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Rhode Island

How much time between ceremony & reception?

My FI & I are really close to setting a date. We're putting deposits down for the Church & reception venue this weekend.  However, we've had difficulty trying to figure out what time to have our ceremony.  We're getting married on a Friday, so we want the ceremony to be later in the day.  The Church is in Bristol & the reception venue is in Newport (the Hyatt on Goat Island).  The cocktail hour would be scheduled to start at 6 PM, with the reception following at 7.  We want to make sure that we have plenty of time for pictures & everything, but at the same time we don't want to have a huge gap in between the ceremony & the reception.  At this point, we're talking about doing the ceremony at 4:30 but I'm just not sure if we should move it up to 4:00 just to be on the safe side.  We're planning on doing the short version, not the full Catholic mass.  How much time should there be between the ceremony & the reception?  Do you think we'd be cutting it a bit close if we did the ceremony at 4:30 & the reception at 7?Sorry for the long post!!  I'd love any & all feedback!Thanks so much!! :)Dana

Re: How much time between ceremony & reception?

  • cherish105cherish105 member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I don't think that would be cutting it too close, but I am also very much not a fan of gaps.  Our ceremony was at 5 with our cocktail hour starting right at 5:30.  I think you need to ask your photographer how much time they need and judge by that.  But keep in mind that since there is a gap and it's on a Friday, you may ahve a lot of guests skipping the ceremony and only going to the cocktail hour/reception.
  • emililieemililie member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I'd say move it to 4:00.  I'm doing the same thing - Friday ceremony with cocktail hour at 6, reception at 7... We're doing a shorter ceremony (no longer than 30 mins) starting at 4.  If you're doing a receiving line, it will take a long time.  We're not doing one, but our photographer already filled up all the time between the end of the ceremony and the cocktail hour.  I'd say why not add the extra half hour?  It'll help you, and an hour and a half is not too bad in between.  Especially since your guests will have to travel, it's not like both the ceremony and reception are at the same place.  Most people will stop somewhere for a drink or something.  Plus Newport's nice enough that people can also walk around, look at the water, do something.  Don't worry about them - they'll survive.  I went to a wedding last year with a THREE hour gap.
  • melinda478melinda478 member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Are you willing to see each other before the church? That's a great way to get most of your pics done beforehand. The gap isn't that big for guests b/c of the traffic between Bristol and Newport and espceailly on a Friday when the Boston crowd comes down for their summer rentals. Your guests will be fine but your picture time may not be...depends where your planning on taking your pics.
  • lwolf2001lwolf2001 member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Im a hyatt bride to! Whats your date? Which ballroom are you in? I would do ceremony at 4:30... should give you plenty of time. Your done by 5 then the guest have an hour to get to the Hyatt. Which is plenty of time. I hate when i go to wedding, and there is a gap of time between...because its like what do you do? Are you working with Toni? Shes awesome!
  • edited December 2011
    I got married on a Friday and we had our (very short) ceremony at about 3 and cocktail hour didn't start until 6:30.  Many guests couldn't make it to the ceremony, which we anticipated and were fine with. Other guests either went home (almost all guests were local) or gathered at someone's house for drinks.We left plenty of time to do photos because we really wanted to enjoy all of our cocktail hour.  If you want enough time to do pictures and enjoy your cocktail hour (or at least part of it) I would start at 4. The gap won't be that bad when you figure in Newport traffic, and like others said your guests can grab a drink and enjoy the views if they arrive early. HTH!
  • edited December 2011
    Hi ladies!  Thanks so so much for the feedback!  I think I'm going to move the ceremony to 4:00 just to be on the safe side.  Most of our guests are not local, so if we had a large gap I'm not sure where they would go.  We haven't started looking at photographers yet, so I didn't really have anyone to ask how long the pictures would take.  lwolf2001...I have been working with Toni and she has been awesome!  We're meeting with her tomorrow afternoon to put a deposit down.  We're  having the reception in the Rose Island Ballroom on Friday, September 10th.  When is your date??  Thanks again so much! :)Dana
  • kerac5kerac5 member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Don't worry about your guests-- Newport is a super easy place to kill an hour or so, and they'll be so impressed iwth the views, they'll enjoy the time to walk around.  People expect a gap between wedding and reception now.  You'll have plenty of other things to stress about :)
  • Mrs.McIrishMrs.McIrish member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Are you sure you get to pick the ceremony time? I would double check that with the church. My Catholic church told us the latest we can have the ceremony (on a Saturday) is 2:30 so I have no choice but to have a gap as I don't want the reception starting in the afternoon.  I always hated gaps too but often times you don't have a choice if you are doing a church. My reception is not starting til 6pm.

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  • lwolf2001lwolf2001 member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    HI Dana... Mine is 7-3-10 At the outside pavillion
  • edited December 2011
    I based my day-of timeline on the time of the sunset.  The best light for pics is 60-90 minutes before sunset, when the sun is low in the sky to light your faces nicely.  So I knew to have the reception start after that, and to have the ceremony just before that.  My FI didn't want to see me before the ceremony, otherwise we'd take pics beforehand (and we would have moved the ceremony and reception to be later).
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  • edited December 2011
    Hey all... So I spoke with the Church today (they've been  great so far!)...They're very flexible as far as the time of the ceremony.  The priest recommended that we have the ceremony at 3:00 PM.  He said that the ceremony itself will take 45 minutes max, but he said that it would probably take us another 30 minutes to do our receiving line.  I'm completely fine with having the ceremony a bit earlier.  I want to make sure that we have plenty of time for pictures.  Thanks so much for all of the advice!! We put a deposit down on the church today & we're finalizing the reception site tomorrow.  So our wedding date is definitely going to be September 10, 2010!  I'm so excited!!! :)Thanks again! Dana
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