Post # 1
I’m Maid/Matron of Honor at an upcoming wedding. I’m having disagreements with the bride about logistics but it’s her wedding, not mine. I wanted to know what the general etiquette for this situation is.
- wedding ceremony will take place on the west side of a metropolitan area this late August, on a Saturday
- bride wants photos for two hours with family and bridal party.
- there is a three hour gap between ceremony and reception because the reception venue is 45 minutes away, on the east side of the metropolitan area, under the assumption that there is no traffic (all guests would have to drive through major routes that connect to various sports stadiums and concert venues no matter what direction they are coming from)
- most guests live in-town but all over the metropolitan area.
Is she “obligated” to provide some sort of cocktail hour?
Post # 2
If you are hosting an event, you should host the ENTIRE event with no gaps. A three hour gap so she can take 2 hours of pictures is ridiculous! She should host a 1 hour cocktail hour for her guests and use that 1 hour to take pictures.
This sounds like a shitshow to me, to be honest. Her guests will be annoyed.
Post # 3
As far as I understand it, no she is not obligated to provide an event during the gap between the ceremony and reception. I think that this type of format has sort of gone out of style, but I’ve been to a few Catholic weddings like this (Catholic priests usually don’t really care when you’d like to have your ceremony from what I’ve seen).
As a guest I”ve experienced two things:
1) Someone close to the B&G host a little party in between. This tends to work in smaller towns where everything is close together.
2) Guests go off and hang out at a bar or do whatever they want.
Both options have been just fine with me. I’m a grown up who can entertain myself for 3 hours, especially if I know in advance to expect the gap.
Post # 4
There was a thread earlier this morning about the worst thing that ever happened at a wedding you’d been too – I’d say more than 70% of the responses were about gaps/lack of food (including me). She should get pictures out of the way before the cereomy, or spring for the cocktail hour. It looks cheap to me to skip it.
Post # 5
I wouldn’t say she’s obligated to provide a cocktail hour specifically, although that’s very common and probably makes the most sense.
She is obiligated by etiquette to have the day flow non-stop from one event to the next without breaks. Weddings have turned into little more than all-day photo shoots.
Post # 6
I think it would be nice if she had a cocktail hour.
Post # 7
- Wedding: December 2017 - Lake Louise Canada
I think the guests definitely need to be made aware ahead of time so they can find things to do. I have a 2 hour gap but it’s all in the same hotel. Guests can go to their rooms to change, eat/drink at one of several restaurants, sight-see, sleigh rides, whatever. I’m leaving them to their own devices.
Post # 8
Ya, gaps suck. Having a three hour gap just so she can take photos is pretty rude. Also, a cocktail hour shouldn’t be much longer than an hour for guest comfort. So there should be a 45 min “gap” for travel time, an hour for appies and cocktails and then reception
Ideally, she would take most of the photos ahead of time, and then during the cocktail hour the only photos really needed would be the large family ones and ones of just her and her new husband. Doing a first look is great and really helps out with photo timing because then she can get photos of her and her fiancé in different locations if she really wants.
Post # 9
For me, if the momentum of the day stops, I’m probably just going to go home and not come back. Hopefully the invitation would reflect that the wedding was this type of wait-around-all-day affair, and I’d decline in the first place.
The only exception would be if I had traveled and had easy access to my hotel room.
Post # 10
The 3-hour gap is a real momentum-killer. Yes, I can entertain myself for 3 hours, but not in formal wear, trying not to get messy, sweaty, etc. I would be very tempted to skip one event or the other — probably the ceremony, and just show up for the reception (tempted, mind you — not that I would actually do that).
I would suggest that she provide a cocktail hour at the reception venue starting 1 hour after the end of the ceremony. That gives guests 1 hour to drive over, and 1 hour of cocktails. That gives her 1 hour of photos (plenty of time, because they’ll take pics during the reception, too).
Post # 11
I have always attended Catholic weddings so having a gap is totally normal (we had one for out wedding too). I think most guests either skip the ceremony and just go to the reception if the events are in different places or there is no entertainment provided for the guests. We did have a cocktail hour at the venue for the guests (which is standard in my circles as well).
I think if a person reads the invitation and sees the time/location discrepancy between the ceremony and reception they’ll be able to decide whether they will skip the ceremony or attend both but entertain themselves until the reception starts.
Post # 12
Growing up Catholic it was always normal to have a few hours in between. Normally someone hosted everyone at their homes with some light lunch and some coolers of beer during that gap while the bridal party took pictures. Other times there were informal plans to meet at the hotel bar or something like that. If the crowd is used to that, I don’t see any issue.
However, I’m going straight through ceremony-cocktail hour-reception and my Catholic family is super excited not to have to travel anywhere in the city or make intermidiary plans, so I do think that’s the ideal scenario. My two cents.
Post # 13
The only time I’ve encountered a gap like this was at Catholic weddings as well. Bride is not religious but grew up Lutheran.
I’ve mentioned that this long gap was pretty rude, but she was adamant that a cocktail hour isn’t in the budget. There’s not much I can do though but I am worried about DH since he’s not in the wedding party…luckily, we live at the halfway point but it all seems like a mess logistics wise.
Post # 14
Agreed. I was actually going to ask this question or mention it on that thread but it closed before I could comment…
Post # 15
Since the invites aren’t sent out yet, should I suggest to her that she incorporates a schedule in to the invite or something? I don’t know if they’re going to have a wedding website, but maybe there as well?