(Closed) Time Between Ceremony and Reception

posted 10 years ago in Ceremony
Post # 3
4 posts

I had same dilemma… my ceremony starts at 3 and i really wanted to have reception starts at earliest 5… and church to reception loc is less than 5 min away by drive..

i am trying to have longer mass… hopefully it lasts 1 1/2 hr… and i am having reception starts at 4:30…

what can i do? i can ask my guest to waste time away in their car..

Post # 5
236 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

Can I ask what the average time is between ceremony and reception? My reception begins at 6 so I wanted to begin my ceremony at 4:30 (to leave some time for group pictures afterwards), but my church coordinator said to start at 4 because I should have at least 2 hours between the ceremony and reception start time. Is this right? From what some of you are worrying about, it seems like I might have too much time between. My reception site is only a 10 minute drive…

Post # 6
149 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2007

This is not an uncommon problem. Almost all Catholic Masses have to start early to accomodate their evening public masses.  Then this leaves a gap between mass and the reception.  I would suggest that you find a hotel block closest to the church, so your guests can return to their rooms to relax before the reception.  Catholic Mass ceremonies are notoriously known for being long, so many of your guests many not mind the break in between.   Also making your ceremony even longer is not a good idea because your guests will eventually zone out, especially if they are not Catholic or religious. The good thing about a longer break is that you have plenty of time now for photos and you will not have to miss any of the cocktail hour.

If your church is more accomodating and you would like the reception to start immediately after the ceremony, I would leave a window of travel time.  So if your church is 10 minutes away from the reception venue,and your service ends at 5pm, the reception should begin at 5:15 the latest.  You do not want your guests milling around your reception venue with the doors closed.

Post # 7
44 posts

I was in a wedding that the ceremony was at 12 and the reception started at 4. Everyone went to a bar and was drunk even before the cocktail hour- to be fair there was nothing else for them to do and they were all dressed up. Try to come up with something for your guests to do or a lot of them will head to a bar- which could result in some sloppy guests. is there someone in your family that could host them for snacks/non-alcoholic drinks b/t the ceremony and the reception?

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