Reception Ideas

Fill the gap? Catholic Wedding and Reception issues. HELP!

Okay so 1st (I've had a post before close to this and got EATEN up by rude comments), I am a very considerate person and not happy at all that we have a lengthy gap between the wedding and ceremony so instead of focusing on commenting about how rude I am, please comment with something to help.

  1. I am getting married at my childhood church and the priest will not allow us to begin the wedding any later than 1:30pm
  2. Our venue is not going to let us begin anything before 5pm.
  3. There is going to be a 2 hour gap for guest because the drive time and length of wedding.
BEFORE you answer please read:
A.) I can not change the location of my ceremony or the reception. 
  • Why? Because I live in a small town where I was able to reserve the ONLY venue for a reception near by that offered hotels attached (to be considerate to guests and prevent drunk driving).
  • I can not go to a different church or priest because our parishes share priests and the rules and priest are all the same within a 30 mile radius. 
  • I am already fibbing to my priest (Lord, help me) because he said if we wanted to take pictures AFTER the ceremony, then we would have to move the wedding UP to 1pm...If we wanted to dismiss everyone pew by pew it would have to be moved UP another half hour to 12:30.... ---We are taking pictures after the wedding because I don't want to see my FI until the alter (call me old fashioned) and we would like to dismiss everyone pew by pew because I love the intimacy of that with the guests. 
 B.) I have been so frustrated with this situation because I am trying my absolute best to get the times moved but neither are budging. So this is where I am begging you to censor your comments and PLEASE provide helpful solutions to what I can do to provide some sort of entertainment or options for my guest.
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Re: Fill the gap? Catholic Wedding and Reception issues. HELP!

  • Okay so 1st (I've had a post before close to this and got EATEN up by rude comments), I am a very considerate person and not happy at all that we have a lengthy gap between the wedding and ceremony so instead of focusing on commenting about how rude I am, please comment with something to help.

    1. I am getting married at my childhood church and the priest will not allow us to begin the wedding any later than 1:30pm
    2. Our venue is not going to let us begin anything before 5pm.
    3. There is going to be a 2 hour gap for guest because the drive time and length of wedding.
    BEFORE you answer please read:
    A.) I can not change the location of my ceremony or the reception. 
    • Why? Because I live in a small town where I was able to reserve the ONLY venue for a reception near by that offered hotels attached (to be considerate to guests and prevent drunk driving). This is not your problem, your guests are adults and should be able to decide how they can both drink and get transportation safely. Cab, DD, stop drinking a bit before leaving etc...
    • I can not go to a different church or priest because our parishes share priests and the rules and priest are all the same within a 30 mile radius. 
    • I am already fibbing to my priest (Lord, help me) because he said if we wanted to take pictures AFTER the ceremony, then we would have to move the wedding UP to 1pm...If we wanted to dismiss everyone pew by pew it would have to be moved UP another half hour to 12:30.... ---We are taking pictures after the wedding because I don't want to see my FI until the alter (call me old fashioned) and we would like to dismiss everyone pew by pew because I love the intimacy of that with the guests. If you're lying to your priest how important is your religion to you? Thou shalt not lie and that counts full out lies as well as fibs, little white lies, and I even think it includes leaving out information if it is intentional.
     B.) I have been so frustrated with this situation because I am trying my absolute best to get the times moved but neither are budging. So this is where I am begging you to censor your comments and PLEASE provide helpful solutions to what I can do to provide some sort of entertainment or options for my guest. If you're frustrated by it imagine being your guest who has no control over a 3 hour gap. Believe it or not you do have control so change your venue, change your times, change who marries you (You can go with a JP). 
    Sorry this isn't he advice you want to hear (see my comments in green) but it's all your choice on if you want to properly host your guest or not. No one on this board is going to tell you oh it's ok to have a 3hr gap since you HAVE to because you don't HAVE to. 
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    STARMOON44[Deleted User]InLoveInQueens
  • Why can't you talk to your venue about an earlier start time?   Or why can't you pick a different venue?   

    I understand the desire to curb drunk driving but the best way to do that isn't by over-serving guests who stumble to their rooms.   It's by having bartenders who cut off the drunks.

    Instead, what about a venue with shuttle service to hotels?   You could arrange for a reception that has transportation service for the guests if you're really concerned about them driving while intoxicated.   

    You really need to host something for your guests the entire time and you should do it in such a way as to not ask your guests to drive to a 3rd location.

    Does your church have a hall attached?   Could you have the cocktail hour there with food and drinks?   

    I get that it isn't ideal.   And I understand that the church times conflict with venue rules and neither want to budge.   But honestly, you should have considered this when you were booking things.   That said, you made your bed so figure out how to make lemonade out of lemons.   The bottom line is that your guests need to be hosted from the time the ceremony starts until the time that the reception ends.   So figure out what you can host for them that eats up the gap.
    OliveOilsMomPrettyGirlLostInLoveInQueensYogaSandy
  • 1) How long is your ceremony?

    2) What is the drive time between ceremony and reception locations?

    3) Are there any other reception venues that you could use?  I know you want to be considerate to your guests with having a hotel attached but in doing so you are being inconsiderate with the gap. These people are adults and can figure out transportation if they have been drinking (cab, carpool with a DD, etc), so don't feel like you have to limit yourself just because of this one thing.
    I go to restaurants etc. that are (not surprisingly) not attached to my house, have a glass or two of wine/a martini/G&T/whatever, and yet I don't drive under the influence, have never gotten a DUI, etc.  People know how to handle themselves, it's not your job to do so. 

    I agree with the others, if you truly can't start your reception before 5:00 at your current venue, then it's not the right one for your situation, and you need a new one.

    FWIW, I don't endorse this, but one of my cousins had a Catholic Gap Wedding (TM), and my aunt and uncle hosted a cocktail reception for the duration.  (I think it was 2-3 hrs, not entirely sure.)  I still feel like the entire thing was entirely too long, but at least all of the guests had access to plentiful heavy hors d'oeuvres and beverages (beer/wine/mixed drinks/soft drinks). 
    STARMOON44PrettyGirlLostmadamerwincupcait927
  • Gaps are rude as hell. I've only been to one wedding with a gap and it was excruciating. It was an etiquette disaster as a whole, thankfully the bride's father paid for an open bar, or it would have ticked every box. 

    I grew up going to Catholic weddings and never dealt with these gaps. People just hosted the entire event including having something between ceremony and reception and never for longer than an hour and a half. 

    You need to change something, either the ceremony or reception. I don't buy that there is only one reception space. No town is that small, unless it's a Hamlet. Improvise and host everything.
    InLoveInQueens
  • There are towns that small. There was one other place and I had called 3 days after we got engaged and it was already booked. I'm assuming you haven't been to Northern Iowa before. 

    I have been to catholic weddings and experienced a gap at the exact time difference as what mine is scheduled to be. People weren't miserable... I'm just trying to be more considerate and give more options. My parents and family were able to have theirs at 2 and 2:30 but they had a different priest and our parish wasn't joined with neighboring ones. 

    I am hosting everything? I just wasn't sure what I could do to be different with the gap. 


    Gaps are rude as hell. I've only been to one wedding with a gap and it was excruciating. It was an etiquette disaster as a whole, thankfully the bride's father paid for an open bar, or it would have ticked every box. 

    I grew up going to Catholic weddings and never dealt with these gaps. People just hosted the entire event including having something between ceremony and reception and never for longer than an hour and a half. 

    You need to change something, either the ceremony or reception. I don't buy that there is only one reception space. No town is that small, unless it's a Hamlet. Improvise and host everything.

  • Honestly, I feel like it would make more sense to move the venue to another town if your town is that small. Is there any reason you can't get married outside of your town?
    [Deleted User]
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    member
    There are towns that small. There was one other place and I had called 3 days after we got engaged and it was already booked. I'm assuming you haven't been to Northern Iowa before. 

    I have been to catholic weddings and experienced a gap at the exact time difference as what mine is scheduled to be. People weren't miserable... I'm just trying to be more considerate and give more options. My parents and family were able to have theirs at 2 and 2:30 but they had a different priest and our parish wasn't joined with neighboring ones. 

    I am hosting everything? I just wasn't sure what I could do to be different with the gap. 


    Gaps are rude as hell. I've only been to one wedding with a gap and it was excruciating. It was an etiquette disaster as a whole, thankfully the bride's father paid for an open bar, or it would have ticked every box. 

    I grew up going to Catholic weddings and never dealt with these gaps. People just hosted the entire event including having something between ceremony and reception and never for longer than an hour and a half. 

    You need to change something, either the ceremony or reception. I don't buy that there is only one reception space. No town is that small, unless it's a Hamlet. Improvise and host everything.

    You need to eliminate the gap.  That is what you can do differently then any other wedding you have been to.

    You didn't answer all of my questions above.  Here they are again for your reference...

    1) How long is your ceremony?

    2) What is the drive time between the ceremony location and reception location?

    PrettyGirlLostTheDeathLlama
  • There are towns that small. There was one other place and I had called 3 days after we got engaged and it was already booked. I'm assuming you haven't been to Northern Iowa before. 

    I have been to catholic weddings and experienced a gap at the exact time difference as what mine is scheduled to be. People weren't miserable... I'm just trying to be more considerate and give more options. My parents and family were able to have theirs at 2 and 2:30 but they had a different priest and our parish wasn't joined with neighboring ones. 

    I am hosting everything? I just wasn't sure what I could do to be different with the gap. 


    Gaps are rude as hell. I've only been to one wedding with a gap and it was excruciating. It was an etiquette disaster as a whole, thankfully the bride's father paid for an open bar, or it would have ticked every box. 

    I grew up going to Catholic weddings and never dealt with these gaps. People just hosted the entire event including having something between ceremony and reception and never for longer than an hour and a half. 

    You need to change something, either the ceremony or reception. I don't buy that there is only one reception space. No town is that small, unless it's a Hamlet. Improvise and host everything.

    They were booked for when?   I think you need to remember that you wiggled yourself into this space when you didn't book the ceremony and reception venues at the same time.

    Is it possible to go back and change the venue?  If not, host something for your guests.  They may not be miserable but guests being "not miserable" does not mean that you were a good hostess. 
    lc07
  • When I had last spoke to my priest I told him I would take pictures before and not excuse the guest. I have not had a meeting with him for a while and have sense decided that I don't want to give up the initial look being us walking down the isle. So I haven't told him I have changed my mind but I am not going to move the wedding up. 

    I created another one and even addressed how I opened another thread because I had inconveniently worded things wrongly and didn't include enough detail. There was no point in adding on to the already post because everyone was so far off the mark. I felt they were rude because I was asking for helpful advice and felt people's comments were far from helpful and they should have followed the rule "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all." 

     The gap is 2 hours when there is a drive time.  When I put myself in my guest's shoes, no I don't want to wait but I have been in my guest's shoes and I was way out of town (a majority of our guest live close and I have friends from college who would have the biggest drive) My FI and I just found a random bar and killed time playing pool. We weren't miserable and we didn't hate life because we had to wait. We made some funny memories while we were playing pool and I'm just trying to think of something to at least offer the guest to do. 
    Okay so 1st (I've had a post before close to this and got EATEN up by rude comments), I am a very considerate person and not happy at all that we have a lengthy gap between the wedding and ceremony so instead of focusing on commenting about how rude I am, please comment with something to help.

    1. I am getting married at my childhood church and the priest will not allow us to begin the wedding any later than 1:30pm
    2. Our venue is not going to let us begin anything before 5pm.
    3. There is going to be a 2 hour gap for guest because the drive time and length of wedding.
    BEFORE you answer please read:
    A.) I can not change the location of my ceremony or the reception. 
    • Why? Because I live in a small town where I was able to reserve the ONLY venue for a reception near by that offered hotels attached (to be considerate to guests and prevent drunk driving).
    • I can not go to a different church or priest because our parishes share priests and the rules and priest are all the same within a 30 mile radius. 
    • I am already fibbing to my priest (Lord, help me) because he said if we wanted to take pictures AFTER the ceremony, then we would have to move the wedding UP to 1pm...If we wanted to dismiss everyone pew by pew it would have to be moved UP another half hour to 12:30.... ---We are taking pictures after the wedding because I don't want to see my FI until the alter (call me old fashioned) and we would like to dismiss everyone pew by pew because I love the intimacy of that with the guests. 
     B.) I have been so frustrated with this situation because I am trying my absolute best to get the times moved but neither are budging. So this is where I am begging you to censor your comments and PLEASE provide helpful solutions to what I can do to provide some sort of entertainment or options for my guest.

    ***************************************box***************************************

    Why won't the venue allow you to do anything before 5pm? If that's the case, you should (I'm about to break your rules for commenting here) move your reception. It's nice you want guests to be able to walk to the hotel from the reception, but that's totally optional. Hosting them without a gap is not optional.
    Your faith is clearly important to you (although not so much that you won't lie to your priest...???) so you've got to prioritize that over your desire for an evening reception. 

    Look, you can answer your own question by asking yourself what yourself what YOU would want to do during a 3-hour gap at a friend's wedding. Put yourself in your guests' shoes. The answer is probably nothing, and that you'd be annoyed. There you go.

    I'm not sure why you created a separate thread. People can see that your original post is just a few posts down, and it will probably still be getting traffic, so you'll be answering questions/"totally RUDE comments" in two different places.

  • There are towns that small. There was one other place and I had called 3 days after we got engaged and it was already booked. I'm assuming you haven't been to Northern Iowa before. 

    I have been to catholic weddings and experienced a gap at the exact time difference as what mine is scheduled to be. People weren't miserable... I'm just trying to be more considerate and give more options. My parents and family were able to have theirs at 2 and 2:30 but they had a different priest and our parish wasn't joined with neighboring ones. 

    I am hosting everything? I just wasn't sure what I could do to be different with the gap. 


    Gaps are rude as hell. I've only been to one wedding with a gap and it was excruciating. It was an etiquette disaster as a whole, thankfully the bride's father paid for an open bar, or it would have ticked every box. 

    I grew up going to Catholic weddings and never dealt with these gaps. People just hosted the entire event including having something between ceremony and reception and never for longer than an hour and a half. 

    You need to change something, either the ceremony or reception. I don't buy that there is only one reception space. No town is that small, unless it's a Hamlet. Improvise and host everything.

    So everyone has told you gaps are rude. You are choosing to ignore that. People will talk about the rudeness, even if you don't hear about it. 

    I know there are lots of Catholic brides and grooms on this site, and I'm certain they didn't have gaps. I'm not going to call anyone out, but you may want to listen to them when they tell you that you need to move things around.
    [Deleted User]redoryx
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    member
    The reason why your priest will probably move your ceremony back if you want to take pictures after the ceremony is because there is probably a certain time that your wedding has to end, especially if they have an afternoon mass to conduct that day.  Hence why if you want to take pictures after you need to start at X time and if you want to excuse the guests and take pictures after then you need to start at Y time.

    Honestly I don't know what you are really wanting out of these posts.  You seem set on having this gap regardless of what we say.  So are you looking for us to say "well your situation is unique so it is okay?"  Because that is not going to happen.  Gaps are rude and you yourself said that you are not happy about it, but yet are still going to go ahead with it.

    So like Banana said, at least host something for those 2 hours so that your guests have some where to go.

    [Deleted User]PrettyGirlLostOliveOilsMom
    1. I'm not 100% sure but I would assume 30-40 minutes
    2. The drive is also 30-40 min
    3. Before we got engaged I researched nearby places that would hold a decent sized reception, was local enough (20-40 min away), reasonable budget (fresh out of college, already have enough debt for us to pay off), and was indoors (very late July, don't feel like gambling with the weather). When I looked into that there were 3 options. I even pushed our budget out a bit after I realized how limited our choices were and still came up with 3 because the only other place was torn down in construction (part of a hotel). Our #1 that was more flexible with our time frame was of course already booked (over a yr in advance and I thought I would be the only one calling that early - ha), 2nd choice = wayyyyy too expensive and not kid friendly. 3rd choice is what we defaulted too and they already had an event scheduled into the early afternoon. So we went with what we could. 
    We don't have taxi/cab drivers anywhere near us so I do believe people can do the DD option but for those out of town guest, I wanted to at least give them the option of having the hotels near by (which happened to be where we have our reception.) 

    Thanks for offering some advice :)

    1) How long is your ceremony?

    2) What is the drive time between ceremony and reception locations?

    3) Are there any other reception venues that you could use?  I know you want to be considerate to your guests with having a hotel attached but in doing so you are being inconsiderate with the gap. These people are adults and can figure out transportation if they have been drinking (cab, carpool with a DD, etc), so don't feel like you have to limit yourself just because of this one thing.

  • I'm sorry, in my opinion I did not receive a majority of very helpful situations. It was mainly people telling me I cannot do the gap. I have made it clear I have exhausted my options for moving the gap. If people are invited and don't want to attend then that is their own choice. The people that decide not to come because of a time difference would most likely be people that I wouldn't miss out on celebrating with then. My good friends/family will be there to celebrate even if we had a 5 hour gap. When I considered the length of the gap (length of reception and drive time, it would be about 2 hours for guest, which yes is still long but better than 3.)

    (I am copying and pasting a response to the reception statement from earlier) Before we got engaged I researched nearby places that would hold a decent sized reception, was local enough (20-40 min away), reasonable budget (fresh out of college, already have enough debt for us to pay off), and was indoors (very late July, don't feel like gambling with the weather). When I looked into that there were 3 options. I even pushed our budget out a bit after I realized how limited our choices were and still came up with 3 because the only other place was torn down in construction (part of a hotel). Our #1 that was more flexible with our time frame was of course already booked (over a yr in advance and I thought I would be the only one calling that early - ha), 2nd choice = wayyyyy too expensive and not kid friendly. 3rd choice is what we defaulted too and they already had an event scheduled into the early afternoon. So we went with what we could.  

    You were already given helpful suggestions in your other post. You cannot have a 3 hour gap. That is rude and inconsiderate. If I was invited to a wedding with a 3 hour gap between the ceremony and the reception, I would even attend. 

    Contact your reception venue and ask them to start your event earlier. If they will not move it, find another reception venue. You do not need to have a venue with a hotel attached. You're limited your options for a silly reason. 

  • When you say your reception venue will not allow you to BEGIN anything until 5:00, does that mean a cocktail hour, or the actual reception?

    Is the reception venue attached to the hotel? If so, I imagine there is also a bar? I would contact them and see if there is another space you could host everyone with hors d'oeuvres.  My cousin had an unintended 2.5 hour gap (they opened a highway between the church and reception earlier, so travel time went from 45 minutes to 15, and the ceremony ended up being shorter).  It was at a golf club, and they had a tab going for all wedding guests in the bar.  They opened up the hors d'oeuvres stations early, but did not start the served hors d'oeuvres until the scheduled time.

    Why is the reception venue not being lenient? Is there another event in the morning, so the space cannot physically be available until your scheduled time?  Or are they asking for more money to move it up? Regardless, I would still contact the reception venue and see if they could host a "pre-reception" during the gap.  If not, are there any restaurants between the two venues that you would allow you to host the guests?

    Is there something else going on in the church later in the day?  I am having a difficult time wrapping my head around the reasons that NEITHER venue is willing to accommodate you.
    • Why? Because I live in a small town where I was able to reserve the ONLY venue for a reception near by that offered hotels attached (to be considerate to guests and prevent drunk driving). This is not your problem, your guests are adults and should be able to decide how they can both drink and get transportation safely. Cab, DD, stop drinking a bit before leaving etc... See other replies from me to see other reasons why I am doing what I am doing with my reception please. It includes a limit of options-location location location...this isn't LA or a big city. This is the definition of small town.
    • I am already fibbing to my priest (Lord, help me) because he said if we wanted to take pictures AFTER the ceremony, then we would have to move the wedding UP to 1pm...If we wanted to dismiss everyone pew by pew it would have to be moved UP another half hour to 12:30.... ---We are taking pictures after the wedding because I don't want to see my FI until the alter (call me old fashioned) and we would like to dismiss everyone pew by pew because I love the intimacy of that with the guests. If you're lying to your priest how important is your religion to you? Thou shalt not lie and that counts full out lies as well as fibs, little white lies, and I even think it includes leaving out information if it is intentional. I should have worded this differently because I have not intentionally left out information for him. So "fibbing" sounds horrible. Do not question the importance of my religion or faith because of a simple miss worded situation online. I have not talked to him for a while in our meetings for the wedding. When he first told us what we could and couldn't do and what that would mean for the ceremony times I automatically decided at all cost I would have the wedding at the latest time possible. The more I have thought about it, the more I disagree with that and I AM going to tell him my decision in the next scheduled meeting. 
     B.) I have been so frustrated with this situation because I am trying my absolute best to get the times moved but neither are budging. So this is where I am begging you to censor your comments and PLEASE provide helpful solutions to what I can do to provide some sort of entertainment or options for my guest. If you're frustrated by it imagine being your guest who has no control over a 3 hour gap. Believe it or not you do have control so change your venue, change your times, change who marries you (You can go with a JP- a what?).  I have been at a wedding with the same time gap and at first I was not enthusiastic about it but that's just it, I couldn't do anything about it so there was absolutely no point in getting worked up about it. We went and played pool and made funny memories while we waited. 
    Sorry this isn't he advice you want to hear (see my comments in green) but it's all your choice on if you want to properly host your guest or not. No one on this board is going to tell you oh it's ok to have a 3hr gap since you HAVE to because you don't HAVE to.  It's not really advice. You've neglected that I am going to have a gap. Best case scenario the priest will finally budge and move the wedding to 2:30 (a wedding hasn't been at 3pm in 50+ years at our church). So if that's the case... it's about an hour wait with all the drive time/wait time after the ceremony. They still have to wait. 

  • But why are you dead set on getting married in your small town? That's what I don't get. Weddings can happen anywhere, literally. If your town is that small, then the next town over can't be that far away. And if that's small too, then try the town after that. Somewhere, within a reasonable distance from your hometown, there has to be a reception venue that will allow an earlier celebration.
    kimmiinthemitten
  • THANK YOU! Your comment seemed refreshing and sincerly trying to figure stuff out.. I have been asked about other venue options. You can read more detailed reasons in the other replies I have. To summarize: in order to have an indoor reception (late July wedding) the options came to 3. 1 was already booked for a wedding 2nd was WAY too expensive and not really kid friendly (Casino) and the 3rd was the one we chose. It won't start earlier because something else was already scheduled into the early afternoon. 

    I am going to talk about the bar tender before hand about cutting people off but it was kind of just convenient too that the hotel happened to be attached.

    Our church does have a hall attached to it and that is not a bad idea at all. I will have to ask the priest about that because we do have mass at 5:15pm (which to me still doesn't make sense why the wedding can't get moved closer to 5, especially if it won't be a full catholic mass). 

    I do agree with what you were saying about while the booking was going on. I was trying to be considerate but I also am trying to work with what I've got to work with. It was pretty shaky for a while actually because we waited a day after talking to the reception place we have now and the girl had called us back and said someone else was looking to schedule on that day and whoever got a down payment in first was going to get it reserved. Sure, she could have been lying to make sure we signed up but we weren't really willing to take any chances because I really don't know where we would have had the reception if that got booked. 

    banana468 said:
    Why can't you talk to your venue about an earlier start time?   Or why can't you pick a different venue?   

    I understand the desire to curb drunk driving but the best way to do that isn't by over-serving guests who stumble to their rooms.   It's by having bartenders who cut off the drunks.

    Instead, what about a venue with shuttle service to hotels?   You could arrange for a reception that has transportation service for the guests if you're really concerned about them driving while intoxicated.   

    You really need to host something for your guests the entire time and you should do it in such a way as to not ask your guests to drive to a 3rd location.

    Does your church have a hall attached?   Could you have the cocktail hour there with food and drinks?   

    I get that it isn't ideal.   And I understand that the church times conflict with venue rules and neither want to budge.   But honestly, you should have considered this when you were booking things.   That said, you made your bed so figure out how to make lemonade out of lemons.   The bottom line is that your guests need to be hosted from the time the ceremony starts until the time that the reception ends.   So figure out what you can host for them that eats up the gap.

  • Thank you for providing me with an option of something you had experienced before. Please see some of my other replies about why I can't change the reception venue. I am thankful it worked out that we have one. Not so thankful about the time strain but at least we have a place to go. 

    I understand you can go out and drink without getting in accidents and DUI's. While I am not too worried about the middle age/parent/grandparent age range, I am concerned about our fresh out of college friends or younger friends. They are going to be mainly from out of town and while I looked into transportation options, we were unable to find a service that would accommodate at a later time i.e. after 10. This is because we had to extend our search into 3 hours away and the services insisted that they would only be able to transport people until 7pm. If we wanted their services extended it would have cost A LOT more. That's because they were asking for us to provide overnight cost for the driver(s) {a room per driver}, pay for their food, and had a charge for every mile out of the way our town was for their route. Their routes stop 2 hours away from my town. The price came out to be outrageous. Yes, obviously I do care enough to take precautionary action to any drunk driving but I am fresh out of college and on a strict budget. 

    Heffalump said:
    1) How long is your ceremony?

    2) What is the drive time between ceremony and reception locations?

    3) Are there any other reception venues that you could use?  I know you want to be considerate to your guests with having a hotel attached but in doing so you are being inconsiderate with the gap. These people are adults and can figure out transportation if they have been drinking (cab, carpool with a DD, etc), so don't feel like you have to limit yourself just because of this one thing.
    I go to restaurants etc. that are (not surprisingly) not attached to my house, have a glass or two of wine/a martini/G&T/whatever, and yet I don't drive under the influence, have never gotten a DUI, etc.  People know how to handle themselves, it's not your job to do so. 

    I agree with the others, if you truly can't start your reception before 5:00 at your current venue, then it's not the right one for your situation, and you need a new one.

    FWIW, I don't endorse this, but one of my cousins had a Catholic Gap Wedding (TM), and my aunt and uncle hosted a cocktail reception for the duration.  (I think it was 2-3 hrs, not entirely sure.)  I still feel like the entire thing was entirely too long, but at least all of the guests had access to plentiful heavy hors d'oeuvres and beverages (beer/wine/mixed drinks/soft drinks). 

  • It's the church I grew up in, my grandparents were married there, my parents, and a lot of my aunts and uncles (lucky for them mass was later in the evening and they had a different priest, with different rules). It's just a dream I have always had. The most reasonable distance to travel in our area is about a 45 minute drive. If I look out around about a 55 mile radius there aren't any big towns that offer indoor reception places. I could always do outdoor in some cornfield or something but I am not feeling that for late July. Within the 55 mile radius we came up with the 3 reception venues that I have talked about in previous posts. The one we are at is actually the furthest away and in the largest town. We use to have another option but due to a hotel being torn down we went from 4-3. It's frustrating because if we lived 2 hours north or south we would be in big cities and have a million options. My best friend is planning her wedding right now and we are both so amazed by how limited my options are (from photographers, DJs, transportation, to the reception venue) and how she has 25-50 options (depending what she is considering) and she can wait months and not have to worry about them being booked so much that she won't have a place to have a reception or other details. It sucks but it's home, it's where both of us were raised, where a majority of our families are, and it's where we want to get married. So I'm just asking people to offer advice. Even if they don't agree with what is likely to happen.. 

    But why are you dead set on getting married in your small town? That's what I don't get. Weddings can happen anywhere, literally. If your town is that small, then the next town over can't be that far away. And if that's small too, then try the town after that. Somewhere, within a reasonable distance from your hometown, there has to be a reception venue that will allow an earlier celebration.

  • Thank you for providing me with an option of something you had experienced before. Please see some of my other replies about why I can't change the reception venue. I am thankful it worked out that we have one. Not so thankful about the time strain but at least we have a place to go. 

    I understand you can go out and drink without getting in accidents and DUI's. While I am not too worried about the middle age/parent/grandparent age range, I am concerned about our fresh out of college friends or younger friends. They are going to be mainly from out of town and while I looked into transportation options, we were unable to find a service that would accommodate at a later time i.e. after 10. This is because we had to extend our search into 3 hours away and the services insisted that they would only be able to transport people until 7pm. If we wanted their services extended it would have cost A LOT more. That's because they were asking for us to provide overnight cost for the driver(s) {a room per driver}, pay for their food, and had a charge for every mile out of the way our town was for their route. Their routes stop 2 hours away from my town. The price came out to be outrageous. Yes, obviously I do care enough to take precautionary action to any drunk driving but I am fresh out of college and on a strict budget. 

    Heffalump said:
    1) How long is your ceremony?

    2) What is the drive time between ceremony and reception locations?

    3) Are there any other reception venues that you could use?  I know you want to be considerate to your guests with having a hotel attached but in doing so you are being inconsiderate with the gap. These people are adults and can figure out transportation if they have been drinking (cab, carpool with a DD, etc), so don't feel like you have to limit yourself just because of this one thing.
    I go to restaurants etc. that are (not surprisingly) not attached to my house, have a glass or two of wine/a martini/G&T/whatever, and yet I don't drive under the influence, have never gotten a DUI, etc.  People know how to handle themselves, it's not your job to do so. 

    I agree with the others, if you truly can't start your reception before 5:00 at your current venue, then it's not the right one for your situation, and you need a new one.

    FWIW, I don't endorse this, but one of my cousins had a Catholic Gap Wedding (TM), and my aunt and uncle hosted a cocktail reception for the duration.  (I think it was 2-3 hrs, not entirely sure.)  I still feel like the entire thing was entirely too long, but at least all of the guests had access to plentiful heavy hors d'oeuvres and beverages (beer/wine/mixed drinks/soft drinks). 

    Statistics show that older people are more likely to drink and drive than younger College-aged people. 

    image
    PrettyGirlLostHeffalump
  • I was just hoping to get ideas on what people had done before or had to do. I was really just wanting anything besides people pretty much telling me "you suck and you're rude because you're having a gap." then offer no solution besides moving the gap. I do agree something needs to be held and I need to accommodate the best I can. 

    Gaps are rude. I'm trying to do something to make the guest at least realize I'm not just leaving them out to dry. 

    Mass starts at 5:15 and we aren't allowed to have rose petals, an isle runner, involve anything that lands on the ground (i.e. rice, sprinkles, confetti. We could only have bubbles), and I'm only allowed 2 arrangements of flowers at the alter. So by the time we leave the church it will look just as it did before we got there and will take 10 min max to clean. So I'm trying SO hard to get my priest to understand and budge. 

    There is a restaurant a building over from the hotel and it wouldn't be a bad idea to have an open tab for guest to get appetizers and drinks (someone else had mentioned this idea too). It will probably be expensive but better than just leaving everyone out in the dark.  

    Okay, I think your best bet is to host a long cocktail hour at someone's residence (family member, parents house, your house) or find a local restaurant that can accommodate you.  Then when everyone gets to the reception, skip whatever cocktail hour you may have planned, and go straight into dinner.

    This is not ideal because it makes guests drive to three different locations, but it is the only way to get rid of the gap.

  • I know I asked for advice and understand people are going to say what they want. I think everything has got narrowed down now and I hope people see that I'm not a horrible hag who doesn't care about my guest. I just wanted options because I am trying to do whatever I can to move the wedding back. These decisions are out of my control and I'm trying to make the best of it.

    I actually was not set on a date. My FI is a teacher and we knew it would be best to do it before he had school again. So 1yr engagement = Summer. The summer I get married is insane b/c I have 2 relatives who live in different countries and could only manage to come back between July-August. So the only weekend in August that would work was the 1st weekend. My bridesmaid's sister is getting married that weekend. So then I was looking at July. My best friend is getting married in July and so I had to work with her set date/honeymoon. My date happened kind of by default. So called the reception venues and as stated before ended up with the one I have now. 

    banana468 said:
    It sounds like you were set on a date or you booked the church before checking to see what reception venues were available.   Let this be a note to lurkers in the future - don't book anything until you know that BOTH will work for your timing needs.   And part of the needs mean that you need to host your guests for the entire time. 

    By the way: this is an internet forum where you asked for advice.   It may not be what you want to hear but that hardly means it's bad.   And remember, on an internet forum, people don't keep opinions to themselves.   There is no "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all."  That happens when you ask your guests if they really disliked the gap you forced upon them. 

  • princessleia22princessleia22 Oceanfront Property in Arizona
    Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Answer
    member
    I was just hoping to get ideas on what people had done before or had to do. I was really just wanting anything besides people pretty much telling me "you suck and you're rude because you're having a gap." then offer no solution besides moving the gap. I do agree something needs to be held and I need to accommodate the best I can. 

    Gaps are rude. I'm trying to do something to make the guest at least realize I'm not just leaving them out to dry. 

    Mass starts at 5:15 and we aren't allowed to have rose petals, an isle runner, involve anything that lands on the ground (i.e. rice, sprinkles, confetti. We could only have bubbles), and I'm only allowed 2 arrangements of flowers at the alter. So by the time we leave the church it will look just as it did before we got there and will take 10 min max to clean. So I'm trying SO hard to get my priest to understand and budge. 

    There is a restaurant a building over from the hotel and it wouldn't be a bad idea to have an open tab for guest to get appetizers and drinks (someone else had mentioned this idea too). It will probably be expensive but better than just leaving everyone out in the dark.  

    Okay, I think your best bet is to host a long cocktail hour at someone's residence (family member, parents house, your house) or find a local restaurant that can accommodate you.  Then when everyone gets to the reception, skip whatever cocktail hour you may have planned, and go straight into dinner.

    This is not ideal because it makes guests drive to three different locations, but it is the only way to get rid of the gap.

    I don't know that I would just leave an open tab. What you should do is call the restaurant and see if they are willing to arrange a set app menu or catered type event during that timeframe. Many restaurants will offer something like that and can do a package of certain number of appetizers and drinks.  Maybe set it up so soda & beer are available at no charge, but liquor isn't included, or whatever they are willing to work out with you.

    image 

    Knottie31628346Maggie0829ShesSoColdmadamerwin
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs
    10000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    member
    So because of your "dream", your guests will have to suffer through a 3 hour gap. Do you not see how selfish and rude that is? 

    PrettyGirlLostHeffalumpMGP
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