Lag time between ceremony & start of reception

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from vickidunk. Show vickidunk's posts

    Lag time between ceremony & start of reception

    All,

    I am curious to hear people's thoughts on what an appropriate "lag time" should be in between the ceremony and the reception? My Fiance and I are getting married at a church at 2pm. This will not be a full mass so the ceremony should be over by 3pm at the latest. The reception is about a half hour away. So that means most guests will be at the hotel by about 3:30ish. I really do not want our receptioin to begin untli 5pm (cocktail hour at 5pm). We only have the space for 6 hours and I do not want to start too early as it will end too early!! Plus I fear that if we start with open bar at say 4pm people are going to be very tipsy by 7! So, my question is, is it rude to make people wait around (there is a bar at the hotel they could go to before if they chose too)? Is there anything you can think of that we could have our guests do while they wait for the reception to start? The only other option is to have our ceremony at 5:30pm - but that seems way too late to me. The cocktial hour wouldn't be able to start until 7pm....
    Suggestions/thoughts are welcome!
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from pinkkittie27. Show pinkkittie27's posts

    Re: Lag time between ceremony & start of reception

    I'd prefer a reception that started earlier than to have to mill around for an hour and a half. That's my personal preference.
    If you start your reception earlier, it will end earlier, but you have the option of going to a bar nearby if people really want to keep the party going.
    If you'll have people have kids waiting at home, people who are older, and people who have to drive a ways home that night among your guests, they will probably decide to leave early even if your reception goes to 11pm.
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from lucy7368. Show lucy7368's posts

    Re: Lag time between ceremony & start of reception

    If you have a lot of out of town guests, they aren't going to have any idea what to do with themselves for an hour an a half.  If you're concerned that opening the bar early will get everyone drunk by 7, sending them to the hotel bar won't really help.

    My concern would be that, if there's a big gap, a lot of people would choose to either skip the ceremony or skip the reception. 
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from trex509. Show trex509's posts

    Re: Lag time between ceremony & start of reception

    I think this is a pretty common problem for church weddings since the ceremony times available are usually either early or late.  Personally, I'm not a fan of gaps between the ceremony and reception.  You just end up dressed up with nowhere to go, waiting for the reception to start.  If you start the cocktail hour at 4:00 PM, that's only an hour earlier but it makes it much easier on your guests.  And the event would end at 10 PM, which isn't that early (to me anyway).

    We went to a wedding recently with this problem and what happened was that everyone started showing up at the reception venue like an hour before they were supposed to (since they didn't know where else to go!).  The room wasn't set up, the hors d'oeuvres and bar weren't ready, the DJ wasn't ready, etc.  The guests all stood around while the staffed rushed to set up.  It wasn't a big deal, but I think it really stressed out the venue and it kind of came off an unprofessional/unprepared.

    If you do decide to have the gap anyway, at least try to provide some suggestions as to what your guests can do during the gap.  Either host everyone at the hotel bar, or recommend some places they can stop along the way.  Some people have set up trolley tours of Boston or some other activity to amuse their guests during the gap.  Since you are inviting them for the whole period (ceremony to end of reception), you should try to entertain them for the whole time, including the gap.

    Good luck!

     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from framerican51008. Show framerican51008's posts

    Re: Lag time between ceremony & start of reception

    I don't think having a lag between 3:30 and 5:00 is too bad, but personally I'd have the reception from 4-10.  I was pretty exhausted when we got back to our hotel (reception ended at 11:30).  Might have been up for hanging out if it had been earlier.

    If people are going to get drunk and go home early that will happen regardless if you start at 4:00 and people leave at 7:00 or you start at 5:00 and people leave at 8:00.  I'm sure you have nothing to worry about though.  Besides drunk people don't leave, they get down and dirty on the dancefloor!  :o)
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from lucy7368. Show lucy7368's posts

    Re: Lag time between ceremony & start of reception

    Another thing to think about is just that 2-11 is going to be a really long day (for you and your guests). 
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from vickidunk. Show vickidunk's posts

    Re: Lag time between ceremony & start of reception

    Good points. I barely am able to stay up past 11 on a "regular" night. Perhaps I will change it to start at 4pm. I just always wanted a night wedding and I feel like it is not really an evening wedding anymore! But, am i just over analyzing?

    In Response to Re: Lag time between ceremony & start of reception:
    I don't think having a lag between 3:30 and 5:00 is too bad, but personally I'd have the reception from 4-10.  I was pretty exhausted when we got back to our hotel (reception ended at 11:30).  Might have been up for hanging out if it had been earlier. If people are going to get drunk and go home early that will happen regardless if you start at 4:00 and people leave at 7:00 or you start at 5:00 and people leave at 8:00.  I'm sure you have nothing to worry about though.  Besides drunk people don't leave, they get down and dirty on the dancefloor!  :o)
    Posted by framerican51008

     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from vickidunk. Show vickidunk's posts

    Re: Lag time between ceremony & start of reception

    You are right. Thanks for your input Lucy!!! Very good points...
    In Response to Re: Lag time between ceremony & start of reception:
    Another thing to think about is just that 2-11 is going to be a really long day (for you and your guests). 
    Posted by lucy7368

     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Lag time between ceremony & start of reception

    Yes, a common but awful problem.  I understand your hope to have it start later, but frankly milling around with nothing to do, no tasty treats, no drinks, nothin', is both boring and tiring.  I'd hope you could just move up cocktail hour and serve an early dinner.   If that means the reception ends at 10, that's far better than having a big gap beforehand.
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from vickidunk. Show vickidunk's posts

    Re: Lag time between ceremony & start of reception

    Thanks so much! I think i may try to start it at 4pm. But i MAY look into the trolley idea as an alternative.
    Thanks!
    In Response to Re: Lag time between ceremony & start of reception:
    I think this is a pretty common problem for church weddings since the ceremony times available are usually either early or late.  Personally, I'm not a fan of gaps between the ceremony and reception.  You just end up dressed up with nowhere to go, waiting for the reception to start.  If you start the cocktail hour at 4:00 PM, that's only an hour earlier but it makes it much easier on your guests.  And the event would end at 10 PM, which isn't that early (to me anyway). We went to a wedding recently with this problem and what happened was that everyone started showing up at the reception venue like an hour before they were supposed to (since they didn't know where else to go!).  The room wasn't set up, the hors d'oeuvres and bar weren't ready, the DJ wasn't ready, etc.  The guests all stood around while the staffed rushed to set up.  It wasn't a big deal, but I think it really stressed out the venue and it kind of came off an unprofessional/unprepared. If you do decide to have the gap anyway, at least try to provide some suggestions as to what your guests can do during the gap.  Either host everyone at the hotel bar, or recommend some places they can stop along the way.  Some people have set up trolley tours of Boston or some other activity to amuse their guests during the gap.  Since you are inviting them for the whole period (ceremony to end of reception), you should try to entertain them for the whole time, including the gap. Good luck!
    Posted by trex509

     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from pinkkittie27. Show pinkkittie27's posts

    Re: Lag time between ceremony & start of reception

    you're over analyzing. you'll be having a wonderful time no matter what hour it is. You'll still see the sun set and it'll still be dark out when you leave.
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from vickidunk. Show vickidunk's posts

    Re: Lag time between ceremony & start of reception

    Ha! Thanks! You are probably right! :)
    In Response to Re: Lag time between ceremony & start of reception:
    you're over analyzing. you'll be having a wonderful time no matter what hour it is. You'll still see the sun set and it'll still be dark out when you leave.
    Posted by pinkkittie27

     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from NorthernLghts. Show NorthernLghts's posts

    Re: Lag time between ceremony & start of reception

    if it makes you feel any better, my ceremony was at 2 and our reception was from 3-8 :-). Just about everyone stayed to the end or atleast the last hour. Afterwards i was able to meet up with a few friends at the bar where we stayed that night to just relax and hang out for a while.
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from framerican51008. Show framerican51008's posts

    Re: Lag time between ceremony & start of reception

    I completely understand the dilemma and I'm sure many others do as well!

    I'm still a tiny bit miffed because the room/dancefloor stayed so bright all night and I too had envisioned a night wedding.  But in the grand scheme of things, you are too busy enjoying your incredible day to really notice.
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from ilovebeagles. Show ilovebeagles's posts

    Re: Lag time between ceremony & start of reception

    Are you doing a receiving line?
    If you are, a 5 pm start time will probably be fine!


    First of all - ceremonies never start exactly on time, no matter your best intentions. So, 2:!5 start time is probably more accurate. 
    Also, everything takes longer than expected, from lining up to walking down the aisle to a receiving line to taking pictures.

    Add in a solid 30 minute drive between ceremony and reception, people getting lost, people milling around after the ceremony to talk to people and the receiving line itself. 
    a 5 pm start time would probably only have people milling around for 30 minutes or so. 

    If you are not doing a receiving line - then a 4 pm start time is better.
    I agree - 2 to 11 is a VERY long day, and it is a huge pain to be all dressed up and having to kill time, be starved, and spending money while waiting for the reception to start. 
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from lucy7368. Show lucy7368's posts

    Re: Lag time between ceremony & start of reception

    Also, that 2-11 window is assuming that you wake up at 1:59, looking stunning, at the venue (because, obviously, that's how it works, right?).  Laughing
     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from FriarGirl03. Show FriarGirl03's posts

    Re: Lag time between ceremony & start of reception

    My two cents... Have the 4pm reception. Your guests will be happy because they won't have to kill an hour waiting for it to start, get to eat dinner at a reasonable hour and they'll get home at a reasonable hour. (Wow, I sound like the crappiest wedding guest ever!) I was in a wedding that started at 2:30 with a 4pm reception and let me tell you how exhausted I was by the time it ended at 9! We thought we'd go to a bar in our dresses but we all ended up going home and to bed! The bride and groom had to be at Logan at 5am for their flight to their honeymoon, so it worked out for everyone that it ended a little earlier. IMHO, 4pm is still a night wedding. Unless you're getting married in the winter, then it's going to be daylight when you get in there at 5pm. Just grab your photographer and get some sunset pictures and you'll be all set!
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from cosmogirl. Show cosmogirl's posts

    Re: Lag time between ceremony & start of reception

    Some gaps must be dealt with when the church's ceremony times are set in stone and the venue can't accommodate an earlier start time.

    Having a gap just because you "want" the reception to start at 5 p.m. is not a good enough reason to inconvenience 100 of your closest friends and family. 

    People don't want to do an "activity" between the church and the reception, or sightseeing or shopping.   They want to get to the reception. 

    Our reception started at 4:00 and went until 9:30.  It was definitely a "night reception".   And we partied on afterward. 

    Do the right thing; put your guests first and you'll never be sorry. 


     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Lag time between ceremony & start of reception

    Well said, cos!!!
     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from trex509. Show trex509's posts

    Re: Lag time between ceremony & start of reception

    My friend recently had a church wedding, I think it was at 1 PM.  We went right to the venue after and had a normal reception.  We danced the night away, it was fantastic!  When it ended, it was pitch black out (this was October) and we stumbled to the car (my feet hurt!).  I got in the car and looked at the clock.  I was SHOCKED!!  It was 8:30 PM!!!  I seriously thought it was like 11 PM!  It was so funny!  We had no idea, we had a great time and I was actually pretty happy that we got home at a reasonable hour.  (of course I was also a BM so I had been at the brides house at 8 AM for hair and makeup, we were exhausted!).

    My point is:  no one will notice that it is "early" if you start at 4 PM.  Have fun!  :)
     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from Scorpio75. Show Scorpio75's posts

    Re: Lag time between ceremony & start of reception

    I agree with Trex.  Start at 4 and everyone will have a grand time.  I think that we can sometimes get hung up on the timing but really the people that you are inviting are family and friends and they want to hang out and have fun with you guys and the time doesn't really matter so much.  I have had great parties that are done in the afternoon, as well as the evening.  Heck I have even had great brunch parties, there is no set time to have fun.

    But I do have a bone of contention about the weddings never start on time thing.  Mine started promptly at 10:30 AM.  I also have family and friends that had their wedding start on time.  There was one wedding that I went to where it didn't start on time but that was because the bride was always chronically late.  If you are normally on time for things then odds are your wedding will start on time.


     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from rysmom. Show rysmom's posts

    Re: Lag time between ceremony & start of reception

    Think about this...Your ceremony ends at 3:00.  People will most likely linger a bit at the church especially if you have a receiving line.  Not everyone will dash for their cars.  People probably won't leave the Church until 3:30 or even later.  So, if the reception venue is 30 mins away then I think you are okay.  I am going to a wedding this summer that is at 2pm the reception is at 5pm.  We'll probably linger a bit at the Church, drive to the reception hotel, check in and freshen up and then go to the reception.  If I weren't staying at the hotel I think it would still be fine. 
     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from lucy7368. Show lucy7368's posts

    Re: Lag time between ceremony & start of reception

    Isn't the recieving line usually at the reception hall, rather than the church?
     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from framerican51008. Show framerican51008's posts

    Re: Lag time between ceremony & start of reception

    Lucy, it usually immediately proceeds the ceremony.  Of course people can do whatever they want!
     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Lag time between ceremony & start of reception

    It can be done either way, but traditionally, it's the natural line that forms as people leave the church.  The bride and groom would leave first and stand at the door.  However, the confusion comes now that many churches are imposing a "no receiving line" rule to get people out of there faster.  People who still wanted one somehow made it happen at the reception site.
     
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