Catholic Weddings

"Catholic Gap" Ideas?

Hey girls! Soooo, my church can't do the wedding any later than 2:30 pm since they have a 5:00 mass, and I am having a dinner reception where the coctail hour won't start until 5:00 pm. I know this is fairly common, but should I provide any form of entertainment for out of town guests? Most of my fiance's family is local, but most of my family will be flying in from Puerto Rico, Florida, and California and will most likely be staying at the same hotel where we are having the reception. I would greatly appreciate your input!
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Re: "Catholic Gap" Ideas?

  • If you could set up a hospitality suite in the hotel with some basic beverages and snacks I think that is ideal. This is what a friend of mine did when she was married.
  • I'm having the same problem. My church is in a very social town, so I'm hoping if people feel the need to kill an hour they can just wander the area for a little while before driving 25 minutes to the reception. I originally planned to have the reception start at 4:30, but it cut our picture time by 30 minutes, and I don't want to rush that.

    There will be plenty of people for your guests to socialize with, so the time will probably go quickly! I like the idea Riss suggested. 
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  • This is a budget-heavy idea, so it may not be feasible for you, but I once saw a couple hire a small trolley or tour bus to entertain OOT guests with a site-seeing tour of the area.  I thought it was a lovely idea.  A friend hired a local high school's well-known "Strolling Strings" ensemble to perform for her guests for only a $200 donation to their music program.  I didn't want to have the "Catholic gap," especially considering 3/4 of our guests were not Catholic and might be put off, so we just started the refreshments earlier at the reception.  Though the gap is acceptable and even expected in some circles, I still find it inconsiderate.
    "Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine!" (Isaiah 43:1)
  • I have heard of that, but I don't want people to be completelly full by the time cocktail hour rolls around! When I was planning on having my wedding in Williamsburg, VA it wasn't going to be an issue since there is a ton to do within walking distance, but now that it is at my home town, there is absolutely nothing to do lol 
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  • cant you start cocktail hour at 4?
    your wedding will last about an hour, you said its a 25 minute drive.  that puts you right at 4, dinner at 5.

    a gap really should be avoided if possible, and for many it is not common at all - i had never heard of such a thing until the knot.
  • I have only seen it done at Catholic weddings. It's one of those etiquette things that kind of has an exception in certain circles
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_catholic-weddings_catholic-gap-ideas?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:615Discussion:40d3db32-0bc0-43a8-896e-986851cde173Post:90ae79fd-8af0-4232-b97a-827e1b5f30fc">Re: "Catholic Gap" Ideas?</a>:
    [QUOTE]cant you start cocktail hour at 4? your wedding will last about an hour, you said its a 25 minute drive.  that puts you right at 4, dinner at 5. a gap really should be avoided if possible, and for many it is not common at all - i had never heard of such a thing until the knot.
    Posted by Calypso1977[/QUOTE]

    I agree with Calypso.  Our cocktail hour starts at 4 for this reason.

    If you want time for pictures, you can always skip cocktail hour.  That's what B&G normally do anyways.

    SaveSave
  • That comes out to about 1 1/2 hour gap, no biggie.  We hosted wine, fruits, cheeses, etc in one of the villas at the reception site.

  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_catholic-weddings_catholic-gap-ideas?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:615Discussion:40d3db32-0bc0-43a8-896e-986851cde173Post:8f76ef99-0a12-4d4c-8783-42507d716bf0">Re: "Catholic Gap" Ideas?</a>:
    [QUOTE]If you could set up a hospitality suite in the hotel with some basic beverages and snacks I think that is ideal. This is what a friend of mine did when she was married.
    Posted by Riss91[/QUOTE]

    This is exactly what I did and I think it worked out pretty well. We gave a few guests from each side of the family a room key so they could get in without having to wait on my parents who had to stick around longer for pictures after mass.
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  • I don't think you need to worry about your guests "filling up."  When I am a guest at weddings, I find I have "extra capacity" for food.
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  • It is interesting that until the Knot, I didn't know that a gap wasn't common...

    In our area, all weddings (unless the ceremony is at the reception site) tend to have a gap.  It is just what people do.  Of course, that could also be because we are so heavily Catholic.
  • I am also struggling with this problem.  We have to have our ceremony no later than 1pm because the church has Mass at 4pm on Saturdays. Reception is at 5.  My fiance's family and friends are coming from out of town.  His parents were going to host a hospitality suite atthe hotel between the wedding and the reception with beverages and snacks.  I have never been to a Catholic wedding where there wasn't a "gap" in between.  I thought about putting a little note in with the invitation regarding the hospitality suite just so everyone will know about it. 

  • you can also avoid gaps by having a morning wedding wtih a lunch reception.  most of teh catholic weddings ive been to (including my own) were done this way.

    you just cant assume that catholics will understand this because it isnt done that way in all regions/social circles/etc.
  • My parents hosted a little party at their house between the ceremony and reception, and H's parents did the same at their restaurant. No alcohol, just soda, tea, lemonade, snacks, etc. 
  • ootmother2ootmother2 member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 25 Love Its First Answer
    edited August 2012
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_catholic-weddings_catholic-gap-ideas?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural Wedding BoardsForum:615Discussion:40d3db32-0bc0-43a8-896e-986851cde173Post:4c9da6ac-6d7e-4b53-bb15-9f8115690ff0">Re: "Catholic Gap" Ideas?</a>:
    [QUOTE]you can also avoid gaps by having a morning wedding wtih a lunch reception.  most of teh catholic weddings ive been to (including my own) were done this way. you just cant assume that catholics will understand this because it isnt done that way in all regions/social circles/etc.
    Posted by Calypso1977[/QUOTE]


    But  it's NOT done in our social circle at all.  Weddings are generally Thursday PM - Sunday night.  Break when you have the need.

    AND it's not done in your geographic area either.  Lynn,Manchester, Lynnfield, Salem, etc. wedding still are evening events.  with a gap
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_catholic-weddings_catholic-gap-ideas?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural Wedding BoardsForum:615Discussion:40d3db32-0bc0-43a8-896e-986851cde173Post:5db3b548-aa04-4c8d-b8b0-8381085b44d6">Re: "Catholic Gap" Ideas?</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: "Catholic Gap" Ideas? : This is exactly what I did and I think it worked out pretty well. We gave a few guests from each side of the family a room key so they could get in without having to wait on my parents who had to stick around longer for pictures after mass.
    Posted by Tami87[/QUOTE]

    I'm thinking we'll try this to in addition to having a hand out of various things they can do by walking into town before the cocktail hour starts.
  • well it must be social circles then, OOT, because ive been to catholic weddings in Stow, Fitchburg, Tewskbury (2), Haverhill, Scituate and Wrentham, as well as one in Portsmouth NH - no gaps. 
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_catholic-weddings_catholic-gap-ideas?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural Wedding BoardsForum:615Discussion:40d3db32-0bc0-43a8-896e-986851cde173Post:9f68795c-336c-456c-bd02-493def567abe">Re: "Catholic Gap" Ideas?</a>:
    [QUOTE]well it must be social circles then, OOT, because ive been to catholic weddings in Stow, Fitchburg, Tewskbury (2), Haverhill, Scituate and Wrentham, as well as one in Portsmouth NH - no gaps. 
    Posted by Calypso1977[/QUOTE]

    yes, I'm quite sure that it's a difference in social circles
  • I am way late to this thread...catching up on my Knot.com reading!

    If it helps, I have been to many weddings - Catholic and not - where a gap like the one OP mentioned exists. In fact, my own wedding has the same gap - 2:30pm ceremony and 5pm cocktail hour start. As someone who attended weddings with a large gap like that, I never was in a situation where I didn't know what to do before the reception started. Sometimes I went home, went to a bar for a drink (only when I was with someone who didn't drink of corse) or went somewhere and wandered around for a while, a park once and a mall another time. I always thought it was nice to have that time, especially if I wanted to freshen up or change shoes or whatever. I guess it's not uncommon in my part of town, regardless, I'm sure everyone will be happy and excited to attend your ceremony and reception! 
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