Wedding Etiquette Forum

Gap between ceremony/reception?


Re: Gap between ceremony/reception?

  • And the "free food" argument is ridiculous when you take into account how much money guests spend to attend a wedding. It's like saying I only attend conventions for the free swag.
    How much do they spend to attend a wedding? I was obviously talking about local weddings. I send a gift regardless of whether or not I attend, so for me, if the wedding is local, the cost difference between attending or not attending is 0.
    Nowhere was it obvious that you were referring only to local weddings. But yes, I DO still spend money to attend local weddings - for a gift (usually at LEAST $50), a shower gift, possibly a new outfit, a cab or public transportation... Not everyone does send a gift regardless, so just because YOU do doesn't mean that's the case for everyone.

    And for the sake of argument, let's say it's NOT a local wedding, but one I have to drive 4 hours to attend. If the ceremony is at 12pm and the reception is at 5pm, then yeah, I may very well decide not to wake up at 6:30am to get ready, drive four hours for the hour-long ceremony, sit around for four hours, and then attend the reception. In this case, I would be spending money on transportation and a hotel, in addition to gift, etc.  I wouldn't be driving 4 hours just for a free meal and some booze, I would be traveling so I could celebrate with the B&G. My main point is that while you might judge people for not attending a horribly timed ceremony, it doesn't mean that people who attend just the reception are all just mooches who want free food and booze. Judge away though, as is your right.
    BabyFruit Ticker
  • PrettyGirlLostPrettyGirlLost A Land Filled with Unicorns and Cat Hair member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer



    Most ppl in the thread didn't seem to care if other guests were skipping the ceremony. . .

    "Love is the one thing we're capable of perceiving that transcends time and space."

  • And my sole experience with a gapped wedding, I was in the WP. Let me just say that the gap may have been the smallest etiquette disaster of the day. PPD, cash bar, not enough food (including for WP who was still taking more pictures), dollar dance, and that was just day of. And the bride wonders why we are not friends now.

    As such, I see a gap, I decline. I've attended a lovely morning wedding with a fellowship hall luncheon. No stinking gap. Everyone was happy and it was very nice.
    [Deleted User]PrettyGirlLost
  • MGPMGP member
    Knottie Warrior 500 Love Its 500 Comments Name Dropper
    edited August 2015
    Thinking more about this discussion and it finally hit me why I think people who choose to attend the reception only (or ceremony only) doesn't bother me that much. Yes, I still think it's kind of rude and maybe a little lazy. I mean providing the couple followed etiquette and hosted a non gapped event and I was available why wouldn't I attend both?


    A couple cannot choose how a guest spends their time. It's their time. Just like determining how much to spend on a gift, it's their choice. They can prioritize it however they like. Their time, their money, their decision. Not the couple's.

    What makes gaps so rude is that the couple is making people wait around for them and kill time at their own expense. Because I guarantee you all of those bar, restaurant, and coffee shop bills weren't picked up by Bridezilla and Groomzilla.
  • In my experience, a lot of people will skip the ceremony and attend only the reception if the gap is too long. I am one to usually suck it up and go to both, but I do hate having to coordinate with guests outside where we are going to "hang out" for the next few hours while we wait. It usually ends up being a restaurant or a bar and then we are the most dressed up people in the entire place. It's not the end of the world, but several hours is a pain.

    Out of maybe 15 weddings in my life, only 2 have not had a gap (one was on a boat and the other was a destination wedding). I have about a 30 minute gap in between my ceremony and reception on my wedding day this fall, but the locations are different so by the time people move their cars (or walk, it is only a few blocks away), I think the ceremony location will be open for them to congregate in the foyer area at least before they start serving food/drinks. I don't think people will think it is that big of a deal, and if some choose to skip the ceremony and just attend the reception, that really is no big deal to me either. The ceremony I will be entirely focused on me and FH at the alter, where the reception is when I can actually go around and talk to everyone who came anyway.
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    OMG, how could I forget the worse gap wedding I attended?

    I wasa BM and we wore green velvet dresses in April in Arizona.  It was like fucking 89 degrees that day.   After the ceremony we were taken to the reception place for "pictures".   Okay, sure.   Well after a very short time taking pictures we were summoned into the reception all by the MOB and TOLD to setup the reception.  As in rolling tables, setting up chairs, table clothes that whole kit and kaboodle. 

    So not only was there a gap, I was also a bride-slave.    The bar wasn't even open yet to drown my sorrows.    :(      At least my dad hosted a cocktail hour for our side of the family so they had something to do.  

    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
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