June 2013 Weddings
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Place for guests to go after ceremony before reception?

Hi ladies! So my FI and I are in a little bit of a pickle... :) we are trying to think about what our guests should do after the ceremony before the reception begins.

Our ceremony isn't until 2 pm and we're doing the full Catholic mass. I've heard that the mass can be an hour and a half, and that isn't including the receiving line! Horderves and drinks don't start until 5 pm at our reception, so should we come up with a place for our guests to go to kill time? I've been to weddings in the past where the groom's family will supply snacks such as cheese platters, veggies, some drinks, etc. at a local park before the reception and I think it's a neat idea. However... if we are having horderves, I feel that no one will want to eat them or be interested once they arrive if they have been snacking for a few hours. 

The majority of our guests will be from out of state and out of town. I'm assuming that many of them will stay at hotels, and would probably just go back to their room after and wait. 

What do you guys think? Do you think it's always necessary to plan a place for your guests to go after the ceremony? I would love some input, because it's been giving me a headache trying to figre out where we could do this! :)
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Re: Place for guests to go after ceremony before reception?

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    I'm in the same situation right now as you are. I'm doing a full mass as well. Just to be safe we're having the ceremony at 1:30 knowing it could go until 3 pm, plus 30-45 min for recieving line. I'm tenatively planning social hour starting at 5, but debate on 4:30 since I would like our grand entrance at 5:30.

    I'm hoping my guests will take the time in between to check in at the hotel or the downtown square is nearby to the reception and church that they can walk around and look at the shops or have a beverage at one of the three bars on the square (there may be more..it's been awhile since I walked around that square LOL).

    Any suggestions would be appreciated as well ladies and gents!
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    If your ceremony starts at 2 and is about an hour and a half that puts you at about 3:30. Then you have a receiving line and you're pushing 4pm by then. How far apart are you ceremony and reception sites? What kind of reception site is it? Ours is a hotel in a state park so even if people were early they could hang for 15-20 minutes in the lobby or go down to the lake to kill time. I wouldn't think to provide anything I guess. People may choose to go check into a hotel if they're stay the night too, since most hotel check in's aren't until 3pm and they wouldn't be able to check in before the ceremony. Sorry I'm not more helpful. Our ceremony is outside on the lake like ten steps from our hotel where the reception is taking place, so this is something we don't have to worry about.
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    No, plenty helpful - it makes me realize that guests will more than likely be able to find something to do before the reception. Our reception is between 10-15 minutes away from the church, so not far at all. The hotel where we've blocked several rooms is about 5 minutes or less away from the reception. Unfortuantely, doors don't open at the reception until 5 but I could talk to the coordinator to see if they can change that for us. Our reception is at a banquet/wedding place, so there's really nothing to do. 

    Ashbeth06 - didn't even think of what time I want grand march to start! Thanks for reminding me, I could probably incorporate that into the decision. You're lucky there's shops nearby, our venue is in the country lol! 
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    Seriously, I wouldnt worry about it, its not your responsibility to entertain guests in between. Huge gaps do suck, but yours really isnt that bad at all. I went to a wedding earlier in the summer where the mass/ceremony started at 1 and the reception didnt start until 6. They definitely didnt find anything for us to do, and I didnt expect them to.
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    Glad I could help! It is a bit trickier in the country. I attended a wedding in Hartland and we had an hour to kill so we drove back into Delafield and did some shopping (we weren't staying over).

    I agree with PP - it isn't our responsibility to entertain them in between ceremony and reception.
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    I couldn't agree more, I think the hour or two in between would be nice for the guests to check in at the hotel and unwind before the night begins! Too funny you went to a wedding in Hartland; I'm from that area! Thanks to all of you for reassuring me that I don't need to find a place! I think it'll work out just fine. :)
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    I agree with the ladies above! Just wanted to add one more thing - if most of your guests are staying in a certain hotel they can always hang out in the hotel bar after check in. You can even put the hotel address on your wedding website if you are doing one, so that even in town guests can go hang out there? Just a suggestion. :)
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    I don't think you need to find something for them to do, but throwing a printout in the invatation with some ideas of places to go wouldn't be a bad idea. 
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    Great idea  anastassiiat - I think that check in is around 3 pm and most likely they will hang out at the hotel bar or in their rooms. I shouldn't stress over it, since our gap isn't that huge! katiereith, I might do that just in case. Maybe a few would prefer to wander around!
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    SB1512SB1512 member
    5 Love Its Name Dropper First Comment First Anniversary
    Have you XP your question in the catholic weddings board? Those ladies may have some additional ideas for you. I personally do feel it is your responsibility to provide/entertain something for your guests as it is part of hosting the wedding but looks like I'm in the minority on that one.
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    I haven't checked out those boards, but I definitely will now! That would be a good place to start. I think for starters, I'm going to talk to the coordinator at our reception to see if it would be a problem for guests to arrive earlier than 5. 
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