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Catholic Weddings

Anybody else early church ceremony later reception?

Realized this might be a better place to post.

Is it ok to have a 2 pm Catholic ceremony and 7 pm reception. The reception site is booked and that is the earliest we can have it as they have another event happening earlier, so my only option would be to change churches and it was difficult to find one to start--as I'm out of town.

Other option: Suggestions for something for guest to do in between?

Re: Anybody else early church ceremony later reception?

  • doctabroccolidoctabroccoli member
    1000 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Question for you.  Are gaps common in your social circles?  They are in mine, so it's not an issue.  If you've never been to a wedding with a gap, you may want to reconsider.  Gaps are one of those things that vary by social circle :).
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  • HandBananaHandBanana member
    Seventh Anniversary 500 Comments
    edited December 2011
    This is pretty common. Our wedding mass is at 2:30 and cocktail hour starts at 6pm.  His mom is actually hosting light drinks and snacks between.  You could talk to your reception location about how much it would be to start a cocktail hour earlier?


    I recommend this site.  I'm using it for my family/friends because they are unfamiliar with our church.  http://www.weddingmapper.com/
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  • ootmother2ootmother2 member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 25 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2011
    Wedding was at 1:30, out at 2:45, full mass.  We did the receiving line outside the church until about 3:15.

    The parents and bridal party went to the beach for photos but we hosted a wine, fruit, cheese, waters, etc. back at a villa on the grounds of the CC where the reception was held.

    Doors opened for the cocktail hour right at 5:00.

    Almost all of the 200 guests were family and or/Catholic so they would have been surprised if we had started the reception immediately.

    I think a limited gap is okay if you host something for your guests.

    Unless you live in NYC where, for some odd reason, people love gaps.  go figure
  • ootmother2ootmother2 member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 25 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2011
    I guess I shouldn't mention the keg that the groomsmen set up in the parking lot while we were receiving guests :)
  • HandBananaHandBanana member
    Seventh Anniversary 500 Comments
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_catholic-weddings_anybody-else-early-church-ceremony-later-reception?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:615Discussion:83db774c-d88c-412e-8dac-44ebeebe77c6Post:e77105ac-c1b5-49bc-9e5c-d949905d2311">Re: Anybody else early church ceremony later reception?</a>:
    [QUOTE]I guess I shouldn't mention the keg that the groomsmen set up in the parking lot while we were receiving guests :)
    Posted by ootmother2[/QUOTE]

    My uncle missed the first half of my parent's wedding because my grandmother *ahem* poured the drinks heavy when she hosted people between the wedding and reception.
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  • catarntinacatarntina member
    1000 Comments Fourth Anniversary Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_catholic-weddings_anybody-else-early-church-ceremony-later-reception?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:615Discussion:83db774c-d88c-412e-8dac-44ebeebe77c6Post:ef20148f-394b-4bfe-9b2e-0f2c60e7c572">Re: Anybody else early church ceremony later reception?</a>:
    [QUOTE]Question for you.  Are gaps common in your social circles?  They are in mine, so it's not an issue.  If you've never been to a wedding with a gap, you may want to reconsider.  Gaps are one of those things that vary by social circle :).
    Posted by doctabroccoli[/QUOTE]

    This... We had a gap. Very common in Northwest Ohio, too.  I've never been to a wedding without a gap, so it was a no-brainer for me.

    I had 2 pm wedding and 6pm reception.  Guests went to my parents house (they live across the street from the church) for an informal cocktail hour.  Several people went home though.  A lot of people did not go to the ceremony -- be prepared for that.
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  • ootmother2ootmother2 member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 25 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_catholic-weddings_anybody-else-early-church-ceremony-later-reception?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural Wedding BoardsForum:615Discussion:83db774c-d88c-412e-8dac-44ebeebe77c6Post:44b31e37-3a79-409a-a3b4-e43598ccc8f9">Re: Anybody else early church ceremony later reception?</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Anybody else early church ceremony later reception? : My uncle missed the first half of my parent's wedding because my grandmother *ahem* poured the drinks heavy when she hosted people between the wedding and reception.
    Posted by HandBanana[/QUOTE]

      haha,

      The pastor of the church discovered them in the parking lot about half an hour later and shut them down. Spoilsport!
  • monkeysipmonkeysip member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2011
    I'm not getting married for a year at the very least, so this isn't an immediate concern of mine, but I've always been interested in this issue as well.  I don't know where I'll have a reception, but I probably won't want to serve dinner before 6:00pm or maybe even later.  But the Church I'm hoping to marry in doesn't start weddings past 2:00.  I can't imagine guests leaving any later than 3:30, maybe 4:00 if we do a receiving line.

    I have more non-Catholic family and friends than Catholic, so I know that I MUST entertain them for the gap.  Most of them don't live near the ceremony or reception site anyways.  It would be rude not to host something.  But do you think its acceptable to host some kind of 2-2 1/2 hour cocktail "hour"?  Do you think a lot of guests get bored with that kind of thing?  Or is it okay as long as you have lots of drinks and snacks?

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  • ootmother2ootmother2 member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 25 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2011
    <p>In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_catholic-weddings_anybody-else-early-church-ceremony-later-reception?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural Wedding BoardsForum:615Discussion:83db774c-d88c-412e-8dac-44ebeebe77c6Post:63204641-cccd-4f57-8db3-50691b570270">Re: Anybody else early church ceremony later reception?</a>:
    [QUOTE]I'm not getting married for a year at the very least, so this isn't an immediate concern of mine, but I've always been interested in this issue as well.  I don't know where I'll have a reception, but I probably won't want to serve dinner before 6:00pm or maybe even later.  But the Church I'm hoping to marry in doesn't start weddings past 2:00.  I can't imagine guests leaving any later than 3:30, maybe 4:00 if we do a receiving line. I have more non-Catholic family and friends than Catholic, so I know that I MUST entertain them for the gap.  Most of them don't live near the ceremony or reception site anyways.  It would be rude not to host something.  But do you think its acceptable to host some kind of 2-2 1/2 hour cocktail "hour"?  Do you think a lot of guests get bored with that kind of thing?  Or is it okay as long as you have lots of drinks and snacks?
    Posted by monkeysip[/QUOTE]

    Sure, that's okay.  I went to a wedding in Wisconsin a few years ago that was at a huge cathedral and friends of the bride's parents invited guests to stop by during the gap.  </p>
    <p>Funny, this wedding was so well organized that these same friends also hosted out of town guests during the rehersal and rehersal dinner.  I was amazed at it all.
    </p>
  • lisa89760lisa89760 member
    Fourth Anniversary 500 Comments
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_catholic-weddings_anybody-else-early-church-ceremony-later-reception?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural Wedding BoardsForum:615Discussion:83db774c-d88c-412e-8dac-44ebeebe77c6Post:e77105ac-c1b5-49bc-9e5c-d949905d2311">Re: Anybody else early church ceremony later reception?</a>:
    [QUOTE]I guess I shouldn't mention the keg that the groomsmen set up in the parking lot while we were receiving guests :)
    Posted by ootmother2[/QUOTE]

    I love it!! My uncle/priest made it very clear we could not drink before the ceremony but after it was time to party!  So I fully plan on having some drinks ready on the bus! =)  I think he is planning on partying after too!

    Back to the OP's question...My ceremony will be at 2:30 Pm and my reception starts at 6 PM.  Gaps are common around here.  My mom will probably open her house up in between for people who don't have anywhere to go but knowing my family and friends, they will be at the bar!  That's what a lot of people do around here at least. 

    This post makes my social circle seem like a ton of drinkers...I hope no one gets the wrong impression! =)  My family is English afterall
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  • edited December 2011
    I'm really used to gaps at Catholic weddings.  While I don't like them, because guests have to figure out something to do for a few hours (and that usually means going to a bar), I don't side-eye them either.

    That said, I managed to avoid one by getting married at a Newman center.  Since I am getting married in the summer and there aren't that many people on campus then, there is no Saturday evening mass, and our nuptial mass will be at 4:30 PM, with reception at 6 PM.
  • lalaith50lalaith50 member
    1000 Comments Third Anniversary 5 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited December 2011

    One idea I've heard of is to hire some kind of bus for your out-of-town guests, and take them on a little tour of the the city!

    Anniversary
  • Calypso1977Calypso1977 member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 25 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2011
    apparently gaps are common in some areas.  i am a lifelong catholic, as is my husband, and neither of us have ever had a gap wedding to attend.  id find it very odd.

    ideally, you should book the church first THEN book your reception. that way, you can find a reception taht can start immediately after the ceremony.

    in your case, since the reception is already booked (i assume a deposit has been made) the best you can do is host something in between.  you mgiht get a lot of folks who skip the ceremony or reception altogether.
  • mica178mica178 member
    5000 Comments Fourth Anniversary
    edited December 2011
    I was able to get the gap between our ceremony and reception down to 45 minutes, and we hosted light drinks and refreshments at the parish hall during that time.
  • edited December 2011
    If most people are staying over, they can use that time to go back to their hotel and check in. Gaps are pretty common in my circle and that's what people usually do. Or they go an dhave a few drinks at a bar.

    Hosting something like light drinks and snacks is nice, but I wonder how many people take you up on that offer? I'm basing this purely on TV, so I may be way off, but it seems like a lot of time people do their own thing anyway so only an awkwardly small ahndful of people show up.
  • ootmother2ootmother2 member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 25 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_catholic-weddings_anybody-else-early-church-ceremony-later-reception?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural Wedding BoardsForum:615Discussion:83db774c-d88c-412e-8dac-44ebeebe77c6Post:07ac9f8f-49a9-4b79-ae62-8070f50714f2">Re: Anybody else early church ceremony later reception?</a>:
    [QUOTE]If most people are staying over, they can use that time to go back to their hotel and check in. Gaps are pretty common in my circle and that's what people usually do. Or they go an dhave a few drinks at a bar. Hosting something like light drinks and snacks is nice, but I wonder how many people take you up on that offer? I'm basing this purely on TV, so I may be way off, but it seems like a lot of time people do their own thing anyway so only an awkwardly small ahndful of people show up.
    Posted by Karen's MOH[/QUOTE]

    We had over 100, half the guest list attend the hospitality suite during the break.
  • Jen6862Jen6862 member
    500 Comments Third Anniversary
    edited December 2011
    *****UPDATE*****

    Thanks to all the feedback I called the reception site and talked them into letting me start my event at 6 pm instead of 7!!! Still a lapse time, but not as bad. I have to pay for an extra hour, but it's only $300.

    New Timeline:
    2 pm Ceremony
    3-3:30 pm End of Ceremony and Greeting Line
    (30 minutes to drive to hotel from church)
    4 - 5:30 rest/change clothes/eat light snacks provided by hotel or family/close friends can visit grandmother with us at her house (she is homebound) or go to my mom's house (most people live close to us anyways)
    5:40 - 6 p.m. Be transported by Shuttle to Reception site or drive there
    6 pm Time to party!

  • edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_catholic-weddings_anybody-else-early-church-ceremony-later-reception?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:615Discussion:83db774c-d88c-412e-8dac-44ebeebe77c6Post:63204641-cccd-4f57-8db3-50691b570270">Re: Anybody else early church ceremony later reception?</a>:
    [QUOTE]I'm not getting married for a year at the very least, so this isn't an immediate concern of mine, but I've always been interested in this issue as well.  I don't know where I'll have a reception, but I probably won't want to serve dinner before 6:00pm or maybe even later.  But the Church I'm hoping to marry in doesn't start weddings past 2:00.  I can't imagine guests leaving any later than 3:30, maybe 4:00 if we do a receiving line. I have more non-Catholic family and friends than Catholic, so I know that I MUST entertain them for the gap.  Most of them don't live near the ceremony or reception site anyways.  It would be rude not to host something.  But do you think its acceptable to host some kind of 2-2 1/2 hour cocktail "hour"?  Do you think a lot of guests get bored with that kind of thing?  Or is it okay as long as you have lots of drinks and snacks?
    Posted by monkeysip[/QUOTE]

    If your receiving line ends at 4, you can do cocktail hour from 4-5, then do introductions, speeches and dances before dinner, and serve dinner at 6.
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  • ootmother2ootmother2 member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 25 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2011
    Funny, probably half of the weddings I've attended in the past 10 years have been in or around Boston.  Most of those have been almost weekend long parties, starting with golf & spa day on Friday with an evening party if not at the RD.  Weddings generally between 1 - 3 with evening cocktail hours, dinner& dancing. Sunday is the day after brunch and everyone crawls home that night.  I've seen almost no DUI, in fact venues will keep your car overnight if you say that you don't want to drive after drinking.

    I don't think this is that unusual as I've seen pretty much the same thing in NYC and NJ
  • edited December 2011
    I think you've gotten pretty good advice from all the other girls. I just wanted to add that you shouldnt feel bad about a "gap". With weekend weddings the norm, we can't get around that fact that we have to schedule our ceremonies before the Saturday evening masses begin. In the weddings I've attended, the guests havent minded going back to their hotels/homes to freshen up/rest up for the evening party. Its easy for someone to say "Just start your reception earlier" but its up to YOU to decide what kind of party you want. I personally will be having a dinner/dancing reception...definitely not the same feel as like...and afternoon daytime thing. Guests will find things to occupy their time, and you can always make suggestions in your programs, like local parks, touristy attractions or host light refreshments at someone's place. Good luck!
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  • edited December 2011
    I have never attended a wedding with a gap, although I've attended very few Catholic weddings, and all were in Texas.  I did wonder with our wedding ceremony at 2pm, then reception starting between 3 and 4, what time would we serve dinner?  I suppose serving at 5, we could all just have the "early bird special" for dinner! 

    If we had anywhere good to go in between, I do think a gap would be a great idea.  Especially since most hotels won't allow you to check in until after 2pm...HMMMMM....something to think about!
  • edited December 2011
    I had a noon mass and my reception began at 8pm... and I got married on NYE.  I was limited on the ceremony time b/c of the church and decided that having a gap was better than hosting a party during the afternoon on NYE (we had a lot of oot guests fly/drive in for our wedding.)  We still served a full meal, bar, etc.  I agonized over the decision, but in the end, the gap wasn't weird at all and I have fantastic pictures.  We had a blast ringing in the new year.  Although we did have a few guests attend only the ceremony.  I don't regret the gap, I always wanted a crazy family dance party wedding and that's what I got.   FYI, don't post about having a gap on the national reception board, there are some serious gap-haters on there... I made this mistake and had my feelings hurt.

    I personally think that it really depends on you, your family, your guests (are most of them in town vs. oot), local traffic/driving times, location of hotels to the church, etc etc etc.  IMHO, as a guest I would personally prefer a gap of a few hours to a short 45 min gap.  That way I have time to actually go do something or go home.  Get the word out that you are serving a meal so nobody thinks they need to go eat during the gap.  Also, I made a 'guide to the city' for all of our oot guests.
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