(Closed) Two Tradition Q's: Seeing each other before and flower girl/ring bearer?

posted 3 years ago in Traditions
Post # 2
115 posts
Blushing bee

1. The standard, as far as I know, is still a cocktail hour– go take pictures, and have drinks, appetizers, maybe some music for the people who are waiting for the rest of the reception to start. It’s totally normal and I’ve personally never felt ignored at a cocktail hour! If your gap between the ceremony ending and the dinner/dancing part of the reception starting is going to be two hours instead of the usual one hour, consider setting up some lawn/tabletop games, props for people to take pictures with, some other small thing to occupy them.

2. Flower girls and ring bearers, while cute, are completely unnecessary. Skip them and don’t feel bad about it! We definitely are.

Post # 3
126 posts
Blushing bee

rusty15 : 

1. First look v. pictures after is definitely a personal choice. If you can plan to have the cocktail hour for the reception start about 30 minutes after the ceremony ends, it will definitely be appreciated by the guests, and you can make it as long as you need to get pictures in. Depending on the size of your wedding party, most photographers can get plenty of good shots in 45 minutes to an hour.

2. Flower girls and ring bearers are by no means necessary. I didn’t have them; I would say about half of the weddings I’ve been to over the years haven’t had them. Especially if you do my have children you really want to include, don’t feel bad or weird for your lack of them. Heads up though, Catholic churches normally only allow animals inside the sanctuary if they are service animals.

Post # 4
7203 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2015

rusty15 :  

1. We did a first look (pictures before the ceremony). I don’t feel it made walking up the aisle less special (which I was worried about). For me, it gave us a chance to connect and be excited together. We are each other’s biggest emotional support so I think getting through the very emotional morning without having a few minutes together would have been hard. But yes- people are used to a “cocktail hour” between the ceremony and reception and Catholics are very used to “the Catholic gap” (often two or more hours between ceremony and reception). You might be a little rushed on pictures but it is totally doable. We had music playing, beer, wine, soda and some light snacks (you don’t want people getting hammered!).

2. I’ve worked at a few Catholic parishes and I can’t imagine any priest ok’ing a dog in a ceremony unless they are a trained seeing eye dog or something. You are by no means required to have a ring barer or flower girl. Skip it. 

Post # 5
227 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

1. This is a personal decision so there’s no wrong way of doing it! We had our first look before the ceremony as it allowed for more time to go get our First Look and Wedding Party photos out of the way (and have my makeup still fresh!). I wanted our wedding party to enjoy cocktail hour with their SO’s without having to be dragged out to get photos done, and having us + photographers feel rushed.

It was also great that at our first look, I was able to tap DH’s shoulder, and our 2 photographers were able to capture his reaction as he turned around and saw me, and MY reaction to HIS reaction in a single shot.


It sounds like you’ll have a gap between 2-4pm for cocktail hour/photos.. which is really good. More than what you’d probably need. I’d suggest having refreshments, and some games (cornhole, legos, photobooth?, mad libs, guestbook) to entertain the guests during the 2 hours, what @heyoh suggested.

2. We skipped having a flower girl/ring bearer. It’s cute, but not necessary.

Post # 6
2642 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 2016

1) I’ve only attended one church wedding and, as the cocktail hour was longer than an hour (I think it was about 2 from memory) they provided some games, like giant jenga, to keep people amused for the extra time. If it’s only going to be an hour, I think some drinks and finger foods are fine but any longer and people may start to get bored without something else to do.

2) We’re having 2 ring bearers, but only because we wanted to include all our siblings and my half brothers are only 8 and 5 – too young to be groomsmen lol. We’re not having a flower girl and really don’t think it’ll be missed. There were no child attends at the last few weddings I’ve attended.

Post # 7
7645 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

rusty15 :  Lots and lots of weddings don’t have a Flower Girl and Round Brilliant. In fact, where I live, it’s very much the minority which has them. If you don’t have any close kids, definitely skip it. It’s just a way to include kids who are close to you.

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