(Closed) Time between ceremony and reception

posted 8 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
13951 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Personally, as a guest, I would be annoyed at a two hour gap, especially if it wasn’t caused by the venues (i.e, the “Catholic Gap” that often occurs depending on the time of a ceremony versus standard mass times).  I might consider attending either only the ceremony or only the reception to avoid just standing around waiting for the bride and groom to show up for two hours.

Post # 4
3885 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

That’s too long for my tastes, and if you must have that long a gap then you need to provide entertainment, snacks and beverages for your guests. You’d be a really mean hostess to expect your guests to come to your special event and pay for their own beer or coffee while you’re off having a good time taking photos.

2 hours with a proper cocktail/appetizer array is still a little too log for my tastes but might not be too much of a burden for your guests, as long as you feed/shelter/entertain them.

Post # 6
508 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

For me, the photos should be a reflection of the day, not two hour’s worth of posed couple ones.  I went to a wedding where they disappeared for ages to studio, we were bored and hungry (and poor as we had to pay for our very expensive drinks while waiting!).

We are having 20mins of couple photos and then 6 pre determined group photos. All at the reception venue.  We’d like to spend time with the people who have come to celebrate with us!

Post # 8
10450 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2014

I think the gap is fine. Every wedding I’ve been to has one and we just go to a pub or something in between with friends. That’s one of the most enjoyable parts of the day for me honestly, catching up in a casual setting with friends I maybe haven’t seen in a while. 

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

Having been at weddings waiting for the bride and groom for a few hours is annoying. Esp if it’s not because of a reason like the catholic gap. Have you guys thought of doing a day after shoot? Try to condense to the length of your cocktail hour.


Post # 10
8434 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2013

I thought cocktail hour was for taking pictures?  Could you just do an extra long cocktail hour?

Post # 11
12244 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2013

I think it’s fine– can you do an afternoon wedding (like 2 pm) and an evening reception (staring at like 5pm)?

Just don’t do what the last bride did (at a wedding I was at in November). The ceremony was at 2pm, and the “reception started at 3”. But there was no hours d’evoures! And no bar! So we just STOOD AROUND UNTIL 5 when the wedding party showed up. Then we had to wait OVER AN HOUR while the 250 people at the wedding went through the buffet line. It was 7pm by the time the cake was cut, and everyone LEFT. MAYBE 25 people stayed for dancing!

Post # 12
10635 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: January 2011

View original reply
@Pinkmoon:  +1

Almost every wedding I have been to has had a gap.  I think in Canada it’s more common though.

Post # 13
6255 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: March 2014

I second the suggestion for day after shots. No one is going to have fun at the little shops anyway if they’re constantly having to look down at their phones to make sure they’re not going to be late coming back. Can you imagine how someone would feel if they left, and then got back in the middle of toasts?

Plus, pictures ALWAYS take longer than you think they’re going to.

Post # 14
836 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

I don’t think two hours is a big deal at all. We are getting married at 3 pm and our reception is at 6:30. Everyone will be close enough to home or where they are staying to return home and freshen up, have a few drinks, etc. I once went  out  to a bar with friends between a wedding ceremony and reception. We disinterested have to worry about being late, it was nice to have a chance to chat about the ceremony, etc. plus get a bit of caffeine in our systems before the reception. 

It is nice that you’ve thought of things people can do in between. Just include that on an enclosure card in your invitation and everyone will be grateful. And then take the time and enjoy your picture taking time. 

Post # 15
1722 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 1998

2 hours is about the limit for a gap in my books. If they have snacks or something at the hall, though, I wouldn’t mind terribly.

Post # 16
2203 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

We are planning on having a 2 hour gap… And we are having that as the cocktail hour(s). We are having an outdoor ceremony and reception, and are planning on having some games set out on the lawn and the photobooth start early so guests can be entertained and we won’t have to rush our pictures! 

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