I’m from New York and our church had two times available, 1PM or 3PM. I’m getting married in the dead of winter, and the sun goes down at 4:30PM. I’m very traditional and we won’t be doing a reveal before the wedding, it’s not something I ever pictured or wanted.
If we wanted pictures with sunlight, our only option was to pick the 1PM option. Our cocktail hour starts at 6:30PM. This is also the earliest they will allow, the venue is one wedding at a time but if there is a day wedding it would end at 6PM. The distance between the church and the venue is about 30 minutes.
Looking at it from the Bride & Groom’s perspective, which hey, at the end of the day, it’s kind-of a little bit about us:
1:00-1:45/2:00PM – Ceremony (If it starts on time)
2:00PM-3:00PM – Receiving Line, Pictures at the Church, etc.
3:00PM – Drive to photo location
3:30PM – 4:45PM – Pictures at alternate photo location
4:45PM – Drive to Venue
5:30PM – 6:30PM – Pictures at Venue, Family photos, etc.
Now, again, I live in New York, and weddings tend to be a little different here than in other states. I’ve been to plenty of weddings across the country, and we just do things different. I literally live in a central hub. If you cannot figure what to do with yourself when you’re walking distance to three malls, hundreds of stores, hundreds of restaurants, etc. then just don’t attend the ceremony! If you have a problem with there being a gap, then simply avoid the gap and just attend the reception. Problem solved.