Wedding Etiquette Forum

Gap Between Ceremony & Reception

The latest time available for our Catholic wedding ceremony is 1pm and we're having an evening reception 45 minutes away. If our ceremony lets out at 2 and our reception doesn't start until 5, what am I supposed to do with our guests?

Re: Gap Between Ceremony & Reception

  • I'd look for a new venue for one or the other. If you have separate venues, they should be no more than 30 minutes apart. And there should not be a gap in between the ceremony and reception. That leaves OOT guests with a lot of traveling and a few hours to kill while still dressed up. Best of luck with planning!
  • If you're set on what you have planned now, I would make apps and cocktails available to the guests at the reception for when they arrive at around 3. Make sure you have seating and cocktail tables available.
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  • We had our Catholic ceremony at 3pm, and we didn't start our reception (15 minutes away) until 5pm.  We hosted light drinks and appetizers at the parish hall for the 45 minute gap.
  • That isn't too bad.  Around us it is normal to have an hour or so gap.  OOT guests usually go to family members houses and parents drop children off with babysitters. 

    Don't forget about photos in the church.  If they are post ceremony that adds another hour for you and your WP to be at the church.
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  • get this!

    our wedding most likely will be at 2pm with reception coctails (booze only) to start at 530pm. The two will be less than 20min apart.

    Personally I like the gap, I'm a procrastinator, that is when I buy and wrap the wedding gift, go home let out the dogs and freshen up my makeup etc.
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  • I'm surprised that most of the PP seem cool with a long gap.  I hate a gap much longer than the time it takes to travel from one to the other personally.  More than an hour and a half (assuming the 45 minute travel time and the availability of drinks and appetizers at the reception venue) would be intolerable to me.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_gap-between-ceremony-reception-4?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:20c8aaab-8bdb-4f40-9a1e-f7b4ee21ad31Post:eae3648f-7ff5-4d29-8dbc-0b55183da9be">Re: Gap Between Ceremony & Reception</a>:
    [QUOTE]I'm surprised that most of the PP seem cool with a long gap.  I hate a gap much longer than the time it takes to travel from one to the other personally.  More than an hour and a half (assuming the 45 minute travel time and the availability of drinks and appetizers at the reception venue) would be intolerable to me.
    Posted by katieisawesome[/QUOTE]

    It all depends on if your guests are used to/expect gaps.  They're pretty common in St. Louis as it's a VERY Catholic city.  Out of the 30-something weddings I've been two, only two haven't had gaps, and that's because they weren't church weddings.  It all depends on your social circle :).
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_gap-between-ceremony-reception-4?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:20c8aaab-8bdb-4f40-9a1e-f7b4ee21ad31Post:78c13177-7039-47bd-acf4-bd058e9a1335">Gap Between Ceremony & Reception</a>:
    [QUOTE]The latest time available for our Catholic wedding ceremony is 1pm and we're having an evening reception 45 minutes away. If our ceremony lets out at 2 and our reception doesn't start until 5, what am I supposed to do with our guests?
    Posted by reidmera[/QUOTE]

    I would change the reception start time to 4 and offer a cocktail hour at 3
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  • Please please either find a different venue (for the reception or the ceremony) or move up the reception start time. Gaps aren't fun if there's nothing to do in the area while still dressed up (plus, if OOT guests are paying for travel, they may not want to pay to do something during the gap)
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  • danz9danz9 member
    First Comment
    Gaps between ceremonies and receptions are big where we come from, I personally refuse to have one, but generally the guests go to the hotel or a bar and have a few drinks and some food. All my family weddings have gaps and we apparently are hicks cause we always end up sitting outside in the hotel parking lot, trucks pulled together and have a tailgate party basically!

    At the last wedding i went to with a gap the bride provided entertainment options in the area, shopping centers zoos parks theaters etc ... maybe there is something close by your guests can partake in for a little gap relief
  • See,  I don't think OP's gap is large enough for the guests to really do anything.  It's large enough to be an inconvenience, though.
    The Bee Hive Est. June 30, 2007
    "So I sing a song of love, Julia"
    06.10.10

    BFAR:We Defined Our Own Success!
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  • a gap should be avoided.

    if you have restraints with your church, then you shoudl find a reception venue that wlil allow you to start your reception earlier.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_gap-between-ceremony-reception-4?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:20c8aaab-8bdb-4f40-9a1e-f7b4ee21ad31Post:3dc42c10-9463-4a23-864a-e059871c093d">Re: Gap Between Ceremony & Reception</a>:
    [QUOTE]That isn't too bad.  Around us it is normal to have an hour or so gap.  OOT guests usually go to family members houses and parents drop children off with babysitters.  Don't forget about photos in the church. <strong> If they are post ceremony that adds another hour for you and your WP to be at the church.</strong>
    Posted by HandBanana[/QUOTE]

    Yeah, but her GUESTS won't have anything to do unless she hosts something.
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  • In NJ, it is common to have a larger gap between the church and the reception due to pictures that have to be taken at the church and most couples go to a local park to have other pictures taken. The only time I haven't had any gap between the two is when the ceremony and reception where at the same venue. I can say though with such a large gap expect one if not both of the following...not many guest dressed up for church and/or many guests at the church period. If there are guests that you want to have pictures taken with at the church make sure this is known so they can be fully ready for pictures.
    "You are the YING to my YANG"
  • I hate gaps.  They are just so inconsiderate of your guests' time (and some people have precious little free time).  I hate writing off my entire day and night for a wedding (In fact, I'd probably skip the ceremony if there's a gap as large the one OP is suggesting).   

    OP, please consider an afternoon reception (I am assuming that the Church wedding is too important to bend on that).   
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