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I'm so upset - What should I do?

So we finally booked a place for our reception and we immediately informed our pastor of the date.  Our pastor congratulated us and it wasn't until a week later when he told us that there was another wedding at our church on the same date and their ceremony is at 4:00 p.m.  He mentioned that they had booked a month ago (for some reason I don't believe him).

Now I'm extremely upset because I wanted to have our ceremony at 4 p.m. followed by the reception at 6:00 p.m.  (oh and did I mention that the other couple are not members of our church). 

My pastor proposed that we have our wedding ceremony at 2:30 p.m. followed by cake and champagne at the church lounge with some church members that are not attending the reception and that the other couple should have their ceremony at 4:30 p.m.

Now am I wrong for being so upset.  Shouldn't we have precedence because we are members of our church.  I feel that our ceremony will probably be rushed because there is another wedding right after ours.  I'm also concerned that there is too much time between my ceremony and my reception.

What should I do?

Re: I'm so upset - What should I do?

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    edited December 2011
    Maybe ask politely if they wouldn't mind moving there's up to earlier in the day?  Or if there's any way their dates not set in stone yet and you can work with them on a different date?
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    smw42smw42 member
    Combo Breaker First Comment
    edited December 2011
    How far away is your church from your reception hall?

    I think you need to decide which is more important- getting married in the church you want or having the ceremony at a certain date/time. Is it possible to move the date one weekend before or after?

    I would not focus on the other couple but rather on what you can do to remedy the situation. Either way it isn't worth starting a fight over who is/isn't a member of the church. It really comes down to what is most important to you and your fiance.
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    Reilly626Reilly626 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011

    Why didn't you call the church beforehand when booking your venue?  I had both on the phone at the time of booking.  I'd change the date, Im sure its early enough not to get a penalty if you want a different church time.

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    Lola MinnieLola Minnie member
    Combo Breaker First Comment
    edited December 2011

    Did you already sign the contract for your reception? If you did not, maybe consider another weekend all together since your ceremony is of most importance.

    However, if it were me, I would choose the 230 ceremony and see if your venue has flexibility with the cocktail hour start time.  Maybe it can start earlier?
    Though to be honest, I don't think your gap is so big to get too upset over especially if your church is willing to entertain with cake & champagne, plus you will want extra time for pictures.

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    mbcdefgmbcdefg member
    5 Love Its First Comment Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011

    If you want to talk to the other couple and see if they'd be interested in switching ceremony times, ask the pastor if he has their contact info. But they DID get there first, so there's nothing you can do about it if they aren't interested in switching. This is why it's encouraged to book your ceremony (especially in a church) before you book the reception.

    If they don't want to switch times, then you have a few options:

    * have the ceremony at 2:30, host a hospitality suite somewhere for your guests (cake and champagne in the basement, or maybe some light snacks in a hotel suite near your reception hall), use the gap to take photos, and start the reception at 6 as planned.

    * see if the reception hall can move the party up to start at 4 or 5, so you have a shorter gap or no gap at all. If you think the party will end too early, organize an after-party for people who won't be tired at 9/10 p.m.

    * change your date ... if you just booked the hall recently, you might not have a problem moving the date.

    How long do ceremonies in your religion typically take? If you have a 2:30 ceremony and they have a 4:30 ceremony, even with an hour-long ceremony you shouldn't be rushed through it. This could even work to your advantage price-wise ... you could contact the other couple and see if they want to split the cost of ceremony decorations (use neutral flowers and decor that'll coordinate with both of your color schemes).

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    edited December 2011
    What church are you wanting to get married at?
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    edited December 2011

    Our dates are pretty much set in stone.

    That was the only Saturday available at our venue and the other couple already booked their venue as well. 

    Our venue is approximately 30 minutes from my church.

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    edited December 2011
    whats your date?
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    edited December 2011
    I didn't call the church beforehand because when we got engaged last year our pastor told us that he would marry us on any date that we would pick.  We really don't have that many weddings at our church.  That's what really bothers me that we never have any weddings, but now we have 2 on the same day.
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    edited December 2011
    My wedding date is July 31, 2010
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    edited December 2011

    It is disappointing to find these things out but maybe you will have to pick another church... i was just curious to see what church it was because I have a friend of mine who had the same troubles

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    edited December 2011

    I actually think your timing will be perfect and would love to be in your position!  You have plenty of time in between ceremony and reception to take pictures! I have to see my FI before the ceremony to take pictures and I'm not happy with the idea but I don't want to miss any of my cocktail hour or reception.

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    Lola MinnieLola Minnie member
    Combo Breaker First Comment
    edited December 2011
    You should've called your church first regardless of your relationship.  I have a close relationship with my church & Monsignor and made sure my date and time was available prior to booking my reception.

    I guess just give our advice a try and be flexible with your ceremony time or see if the cocktail hour could start earlier.  But, again, I don't think your gap is that bad.
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    mbcdefgmbcdefg member
    5 Love Its First Comment Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    Could you do a Friday or a Sunday at the same venue? Were there any other venues that you liked (would you lose the deposit at this point? I think our hall gave us about a week to change our mind before they'd keep the deposit)?

    I would call them and see if they can bump up the cocktail hour to maybe 5 p.m. Or, if it has to start at 6, see if your hall will let people in before then and let them get champagne or water/soda and sit down (rather than sit in the parking lot).

    If not, don't worry about it. That gap is pretty typical in New Jersey. And it's actually a great solution to have the cake and champagne in the church basement, because then you're providing something for people to do during the gap. Or arrange for the hotel hospitality suite with some sodas and cheese & crackers, or open up a tab at a local bar or coffeehouse so people have someplace to go. (If they live nearby they might just go home for a while during the gap, or if they booked a hotel room they might go there to check in and relax.)
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    edited December 2011
    No, you should not get precedence. Why would you assume your church was free? An in-parish couple could also have been getting married that day.... you don't know until you ask,
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    edited December 2011
    wow your getting married in 4 months and you just picked your reception?
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    uppereastgirluppereastgirl member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Could you try another church?  Think of how you'd feel if you had booked a church -- even as a non-member -- and then another couple came in a month later and pushed you away.  Wouldn't it be kind of like your reception venue saying "Sorry, I know you booked but a family member now wants your date so go find somewhere else"?  Also, I wouldn't think that a pastor would lie to you?  (or at least my first assumption would be that he had forgotten -- I mean, he's a pastor).

    I do think you're overreacting.  You're allowed to be bummed, but I don't think it is fair to accuse a pastor of lying or to try to mess up the schedule of another couple that booked before you.
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    edited December 2011
    I went to a wedding on a Saturday that had the same timing as yours would if you wanted it. The church ceremony was at 2:30 (more like 3pm bc bride was late) and the cocktail hour started at 6pm. I was happy to have time in between to change and relax since I had to run errands that morning.

    I would say that your timing is ideal, at least to me. Nowadays people are used to gaps (or that's what I think, lol).
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    edited December 2011
    We went to a wedding on Saturday as well and it was the same 3:00 reception 6:30 cocktail hour.

    Uppereast is right, you are allowed to be bummed its natural, but you can't blame the pastor.
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    edited December 2011
    That's exactly my timing and am excited for it. Our ceremony is at 2:30, with an hour ceremony and then receiving line etc we should be out of there by 4- cocktail hour begins at 6. This gives us time to take pictures, and gives guests time to relax/freshen up/check into the hotel. Our reception is 30 minutes away, just like yours. IMO, I wouldn't want a ceremony any later than 2:30 or 3.
    *~allie~*

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    edited December 2011
    you should have secured the date with your church before booking the reception. 
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    smw42smw42 member
    Combo Breaker First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I think if you're getting married in four months- I'd just take the earlier time and make the best of it. It really will be fine and it'll all run nice and smoothly without any rushing. You have plenty of other things to be worrying about at this point in the game!
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    edited December 2011
    As the girls said...you should have booked your church and time as soon as you choose your date.  At this point, there is not much (read anything) you can do.  Take a few moments to be disappointed....ok, moments done.  It does not matter that you are a member of the church and they are not.  They got the time first.  But as the other girls here suggested...make it work for you.  See if you can contact the bride and split the cost of flowers and decorations for the church.  If you worry about being rushed...then move your time up a little bit more.  Keep the reception time as is, and then set up a hospitality suite with finger foods, beer, wine, soda at the hotel where you blocked rooms.  Ask one of your friends or relatives to host it for you.  Use this time to get your pictures done.  Maybe...because you have extra time...you can look into going to a few locations to get the pictures done.  Not just the church and the reception hall. 

    Or you can move the time of the reception up, then have an after party.
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    edited December 2011
    Ladies,

    Thank you sooooooooo much for all your post.  I've been so upset and I really needed some advice.

    I appreciate all your comments and I will make the most of my situation.  I'm really looking forward to my wedding day and I am sure the other bride is too.
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    LolyalyssaLolyalyssa member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I actually think having the time is a good idea.  You can take all of your family pics and some pics with other people who stick around after the wedding.  I actually think it is nice of your church to offer to let you use a meeting room in the church while the other wedding will be going on.  I actually like having a gap in between.  Local people will go to each other's house and make last minute runs to the drug store to buy a card or lipstick.   It will be fine.

    Take a look at this for "day of" scheduling.  My photographer put it together.
    http://www.zlatkobatistich.com/how-to-keep-a-wedding-day-on-schedule/
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    carlaspeedcarlaspeed member
    First Anniversary First Comment
    edited December 2011
    yes, I am also still deciding between 2 or 3 for the ceremony and the cocktail is at 6, I need enough time for pics and traveling time, I want to do pics at the church, verona park and the reception hall with all the family, so we need enough time, so no worries about the gap, also my venue said that they'll serve champagne and strawberries until they open the cocktail hour room!
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    kewltifkewltif member
    First Anniversary First Comment Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011

    I know it's hard, but there could be a bright side to this. 

    First- I would rather be the first wedding anyway, I wouldn't want to have to wait for another wedding to clear out to get in the church.

    Second- you could ask the other couple if they want to share the expense of decorating the church.

    I think if you did a 2:30 full mass, by the time the receiving line was done it'd be 3:45ish anyway.  Then a half hour drive takes you to 4:15.  I think it'd be OK to have a gap to 5:30 or 6.  I know it's not preferrable, but it's really not uncommon for Catholic weddings and you have to do what you have to do.

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