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Timing is everything, I need help

I need a little bit of help, My biggest struggle with the wedding so far is timeing.
My family has always had "church/country club weddings" : Get married, take pictures, guests go from church to cocktail hour to the reception.

My fiance grew up in Putnam Co. Where there are a few more twists.

BAR HOPPING, which sounds like fun! But he has never done it and nether have I so it is hard to guess how much time with will take when trying to time out the times for the ceremony and reception. Also what do I do for the guests who are not used to this extra part to my day, what if my family shows up to the hall too early... that would not be fun for them. What do and tell them and how?!?

Plus I'm having a really hard time decideding when to time everything. my fiance wants to get married at 1:30 but that seems early for having to decorate the hall, and get hair done, and do some pictures before the wedding I don't want to have to get up at 6am on my wedding day!

HELP I don't have anyone to turn to, my mom is NO help, I am the first of my family to get married, and so is he.

Re: Timing is everything, I need help

  • edited December 2011
    Okay, so here's my opinion in a novel because I'm ridiculously wordy...

    Is there a reason he wants it at 1:30?  Is that the only time the church is available?  To figure out times, I usually find it best to work backwards.  Here how it worked with us:  We knew we had the hall for 5.5 hours, so we set the hall for 5:30-11:00 to so dinner would fall at a decent dinner time.  Then, I worked backwards to figure out ceremony time, figuring that the ceremony would be ~30 minutes, 15ish minutes for receiving line, 15 minutes for travel, and time for pictures set us took us back to the wedding being at 3:30.  It worked out really well for us.

    Is your FI (and you) SET on bar hopping?  I know I'd be a little annoyed as a guest to have a large gap to fill just because the bride and groom thought it'd be fun to go to the bar.  I mean, you'll probably be drinking at the reception as well, right?  What if you just switched it around, and went bar hopping after the reception?  It's pretty common for people to have "after parties" and it seems like it would work out much better like that.

    If you do decide to go with a gap in order to bar hop, you just let people know by putting the ceremony time on the invitation, and somewhere else on the invite (or reception card) just put Reception at 5:30 or whatever.  People will figure it out, and won't head right over after the ceremony.
  • edited December 2011
    Also, I'd see if you could get someone to decorate the hall for you, like a DOC or some willing relatives.  Setting up the hall on the day, while trying to also get ready sounds really stressful.  I have some wonderful aunts who volunteered for me!
  • edited December 2011
    I agree with Abbey with the idea of barhopping afterwards. It would be kind of hard to ask guests to wait several hours between ceremony and reception. Is there any way you could decorate the hall the night before? Some places will let you if there is not a friday wedding. I think this will take away ALOT of stress.
  • edited December 2011
    I agree with abbey. It sounds like neither you nor FI are familiar with the bar hopping part of the wedding day, so what's the big push to have it? Are there "expectations" from other people? Also - are your guests going to be familiar with this or are they going to wonder why everyones going to a bar for a while before the actual reception (and will they go?)? Also, who pays for the drinks at the bars? Is this at your expense or the guests? (sorry, lots of questions...)

    Having an after party/bar hop might work out a little better (at least IMO - that is what we're planning on doing after the reception, even if it's just for a short amount of time.). That will give you more time to do other things during the day. If you have to get up, decorate the hall, get ready, do the wedding, go bar hopping, and then have your reception - you might get worn out and not enjoy the actual reception as much as you will want :) 
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  • rak123rak123 member
    2500 Comments Fourth Anniversary Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    Woohoo another July bride!! :)

    Anyway, I agree with everyone else.  The bar hopping thing is pretty weird, IMO.  Especially if that means everyone else will have to suffer through a large gap.  Im assuming the bar hopping is only for the bridal party? I would be worried that th BM or MOH or whoever is doing a toast would get wasted and then the toast not turn out too well.


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  • edited December 2011
    I agree with the other ladies. Bar hopping in between the ceremony and reception is probably not the best idea. If you two want to have a few drinks before the reception, maybe stock the limo if you're using one? That way while driving to picture locations, or whatever, you can all have a great time and have a few drinks along the way. We are planning on bar hopping after the reception. That way guests aren't left trying to find something to do between the ceremony and reception. It would be especially hard for out of town guests who aren't familiar with the area. And after the reception you will be ready to hit the town and let loose with the wedding party! I was in a wedding that also did that, and let me tell you it was a BLAST!! And I also agree with Abbeylynne06. Plan the reception start time and work backwards. It's a lot easier that way!  Good luckSmile
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  • edited December 2011

    YES, we have to bar hop.... it's a putnam county thing.... I could do without it but it's a big thing to my fiance, and his family (cousins groomsmen etc)

  • cschuma2cschuma2 member
    Fifth Anniversary 1000 Comments
    edited December 2011

    I'm going to jump on board with all of the other ladies here.  I find making your guests wait while you bar hop to be incredibly rude.  Saying that it's a Putnam county thing doesn't justify it nor make it any more convenient for your entire side of the family and all of your FIs family that won't be with you.

    You are going to drink and party with your guests all evening long, why would you need to party before the main party?  I just don't get it.

    Do the majority of your photos ahead of time and snap just the last few after the ceremony.  Get to your reception hall and start your party.  The intentions of a reception is to RECEIVE your guests.  You should be hosting a great party and thanking them all for being a part of your day.  The comfort of your guests should be one of your top priorities.

    I've been to weddings with gaps before and I hate it.  If it is because the church is not available any later in the day, I at least understand it.  If I were to find out the gap was because the bride and groom were just screwing around (as it would seem to me), I would be very annoyed.  Also, it has been my experience that weddings with large gaps tend to have a fair number of people attend just the ceremony or just the reception.  Obviously, your closest family will be there, but cousins, friends, etc. might skip out.

    I would really try to convince your FI that this is not the greatest idea.  I do like the idea of compromising and going out after the reception if that would work for the both of you.  Should you choose to ignore everyone's opinion, maybe you should ask some people from your community that have done this previously for their opinion on a timeline.

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  • edited December 2011
    I totally understand the bar hopping thing.  In EVERY wedding I've been in, this is something we've done.  But it's not like we party it up like crazy.  It's maybe an 1 1/2 of bar hopping.  We stop at 2 or max 3 places with one drink or shot at each.  We plan on doing this between our ceremony and reception and we are just hitting two bars in route.  Our reception should end by 415 and our cocktail starts at 6, but we are not arriving until 7.  I'm sure at least a quarter of our guests will be at one of the bars we stop at.
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  • edited December 2011
    I'm familiar with Putnum county weddings (my BFF is from Putnum county) and OP is right-- it is something MOST people do. It's kinda expected. If most of your guests are from Putnum county then I think they will be used to the gap and not have a problem with it.

    And I would agree with PP, if you can get someone to help you set up the morning of so you don't have to, you will be much better off.
  • MerinMerin member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I've also been involved in weddings with bar hopping in the middle, and if it's something that is important to you guys (and/or your families) then go for it. But I definitely think that you need to set a limit.  Like Kelly said, 2 or 3 bars, one drink at each, and be on your way. 

    On another note - are you two planning to see each other prior to the ceremony?  If you are, that could shave some photography time off, and allow you to bar hop without an enormous gap.

    For example...
    Do the 'reveal' where you see each other at, say, 1:30 or so.  Then do some couple shots and bridal party photos.  Have the ceremony start at 2:30, and assume it lasts for 30 minutes, plus 15 minutes receiving line, that puts you at 3:15.  Take a few more photos (30 minutes?), then head off to bar hop (and you can also do photos at the bar, if your photog is up for it!)  Start the reception for guests at 5:30, you show up and do your 'grand entrance' at 5:45, and so on and so forth....

    With that schedule, you'd have nearly 2 hours for travel and bar-hopping, and I would think that's more than enough.

    Yes, you'd still be subjecting your guests to a 2 hour 'gap of doom', but a lot of people around here are very used to a gap, and it won't be a big deal to most.

    Good luck! :) 
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  • catarntinacatarntina member
    1000 Comments Fourth Anniversary Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    I have to disagree with posters saying that bar hopping in between is not a good idea.

    I know some folks from Putnam Co and Bar Hopping, plus taking a picture with the Pandora Gilboa cow is a *HUGE* deal down there.  In addition to the wedding noodles and dancing in pigs' trough of course.  And it really *is* tradition to do this in between ceremony and reception.

    I'm not from Putnam, I'm from Toledo and I had a 3 hour gap for pictures and bar hopping; nobody complained.  Not a single word to me or my parents.  We had a catholic wedding at 2PM, it was over by 2:40.  We wanted an evening reception, so the reception started at 6. The WP arrived about 6:20. I think it'll be fine if you have gap.

    It seriously pisses me off when people say it's rude to have a gap and get all angry with you.  Every wedding I've ever been to in Toledo has had a gap.  All of my cousins, friends, etc. have had gaps.  The fact that it was considered "rude" was only something I heard about when I started coming on TK.
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  • cschuma2cschuma2 member
    Fifth Anniversary 1000 Comments
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/local-wedding-boards_ohio-toldeo_timing-everything-need?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Local Wedding BoardsForum:237Discussion:5102152f-604a-4346-a17e-7a948d3a2db2Post:b1f78f53-7afd-435c-b247-620ac24d5cd2">Re: Timing is everything, I need help</a>:
    [QUOTE]I have to disagree with posters saying that bar hopping in between is not a good idea. I know some folks from Putnam Co and Bar Hopping, plus taking a picture with the Pandora Gilboa cow is a *HUGE* deal down there.  In addition to the wedding noodles and dancing in pigs' trough of course.  And it really *is* tradition to do this in between ceremony and reception. I'm not from Putnam, I'm from Toledo and I had a 3 hour gap for pictures and bar hopping; <strong>nobody complained.  Not a single word to me or my parents.</strong>  We had a catholic wedding at 2PM, it was over by 2:40.  We wanted an evening reception, so the reception started at 6. The WP arrived about 6:20. I think it'll be fine if you have gap. It seriously pisses me off when people say it's rude to have a gap and get all angry with you.  <strong>Every wedding I've ever been to in Toledo has had a gap.  All of my cousins, friends, etc. have had gaps.  The fact that it was considered "rude" was only something I heard about when I started coming onTK.
    </strong>Posted by catarntina[/QUOTE]

    This really surprises me.  I was born and raised in Toledo.  Most of our families live here too. I can honestly say that I have been to very few weddings with gaps.  The couple with gaps seemed to be terribly inconvenient for most of the guests. 

    Also, I would be surprised if any of your guests DID complain to you or your parents about having to entertain themselves for a few hours after your ceremony.  People are just generally more polite than that to your face.  I think in the case of having an early ceremony due to church reasons, people DO understand.  However, I had a cousin get married last summer with a 3:00 ceremony.  Cocktail hour started at 6:00 and the bride and groom showed up about 7:00.  They chose to have a gap even though they could have had a later ceremony in their church.  Everyone in the family griped about it behind their back and smiled and said nice things to their faces.

    To each their own I guess.  I just wouldn't ever plan a wedding with a gap.  We had a 4:30 ceremony.  Cocktails were available as soon as people were able to get to the reception hall (so 5ish) and we were to the reception between 5:45 and 6:00. 
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  • edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/local-wedding-boards_ohio-toldeo_timing-everything-need?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Local Wedding BoardsForum:237Discussion:5102152f-604a-4346-a17e-7a948d3a2db2Post:b1f78f53-7afd-435c-b247-620ac24d5cd2">Re: Timing is everything, I need help</a>:
    [QUOTE]I have to disagree with posters saying that bar hopping in between is not a good idea. I know some folks from Putnam Co and Bar Hopping, plus taking a picture with the Pandora Gilboa cow is a *HUGE* deal down there.  In addition to the wedding noodles and dancing in pigs' trough of course.  And it really *is* tradition to do this in between ceremony and reception. I'm not from Putnam, I'm from Toledo and I had a 3 hour gap for pictures and bar hopping; <strong>nobody complained.  Not a single word to me or my parents</strong>.  We had a catholic wedding at 2PM, it was over by 2:40.  We wanted an evening reception, so the reception started at 6. The WP arrived about 6:20. I think it'll be fine if you have gap. It seriously pisses me off when people say it's rude to have a gap and get all angry with you.  Every wedding I've ever been to in Toledo has had a gap.  All of my cousins, friends, etc. have had gaps.  The fact that it was considered "rude" was only something I heard about when I started coming on TK.
    Posted by catarntina[/QUOTE]

    We had a gap (albeit a short gap--maybe an hour by the time the receiving line was over?), so I'm not anti-gap.  They happen, people are used to it, I know that.  My problem with this having a gap to bar hop is that you're forcing your guests to wait around for you because you'd like to stop at several bars before your party.  It just doesn't make sense to me.

    And, no one complained to me about anything that happened at my wedding, but I highly doubt that <em>everyone</em> had an absolutely fantastic time.  Considerate eople just don't complain to brides and parents about things they didn't like about the wedding.
  • edited December 2011

    Catarntina~It is pretty standard for catholics to have a gap(im catholic) So most of my family had a huge gap which does kinda suck I had to sit in a hotel for a while. (but its perfectly understandable)We wont have a gap because they started an evening wedding mass. But for other religions/weddings there usually is not a gap. I know 3 non catholic weddings in the past year that I went to had no gap at all. 
     OP~ If it is that big of a tradition with the cow and everything I would definitely disregard what everyone said and try to squeeze it in or do it afterwards. I think with most of us being from toledo, we have never heard of this tradition.
  • edited December 2011

    I think if there is a gap of time in between the wedding and reception it is REALLY nice if you have something for your guests.  We've had multiple family weddings (Catholic) where there was the gap b/c the church doesn't have weddings after a certain time.  For most of these, a local family member opened up their house to guests, having simple snacks (cheese & crackers) and drinks (soda & water). All of the guests may not partake, but at least they are given an option, so they can't complain.  If not this, then maybe provide guests with suggestions of someplace to go in between (restaurants, parks, etc).  For someone who drives a significant distance for the wedding (1-2 hours) but doesn't have a hotel, those hours are hard to fill.

    I personally hate the gap.  Our ceremony was over by 5, reception started at 6:30, but we were able to have appetizers and beverages at our ceremony site.   Some people didn't stick around for that, but I figured we gave them an option, so they couldn't complain.  Maybe my family is just a bunch of gap hating complainers so I felt compelled to fill the gap.

    You won't notice there is a gap, you will be so freakin' busy on your wedding day it won't matter.  And I woke up at 5:15 on my wedding day, didn't have to get up until 9 am.  Depending on your sleep patterns (I can't sleep when I am anxious) you may be up early like it or not!

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  • edited December 2011
    Our wedding was at 1:30 and reception at 5 p.m.. 
    We left the church about 2:45 and headed for pictures. We were able to go to my husbands police department and downtown before we headed to the reception.  We arrived at the reception at 5:45.  We had time to have fun and get tons of pics.

    I think alot of people anticipate a gap. It gives them time to stop and grab a drink with friends they may not usually might not see that often or to stop and pick up a gift or card for the bride and groom.

    July722011- at the end of the day it's all about you and your husband.  It's your day, so structure the schedule in a way that you will not be rushed or stressed out.  So if a few of your guests are annoyed because there is a gap between the ceremony and reception so what.  It's your day.
  • edited December 2011
    Barhopping-  I am all for bar hopping. However, depending on your bridal party size it can be time consuming to try and rangle everyone together to get in and out of the bars.  Especially after you have a few drinks. 

    We wanted to bar hop but our BP was too big (18).
  • edited December 2011
    Thank you everyone who commented! I think everyone's large differences in opinions was very helpful to my slighly close minded groom and gave us some ideas! We have some choices to make but I'm getting evxctied I just want the day to be GREAT for us and enjoyable for our guests! We are joining two very differnt families with different back grounds! Thank you once again for your time!
  • cschuma2cschuma2 member
    Fifth Anniversary 1000 Comments
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/local-wedding-boards_ohio-toldeo_timing-everything-need?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Local Wedding BoardsForum:237Discussion:5102152f-604a-4346-a17e-7a948d3a2db2Post:33663ed7-ecc9-48a6-943f-df6e953d37fe">Re: Timing is everything, I need help</a>:
    [QUOTE]Our wedding was at 1:30 and reception at 5 p.m..  We left the church about 2:45 and headed for pictures. We were able to go to my husbands police department and downtown before we headed to the reception.  We arrived at the reception at 5:45.  We had time to have fun and get tons of pics. I think alot of people anticipate a gap. It gives them time to stop and grab a drink with friends they may not usually might not see that often or to stop and pick up a gift or card for the bride and groom. July722011- <strong>at the end of the day it's all about you and your husband.</strong>  It's your day, so structure the schedule in a way that you will not be rushed or stressed out.  <strong>So if a few of your guests are annoyed because there is a gap between the ceremony and reception so what.  It's your day.
    </strong>Posted by Castillo2B[/QUOTE]

    This is <strong>terrible</strong> advice.  The minute that you invite dozens of people to help celebrate with you, it stops being all about the bride and the groom. 

    Your reception is to thank your guests.  It should be mostly about them.  You wouldn't host a dinner that the majority of your guests would dislike even if it was the bride and groom's favorite meal.  If the bride and groom work 3rd shift and are night owls, they still wouldn't have their ceremony and reception start at midnight and go until sunrise.  I could go on. 

    As for the gaps, while I think some guests are okay with them... I imagine the majority of these guests would still prefer a gapless day (especially when it is an easy option due to no church limitations).

    JulyBride,
    I'm glad you started this thread as I found everyone's opinions to be very interesting!  I'm also glad that we gave you some food for thought!  Good luck with your planning.  Make sure you stick around this board.  The ladies here can be a great resource for vendors and ideas.
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  • AngieB6AngieB6 member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    OMG, Putnam County... Yes, you do HAVE to bar hop.   It's really not negotiable for you :)

    My FI's boss is from Putnam County, and the population there can drink like no one else.  I've learned a thing or two from them!

    Your wedding day will be a blast.  I'm from Seneca County, and everybody has a gap there too.  It may be odd for the out of towners, but no one local would show up on time if you didn't have a gap! 
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  • edited December 2011
    Putnam County is known for bar-hoppers!

    We hired Your Perfect Day to do the set-up and tear-down of alll our reception items and they are very affordable!
  • edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/local-wedding-boards_ohio-toldeo_timing-everything-need?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Local Wedding BoardsForum:237Discussion:5102152f-604a-4346-a17e-7a948d3a2db2Post:45b53c0a-7040-4b98-8278-c8d24a3cf4f0">Re: Timing is everything, I need help</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Timing is everything, I need help : This is terrible advice.  The minute that you invite dozens of people to help celebrate with you, it stops being all about the bride and the groom.  Your reception is to thank your guests.  It should be mostly about them.  You wouldn't host a dinner that the majority of your guests would dislike even if it was the bride and groom's favorite meal.  If the bride and groom work 3rd shift and are night owls, they still wouldn't have their ceremony and reception start at midnight and go until sunrise.  I could go on.  As for the gaps, while I think some guests are okay with them... I imagine the majority of these guests would still prefer a gapless day (especially when it is an easy option due to no church limitations). JulyBride, I'm glad you started this thread as I found everyone's opinions to be very interesting!  I'm also glad that we gave you some food for thought!  Good luck with your planning.  Make sure you stick around this board.  The ladies here can be a great resource for vendors and ideas.
    Posted by cschuma2[/QUOTE]

    The point I was trying to make is that having two groups of guests that are used to attending different types of wedding (gaps between ceremony and reception), your not going to be able to make everyone happy. 

    Julybride and her FI should structure the day to limit their stress.  As a wedding guest, I would rather anticipate having a gap between the ceremony and reception than go straight to the cocktail hour and have to wait for the bride and groom to arrive because they are running late because they did not schedule enough time to get all of their pictures and bar hopping done.
  • rak123rak123 member
    2500 Comments Fourth Anniversary Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    Hi Joyce,

    You aren't supposed to be posting as a vendor on these boards.  Please stop. Thank.s
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  • edited December 2011
    Having worked many weddings over the last 7 years i would like to point out that bar hopping can have a problem other than a time gap. If your not careful about the number of drinks you could get caught up in the moment and end up drunk at your own wedding. from the staff side of things i can definitely say a drunk bride is one of the most embarrassing things that can happen at a wedding. just keep in mind.
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