Wedding Reception Forum

In-between activities?

My entire family will be coming in from out of town for my wedding the end of June.  They aren't familiar with the area (Reading) and unfortunately, not all staying at the same hotel.  There will be about a 2 hour window between the ceremony and the reception.  And it will only take guests about 10 minutes to travel from one location to the next.  I was thinking of setting up some sort of activity for guests to participate in...there is a historical site (The Reading Pagoda) about a mile from the reception site that offers group tours. 

My thoughts were to set up a pre-arranged tour and pass the info along to everyone in attendance.  Of course, this all depends on the size of the tours that they offer, timing and cost. 

Has anyone every done this for their guests?  Was it successful?  Depending on the cost, I was thinking that as long as it was $100 or less...if no one participated, I would just think of it as a donation to the group that runs the site.
"But the most exciting, challenging, and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you can find someone to love the you you love, well, that's just Fabulous." - Carrie Sex and the City

Re: In-between activities?

  • We had about an hour and a half gap due to church & venue timing rules.  We invited everyone back to one of the villas at the CC where the reception was to be held and served wine, cheeses & fruit, water, soda, etc.
  • Unfortunately, the gap isn't something that I can change due to the constrictions of the church and the reception location.  I'm not sure if I would call it rude...of the 7 or so weddings that I've been to in the past year, a two hour gap seems to be the norm and the minimal time frame right now.  I was at a wedding last weekend in which there was a 4 hour gap.

    I would love to host something the involves refreshments before the cocktail hour begins but am having a hard time finding a central and available location.  (Background, there is a MAJOR convention in the city that weekend that is making planning challenging).  I am just weighing some of my options and looking for feedback as to what other people have done.
    "But the most exciting, challenging, and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you can find someone to love the you you love, well, that's just Fabulous." - Carrie Sex and the City
  • Avion22Avion22 member
    5 Love Its First Comment
    I would pick one hotel (the one with the most people staying at it, or is the most central), and book a hospitality suite or conference room or something.  Have non-alcoholic drinks and some munchies.   
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_reception-ideas_in-between-activities?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:5Discussion:37475b44-0e5e-4f0a-b117-18e5d5b31d22Post:1c5e08c0-cca1-4181-ae3b-a623c6f93f22">Re: In-between activities?</a>:
    [QUOTE]Unfortunately, the gap isn't something that I can change due to the constrictions of the church and the reception location.  I'm not sure if I would call it rude...of the 7 or so weddings that I've been to in the past year, a two hour gap seems to be the norm and the minimal time frame right now.  I was at a wedding last weekend in which there was a 4 hour gap. I would love to host something the involves refreshments before the cocktail hour begins but am having a hard time finding a central and available location.  (Background, there is a MAJOR convention in the city that weekend that is making planning challenging).  I am just weighing some of my options and looking for feedback as to what other people have done.
    Posted by rondokye[/QUOTE]

    <div>Just because other people did it does not mean it isn't rude.  Leaving your guests to wait around for 2 hours until you can be bothered to host them IS rude.  You chose a church and reception location without thinking about the timing, therefore you created this problem.  It's not your guests' fault, and they shouldn't be punished for your poor planning.</div><div>
    </div><div>Host a cocktail hour at another location before the reception starts.  Have it in your home if you have to (but a hotel or restaurant is a much better option).  </div><div>
    </div><div>Do not leave your guests to wonder around in dress clothes.  No one wants to go on a tour in a cocktail dress.  You will find that they either sit in their cars or go to a bar while they wait for you.  (And they will not think nice things while they wait around for you.)</div><div>
    </div><div>At the very least, warn your guests what you are up to.  GIve people the opportunity to plan to skip one of the disconnected events and save themselves the hassle.</div>
  • Ok - seriously?  But I've had a crappy day at work and therefore am going to go out on a limb here and engage.  No one on this board knows me.  If you did, you would know that 'rude' is the last description that would ever be used to describe me.  My FI and I had reasons for choosing the venues that we did.  And yes, because of those decisions, we have to deal with a time gap.  I am an adult.  I realize that.  I am also insulted that it has been insinuated that I can't be bothered to host my guests.  That's the furthest thing from the truth. 

    I have been trying for 9 months to block hotel rooms and set a side a space for guests to relax in between the events.  But when I say that a convention has taken over the city - I mean it literally.  Every hotel representative has laughed at me when I called.  But I'm not giving up. Hence my question being posted on the boards.

    I have supplied my guests with a list of nearby bars/restaurants, shopping areas, museums, etc.  I am just trying to make the best of the situation and come up with  OPTIONS.  This isn't mandatory. I am also trying to work with the reception venue to see if there is something that can be done to get people in earlier.

    I am/was just simply looking for some feedback on what other people have done. Fine - people think that its a bad idea because they personally wouldn't want to walk through a 100 year old Pagoda. I'm ok with being told that. But please don't assume that I'm not thinking about my guests.
    "But the most exciting, challenging, and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you can find someone to love the you you love, well, that's just Fabulous." - Carrie Sex and the City
  • if i were a guest invited to your wedding, I would probably welcome a little down time.  I would not want to have to feel obligated to go to the tour or the little party that you set up.  Sometimes a little time to yourself in your room is just what you need.

    I wouldn't want to have to deal with that kind of time gap but hey, if you can't help it,
    you can't....good luck!
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  • kaos16kaos16 member
    First Answer First Anniversary 5 Love Its First Comment
    I hate gaps between ceremonies and receptions personally.  With that being said,  I would really appreciate getting pamphlets of stuff to do in the area if i'm unfamiliar.  Maybe you can get discount coupons to a bar, restaurant or tourist location.  The snacks and drinks at a central location sounds good too.  I would not want to be stuck just sitting with nothing to do.
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot member
    First Comment First Anniversary First Answer 5 Love Its
    edited May 2012
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_reception-ideas_in-between-activities?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:5Discussion:37475b44-0e5e-4f0a-b117-18e5d5b31d22Post:cb77c83e-57ca-4b5e-8818-d985911c1b74">Re: In-between activities?</a>:
    [QUOTE]Ok - seriously?  But I've had a crappy day at work and therefore am going to go out on a limb here and engage.  No one on this board knows me.  If you did, you would know that 'rude' is the last description that would ever be used to describe me.  My FI and I had reasons for choosing the venues that we did.  And yes, because of those decisions, we have to deal with a time gap.  I am an adult.  I realize that.  I am also insulted that it has been insinuated that I can't be bothered to host my guests.  That's the furthest thing from the truth.  I have been trying for 9 months to block hotel rooms and set a side a space for guests to relax in between the events.  But when I say that a convention has taken over the city - I mean it literally.  Every hotel representative has laughed at me when I called.  But I'm not giving up. Hence my question being posted on the boards. I have supplied my guests with a list of nearby bars/restaurants, shopping areas, museums, etc.  I am just trying to make the best of the situation and come up with  OPTIONS.  This isn't mandatory. I am also trying to work with the reception venue to see if there is something that can be done to get people in earlier. I am/was just simply looking for some feedback on what other people have done. Fine - people think that its a bad idea because they personally wouldn't want to walk through a 100 year old Pagoda. I'm ok with being told that. But please don't assume that I'm not thinking about my guests.
    Posted by rondokye[/QUOTE]<div>
    </div><div>You personally may not be what people think of when they think of rude, but leaving a gap in a wedding is rude.  It doesn't matter if you are Skanky McTackerson or if you are the Queen of England.  Leaving your guests to wait around for you is a rude act.  You may not think of yourself as a rude person, but this is still a rude thing to do.  </div><div>
    </div><div>You have gotten some good options.  You should have planned it better to avoid the gap, but that ship has sailed.  At this point, your options are to 1) Move the ceremony or reception time to close the gap, 2) Move the ceremony or reception location to a more flexible venue, 3) host refreshments somewhere during the gap, or 4) decide you can't be bothered with your guests' comfort and just ignore them.  </div><div>
    </div><div>Short of offering a suspended animation chamber, there is no magic solution.  </div>
  • PeavyPeavy member
    5 Love Its First Comment
    I am obviously in the minority here, but I think that adults can figure out what to do with themselves for two hours. 
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_reception-ideas_in-between-activities?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:5Discussion:37475b44-0e5e-4f0a-b117-18e5d5b31d22Post:56e38384-f11b-4cdd-ad78-3139611369db">Re: In-between activities?</a>:
    [QUOTE]I am obviously in the minority here, but I think that adults can figure out what to do with themselves for two hours. 
    Posted by Peavy[/QUOTE]

    <div>Of course they can.  They can also figure out what to do with themselves for the whole day.  You don't invite them somewhere so that they can entertain themselves.  You invite them because you are planning to host them.  </div>
  • cld39cld39 member
    First Comment
    edited May 2012
    Wow I'm not sure why this is such a sensitive issue! I don't think its a big deal. If I was invited to a wedding and I was so unbelievably offended by the gap in between events, I would put my grown-up pants on and a) occupy myself somehow, because I am an adult or b) not go to the wedding!

    In our social circle, we have Catholic weddings. They have to be held in the early afternoon because mass is held in the evening. So 2pm. That's it. No choice. I think people understand this. And I think people that don't understand this and get their panties in a bunch wouldn't be invited to my wedding anyways.

    We were thinking of making a list of attractions that people could do - there's a park nearby, the bar where we had our first date, a coffee shop we used to study at. I don't think you need to "book" something necessarily. I would actually feel like that would be TOO much for me to do as a guest. But that's just me.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_reception-ideas_in-between-activities?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:5Discussion:37475b44-0e5e-4f0a-b117-18e5d5b31d22Post:56e38384-f11b-4cdd-ad78-3139611369db">Re: In-between activities?</a>:
    [QUOTE]I am obviously in the minority here, but I think that adults can figure out what to do with themselves for two hours. 
    Posted by Peavy[/QUOTE]

    I agree. I see it as, it is my wedding and I will do what <u>I </u>want. If I am not able to move things around or find a place for everyone to hang out, then fine. People can entertain themselves. Your wedding is about you and your fiance. It is not about anyone else. If some of your guests decide to not come because they had 2 hours of inbetween time to find something to do, then that is there problem. But seeing as it is your family and friends, I'm willing to bet they wont care and they will still show up. And no, I don't find it rude. Crap happens. I find it awesome that you are handling it, and I'm sorry some people on here are being ignorant and RUDE to you.
  • Helsy85Helsy85 member
    First Comment
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_reception-ideas_in-between-activities?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:5Discussion:37475b44-0e5e-4f0a-b117-18e5d5b31d22Post:a4d5c477-2e07-405a-8e3c-793dea3e0b79">Re: In-between activities?</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: In-between activities? : I agree. I see it as, it is my wedding and I will do what I want. If I am not able to move things around or find a place for everyone to hang out, then fine. People can entertain themselves. Your wedding is about you and your fiance. It is not about anyone else. If some of your guests decide to not come because they had 2 hours of inbetween time to find something to do, then that is there problem. But seeing as it is your family and friends, I'm willing to bet they wont care and they will still show up. And no, I don't find it rude. Crap happens. I find it awesome that you are handling it, and I'm sorry some people on here are being ignorant and RUDE to you.
    Posted by radiantfiore[/QUOTE]


    I totally agree! i cannot believe how completely rude and mean people are being on here right now! Most people these days have gaps between ceremony and reception and its just not a big deal! the people from out of town might really enjoy seeing some of the area if you were to organise something for them! If its too much of a hassle to actually book something, giving them a list of bars, cafes, places of interest nearby is a great idea! If people are put off by having to entertain themselves for an hour or so, im sure they will get over it by the time they arrive at the reception and your party begins! because weddings are about love, happiness and friends and family. Not about being bitchy cos you had to wait a little while!
  • edited May 2012

    There are some people on this board that like to label everything they dislike as rude.

    Your guests will be ok.  I've been to many weddings with the ol' "Catholic Gap" and I have never once been put off by it.  If people skip either the wedding or the reception, no big deal.  The majority of your guests will be at both because just as you are hosting them, they are celebrating you.  A lot of weddings are like family reunions and people are happy to meet at the hotel lobby, bar or a local restaurant for a cocktail to catch up before the reception.  I agree with the previous posters who said to just make people aware of what's around.  You can do little welcome bags at the hotels.  Maybe 2 bottles of water and some snacks and print out some info for them.

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  • Wow.... Not sure what to say here. I too have been to weddings with gaps between the ceremony and celebration. One gap was 6 hours! Oh man it sucked, but we didn't complain. Went and bought some flats bc my heels were already killing me, had a drink at the cheesecake factory with some other guests, then got a quick bite to eat. This particular couple hosted a happy hour at the hotel during the down time. Drinks were paid for by the guests but I believe the bride negotiated a discounted rate. Sometimes gaps can't be helped, and sometimes it's done so the couple can get pictures taken and not miss cocktail hour... Yes it's not an ideal situation for guests, but these posts have been kinda "rude" I don't like reading such negative posts on here, weddings are stressful and this bride was asking for some advice, that's all. She realizes that her guests will need something to do, and she is trying to make that happen... My suggestion would be to do a happy hour, or find a restaurant that has great specials and try to negotiate some deals for the guests... Even if they are footing the bill themselves at least you tried to organize something. I wouldn't stress too much your family loves you and hopefully will be understanding.
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  • Tami87Tami87 member
    First Anniversary 5 Love Its Name Dropper First Comment
    We also have a gap. Catholic church wedding at 2pm, evening reception. In my and FI's circle it is the norm and I didn't think anything of it until I came on these boards and saw the strong reaction to gaps. At that point it was too late to change any of the timing around. Personally, I am more annoyed when I show up immediately at the reception and have to wait over an hour for the bride and groom to show up because they ran late taking pictures than when I know there is a gap and I have time to go relax in my hotel room or catch up with friends or relatives at a bar. Because the gap will give us plenty of time for pictures we plan to be there at the beginning of our cocktail hour and greet guests as they arrive.

    However, because of these boards I got really worried about some of my guests finding the gap rude so we booked a hospitatlity suite at the hotel where all the OOT guests are staying. We plan to host beer and wine and light snacks at the hotel if guests want a place to hang out and plan to have a shuttle from the hotel to the reception so guests can feel free to enjoy the beer and wine without worrying about having to drive shortly after. I am also hoping if people are a little slow leaving the church and with the drive it will be closer to an hour gap than two hours. FI's family are the ones who are local and FMIL has assured me that they all expect a gap and she will take care of hosting them if need be.
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  • I went to a wedding that was near a zoo, they had a 2 hour gap between the ceremony and reception and had arranged for their guest to have a private tour of the primate house...it was pretty cool!
    For our wedding we've got an extended (2 hour) cocktail hour between the ceremony and reception (travel time is about 2 minutes walking) and we're setting up lawn games (croquet, bocce, ladder golf, horse-shoes...) so our guests have something to do while we're taking photos and waiting for dinner.
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  • I have a gap as well as we are having the ceremony in the same hall as the reception and the seating will have to be changed over.  The hall is small so there's no where else to put people where we do this.  I can't see anyone actually leaving and not coming back as they are just close friends and family, and we are used to gaps around here as well. 

    To answer your actual question though, I think the tour might be an ok idea if some of your guests didn't know other people.  Personally, I would prefer to just go to my hotel to relax, or to sit and catch up with people.....more then likely at a pub or something.  If you are on close terms with a lot of these people, I would just email or call them up and ask if it was something they are interested in.
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  • saric83saric83 member
    First Anniversary 5 Love Its First Comment Name Dropper
    edited May 2012
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_reception-ideas_in-between-activities?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:5Discussion:37475b44-0e5e-4f0a-b117-18e5d5b31d22Post:a4d5c477-2e07-405a-8e3c-793dea3e0b79">Re: In-between activities?</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: In-between activities? : I agree. <strong>I see it as, it is my wedding and I will do what I want.</strong> If I am not able to move things around or find a place for everyone to hang out, then fine. People can entertain themselves. <strong>Your wedding is about you and your fiance. It is not about anyone else</strong>. If some of your guests decide to not come because they had 2 hours of inbetween time to find something to do, then that is there problem. But seeing as it is your family and friends, I'm willing to bet they wont care and they will still show up. And no, I don't find it rude. Crap happens. I find it awesome that you are handling it, and I'm sorry some people on here are being ignorant and RUDE to you.
    Posted by radiantfiore[/QUOTE]

    Um....wow.  And actually, you're wrong because it stopped being about just you guys when you invited other people!

    I'm definitely against the gaps (and I too come from a social circle of Catholic weddings, but a cocktail hour can be hosted and receptions can start earlier than 5 or 6pm.)  But either way, it sounds like the gap cannot be undone at this point, so please keep trying to find a place to host a cocktail hour!  Post on the local board and find something!  Perhaps a restaurant's back room, golf course clubhouse, rent out part of a bar (we do this for work happy hours often, and it works out great!)   

    I honestly don't mind the gaps at all when I'm attending a wedding with a big group of friends because we would have a blast going to a bar in-between or something, but for all of your guest who don't know a ton of people and/or are from out of town, it sucks. : (
  • I personally would love the idea of the trolley tour...how fun.  And such a different thing to do at a wedding. 

    2 hous can drag but when you'r ehaving fun, it flies by.  I think your guests will be fine.  Cocktail hours are pretty rare around here and a fairly new concept so guests are used to a little 'down time' to catch up, minlge, etc.  Last wedding we went to last December was very low budget, a Catholic wedding and after the ceremony, the couple stood on the steps to take pics and guests took pics, etc.

    We arrived at the reception venue and i didn't even notice how long we waited... seemed like no time at all.  

    I don't think the op is beng rude in the least.  She is planning on hosting her guests at the reception.  Not having a 'pe-cocktail' hour is not going to ruin the day for the guests.  
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  • I don't think it's RUDE to have a 2 hour gap between your ceremony & reception. I went t a wedding last year and we waited for about an hour and a half and then a shuttle took us to the reception. I enjoyed the down time because I was able to freshen up and relax a little until the reception started. When we got to the reception, they had some beverages and hor d'oeurves for about a 15 -30 minutes until the wedding party and bride & groom arrived. This allowed us to get in our seats, visit with pople we haven't seen in a long time and visit.

    I am getting married in September, and there will be about an hour and a half to 2 hour time in between my wedding as well. We are doing this, not because we are RUDE, but because we have to make sure we have time for pictures and I do not want to be rushed through them. We are also providing a list of acitivties and things in town that they can visit while they are in town if they so chose, and we are also providing transportation to the reception that will be picking up those who are staying in hotels. This will also help shorten the gap because the shuttle will be going from 2 or 3 hotels in town picking up the guests about 45-30 minutes prior to the reception (everything is still in planning). 
    --So really, it's not rude, people don't mind waiting for the bride & groom to do what they need to do unless they are the rude ones. The bride & groom understand that we can't keep their guests waiting forever, but sometimes things just don't allow everything to work out in the perfect way.
    If possible, you may want to look into a form of transportation to and from the reception for your guests, that may also help shorten the time in between.
  • I hate gaps.  Most weddings I attend I do not stay the night, yet I am too far to drive home during the gap.  I don't want to go feed the ducks at the park or take a historical tour.  I'll do that another day when I'm wearing my jeans and flip flops.

    The cocktail hour is really the time to take pictures.  But nowadays the bride and groom feel they don't want to miss that either.  So they create this unnecessary gap that their guests have to wait out.  As a host, I think it is extremely inconsiderate to do this to your guests. 
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_reception-ideas_in-between-activities?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:5Discussion:37475b44-0e5e-4f0a-b117-18e5d5b31d22Post:9c24a7a7-8e38-47c8-9def-91e99c7735a3">Re: In-between activities?</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: In-between activities? : You kind of sound childish when you say "Ugh, I don't WANT to do these activities that the bride and groom are trying to provide me!" You don't have to, but they are trying.  I ENJOYED touring the park and feeding the ducks and koi fish. I was GLAD to get the chance to do it, and to do it for free. It was a fun, creative way to pass time on a beautiful day and catch up with friends. The bride and groom did miss the cocktail hour, just like we will, but things happen and this was a great way for them to fill the void. 
    Posted by Harry87[/QUOTE]

    No offense, but if I'm all decked out and ready for a formal party, walking around a park dodging bird crap in the pathways in who knows what kind of weather is not my idea of fun. 

    The bride and groom don't have to "try" to plan side activities.  They can be courteous to their guests and not have a gap, thereby eliminating these activities!  I'm not quite sure I understand why a gap is even necessary. Start the reception earlier.  Problem solved.
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