Wedding Etiquette Forum

A Tip About Gaps

I'm not exclusively anti-gap.  I grew up Catholic, it's pretty common to have an hour between the ceremony and reception; life goes on.  We had a nominal hour gap (by the time we had the 'exit' and you include drive time it was really only about 30 min) - I felt a little guilty about it, but we clearly indicated everything with a reception insert in the invitations; it was what it was.

Saturday H and I attended a 1pm wedding.  The invitation indicated a "reception to follow" with no additional information.  We dressed for an afternoon wedding, drove an hour and a half to get there and figured we'd be home by 6 or 7.  When we got to the ceremony and got our programs H noticed on the back that it said "Please join us for a reception at 6:00pm"

seriously??  WTH are we supposed to do for FOUR hours?  and with NO advanced notice?

So brides - if you're having a gap, TELL YOUR GUESTS!  If the reception doesn't actually immediately follow the ceremony include a reception card in your invitations so that your guests at least know what to expect.  We probably would have still gone to both pieces, but at least we would have planned something to do in the interim.
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Re: A Tip About Gaps

  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    Wow, if that happened to me, after the ceremony, my butt (along with their wedding gift) would have been hitting up a McD's on the way home!

  • MattsPenguinMattsPenguin member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments Combo Breaker
    edited January 2012
    Wow, that is pretty rude.  I went to a wedding a few years ago (Catholic of course) where the ceremony was at noon, but the reception wasn't until 5.  It was fine for my friends and me, since it was a college reunion.  We went out to lunch, had some beers, went back to the hotel to chill, and then went on to the reception.  Of course we knew ahead of time.

    ETA: Kate that was Emily's wedding (Becca's sister).  It was a fun party!
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_tip-gaps?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:e272cf29-11a4-40bc-bc9f-b9ef00572f5fPost:0566046c-2037-4768-8172-9919746308ec">Re: A Tip About Gaps</a>:
    [QUOTE]Eeeh - that's insane. Any idea WHY they had a gap that long? There's an 18 minute drive from our ceremony to reception site. I feel a little bad because it's kind of a PIA drive but I plan on including directions on the back of the program. And hopefully getting the majority of pictures done before the ceremony.
    Posted by rachers1017[/QUOTE]

    18 minutes is not a gap.  My feeling on gaps is anything over an hour is considered a gap.  Most guests realize that when the ceremony and reception take place in two different locations that there will be the need for some driving.

  • 6 HOURS???  What the eff, that's crazy.  I thought an hour gap at a wedding a few years ago was weird (yes, it was a Catholic wedding).  I hope you and your H found something interesting to do in the gap.  That's just obnoxious.
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  • She probably didn't mention the gap on the invite because then people would have only come for the reception.  I know I would have if they had a 4 hour gap (and a Catholic ceremony, they are sooooo long.)
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  • I don't mind two different places for the ceremony and reception, but H is in a wedding this year where the sites are an hour and 45 mins apart. That is way too far and I am super annoyed by this. Also, she is taking pictures after the ceremony at the reception site and not having a cocktail hour. Sigh.

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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_tip-gaps?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:e272cf29-11a4-40bc-bc9f-b9ef00572f5fPost:e26ddbe9-9472-4de3-9b89-53294012ae1b">Re: A Tip About Gaps</a>:
    [QUOTE]She probably didn't mention the gap on the invite because then people would have only come for the reception.  I know I would have if they had a 4 hour gap (and a Catholic ceremony, they are sooooo long.)
    Posted by jemmini6[/QUOTE]

    This happens a lot with the weddings I go to.  People skip the ceremony and just head to the reception.

    FTR, I've never done it and I don't condone the behavior.
  • The service was actually Lutheran, so it was only about 30 min; but then they did a receiving line so by the time the 'exit' was done it was after 2pm.  No idea why the gap was that long - I know they did photos all around town (photog was a friend), but even still I'd think they could have started the cocktail hour by 4 or 5.

    And yeah, we stayed.  It wasn't far from my parents' house, and luckily they were home so we hung out with my mom for a while.  I can only imagine what we would have done if we'd been anywhere else.

    @ Rach - I wouldn't worry about an 18 min drive; anything less than 30 isn't awful.

    @MP - I can imagine that would have been fun.  I had like 30 phi rhos at my wedding; they hit the bar before AND after our wedding, haha
  • We had a gap.  A long one.  I do feel bad, and looking back I wish we had tried harder to come up with an alternate plan, but at the time it seemed unavoidable.  I'm also pretty sure that it contributed to our really low RSVP acceptance :-/  But, everyone definitely knew about it ahead of time, so they made an informed decision on whether or not they wanted to attend.  A few people did attend the reception and not the ceremony, too.
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_tip-gaps?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:e272cf29-11a4-40bc-bc9f-b9ef00572f5fPost:dd9b4ab0-97c3-4b7e-ab22-2cd68610837c">Re: A Tip About Gaps</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: A Tip About Gaps : The reason that Catholic ceremonies are sooooooo long is because it isn't just a ceremony, it's a Mass.  Holy Matrimony is one of the seven sacraments, and it's a big deal.  When people bitch about how "long" it takes, I get pissed off. 
    Posted by EaglesBride2012[/QUOTE]

    I'm not Catholic and I don't mind the length of the mass so much, but for some reason it really irks me when it's time for communion and the priest says "if you are Catholic, you can come take communion." 

    I can't tell you why it pisses me off, but it does.  It's telling me I can't do something...so naturally, I do it.  I take communion at all catholic weddings (and funerals) when I'm specifically told not to. 

    I'm such a rebel.

    But the other thing about gaps is that normally our group is wasted when we get to the receptions.  We even got to a reception about a 45 minutes late and they were already serving dinner because it was during the Kentucky Derby and we all bet money and wanted to watch the race.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_tip-gaps?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:e272cf29-11a4-40bc-bc9f-b9ef00572f5fPost:dd9b4ab0-97c3-4b7e-ab22-2cd68610837c">Re: A Tip About Gaps</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: A Tip About Gaps : The reason that Catholic ceremonies are sooooooo long is because it isn't just a ceremony, it's a Mass.  Holy Matrimony is one of the seven sacraments, and it's a big deal.  When people bitch about how "long" it takes, I get pissed off. 
    Posted by EaglesBride2012[/QUOTE]

    <div>All of this! </div>
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_tip-gaps?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:e272cf29-11a4-40bc-bc9f-b9ef00572f5fPost:dd9b4ab0-97c3-4b7e-ab22-2cd68610837c">Re: A Tip About Gaps</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: A Tip About Gaps : The reason that Catholic ceremonies are sooooooo long is because it isn't just a ceremony, it's a Mass.  Holy Matrimony is one of the seven sacraments, and it's a big deal.  When people bitch about how "long" it takes, I get pissed off. 
    Posted by EaglesBride2012[/QUOTE]

    <div>Thank you, Eagles.</div>
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  • I had a bad experience at the first Catholic wedding that I attended when I was 10. Prior to the service, the priest got up and told a joke about divorce. 

    Then at one of my friends' masses, in his homily, the priest went on and on about how divorce is a horrible thing and that you go to hell if you get divorced.  Meanwhile, the bride's parents were divorced.

    I'm not against Catholic masses.  I love seeing my friends get married. But I had a few bad experiences.
  • edited January 2012
    I'm not Catholic either- I have no problem sitting through an hour mass, but I think it can be confusing not knowing what to expect.  Of course I'm going to attend either way, but I would prepare myself mentally a little bit if I knew I would be sitting through an hour-long religious ceremony where I can't completely participate, vs. a 20 minute wedding that is more specifically focused on my friends and their marriage.

    For you ladies who did a full Catholic  mass, did you state that somehow on your invitations?  All the Catholic weddings I've attended, nobody has made the distinction on the invitation.  I don't even know if that's something that is appropriate or expected to do.  I'm just wondering if anybody does that and how you would phrase it.
  • HOLY HELL.  Several hours?  Geez.
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  • Another long service we attended was a Greek Orthodox.  The bride and groom had printed programs that described the service and what each part symbolized.  It was really fascinating.  And luckily the Greek people around us were helpful in telling us when to stand up and sit down. 

  • edited January 2012
    I went to a wedding a few years ago with a similar 4 hour gap.  We all went to a bar for the afternoon and we were three sheets out before cocktail hour started.  We almost missed dinner at the reception.  :)


  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_tip-gaps?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:e272cf29-11a4-40bc-bc9f-b9ef00572f5fPost:cd2eb2a2-ab56-4abe-9798-4e22b12ea0f6">Re: A Tip About Gaps</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: A Tip About Gaps : I'm not Catholic and I don't mind the length of the mass so much, but for some reason it really irks me when it's time for communion and the priest says "if you are Catholic, you can come take communion."  I can't tell you why it pisses me off, but it does.  It's telling me I can't do something...so naturally, I do it.  I take communion at all catholic weddings (and funerals) when I'm specifically told not to.  I'm such a rebel. But the other thing about gaps is that normally our group is wasted when we get to the receptions.  We even got to a reception about a 45 minutes late and they were already serving dinner because it was during the Kentucky Derby and we all bet money and wanted to watch the race.
    Posted by amys325[/QUOTE]

    <div>This isn't exactly something to brag about. Not to be an azz, but how does taking communion.. you know kind of a big deal for catholics.. when you aren't something good, fun or "rebel"? That's pretty disrespectful. </div>
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_tip-gaps?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:e272cf29-11a4-40bc-bc9f-b9ef00572f5fPost:b59fd126-635c-48c1-9393-9bc894799de0">Re: A Tip About Gaps</a>:
    [QUOTE]I had a bad experience at the first Catholic wedding that I attended when I was 10. Prior to the service, the priest got up and told a joke about divorce. <strong> Then at one of my friends' masses, in his homily, the priest went on and on about how divorce is a horrible thing and that you go to hell if you get divorced.  Meanwhile, the bride's parents were divorced.</strong> I'm not against Catholic masses.  I love seeing my friends get married. But I had a few bad experiences.
    Posted by MattsPenguin[/QUOTE]

    <div>Ouch! I don't know if Emily's parents are divorced or not, but I hope that isn't Father Bill you're talking about - he did part of our wedding (not the homily though) and was great! </div><div>
    </div>
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_tip-gaps?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:e272cf29-11a4-40bc-bc9f-b9ef00572f5fPost:cd2eb2a2-ab56-4abe-9798-4e22b12ea0f6">Re: A Tip About Gaps</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: A Tip About Gaps : I'm not Catholic and I don't mind the length of the mass so much, but for some reason it really irks me when it's time for communion and the priest says "if you are Catholic, you can come take communion."  I can't tell you why it pisses me off, but it does.  It's telling me I can't do something...so naturally, I do it.  I take communion at all catholic weddings (and funerals) when I'm specifically told not to.  I'm such a rebel. But the other thing about gaps is that normally our group is wasted when we get to the receptions.  We even got to a reception about a 45 minutes late and they were already serving dinner because it was during the Kentucky Derby and we all bet money and wanted to watch the race.
    Posted by amys325[/QUOTE]

    <div>Seriously? I like you, Amy, but this is just stupid.</div>
  • FTR, I am Episcopalian, so I had my first holy communion.  It's just that the priests specifically say "Catholics only" when I have the same beliefs.  So I take it because I do believe in what it stands for.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_tip-gaps?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:e272cf29-11a4-40bc-bc9f-b9ef00572f5fPost:f186fcd1-359f-4063-8d28-fc967d587dcf">Re: A Tip About Gaps</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: A Tip About Gaps : Klassy
    Posted by ILoveMilkDuds[/QUOTE]
    This was my thought.  And extremely childish.

    I'm not Catholic but DH is.  When we go to Church, I'm not allowed to take communion.  Is it a little awkward to sit in the pew and wait for everyone to get their communion?  Sometimes but even though I don't necessarily believe in it myself, he does and I'm not about to disrespect his belief system because it happens to be different than my own.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_tip-gaps?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:e272cf29-11a4-40bc-bc9f-b9ef00572f5fPost:4af399dd-0d12-4a0f-bb9e-6094fdade654">Re: A Tip About Gaps</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: A Tip About Gaps : This was my thought.  And extremely childish. I'm not Catholic but DH is.  When we go to Church, I'm not allowed to take communion.  Is it a little awkward to sit in the pew and wait for everyone to get their communion?  Sometimes but even though I don't necessarily believe in it myself, he does and I'm not about to disrespect his belief system because it happens to be different than my own.
    Posted by emarston1[/QUOTE]

    <div>Ditto.  We had a Catholic ceremony, but didn't have a full mass with communion because I wouldn't have been able to accept it.  So our options were to have it and me just awkwardly decline, or not have it at all.  Taking it even though I wasn't supposed to never even crossed my mind because that would be a HUGE disrespect to the church and it's members.  Not that our priests would have allowed that, anyway, but you get the point. </div>
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  • MattsPenguinMattsPenguin member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments Combo Breaker
    edited January 2012
    Kate, no, it was in Chesterton.  Different friends.  and YGPM in a second.

    And Amy, I'm not sure how I would feel about you taking communion.  The reason that Catholics ask that only Catholics take it at their mass, is because it represents something different.  For most protestants, the bread and wine (juice) are representations of Jesus' flesh and blood.  Whereas Catholic believe that they change into his flesh and blood (can't think of the word right now).

    ETA:  Maybe Chrissy has it right, but what I said was what my Catholic friends have always told me.  I had a lot of them back in college.
  • omg who cares whether or not Amy takes Communion? The priest she's taking it from doesn't know she's not Catholic, you guys wouldn't have known she's not Catholic, but she chose to tell us. I don't see how you can get so up in arms over a rule that you can't possibly enforce anyway. It's not like you get a Catholic tattoo across your forehead after first communion.
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  • amys325amys325 member
    500 Comments 5 Love Its
    edited January 2012
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_tip-gaps?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:e272cf29-11a4-40bc-bc9f-b9ef00572f5fPost:31cbf190-7ab4-40be-a02a-22775ce86a6b">Re: A Tip About Gaps</a>:
    [QUOTE]Other Christians and Communion   The guidelines for receiving Communion, which are issued by the U.S. bishops and published in many missalettes, explain, "We welcome our fellow Christians to this celebration of the Eucharist as our brothers and sisters. We pray that our common baptism and the action of the Holy Spirit in this Eucharist will draw us closer to one another and begin to dispel the sad divisions which separate us. We pray that these will lessen and finally disappear, in keeping with Christ’s prayer for us ‘that they may all be one’ (John 17:21).  "Because Catholics believe that the celebration of the Eucharist is a sign of the reality of the oneness of faith, life, and worship, members of those churches with whom we are not yet fully united are ordinarily not admitted to Communion. Eucharistic sharing in exceptional circumstances by other Christians requires permission according to the directives of the diocesan bishop and the provisions of canon law. . . . "  Scripture is clear that partaking of the Eucharist is among the highest signs of Christian unity: "Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread" (1 Cor. 10:17). For this reason, it is normally impossible for non-Catholic Christians to receive Holy Communion, for to do so would be to proclaim a unity to exist that, regrettably, does not.  Another reason that many non-Catholics may not ordinarily receive Communion is for their own protection, since many reject the doctrine of the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Scripture warns that it is very dangerous for one not believing in the Real Presence to receive Communion: "For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died" (1 Cor. 11:29–30). 
    Posted by crfb87[/QUOTE]

    Thank you and I apoligize for being an azzhole and I will refrain from now on when I'm specifically told not to.

    I guess that at some Catholic Masses I've attended on Easter, Christmas, Weddings, etc., everyone has been welcomed up with no discrimination. 

    ETA:  *to take Communion.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_tip-gaps?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:e272cf29-11a4-40bc-bc9f-b9ef00572f5fPost:c1e395f5-2754-4fcd-be47-c92619c1beb5">Re: A Tip About Gaps</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: A Tip About Gaps : Oh the horror of having to sit for an hour to witness your friends get married. 
    Posted by ILoveMilkDuds[/QUOTE]

    I would gladly attend a Catholic wedding, no matter the length of the actual ceremony, if they were polite about scheduling the rest of the event.  But if they expected me to drive a significant distance to attend their wedding, and then I unexpectedly had to wait 4 HOURS in between, I would not be happy about it. 

    I find gaps to be extremely rude, no matter the length or religion of the ceremony, so if I knew about it ahead of time, I would either not attend the wedding at all, or only attend the reception.  The length of the ceremony is really just an afterthought (hence the parenthesis).
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_tip-gaps?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:e272cf29-11a4-40bc-bc9f-b9ef00572f5fPost:1373e27f-691b-4599-9b43-2022f4872816">Re: A Tip About Gaps</a>:
    [QUOTE]FTR, I am Episcopalian, so I had my first holy communion.  It's just that the priests specifically say "Catholics only" when I have the same beliefs.  So I take it because I do believe in what it stands for.
    Posted by amys325[/QUOTE]

    <div>Not the same thing.  Catholics believe in transubstatiation, the idea that the host and wine actually become the body and blood of Christ.  They don't "stand for" anything.  </div><div>
    </div><div>As far as I'm aware Episcopalians do not have this belief.</div><div>
    </div><div>Making a mockery of a sacrament is very disrespectful.  But, do what you want, just don't brag about it.</div><div>
    </div>
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  • My H said he wanted to take communion at the last wedding we went to and I luckily managed to convince him not to. The wedding was Catholic, and he is not. At all. And while the priest would have had no idea he wasn't Catholic, all of his friends (including the people getting married and their parents) DO know he's Methodist. So even excluding all the doctrinal justification for non-Catholics not taking the Eucharist, I thought him doing so might have been a slight to his Catholics friends. He understood this.

    Amy, even if they don't specifically say "only Catholics" at Easter and Christmas Communion is still only for Catholics. I'm sure they just make a point of it at weddings and funerals because there is a much higher likelyhood of non-Catholics being in attendance. 
  • MattsPenguinMattsPenguin member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments Combo Breaker
    edited January 2012
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_tip-gaps?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:e272cf29-11a4-40bc-bc9f-b9ef00572f5fPost:0cbff143-8403-4406-a732-ffb678aa419b">Re: A Tip About Gaps</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: A Tip About Gaps : Not the same thing.  Catholics believe in<strong> transubstantiation</strong>, the idea that the host and wine actually become the body and blood of Christ.  They don't "stand for" anything.   As far as I'm aware Episcopalians do not have this belief. Making a mockery of a sacrament is very disrespectful.  But, do what you want, just don't brag about it.
    Posted by dumdumfroggie[/QUOTE]

    That's the word!
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