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Missouri-St Louis

Timeline problems!

We recently booked a church for our upcoming wedding.  We had previously booked the hall thinking we would have an outdoor ceremony.  Because we were planning on getting married outside, we set the reception time at 7pm.  The latest in the day that the church will let us be married is 1:30pm.  With a half-hour to an hour ceremony, that leaves a whopping 4.5-5 hours between the ceremony and the reception. The hall can't change the time for our reception as they are already booked.  What do I do?

Re: Timeline problems!

  • edited December 2011
    I think it will still be fine. I too will have a few hours between my ceremony and reception. This will just give guests time to go back home or back to their hotels. Guests can freshen up, or use the time to site-see if they are from out of town. I wouldn't worry about it. Just be sure that guests realize the time gap so that you don't have people showing up at the reception site not knowing.

    Haley & Heidi
  • edited December 2011
    Most Catholic and Lutheran weddings have this same issue.  We have asked a family member to host our guests while we are away taking photos.  We will be serving light snacks and soda while the guests mingle and hang out before the reception.

    Something you could consider if you have a lot of guests that live far away is to give them a list of "things to do" in the area, and don't forget to mention movie theater locations... that could keep them busy in between and would be good info in the event of rain.
  • EMNIEMNI member
    edited December 2011
    We had a good gap between our ceremony (1pm) and our reception (6pm).  To fill the gap we booked a conference/meeting room at the hotel and put a cookies, crackers, popcorn, and a cooler of drinks for the guests.  We also put in a 'What to do' flyer in the welcome bags.  We gave directions to local stores, Ted Drewes, Magic House, the Arch....just some good land marks to fill the time. 

    Your gap is just fine, and trust me you will want and use that time for your destination shots.  Another bonus is that it gives you some time to do a receiving line after the ceremony.
  • ajnnj06ajnnj06 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Thank you all for your ideas!  I am going to talk with some family members about hosting a pre-reception snack and I will definitely make a list of places guests can visit.  I feel so much better now.  Thanks again!
  • shawna77inilshawna77inil member
    edited December 2011
    Not trying to burst any bubbles, but we just went to a wedding where there was a three hour gap between the wedding and reception.  Alot of people weren't pleased with it.  My husband was in the bridal party and the bride thought this would be a great amount of time to get great pictures.  By the end of their off site pictures, you can tell in everyone's face that they are over it.  No one is going to be as excited about your wedding as you are, and you can't expect to tote your wedding party around for two hours taking "amazing" pictures.  While it IS your day, don't be shocked if your party gets tired of posing and smiling for hours on end.  They only did pictures for about an hour and a half of that, but still.  I did get on him a bit for not being more enthusiastic toward the end of their pictures, but in all honesty, he was smiling more than the others.  LOL  I just ran back home for about an hour because it wasn't that far out of the way for me, but that wasn't the case with most everyone else.  When we got married I went in with the idea that the wedding was about us and the reception was about everyone else.  We took pictures in ONE location for about 15 minutes with the bridal party (besides the church pictures) while everyone else went straight to the reception.  After we had dinner, our photographer snagged us away for about a half hour to take some more pictures with the two of us while everyone else enjoyed dinner and socializing.  It worked well and everyone is still saying good things about how we made it about them and not us.   
  • kma212skma212s member
    edited December 2011
    Unfortunately it is not always an option to do the reception right after a ceremony. I am Catholic and the latest we can have our ceremony is 1pm. I desperately want an evening reception so that means there will be some time.

    Luckily most of our guests either live in St. Louis and can go home to freshen up for a bit or don't come to St. Louis often and wouldn't mind being able to 'sight see' for a few hours.

    We plan on asking certain relatives to host guests in different places example: The Magic House (for our flower girls and ring bearer), the CWE, Kirkwood, and possibly downtown.

    It took me awhile but at the end of the day this is the best and really only solution to my problem. Good luck and just know that you are not alone!
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