prior to the ceremony, so all we had to do during cocktail hour was the big group photos, which we did in-between socializing during the cocktail hour. It worked great!