I saw a post similar to this on the Etiquette board, but I'd be interested to hear your opinions because sometimes I feel like things that are totally looked down upon elsewhere flies without a hitch around here.
Anyway... The latest our church will allow us to hold the wedding is 4:30 - and that's if ALL photos are done before the ceremony. If we want any photos at all done inside the church after the ceremony, the latest the ceremony can be is 3:30. While it doesn't really matter to me, my FI is pretty insistant that he wants to wait until the altar to see me for the first time. That puts us in the 3:30 start time slot. We don't expect the service to last any longer than 30 min, so concluding around 4.
Our reception venue suggests this timeline:
5:30-6:30 cocktail hour
6:30-7:30 dinner (bar closed)
7:30-10:30 open bar/dancing
reception concludes at 11
During the gap, the bridal party will finish up photos at the church, then go to the park where FI proposed to me to do photos there as well. We would then be introduced by our DJ possibly around 6 and join the cocktail hour for a brief time before dinner (give us another opportunity to get individual time with guests to thank them for coming).
I guess my question is... How do you think this gap will be received? I've personally been to several weddings that have a gap like this. We thought it might offer our OOT guests a chance to take their cars back to the hotel and then be shuttled from the hotel to the reception venue. Problems with this idea are that it won't take an hour and a half for guests to get to the hotel, then be shuttled, so they'd be left with extra time at the hotel - maybe they could get a drink there? I don't know? Also, this doesn't account for what the local guests will do...
(WOW - SORRY THIS TURNED OUT SO LONG!!)