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Missouri-St Louis

Help- Early Catholic Wedding

I'm hoping to get some help here- on the ceremony board I was just told I was being rude- maybe thats true, but my friends and fmaily haven't thought so and everyone here seems much nicer :)

I am hoping to have a Catholic wedding on July 2nd and then a traditional evening reception.   The only time our church is open is at 11  we will have a traditional mass (1hour) with a receiving line, family pics at the church and then go around town to take pics.

I am concerned about afew things- having such an early wedding that its a rush to get ready on time, having my guests come to such an early wedding and having such a large gap in between the wedding and the reception.  My parents' home and the hotel we are having the reception at are close so I am considering finding something for guests to do between the break

does anyone have any thoughts on this?  I don't want to be rude to my guests but I also dont want to compromise my day in just to make sure no one gets bored.

Re: Help- Early Catholic Wedding

  • auriannaaurianna member
    Ninth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited December 2011
    Is the reception time set? Is there anyway you can do more of a brunch type reception? With brunch food & mimosas/bellinis vs dinner?

    Personally I don't think an 11am wedding is too early; but if you have the guests from 11 until 11 it's going to be very trying on those with weaker constitutions. The last wedding I went to was 2pm until 11 and I was so drained. Also very hungry when dinner didn't roll around 7 and very bored when we pretty much just sat there from 3:30 until 6:30.

    What area of town are you looking to have your wedding/reception.

    If you can't have an early reception, then you really should try to host something in between. Something with some food, if possible.

    Where you are and what kind of budget you might have for that would help us make suggestions.
  • redhead1216redhead1216 member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I think having a specific event between wedding and reception would be very smart.  Just beware of drinks, I recently attended a wedding that was at 2 and the hall where the reception was opened when the wedding was over.  This meant we were at the reception area for about 7 hours after.  By the end of the night we had had too much to drink and too little to eat!  

    Another wedding occurred at 2 with the reception not opening until 6:30 and it was difficult to keep ourselves occupied.  Also, many people just skipped the ceremony and came to the reception only (around 140 at the ceremony and over 200 at the reception).  

    A little lunch and some kind of activity would probably be greatly appreciated by your guests.  
  • auriannaaurianna member
    Ninth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited December 2011
    I was at a wedding that had a gap. People went mini-golfing in between.

    It's probably going to be hot. Anywhere your parents' house would accomodate that many?
  • cbvcru67cbvcru67 member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I can't speak for regular guests, but I was in a wedding with a similar timeline and it was kind of a drag..... We were up at 7:30 to get our hair done with the bride at the salon by 8am, then back to get dressed together and do makeup and at the church by 10:00am.  From the 11am ceremony we took pictures all around town until  about 5:30, and then did cocktail hour from 6-7, reception began at 7.

    From that standpoint, even though we had food and drinks on the trolley, the whole ordeal was exhausting.  Pictures all around town all day were super tiring and being up and "on" from 8am til the reception ended at 12 or 1 was again, just exhausting.  Then the bride and groom were a little bummed/mad when 60% of their bridal party (~20ppl) said they were too tired for an after party.

    Overall, I was very happy for my friends, but it was a little discerning that they would put their pictures above the comfort of everyone involved.  We literally went to at least 5 locations I can think of off the top of my head, everyone off the bus, back on the bus for outside pictures in the (very) late fall.  Freezing.  And no, small cold cut sandwiches and the bride's grandmother's special cookies don't make the cut as an only meal all day (we didn't eat anything except finger food from 8am til 7:30pm!).

    So I get what you mean about being stuck, as far as church availability and wanting a dinner reception.  But there really isn't a good way to do what you are proposing while being the best hostess you can and should be.

    Maybe can you host a "Meet and Greet Hour" back at your hotel where your and his parents can say hello to guests and serve some light apps and non-alcoholic cocktails?  That would 1) give people something small to do, and 2) maybe encourage people to get back to the hotel and take a nap if they are interested, since you have such a significant gap proposed.  Otherwise, I'd guess most people will go to a nearby bar and you will end up with quite a few intoxicated guests.  This is what we normally see.

    In the wedding I mentioned, my boyfriend skipped the ceremony and met me later at the reception because he didn't have anything to do all day... and wasn't invited on the trolley since the bridal party was already so huge.
  • edited December 2011
    If you don't want the long gap, then make your timeline different.  2 pm wedding will last until 3.  What if you had a cocktail hour at 4 and served dinner around 5-5:30.  Then you could wrap up earlier than 11 if you wanted and still enjoy a fairly traditional reception timeline just pushed up a few hours. 

    If you wanted to do the 11 am wedding-it will last until noon, perfect for a luncheon reception to follow.  But, keep in mind, this would probably include less dancing as it is earlier in the day.

    It is your wedding, so it is your decision!!
  • doctabroccolidoctabroccoli member
    1000 Comments
    edited December 2011
    If your guests are accustomed to religious weddings, they may not care about the gap.  I've only ever been to one non-religious ceremony, so in my social circle, gaps are the norm.  Are they the norm in yours?
    BabyFruit Ticker
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  • rweiss07rweiss07 member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    thanks everyone- I was able to work it out and get a later time!!!!
  • edited December 2011

    I've been to probably 10 weddings in the past 3-4 years that had long gaps.  They're the norm in St. Louis because many people have Catholic weddings and the Catholic churches mainly only offer morning/early afternoon weddings.  I thought it was strange at first because where I'm from, people always had the reception immediately after the ceremony.  However, after going to so many weddings with gaps, I have to say that I actually prefer them.  It's nice to have an opportunity to have a few drinks with friends, go back to the hotel, and freshen up in between the ceremony and reception. It may seem rude to people who live in areas where having a gap is uncommon, but it's totally the norm in St. Louis and not rude at all. 

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