Post # 1
I am the Maid/Matron of Honor in my friends wedding in November. We are trying to figure out what to have guests do with the time between the ceremony and the reception. The only time the ceremony location could be booked for was 2:30 and we must be out by 3:45 because there is another wedding at 4:30. However, the cocktail hour at the reception does not start until 5:00. The wedding will be a very short ceremony as the bride and groom are having a non-religious ceremony. So basically between 3 and 5 there is nothing for the guests to do.
Also, most guest will be traveling between 30 and 45 minutes to the wedding and reception site, so assuming they will go home in between is unlikely. Any creative ideas (and non-expensive ideas, the bride and groom cannot be renting another location or hosting a seperate party for this extra time) for guests to do between the wedding and reception.
This is a big dillema for the bride and groom so any suggestions would be appreciated. The wedding will be held in Pittsburgh, PA.
Post # 3
I’d be worried about people going home and then not getting back for the reception. How far away is the reception from the ceremony?
If the ceremony will only be 30min, why not have it from 3- 3:30? Then at least guests will only have to occupy themselves from 3:45 to 5pm.
Post # 4
Could suggestion rosychicklet. But if the ceremony site is concerned about the timeframe being too tight due to the wedding that starts at 4:30, I’d leave it as is.
If the ceremony ends at 3 p.m., it’ll take about 15 minutes for people to leave the site and head to the reception. They’ll probably get there about 3:30 (depending on how close the two locations are).
So just extend your cocktail hour from 1 hour to 1.5 hours. Most people wouldn’t mind the extra time, since they are accustomed to one hour cocktails in most situations. A bonus to that is that the B&G will have more time for pictures.
Just make sure to have plenty of appetizers and beverages. The last thing you want is to run out of food within the first hour. To cut costs, only offer beer and wine instead of a full bar because people will definitely be helping themselves if it’s an open bar.
As long as the food is flowing, and there’s nice music being played, most people will be fine. How about setting up a photo booth to take pictures of guests during cocktails?
Most people never get a really nice shot of themselves all dressed up, so if you can’t afford a photo booth, hire a student photographer to take digital pics and print them out right there. You can provide frames to put the pics in, and that could serve as the favor, too!
Post # 5
They should probably expect quite a few people to skip the ceremony. Assuming they are okay with that, I would say include with the programs some ‘activities for the break’ like a nearby mall or ice cream shop, or fun places to walk around. Maybe there is a space at the reception location where they could set up some games for people? Also, any option to start the reception earlier to decrease the break time?
Post # 6
Just because this comment has now been made a few times, changing the time of the wedding ceremony or the reception is not an option. It was already a big deal to get the cocktail hour moved up till 5, and the ceremony time is firmly set at 2:30 in order for time to have the location deconstructed for the next wedding, the ceremony can not start any later.
The plan for adding activities sounds very helpful. The ceremony location is very close to 2 museums, a large library, and is in the middle of a university campus. Hopefully, this suggestion will keep people from skipping the wedding.
Post # 7
We will be having a couple hours between our ceremony and cocktail hour so once people RSVP, I am going to send out a detailed list of activities. I feel like most people will want to do something fun that the city has to offer so I’m going to suggest places to visit and restaurants that they might want to stop at for a snack or a drink.
If your friends also include a map that shows where things are in relation to each other, it could probably be really helpful. That way, people would know what is possible to do in the downtime and plan accordingly. Lots of chambers of commerce and college PR organizations will be willing to give you some kind of map for free if you tell them that you have people coming in from out of town.
Post # 8
it sounds like the ceremony site is in oakland (heinz chapel, maybe?)…if so, there is SO much to do around there. why don’t you suggest that the bride and groom create a list of their favorite restaurants or sights in the area and stick that either in the program or in the Out of Town bags? the carnegie museums are small enough that they can be done in a 2-hour time period too. phipps is also a beautiful and close option! going off of angie’s idea, if the couple went to school in pittsburgh, maybe include where the couple had their first date, or their first kiss or something on that map?
Post # 9
Perhaps someone close to the Bride and Groom (or a few people) could lead groups of people to different locations – appoint one person for each musuem and perhaps one to give a walking tour of the nearby campus? That way guests will feel taken care of. If they could hand out bottles of water and small snacks for guests to take between the ceremony and reception, that would be a bonus.