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Missouri-St Louis

Need advice on wedding day timing-HELP!

I am currently having a debate with my dad and my FI.  Dad wants the reception to start ASAP after the ceremony ends.  He wants a formal receiving line either immediately after the ceremony at the church or as guests arrive at the reception site.  If we go with option 1, there is the possibility of pictures between church and reception, but that way, myself, my FI and the entire bridal party would miss possibly up to an hour of the reception, something neither my FI nor I want.  However, if we go with option 2, we won't have any time for pictures outside anywhere.The reception site is only about a 10 minute drive from the church, and the Loop and the Central West End are easily accessible.  Would a 1 hour gap be too much?

Re: Need advice on wedding day timing-HELP!

  • edited December 2011
    There will be a 3 hour gap between ceremony ending and reception starting for me - more than I would have wanted, but it's the way the timing worked with the church and reception site. There's lots of stuff to do in St Louis and some people appreciate the time to go home or to the hotel if they are nearby. I've also seen the bride and groom not do a formal receiving line, but finish the meal before everyone else and come around to each table - I thought that was nice too if you won't miss anyone.
  • edited December 2011
    We are getting married at the Coronado and they actually request that we do the pictures beforehand. I know traditionally couples don't like this but it was the easiest way we could get the best pictures. My mom's not too happy about it but I personally want to have the best pictures possible and not feel rushed so I'm okay with it. Plus I think it will ease the nerves, if there are any. We're also doing a cocktail hour right after the ceremony and then doing the reception. I was a bridesmaid for a wedding a few months ago and they had a cocktail hour as well. It made it so that guests could mingle and grab a drink and no one had to figure out what to do with their time before the reception. Then the bride and groom made their entrance once the formal reception started. MY FI and I are eating during our cocktail hour privately so that we can mingle with guests during the reception, but we're not doing a formal receiving line. I know this may not be an option for you but I thought I would throw it out there. I've been to two really nice weddings recently and neither of them did receiving lines. They just made sure to stop at each table. Depending on how large your wedding is I think it could take even longer to do the receiving line and then you'd miss out on some pictures, or even more of the reception. However, I can understand how it would make greeting everyone a lot easier. I say do what's best for you and your FI. If you would rather postpone the reception for an hour to do pictures than do it. Inevitably it's your wedding - and in reality who is going to know that you had an option to do it differently?
  • shawna77inilshawna77inil member
    edited December 2011
    We chose to not have a receiving line at our wedding on 10/10.  It ended up that our photographer wanted us to have pictures as the sun was setting right after we ate dinner, so we didn't get to see our guests at that point like we wanted to either.  Everyone, of course, understood and no one said anything, but we did get to see everyone throughout the evening.  It worked out well for us, and then we didn't have our families and entire bridal party standing there with people they don't know hugging and shaking hands with them.  We didn't want to put ANYONE through all of that.  Seeing them at the reception was more than sufficient for us and it worked out just fine.  Also, this way you get to socialize with the large number of people that will inevitably "not be able to make it" to the ceremony, as there is always a long list of those.  LoL  I would just tell your father that this is your day and you want it a certain way.  You have to stand up for yourself, or you'll go batty!  Also, our reception was immediately after our ceremony and it was about 25 minutes away.  This gave our guests somewhere to go so that they didn't have to wander about aimlessly for an hour while we went and did some outside pictures and our in church pictures before we arrived at the ceremony.  Nothing makes me crazier than two hours to kill between venues.  I mean seriously, I'm all dressed and ready to go.  Where the heck do you think we're all going to go for hours while you get your pretty princess pictures??  We made our wedding very much about our guests, and have received many MANY fantastic comments about how everyone noticed that we did.  I highly recommend it.  Hope this helps!
  • ernrs2bernrs2b member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    We will have a few hours between the ceremony and the reception due to timing of the two which I was thankful for. We plan on loading up a party bus and going around the city taking pictures and ending up at the reception. I was planning on including in the program "things to do" in between the two. So what if some people only want to come to the reception. I want my pictures to look good!
  • edited December 2011
    We will have about 1.5 hours in between our ceremony and reception... I too had to deal with parents wanting things to be back to back, but I wanted time to take photos before the reception.  I asked a family member to host a snacks and drinks hour at their home before the reception, that way guests have some where to go if they want, but don't have too.  It also saves me a lot of $$ since I don't have to pay for an extra hour at the reception hall.  We will just be serving light snacks and non-alcohol beverages during that time to hold people over until our reception begins.  This gives us and the wedding party time to go take pix while our guests are entertained.
  • lwardwe2lwardwe2 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011

    Hi! We are getting married and holding the reception at one venue in Forest Park. Pictures will be after the ceremony, and we're having a cocktail hour during picture time. Will guests get bored hanging around the venue for an hour, waiting for the reception? My fiance thinks our guests will want to wander around the park, but I'm not so sure. I don't want guests to be too burnt out to enjoy the reception. Any thoughts?

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