Post # 1
We have recently set our date and are beyond excited! We have a reception that will start at either 5 or 6 (depending on what we decide with the venue) and we are trying to figure out what time our mass should start.
We want to make everything as convenient as possible for our guests and do not want them to have a lot of downtime between the ceremony and reception. Our reception venue also has a bar connected to it so the guests could hang there for a little while before the cocktail hour begins.
Our main problem is that neither of us is tied to any one church in particular but we will get married in one. Does anyone know of a church in the Greater Philadelphia area or immediate suburbs that would perform a mass starting at 3 or later?
Post # 3
@brit_lynn8: I dont know of any churches but we were forced to have a 2pm ceremony becuase of 4 pm mass. I will say that it is pretty typical with Catholic weddings to have a gap. Ours will be 2.5 hours but most of our guests will be staying at the hotel our reception is being held at and like you there is a bar attached. Most if not all Catholic churches have saturday masses and most of them are early evening
Post # 4
I think you are going to have a very hard time finding a catholic church that does ceremonies afte 3. My DH church only does two weddings per saturday 12:00pm and 2:00 pm with absolutely no wiggle room. We had a 4 hour gap between ceremony and reception. I have been to a lot of catholic weddings and for me its always been at least a 2-3 gap.
Post # 5
Yes the parish I grew up in will only do 11:30AM and 1:00PM masses so that is pretty much out of the question and my current parish will do 2:00PM or earlier. I don’t want them to have a very long gap between since some are obviously Out of Town guests and won’t really have much to do in that time frame. How long is considered “too long”?
Post # 6
@brit_lynn8: Iahead mine at 3 and there was a 5 after us (and a 7 I believe). I is totally possible. I think a tougher challenge will be finding a church that I’ll marry non-members. You will probably have to register and attend mass for awhile before booking your ceremony. That is what our home church required, but wewere married in a university chapel.
Post # 7
As PP noted, you will need to either join a church or find a church that will allow non-parishioners to marry there. As a general rule, if a church wedding is important to you, it’s best to set your date with them before booking reception stuff, but hopefully yours is far enough out that your date will be available on their calendar.
Post # 8
My church is allowing us to have our ceremony at 3pm. Their Saturday night Mass is at 5:30pm. Perhaps you should look into churches with late Saturday night Masses because they are more likely to let you have a later wedding Mass. I’ve never heard of a Catholic wedding starting at any time later than 3pm personally.