(Closed) What would you do????? Ceremony and Reception Gap situation

posted 6 years ago in Etiquette
  • poll: What would you do?
    attend both the reception and ceremony : (36 votes)
    60 %
    attend just the reception : (24 votes)
    40 %
  • Post # 16
    1249 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: October 2012

    Ok, a tiny bit off topic but since there’s been so much “gap hate” in this thread, I wanted to chime in. It’s not always the bride and groom’s fault when there’s a huge gap between the ceremony and the reception (eg-it’s not always that “the bride wants more time for pictures”). Is this a Catholic wedding? If so, then there are very specific times when Catholic churches will allow weddings to be performed and if it’s a Saturday night (when most weddings are), there are also generally specific times when reception halls will allow the cocktail hour/reception to begin. We had a 2ish hour gap between the ceremony and the cocktail hour as well, not because we were being “rude”, selfish and wilfully oblivious to our guests, but because there really wasn’t anything we could do about it given the reception hall options for a wedding of our size in our area and our Church’s rules. We provided some information in our ceremony program about things to do in the area during the gap.

    californiabride2013:  If you’re close to the bride and groom, I would google some things to do in locally between the ceremony and the reception and attend both… I think it’s a little rude to blow off the ceremony and just go to the reception, and if you’ve already RSVP’d yes to the reception then it’s probably even more rude to have the couple pay for a dinner you’re not going to eat.

    Post # 17
    177 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: July 2014

    Ugh, a three hour gap is SO RUDE!  I definitely wouldn’t attend.  Ugh.

    Post # 19
    1008 posts
    Bumble bee

    The option isn’t in your poll, but I would attend only the ceremony. I tend to view the reception as being a thank you to guests for attending the ceremony, so if I had to choose only one to attend, it would be the ceremony.

    Post # 20
    219 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: June 2015

    ugggh I’m having a 3 hour gap 🙁 but it’s b/c my church only does weddings at 1pm and the earliest my venue will do the reception is 5pm! I didn’t realize the church was gonna be a pain in the ass until AFTER I booked the reception venue. I actually tried to find different churches for the ceremony and the latest I could find was 3pm, but they wouldn’t allow me to have the ceremony there since I didn’t live within the parish. Annoying. I already let everyone know tho, and my wedding is not for awhile. Most people are going back to my parents house, others will go to the hotel (next to the reception venue, w/ a shuttle) and the ceremony is in my parents hometown which is a cute little town with tons of bars and restaurants. There’s also a bar at the hotel. I have been to tons of weddings like this, I didn’t realize people hated them so much, but I am def not pumped to have such a large gap and I’ve told people that if they don’t want to come to the reception it’s fine. My parents are paying for the wedding & they want the catholic ceremony so I think giving people options and not being butthurt if people skip the ceremony is my best bet!! Even my brother was like ugh I hate you I’ll pay for you to do it at the reception site and I was like haha soooold! lol and my dad told us to stfu.


    Honestly if you’re worried about the gap, I’d skip the ceremony. No reason to be uncomfy all day & then not in party mode for the reception!!

    Post # 21
    1247 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: April 2014

    View original reply
    californiabride2013:  If it was a church wedding then I wouldn’t think it was rude and a 3 hour gap would be considered normal where I live for such an event. If it is a civil ceremony though then I think 3 hours is a bit much and I would be miffed. I’d still go to both ceremony and reception though because it would be considered very odd and rude where I live not too (but seems to be more the norm in the US where gaps are loathed. Here we just go to the pub and catch up with friends in between).  One wedding I went too a little while ago though had like a 2.5 hour gap between ceremony and reception when everything was taking place at the one venue because they wanted photo time. That was seriously awful as it was in the middle of no where and there was nothing to do until they bought up some canapes/drinks after an hour or so. That was seriously inconsiderate.

    Post # 22
    7592 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: June 2013

    “The bride and groom did not provide any information regarding things to do in the area to pass the time (I am not familar with the area).”

    Now if only they had some kind of website where you could enter a town’s name and find things to do there! Oh wait…. 

    But seriously, I think it’s rude to skip the ceremony. If anything, I would skip the reception. The ceremony is the whole point of the day.

    I personally would attend both. If we are close enough to drive an hour than we are close enough that I want to be at both events. Since it’s your husband’s friend, what does he want to do?

    Post # 23
    757 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: October 2014 - Our Backyard/Steakhouse

    It’s always a choice.  Even for a catholic wedding.  If you are chosing a catholic wedding (early mass) then you likely need to let go of your idea of a ‘dinner reception’.  You can’t blame catholics, it’s the bride and groom choosing their dream of a big dinner over the comfort of their guests.

    Post # 24
    7638 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: November 1999

    View original reply
    californiabride2013:  Attend both (and find something to do in between). (Or don’t attend at all). Attending the reception only is very rude in my opinion. (Unless you have a very good reason, e.g. need to work in the afternoon). It smacks of, “Don’t bother me with the boring stuff, I’m just here for the food”.

    If you do go against my advice and attend the reception only, your husband should inform the groom in advance and apologise for missing the ceremony. If he’s not comfortable doing that, that’s a sign that you know that skipping the ceremony is the wrong thing to do.

    Post # 25
    804 posts
    Busy bee

    I would either attend both or neither as it would be very rude where I’m from to do otherwise. The other day I attended a hotel wedding with a 6 hour gap! 2.5 hour ceremony early in the morning with buffet lunch after and then an evening reception. We had a room so my fiance had a nap and I stayed and I stayed in the lobby and chatted to a friend, but it was extremely exhausting.

    Post # 27
    935 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: February 2014
    1. View original reply
      californiabride2013:  Eh – my mom did it for her friend and the gap was 4 hours.  It’s doable but not pleasant.  I would decline the entire event. 


    Post # 28
    13905 posts
    Honey Beekeeper
    • Wedding: November 1999

    I would either go to both, or to neither.  I think it’s very rude to only show up for the party, which is technically the couple’s thank you for attending their ceremony.   I’m sure you can find a coffee shop, or a park, or even a small museum to pass some time.

    FWIW, I find gaps to be frustrating, and when they were planned (and not for religious reasons), I think it’s a bit rude.  But rudeness shouldn’t beget rudeness. 

    Post # 29
    2052 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: May 2013

    View original reply
    LDay1983:  If you don’t have a ‘dinner reception’ you get tons of backlash for not thinking of your guests comfort, especially out-of-town guests.  And how is not providing dinner not thinking of your guests comfort?  Not a lot of people would travel to a wedding that didn’t involve at least a meal.  So basically you are saying that any Catholic wedding needs to have a small wedding, with only people in town attending?

    Post # 30
    1341 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: April 2015

    View original reply
    californiabride2013:  Personally, I think it’s rude to only go to the reception.

    The topic ‘What would you do????? Ceremony and Reception Gap situation’ is closed to new replies.

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