Wedding Reception Forum
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Ceremony/Reception Gap

My wedding mass will begin at 3:00p.m. and will last an hour. The reception venue is 8 miles from the church. I was thinking of starting the cocktail hour at 5:00p.m. I figured the (Catholic) ceremony could go a bit over an hour and by the time people stop for a while to say hello they will probably leave the church at 4:30. This is why I was thinking of starting it at 5:00 p.m. I had a coordinator tell me that I should start it at 4:30. What do you guys think?P.S. Our reception will be the only one on Saturday and the venue told us that if people arrive early they can still come into the cocktail space.

Re: Ceremony/Reception Gap

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    I say 5pm. Most places have only 1 hour for cocktails. If they get there late, they miss out on cocktails. I wouldn't start any earlier than 5p.
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    I would start at 4:30. Nuptual mass rarely goes an hour. Ours was 45 minutes, even with flowers for Mary and a unity candle. Your ceremony will definately be over by 4. Some people will walk around the church and chat, but other will head right over to the reception. 8 miles probably takes 15 minutes or less to travel, so people will start getting there at 4:15 or earlier. If you start at 5, that leaves people standing around for nearly an hour. Start at 4:30, and if people trickle in from 4:15-4:45, they'll be fine. Also, it gives people a reason to get out of the church (presumably where you are trying to take pictures.)
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    Thank you for the advice ladies. I appreciate it.
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