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time b/ween church and reception

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janinegirly

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Has anyone had a ceremony or been part of a wedding party that was early (12) with reception later (5)? I''m trying to figure out how to kill time or suggest wedding party kill time before the reception. And also for my fiance and I...we''re going to be starving by 5 but not sure how to squeeze in lunch in my big dress. Just looking for suggestions on how this flow smoothly, or if I should have the reception start earlier..
 

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labbielove

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Jun 28, 2006
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the only time i experienced that was as a bridesmaid and it was one of my best friends so i didn''t mind.
her mom had a house party in between, ordered lunch,etc. and we ate in our gowns.

as a guest, it depends
- if you have a lot of oot guests i think you are obligated to provide something for them in between, but that''s just my opinion
- if you have in town guests, i think you should be prepared to have a lot of them not show for the ceremony and only the reception.
 

Kit

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Sep 7, 2005
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Yes, I have been to several. You will have to give me more details...why are you thinking such a long gap between the two? Can you edge the ceremony later and/or reception earlier?

Personally I think if you are going to have any kind of gap you need to figure out what to do for your guests so they are not inconvenienced...unless the vast majority of your guests are from the town in which you are wedding.

The only way this works is if you do something between the ceremony and reception for guests...a tour of an historic area...complimentary museum tickets...free shuttle from ceremony to hotels and then another from hotels to reception site.

Really I think the gap gives you more logistical headaches.
 

janinegirly

Ideal_Rock
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Sep 21, 2006
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thanks for the responses. I did not want the gap, but the church is only available at 12. And I don''t want to do a reception in the middle of the day. The afternoon church ceremonies are all booked for months ahead. sigh....
 

Kit

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Let me see here....what about this?

Ceremony from 12:00-1:00

Open time where you have to fill with tours, museums, etc: 1:00-3:00 (this is when you will take pics with your bridal party/family and have a light lunch)

Cocktail hour/s 3:00-4:30

Move to reception site at 4:30/5:00

end reception by 10:00

I was in a wedding similar to this (a bit less gappy but catholic mass from 2:00-3:30 and then open time for about an hour and a half). It really went fine. One thing the bride did was rent a trolley to ship the guests around during the open time. She also held the cocktail time at a separate venue across the street from the reception site so it was kind of exciting to have all these different venues and events as part of the same wedding. Downside: it was an extravaganza, and exhausting for those of us in the wedding.
 

swingirl

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Apr 6, 2006
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Is the church and reception hall close to eachother? Some guests might pick one event or the other. Or would they drive home, get undressed, have lunch and then suit up again for the reception? That''s a long day especially if you have children, kids with a baby sitter, health issues or are elderly.
 

JulieN

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that is the only kind of wedding i've been to.

people go home after the wedding.
 

FireGoddess

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Yowch...that is quite a bit of time. I can see that some people might choose to skip the ceremony and just go to the reception. The longest interim I''ve been to was 2 hours in between.
 

jesterjigger

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Apr 14, 2006
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I''ve only been to one wedding like that, and for me, it was an awful experience. Of course, it was my now-fiance''s best friend, he was in the wedding party, I wasn''t, so I had to kill four hours by myself between the wedding and reception. Her mom had a party during the in between time, but I didn''t know anyone (it was his bf from high school and she didn''t mention that the wedding party was to ride around in a limo and drink during the gap) so I didn''t want to go to that party. I ended up hanging out at his house with his parents (whom I''d just met). It worked out ok, but I was nervous about being alone with his parents and would have been bored if I hadn''t asked his dad to show me baby pictures of FI to kill the time. I didn''t want my guests to have to deal with the same thing, which is why our wedding and reception are in the same location.
 

havernell

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One other thing to consider about your idea to have such a large gap between the ceremony and reception- With that big of a gap, you''ll essentially be asking your guests to commit to a 12 hour affiar (i.e.- leaving for the wedding at 11:00am and not leaving the reception until 11:00pm). I don''t know about everyone else, but that sounds like a really loooong day for me. Its and even longer day for small children (if you hare having them at your wedding). Just something to consider.

Is there any way you''d consider having an afternoon into evening reception instead? I just think making your guest kill time for five hours is exsessive, and I think trying to plan something for all of those people to do for five hours would be a huge headache for you. It''s really unfortunate that your church has such limited availability, but there''s no reason why and afternoon reception can''t be a fantastic as one in the evening.

Good luck with the planning!
 

janinegirly

Ideal_Rock
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sigh..well this is kind of depressing me now!
well let me explain my vision (even if it's more just the circumstances than by choice) and see if it makes it seem better. I don't imagine anyone other than family/wedding party and friends who are from out of town who want something to do during the day actually coming to the ceremony. The church and reception area are walking distance from each other in a very charming, historic college town. My parents will also host a lunch. So guests can either hang out in town, or join my parents and family for a light lunch. 12-2 will likely go quickly with ceremony and photos. 2-4 is time to kill or light food. Others may go back to their rooms since reception is in a historic inn in town, and some might stay there. We might start reception early at 4ish. I know it's a long day, but there is only two church sessions, 12 and 3 and 3pm slots are taken for months/years to come. The woman who runs the catering at our reception site says she's seen people do the 12 church and reception later many times and they can set up cookies and tea earlier if I'd like. So I figured it was ok, but I am having a lot of fears/concerns..thanks for the feedback.
PS There won't be too many kids at the wedding, and I guess I'm considering it more a day trip for everyone with wedding and reception as part of the day. I'm estimating only about 30% will actually show up at ceremony.
 

eks6426

Ideal_Rock
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I've been to a lot of weddings like this as a guest and honestly I've always hated them. That 2 hour "kill" time is just a pain...especially if you are from out of town. The luncheon idea is nice but the day is just really long for your guests. As a guest, I always feel really guilty about going to the reception but not the ceremony. The whole point of the day is your wedding so not seeing the ceremony just seems like I'm crashing the party.

If it were me, I'd considering moving my ceremony out of the church so the ceremony and reception could be closer together.

If the church part is important to you, you just do a small ceremony with close family only in the morning then do a larger ceremony at a park, the reception location etc. later in the day. You could even do the church ceremony a few days before or after the larger ceremony.

Maybe there are some 3rd alternatives........

If you're going to do the kill time version, have a plan for some place to go and get some food ordered so you are not starving. Lay a sheet over your lap while you eat so you don't stain your dress.
 

labbielove

Brilliant_Rock
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Jun 28, 2006
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862
Sorry if you''ve mentioned this already, but is it an option to have an earlier reception?
If so I think this would be your best bet.

Even starting at 2 or 2:30 would be good, you could do cocktail hour, a meal, dancing, etc.

The good part is that if you end reception earlier there''s always the option for folks that want to continue the party to do so.
Rather than forcing a long day upon them by having such a large gap.

Just a thought. I think afternoon receptions are lovely, and may even save $ for food if you wish by doing a heavy lunch/light supper type thing. There is no reason it couldn''t be just as formal as an evening reception.

It just sounds like you are really stressed about this, there''s no option for a later ceremony, so the only other option is an earlier reception.
It''s also fine to leave it as is, if folks are going to be OOT and staying at the inn anyway, then they wouldn''t have to worry about sitters, etc. and all that stuff as if it were in their hometown.
 

janinegirly

Ideal_Rock
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Sep 21, 2006
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well, i''d really like an evening reception since it''s a saturday night and is ideal. i can add another hour on the front end to close the gap a bit.
there are only 2 catholic churches in town and both are booked for 2/3pm slots. I''m not sure if there are ever scenarios where one can ask the church to perform a later ceremony (like 4pm), but somehow I doubt it!!

as for me, i would probably return to my suite after the cereomony and eat/unwind until reception time. my mother said she''d take care of guests and that i should relax. but of course, i''m trying to come up w/scenarios where guests will be entertained and not too inconvenienced/tired. There will only be 2-3 kids at the wedding, 2 who are my FI''s sister''s. So there won''t really be a kids issue.
 

cara

Ideal_Rock
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Mar 21, 2006
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I went to a 2pm church wedding with 5 pm reception as an OOT guest and that was about my limit. Even with mass, running a bit late, hanging around to send off the bridal party in the limo, ceremony was still done by 3pm. So we drove around town a bit, ate a pretzel in our finery, went back to the hotel to crash for a bit, and then went to the reception. A noon wedding with 5pm reception would have been too much killing time in nice clothes. I see you want an evening reception, and a church wedding, but you are asking a lot of your guests. Frankly, at some point I would prefer an 11am wedding with evening reception so it is clear that I am supposed to change, find lunch, do some afternoon activity before the reception.

I should note that this party was pretty much over by 10:30 too, as people were wiped out!
 

cara

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Date: 1/9/2007 12:19:15 PM
Author: janinegirly
well, i''d really like an evening reception since it''s a saturday night and is ideal. i can add another hour on the front end to close the gap a bit.

there are only 2 catholic churches in town and both are booked for 2/3pm slots. I''m not sure if there are ever scenarios where one can ask the church to perform a later ceremony (like 4pm), but somehow I doubt it!!

4 or 5pm ceremony would be fabulous! Beg them! Though sometimes Catholic churches have mass on Sat. afternoons, but that would be perfect especially as your reception site is walking distance.
 

lovelylulu

Ideal_Rock
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Jul 6, 2005
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2,406
i was in a similar situation, though we had basically all out of towners, so having that large of a gap was just not going to work. i've been to weddings like this and even if you live locally, it's still sort of a pain. get dressed up and go to the ceremony and then wait an additional 5 hours.

we had no luck trying to make the churches accomodate us. basically, most catholic churches hold confession in the evenings and just could not squeeze a wedding cermony due to that obligation.

i would seriously consider having an earlier reception if there are no other solutions as far as the church is concerned...

we wound up going to a church that was about 30 minutes from our reception site (not ideal) because they could do a 3pm ceremony. the extra driving time pushed back the reception start time and it all worked out in the end.

good luck
 

flopkins

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 15, 2004
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2,025
I had a gap, my ceremony was at 2, my reception started at 5. People dealt w/it. DH''s side OOT folks stopped over at IL''s house (about 10 min away from the wedding) and OOT folks on my side stayed at the small house we rented for the day that was near the wedding. Friends hung out and otherwise killed time.

There were a few ppl who didn''t attend the ceremony and only teh reception. WHatever. If they didn''t want to come, then they didn''t come!

We did provide a bag of snacks after teh ceremony: water, cheezits, and twix - cheezits are my fav snack, twix are DH''s fav candy - these were a hit! And we also included a list of things to do nearby - our wedding area had a lot of sights to see (near Golden Gate Bridge, etc..) that ppl could drive to easily


I totally stressed about the gap. A lot of things I read online said ''oh, it''s terrible, don''t do this to your guests... etc.... The later ceremony time at our chapel was booked, so I couldn''t have things start later. I just got over it. Most of the friends/family that I asked about it said not to worry, it would be fine, and it was.

PS I think it might be rather common in Catholic ceremonies. Another one I went to had the same schedule as yours. We were OOT and just kinda relaxed, grabbed a bite to eat, checked out some local sights, and hung out w/some of the other guests. no biggie.


Bottom line is, some ppl hate it, some don''t care. If it prevents someone from attending your wedding or your ceremony, you''ll just have to accept it. You''re never going to please everyone. DOn''t even try.
 

janinegirly

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 21, 2006
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yea it''s very frustrating, but i think we''ll have to deal. i think ceremony attendants will be just wedding party and family who are more likely to rally. most people will be from OOT which I think actually works in our favor b/c it''s a very charming cute town and will give people a chance to stroll around and take in the atmosphere. My mother is also hosting a lunch at our house (about 10mns away) with transportation to /from church if anyone is up for it. And people (wedding party) who are staying in town at the inn we are having the reception at (across from church) will likely chill in their rooms for a bit.
They are telling me this is very common with catholic ceremonies and that the reception site has seen it often. I couldn''ve done the ceremony at the iinn, but i rreally want to do it at a church, and particularly this one, which is a very well known site in town. Even without that, there are no other churches available and I am trying to beg them to move the time down, but the church is verrry inflexible on this! i will prob move reception up an hour..
i''ll keep plugging away at this..it''s tough, but i guess it''s a big day for us and everyone who plans on coming seems supportive about the gap, so let''s hope. i hope my makeup survives the long day too!
 
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