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Reception Ideas

The dreaded "gap"

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Re: The dreaded "gap"

  • shu1050shu1050 member
    First Anniversary First Comment
    Maggie0829 - The church is 20 min from the hotel. The hotel is 20 min from the mansion where I am having my reception.
  • I had the same time issue as we are also having our wedding at a Catholic church with a 5 pm mass, and we needed to be out with the church cleaned up by 4 pm. We are having our ceremony start at 2:30 and getting done just about 3:30 and having our cocktail hour start at 5 pm. (I'm sure after reading other replies some people will be appalled that I'm doing that, but that's what worked best for our situation.) Our hotel, where the reception is, has check-in is at 4:00, so we knew that would give guests time to get there, get unloaded, and settled into their room before hand. For me, going to an out of town wedding and having everything in my room before hand and knowing where my room was would be nice, so in my mind that time is helpful. Including travel time our guests will have about an hour of free time, but their will be a bar available and snacks for guests as soon as they get to the hotel if they would like them; the open bar just will start a bit later. 

    Is it completely ideal for everyone? No, but when will it be? Bottom line is do what is right/best for you and your future hubby. Your guests are there to celebrate with you because they love you both, and will understand if you created a gap so you two could take your pictures, or do whatever you need to during that time:)
    mkmudd22sullyhays2015dionnewedding1
  • On your wedding day, it is about you and your fiance.  I would not find it rude or "selfish" for you to have a gap between your ceremony and your reception.  My fiance and I have a few hours between our ceremony and our reception; we are taking our pictures after the ceremony, and since we are paying for the reception, we did not want to miss our entire cocktail hour because of the pictures.  But I would never call this "selfish" of us.  In the end, it all up to you and your fiance.  If you want a gap between your ceremony and reception, then just do it.  
    mkmudd22dionnewedding1
  • Yikes!  So much nastiness on this thread!

    It is totally a regional thing and here in New York City a gap is perfectly acceptable and pretty much expected, especially at Catholic weddings.  I have never been to a wedding (and I've been to many) that didn't have a gap of an hour or more unless the ceremony and the reception were at the same place.  People need travel time, time to freshen up a little, check into their hotel etc. If they don't then they can simply grab a drink and catch up with friends at the hotel bar or local watering hole.  What if there is traffic getting to the reception?  Your guests could lose out on a half hour of cocktail hour that has already been paid for.  What a waste.  

    And yeah, its your wedding!  If your friends and family care for you, they will happily entertain themselves for an hour or so that you can have your dream day and all the pictures that go with it.

    And P.S. who the heck wants to check in to their hotel at 10 or 11pm?  I would expect all of my guests to be well inebriated at that point and not wanting to deal with anything except for the after-party.  To all the people suggesting that, I'm sure your weddings were a real blast.
    dionnewedding1
  • shu1050shu1050 member
    First Anniversary First Comment
    Maggie0829 Oh also my hotel has a cool looking bar and outdoor seating areas with high tops and lounge chairs, so I figured people can mingle and hang out until the bus is ready to pick everyone up.
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    shu1050 said:
    Maggie0829 - The church is 20 min from the hotel. The hotel is 20 min from the mansion where I am having my reception.
    @shu1050 - So I am assuming that your ceremony is an hour long (unless you are having a full mass and then it is about an hour and a half) and the venue is 20 minutes away (I will account 10 minutes for traffic so 30 minutes total).

    So if your ceremony ends at 3pm then your cocktail hour should start at 3:30 (or if it ends at 3:30 then your cocktail hour should start at 4pm).  Not all of your guests are going to take the shuttle and cocktail hour needs to start when your first guests arrive.  It is great that you are providing the shuttle but not everyone will use it, especially if they are local.  Honestly, if it was me, I would have the shuttle take those guests interested in using it to the ceremony and then straight to the reception and that will eliminate some of the back and forth for your guests.

    I think it is great that you are offering so much for your guests but just because you are offering some awesome things does not make that gap any better. You need to move your reception timeline up an hour to eliminate that gap.

    PrettyGirlLost
  • So, my fiancé and I have little experience attending weddings, and those that we have been to all had gaps. So back when we made our bookings, we put a gap in, thinking nothing of it at all since we were used to this in our own wedding guest experience. Now, after perusing the knot, I find that it is one of the most loathed things a bride can do. Now that everything's locked in, invites out, no options for getting rid of the gap at all, is there anything I can do for my guests during the gap that will prevent me from being seen as a totally rude monster?
  • I think you can do whatever feels best to you and your fiance. All these people crying out "rude" and "insensitive" are just obnoxious. If that's the way you feel, please feel absolutely free to RSVP NO to the wedding; just less annoying people to have to feed who are only going to be negative about the whole thing anyway. 

    To make you feel better, my ceremony is at 1 and my reception starts at 6. and like I said, if someone doesn't like it, please just say no. I'll have a better time without them there. I prefer not to rush anything, it has nothing to do with pictures or any sort of feel or theme, just the way things worked out.
    simplyelisedionnewedding1
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    nicofrisk said:
    So, my fiancé and I have little experience attending weddings, and those that we have been to all had gaps. So back when we made our bookings, we put a gap in, thinking nothing of it at all since we were used to this in our own wedding guest experience. Now, after perusing the knot, I find that it is one of the most loathed things a bride can do. Now that everything's locked in, invites out, no options for getting rid of the gap at all, is there anything I can do for my guests during the gap that will prevent me from being seen as a totally rude monster?
    @nicofrisk - You need to host something during that gap.  If that means that you have to add an extra hour to your reception venue then so be it.  If that means that you need to reserve a nearby restaurant and provide light apps and drinks, then so be it.  If that means opening up your home to your guests then so be it.  But you need to host something so that your guests aren't just left to fend for themselves.

    Also, it may not be too late to ask your reception venue if you can move up the timing of your event.  You never know what they may say.

  • beetherybeethery So sayeth the fuckin' Pope. member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary First Answer
    edited May 2014
    sobocinn said:
    I'm amazed at how rude people are being to you!! I'm catholic as well, and I will most definitely have a gap. It's not rude or selfish. My sister-in-law's father offered to have snacks and drinks at his diner so people have a place to go in between. I've never been to a wedding where there isn't a gap, besides when the ceremony/reception were in the same spot. I'm shocked that people are being so weird in this forum about it.... Do what you think feels right, if there's a gap, so be it. If that influences whether or not guests come, then they don't belong there in the first place!
    Having a hosted gap while you take pictures is acceptable, and a good idea.

    Leaving guests to entertain themselves between the ceremony and reception for over 15-30 minutes while you do pictures and generally f*** off is not.
    --

    I'm the fuck out.

    image
    buddysmom80luckysnorkelNYCMercedes
  • I'm sorry, but Courtney, it's YOUR day! Do what makes you feel comfortable and happy...if guests have a problem with a gap then they shouldn't go - plain and simple! If you clearly state what time everything is starting on the invitations then they already have an idea of what the day will look like and can plan accordingly. I will also have a Catholic ceremony, and ours is actually starting at 1 PM (so even earlier!) and we're having the reception start at 5 PM at the very latest. I plan to provide free things to do in between that are close by the reception hall. Ignore these hooligans who are saying it's bad etiquette because, again, it's your day and your guests want YOU to be happy! Good luck :)
    simplyelisedionnewedding1
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    I think you can do whatever feels best to you and your fiance. All these people crying out "rude" and "insensitive" are just obnoxious. If that's the way you feel, please feel absolutely free to RSVP NO to the wedding; just less annoying people to have to feed who are only going to be negative about the whole thing anyway. 

    To make you feel better, my ceremony is at 1 and my reception starts at 6. and like I said, if someone doesn't like it, please just say no. I'll have a better time without them there. I prefer not to rush anything, it has nothing to do with pictures or any sort of feel or theme, just the way things worked out.
    You planned a 4 hour gap because you don't like to fell rushed? Holy crap, what time are you going to start getting ready, 4 am? I mean, since you don't like feeling rushed and all.

    chibiyuiNYCMercedes
  • I'm thinking many of these people aren't considering that it's Catholic wedding. You almost always have to have the ceremony around 2:00 in order to have everyone out in time for 4:00 pm Mass. It seems ridiculous to have the reception or even a cocktail hour start immediately after that. Plus, if you're doing the traditional thing of having the groom not see the bride until after the ceremony, then you have to have a gap between in order to take pictures in between. The wedding day is for the bride and groom. They get to do what they want. I really don't think it's an inconvenience to have a gap between the ceremony and reception. In fact, I don't ever think I've been to a wedding where there wasn't a gap in between. Go wander the town. You'll survive for an hour on your own. 
    simplyelisedionnewedding1
  • I agree with other posters that this must be a regional thing. The church where I am hosting my wedding has the same issue of a Saturday service. We will have our ceremony at 3pm and our reception starting at 6pm. We won't have any person there who doesn't have transportation because we live in the middle of Missouri. Even our regional airport is 30 minutes away! We are providing our guests with a to-go program when they leave the ceremony which will include various fun hangout locations and destinations for the gap period as well as directions to them. 

    Another reason for our gap is that my fiance does not want to see me before the wedding, so we will be taking pictures in that time. But where I live, you cannot find a reception site that allows you to book from 4 in the afternoon until 11pm or midnight. And our families are going to want to enjoy themselves well into the night.

    I think a lot of the people posting on this thread thus far are cut from a different cloth than the people in my life. I've been at weddings where we went straight into a cocktail hour while waiting for pictures for over an hour. That is not better to me. I am a very traditional person in my life and my wedding planning, but I don't think it's a bad move to buck this tradition. In the past, many receptions were small affairs in the church fellowship hall with punch and cake and nuts in bowls. Those were different times, so with the changes in reception expectations, we need to allow more room for schedule changes.

    A couple of hours is not the end of the world. 
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • parandparand member
    First Comment
    I am also hosting our wedding in a city where catholic masses/weddings are quite common, and ceremony times are in the late afternoon. Every catholic wedding ceremony that I have been to has started in late afternoon (usually 1:30-3:30 timeframe), and the reception does not start until 6 or 7 pm. It can get insanely expensive to host a reception and/or cocktail hour and your reception for such a long period of time. If you are getting married in the catholic church, then you don't really have a choice on the ceremony time - it is dictated by the church. I know that all of my friends, and myself included, always have a good time during this "dreaded gap" having a couple of drinks at a nearby bar or the hotel bar in between. I also agree that anytime I go to a wedding, I plan for my entire day to be taken up with wedding festivities, so what's the big deal if I buy my own drinks for a couple hours in between the ceremony and the reception? It sounds like I'm in the minority with this opinion, but ultimately it is your day and you should do what will make you happy and what will work out with your venues, etc. Your close friends and family will just be happy to be part of your special day.
    Jsmith262simplyelisedionnewedding1
  • AmjordAmjord member
    First Comment
    Gaps ARE inevitable in some cases!  And I don't believe you're saying to your guests that you don't care about them at all.  That is crazy.  I've been a bridesmaid nearly a dozen times and have attended more weddings that I can count.  When you have an early ceremony and a late reception - the message is clearly "We want to party! If you can make the ceremony, great!  If not, we'll see you on the dance floor!" There's nothing worse than the bride and groom not enjoying themselves on the dance floor because they missed the cocktail hour while taking pictures. 

    If the ceremony and reception are not at the same venue, I have always appreciated a little time in between to get checked in to the hotel, drop our stuff and yes - freshen up your makeup, hair, etc.! No, you're not running a marathon, but yes, it could be SO incredibly hot outside that you feel like you did!

    We have a few hours in between our ceremony and cocktail hour...but we are also getting married on NYE.  So I think our guests understand that if you make the ceremony - great.  If not, then we can't wait to ring in the new year together!  There are ways to make it convenient for your guests no matter what.  Our reception is in a hotel, the same that everyone will stay in.  So everyone will be settled in their rooms and ready to enjoy the night - not have to worry about going to get their bags later or find their room. 

    It's about what works best for the couple and their family!  If everyone is excited for you, they will make the day work however they need to! 
    simplyelisedionnewedding1
  • My wedding's less than 3 weeks away, and we're having a gap between the ceremony and reception. The ceremony's from about 3 - 3:30pm, and cocktail hour starts at 5pm. Half of our guests are traveling a long distance to be there. The ceremony's at 3pm, and you can't check in to most hotels until 3 or 4pm. If it were me, I would want to check in to my hotel before I get back from drinking all night at a reception. We also want to take pictures in between the ceremony and reception and not miss our entire cocktail hour. Finally, a lot of our wedding is DIY. We don't have a staff of people setting things up at the reception venue, so my family can use the break to make sure everything's ready for the guests. If people think that's selfish, so be it.
    dionnewedding1
  • Sounds like a lot of the people complaining about the gap can't fathom living without being plied with free food and booze....and given many of their choices for signature gifs...seems accurate. Kinda sad way to live, unless somebody is funding you getting wasted they're just terrible rude selfish people not at all interested in your comfort yes? I mean how dare they not remember you're a child in constant need of entertainment or else you're gonna cry and stamp your feet and go home and take your ball (or gift as jdluvr06 just suggested) with you!
    Jsmith262simplyelisedionnewedding1
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