View Full Version : Time between ceremony & reception?
08-23-2005, 01:55 PM
What do you guys think of having a 2:30-3:30pm mass and then a 5pm reception? Do you think that is too much time in between?
08-23-2005, 02:03 PM
Personally, I don't like it when there's time in between the ceremony and reception (unless it's a cocktail hour). If you're not familiar with the town and/or don't know many people at the wedding, this can be excrutiating. If you can't avoid the time lag, then at least plan things for guests to do. Maybe serve appetizers and drinks (doesn't have to be alcoholic), or suggest a local activity close by.
08-23-2005, 02:07 PM
I don't think it is the most considerate schedule for your guests unless there is a hosted cocktail hour somewhere during the gap. Just my honest opinion.
08-23-2005, 03:19 PM
I agree with the others. We went with a morning Mass rather than have a big gap between the ceremony and reception.
08-23-2005, 06:23 PM
I just attended a wedding that had a 5 hour break :eek: . At the ceremony people were already discussing that they weren't willing to drive back out for the reception. I felt bad for the bride; she was really upset some of her friends didn't show up to the reception even after they told her they would be there.
For my wedding Im having a private ceremony at 3:30 and a full blown reception at 5. For the down time after pictures there will be cocktails, snacks and a room for people to freshen up. So far no one has complained, but we'll see as the date gets closer.
08-23-2005, 06:33 PM
I think that the only break there should be is for a quick drive to get to the reception, and a cocktail hour. Actually, a cocktail half hour - 45 minutes is perfect.
08-23-2005, 07:37 PM
I don't care for a big break in between the ceremony and reception. It's too short to really go do anything and too long just to head on over. Plus, most likely I'm dressed up and not willing to just do anything because I might get messy.
It depends on if 5 pm is the time the bridal party arrives to the reception, or the time the guests arrive. If you and hubby, decked out in blissful smiles, are at the reception site by 5:00, that's the longest gap I'd plan as a bride, or enjoy as a guest. A mass that ends at 3:30 "really" ends fifteenish minutes later by the time the receiving line is finished, and then guests have to drive (or do they, at your wedding?) to the reception venue. If you're willing to have the cocktail hour begin at 4 pm, and either miss it or do your pictures before your ceremony, then I think the gap's ok.
08-24-2005, 04:53 AM
I agree with everyone else. If you have food or drinks where they can head on over to the reception site and start snacky and mingling - cocktail hour - then it's a good gap. If not, then it's too long of a gap for me.
08-24-2005, 06:07 AM
SIL had a 2-3 hour gap inbetween the end of the wedding and the reception. There was hardly anyone at the church. It was only just family and maybe 2-3 friends. There was probably 100 at the reception.
Probably the worst wedding was one that had the ceremony at 1 and we didn't have dinner until 10 :eek:
08-24-2005, 07:06 AM
Sometimes it's unavoidable to have a lag between the ceremony and the reception. Our church would only do the ceremony at 1:30 p.m. and since we wanted to have a dinner, there had to be a gap.
A lot of our guests wore day clothes to the ceremony and wanted to change for the reception, so it worked out well. The church and the reception hotel were both local, which meant that there wasn't that much travel time to factor in. We booked the hospitality suite at the hotel and provided drinks and snacks. In the gift bags for out of towners, we included brochures of things to do.
We didn't have anyone who went to the ceremony who didn't also go to the reception, although we did have a few who didn't attend the ceremony. But we were married in a place with a large Catholic population and most of the guests were used to having some time between the two events.
08-24-2005, 08:47 AM
I've ben to many wedding whre there is a good two hour break in between.
Once, my then bf and I headed out to the burbs and he taught me how to drive standard shift, lol, that took up a good amount of time.
Another time, our car actually broke down, so it was good there was a break!
An then another time, we didn't know there would be such a long break (it said "reception to follow" on the ivite - it didn't say 2 hours later!) So we had drinks in the hotel bar. Except we stayed too long having drinks, got drunk, and stumbled into the reception late...after having been the very first people there 2 hours earlier! go figure!
Needless to say, I agree with everyone else, have munchies and cocktails for teh guests at the location and they will be just fine!
08-24-2005, 09:07 AM
We got married 2-3, and the cocktail hour started at 6. Dinner was served at 7. We couldn't change the times. However, we did have a little get-together at my grandmother's house for everyone inbetween. Her house was on the way to the reception. We put directions for this in the program.
It was actually one of the best decisions. It rained so our pictures were shortened and we couldn't go to the hall, so we went to the house. We got to mingle with everyone, so when we got to the recetion, all the "long conversations" had been held so I got to get to every table! :)
08-24-2005, 09:30 AM
We went to a wedding this past weekend where the ceremony started at 2, and the reception started at 6. I think if you are going to do pictures between the ceremony & reception (not let the groom see you before the ceremony), then that's probably a good way to do it. B and I went home -- I got my eyebrows waxed, he ran an errand, and then we changed back into our nice clothes and went to the reception. I don't know what the out-of-town people did... but there were quite a few ... from as far away as New Zealand and Hong Kong!
Our ceremony time is 3:30, and our reception starts at 5. We expect our ceremony to take 30-45 minutes, and we plan to have the receiving line at the church. There is a 15 minute drive from the church to the reception site. So there will be a half hour or so lag time... but I'm thinking this will probably be OK. People tend to mingle outside the church and not to rush right over... and if they do, there is a beautiful park nearby the reception site to waste some time at.
08-24-2005, 10:42 AM
Our ceremony started at 4:30 and the reception at 6:00 so I think that's fine. We had both at the same site so people just ate appetizers and drank while they waited. It worked out great! :)
08-29-2005, 05:46 PM
Our ceremony is at 2:30 and the cocktail hour starts at 7. The vast majority of the guests are not Catholic and probably will not understand. But the vast majority of guests are also from out of town, so they will be staying at the hotel where the reception is being held anyway, and they can go to their rooms and relax then come downstairs to the reception later. Otherwise, their welcome baskets will have lots of information about things they can do during the break. So, I don't think the break is a bad thing at all...I think most Catholics are used to it.
08-29-2005, 07:18 PM
I went to a wedding this past weekend that was 3-4pm with the reception at 5:30pm. I never thought it was too long of a gap until now. Most people went home after dinner at about 8pm. They had already been there for 5 hours. By the time dinner was severed a fair amount of people were, um, drunk.
It was a bit too long and it made the party harder to pick up later.
08-29-2005, 07:34 PM
Our wedding was at 2pm (Catholic mass) and it ended around 3:15. Dinner was served at 5pm. We chose this option for a couple reasons. First, we got married at the Cathedral and in order to get enough time for pictures we had to get married at 2pm. Plus, 75% of our guests were from out of town and were able to relax in their hotel rooms (reception was at a hotel) or hang out and chat at the cocktail hour. We served apps and drinks during that time. No one seemed to mind a bit and it gave us time to mingle with our guests.
08-29-2005, 09:22 PM
I'd have to agree with Mel...I'm Catholic, and most of the weddings I've been to have been Catholic...I'm pretty used to there being some time between the ceremony and the reception. It doesn't bother me at all.
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