(Closed) Time lag between ceremony and reception

posted 10 years ago in Ceremony
Post # 3
4464 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

On advisement of the director at our reception venue, we’re doing:

4:30 ceremony (not a full mass…it will be about 30 mins)

6:00 cocktail hour

It’s about a 15 min drive from ceremony to reception.  We originally had it planned for 4pm, but the guy said that would give people way too much time to be bored.  My family always kinda hangs around and chats after ceremonies so I think the timing is perfect.

Post # 4
1246 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

our mass begins at 10 and will go til about noon then our reception starts at 3, we just advised people to grab some lunch in between on our website

Post # 5
10849 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2010

We’re all in one spot, so we have it a bit easier than you do. We only have an hour between the ceremony and reception though, and during that hour we’re having cocktails, hors d’ouerves and a cheese buffet. We’re doing the majority of our photos before the ceremony but I realize that isn’t for everyone.

I was at a wedding during the summer that had about 2.5 hours between the ceremony and reception even though it was all at one location. They left bottled water and soda in a few coolers for everyone but no food. We were told there would be hayrides for the guests to keep us amused but then the wedding party took off on the hay wagon for photos and it never came back. So everyone just kind of pulled up a piece of grass in the shade with a bottle of water and grumbled a little. There was nothing on the invitations about this time lag otherwise we would have figured something out (my sister lives close by but we weren’t sure if she was around that weekend). I think so long as your guests are informed of the gap you’re fine. Plus please leave them something to eat! Even just a veggie tray or two!!! At that particular wedding, someone ended up sneaking into the reception area and grabbing some food off the veggie trays which started mayhem. I don’t know if we were allowed to go in there the whole time and no one said it, or if everyone “broke the rules” but come on now, you can’t leave people for 2.5 hours in a field with nothing to eat and just some bottles of water! 

I like that your venue has stuff to keep the early guests amused. That’s a great idea! I think when you’re moving venues too it gives people the opportunity to stop at a coffee shop or whatever, have a snack and relax.

Post # 6
1250 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

Mass at 1pm (will end around 2, with people lingering for photos, etc.)

Reception begins at 5/5:30pm

Yes, I know this is a huge time lag. We kind of had to do it this way because a 1pm ceremony was the latest my church would allow, and we’re doing an outdoor tented reception with dinner, so we couldn’t start much earlier than 5 or 5:30 due to the potential heat (and we want the sunset to happen during our reception – it was a big part in choosing our venue!)

We plan to include lots of information in our out-of-town bags about places to go for lunch/coffee in between. Its a really small town so it will be easy for people to go back to the hotel and hang out for a bit. This gives us lots of time to get things set up in between (we’re DIYing the reception in my in-laws backyard) and take pictures. Its not ideal – I would have loved a 4pm reception or something like that, but this is the best we can do.


Post # 7
3761 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

Check out this post here:  http://boards.weddingbee.com/topic/gap-between-ceremony-and-reception#post-1108005

We have

Ceremony Start: 3:15 pm

Ceremony End: 4:00 pm

Guests mingle till  4:15 pm

Guests drive to reception/cocktail venue: 4:45 (its a 30 minute drive)

Cocktail hour begins: 5 pm?

So really if guests bolt out of the ceremony right at 4, they will have to wait about a half an hour.  We are just going to try to make it very clear that the reception begins at 5 pm, not immedietly following.


Post # 8
6571 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: February 2010

i already know people won’t like my time lag… but i don’t care! our ceremony is at 4:30 and should end at 5:00. it’s a private ceremony, only 30 people. i didn’t want people coming early for the reception, it’s about an hour drive and people will probably want to come a little early because they don’t know where it is so they might have trouble finding the place. in case they ended up coming TOO early, i wanted to have lots of time inbetween so they aren’t crashing the ceremony accidently. the reception starts at 6:30. yes, it’s a very long cocktail hour. but we’ll have lots of food, so they’ll just have to deal with it. and as people arrive for the reception, they’ll get to eat too.

Post # 9
1684 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: February 2010

I feel your pain. We’ve got some serious lag time. Our ceremony starts at 2:30 – 3:30/4(ish) – catholic mass. But our cocktail hour doesn’t start until 6pm! There’s about a 20m drive to our reception but that still leaves a lot of time.

We’re kinda spreading the word that people can wear something less formal to the church and check into the hotel (same place as the reception) and shower/change between the church and cocktail hour.

I’m just afraid a lot of people will just start drinking after church and be obliterated by the time everything starts.

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