Catholic Weddings

Wedding done by 1pm..

Anybody who is not having a full mass Wedding feel weird about having to be done by 1 pm?Were Marrying on a Saturday and I'm pretty sure our start time is 11 am..so our reception will probably start at like 1pm..I'm okay with the time but fiance feels like its kinda early in the day ..anyone else feel this way?our reception time is gonna be like 16 or we can add an extra hour for 7..

Re: Wedding done by 1pm..

  • edited May 2012
    If you are not having a mass, your ceremony will probably only last about 45 minutes, so I would think your guests would arrive at your reception location sometime between 12:00 and 12:30.  Even with a mass the ceremony is usually no longer than 1 hour and 15 minutes (and that's a generous estimate).  I know that doesn't help, but I just wasn't sure where you got this idea that your reception would start two hours later.  If you're planning on having a gap I guess you could just add on to it (although most people hate gaps, even people who "understand" them) if you wanted the reception to go later into the evening.

    It really depends on your preference and what time of year you're getting married.  If you're getting married after DST begins, 6-7 would be around/after nightfall, so your guests could "dance into the night" and still be done pretty early.  I've been to plenty of receptions that ended relatively early (ours ended at 8:30) and followed with afterparties (a bunch of us went to our favorite bar all dressed up, some friends hosted a party at their house, and my ILs rented some patio space at their hotel restaurant, so there was tons of celebrating going on well after our wedding).  You could see about doing that if you just don't want the fun to end.


  • Different parishes have different rules about start times, so you might not find a lot of people in your exact position. For example, my parish does weddings at 10a, 2p, or 7p whether it is a mass or just the ceremoney.

    We have some good friends getting married this summer who are having a morning wedding and lunch reception. I very, very seriously considered it (until I realized that my MIl would only make it to an early wedding if she didn't sleep -- she's just not a morning person!). I think there are a lot of perks to having an early wedding (for example: usually cheaper for a lot of reasons; lots of options for the evening, like afterparty, leave for honeymoon early, romantic dinner with your husband). I would focus on those, not on not having the evening wedding that has become so standard.

    That said, I think 1-6 is more than enough time for an afternoon wedding, especially since you start running into issues with dinner time.
  • I am also having a morning wedding.  Around here, the reception halls offer receptions from 12-5 or 6-11.  The church does weddings on Saturdays at 10, 12, or 2.  I really didn't want to deal with the gap, and always thought morning weddings were kind of cool - so I chose 10:00 (full mass).  Our reception is from 12-5.  From what I understand longer receptions can sometimes feel like they are dragging.  We hired a great band and have open bar.  Afterwards, I'm guessing that one of our parents will host people back at the house for coffee...the people that want to go out and drink will do so...and my FI and I are planning on stopping the parents' house to visit (a little!), then heading off to our B&B for the evening.  I'm hoping for a nice quiet dinner that night with my new hubbie.  The only downside that I hadn't anticipated is trying to figure out how to get everyone's hair done that morning!  LOL! 
  • Eliz77Eliz77 member
    Third Anniversary 100 Comments
    We're having our cermemony at 11am and reception from 12-5. I was concerned about nighttime reception for a couple of reasons-elderly relatives driving, a lot of guests with young children. And I did not want to inconvenience my guests with the "Catholic Gap" and make them wait for 2-3 hours from end of ceremony to cocktail hour. Plus, it was cheaper! Luckily for us, our Church and reception are barely 5 minutes a part, so plenty of time for our guests to get to the reception hall without missing out on cocktail hour.
    ~ES~
  • Our wedding is at noon, and we're having a lunch reception afterwards that will go until around 4.  That way everyone gets to celebrate together immediately after the ceremony, and they'll still have the evening to do what they'd like (most are OOT).  My FI and I are going to have an intimate dinner together at the hotel we're staying at the night of the wedding.   

    I see no problem with matching your reception time to your wedding time.  A meal and dancing (if that's what you're doing) to celebrate will be special no matter what time of day it is.  I personally think a large gap makes the day feel disjointed.    
  • we were married at 11, and our reception was from 1230 to 4pm.

    it was great for us.  we had many traveling from 2 hours away - this allowed them to come for just the day, rather tahn incur hotel expenses.  also, we did not invite children, so it was much easier for folks to find sitters for a saturday daytime than a late night.

    lastly, it allowed us to leave for our honeymoon that evening.
  • Thanks everyone for the input!since the ceremony shouldn't last longer than 45 mins we'll probably go with a 11:00 start I suppose I would say 12 but I don't wanna push it..so our reception time will probably be like 12:30 because our venue is a little drive away from the church.I just wanna figure this out!!Thanks for the advice!
  • I was going to ask how far away your venues are from each other. I'm having a similar issue, but I think I have it worked out. Here it is, hope it helps.

    Our ceremony is at 2. We are also having a non-Mass. My priest said if the first BM hits the aisle at 2pm, I should be walking back up the aisle by 2:45-2:50. Depending on the readings I choose and how long his homily is. Our priest tends to be long winded, and has gotten to know my FI and I so I'm guessing it's going to be on the lengthy side.

    Our reception is only 10 minutes from the church, 15 if you count walking to the car, traffic, etc. So this is my plan:

    2pm - ceremony
    2:50pm - receiving line
    3:15pm - Dove release/bubble/pictures on church steps
    3:30pm - guests depart for reception - BP pictures in church
    3:50pm - BP departs for other pictures/ Parents head to reception

    My parents are working out logistics with our hall. Our reception is from 4-10pm. We're hoping to at least allow guests to go inside before 4pm. Our church doesn't have parking, and the community lot is about a 5 minute walk from the church. I've been to a lot of weddings and most guests mill around before they walk to their cars and catch up with people so even if I'm off on my times by a few minutes, I think most of the guests won't hit the reception until a few minutes before 4pm.

    I also thought the receiving line time frame was long, until I talked to friends/family who are already married. They said theirs took longer than they thought and they had much smaller guests lists than I do (220). My priest also said the same thing.

    How close are your venues? You can spread the time out if they are a distance away. I've also been to weddings where they weren't really far away, and there was still a big gap between start times. If your guests are local you could do that, or suggest places they may want to check out in between times. That's the problem with having a church wedding. Churches have set times for ceremonies, and most halls have set times for receptions. Sometimes they just don't work out together!!
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