Minnesota-Minneapolis and St. Paul

2.5 Hours In-between Ceremony and reception - HELP!

We have a possible 2.5 hour lag time inbetween our ceremony and reception. We can't get a later ceremony time nor can we get an earlier reception time for our venue. Most of our guests are from out of town - what should we do with them?

Re: 2.5 Hours In-between Ceremony and reception - HELP!

  • Oh boy.  Something for sure because I wouldn't like that as a guest...sorry to be negative!

    Hmmm...how many guests?  I have a ton of ideas but they involve an activity where you probably wouldn't want to participate with dress clothes on-like bowling.

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  • I have been to many out of town weddings that have lag times.   We usually go to the hotel bar, or one near the reception with family to hang out.  Some people like to just go back to their rooms and relax a bit before the reception.  

    There are those individuals that find it to be a huge deal, but I think 2.5 is not that long.  My wedding is going to go until 3 with cocktail hour starting at 5.  People like time to go freshen up and get everything organized before the reception, especially if you're out of town and want to get something from your hotel room.  I think you are fine.
  • I went to a wedding this summer that set up rides to Como. It was a fun way to blow a few hours and it cost the couple nothing but the cost of transportation.
  • Something like Como might be a nice idea, but if I'm getting dressed up I wouldn't want to go walk around the zoo. And I love the zoo.

    Is changing a venue for your ceremony or reception an option? I really wouldn't want a gap that long.
  • As a guest, even in town, I would be not so happy about that long of a gap.  Would it be possible to put together a list of nearby activities they could do/visit/see during the downtime?  Even if it is just a list of bars or local attractions, something is better than nothing!
  • if you're doing a guest hotel welcome bag, include some information for some local attractions (parks, places to shop, local attractions, scenic route roads).

    like the one said above, having ppl go back to the hotel can be comforting - maybe offering simple refreshments for them in the hotel could be an option.
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  • I think it depends on your family and friends - you know your guests better than anyone. My relatives are extremely laid back and we're Catholic, so almost all of our weddings have the "Catholic gap." For us, it's not a big deal. OOT-ers will go to their rooms or gather at a bar with the rest of the family. More often than not, a relative will offer to host people at their house during the break. Can you see if anyone is willing to do that?

    My other suggestion is to make your venue a hotel, which you then recommend your guests stay at. My wedding will prolly be done by 11:30 with cocktails not starting until 3:00, but my venue is the hotel most of my family is staying at. They'll gather back in their rooms or at the hotel bar until cocktail hour.
  • Depending on where your festivities are located, I'd suggest arranging for carriage rides and/or outdoor games.  I work for The Hitching Company part-time, and they have carriages, which hold about 4 people, or a trolley, which can hold about 20 people.  You could do 15-20 minute rides around the area.  We're trying to figure out how to incorporate them into our wedding celebration, since carriage driving has a special meaning to us.
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