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Cassandra
Newbie September 2019 Alberta

In-between time.

Cassandra, on September 11, 2018 at 13:27 Posted in Wedding ceremony 0 20
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Hey ladies,

So I have a question for all of you brides and soon to be brides.

My fiance and I have booked our venue at a hotel and were wanting to do the ceremony and reception at the same place. To be able to have a theater set up for a ceremony there would be a 4hr delay to our reception. I was fine with it and didn't think for two seconds that would be a problem till I talked to my mother and she said that would be to long. We aren't doing first look photos so all our photos will be done during that four hours. I am not worried about us and what we will be doing I am worried about my guests and now I'm over thinking things and stressing out about having to possibly book another vendor just for our ceremony. Could I get your thoughts on the four hours and if that is way to long in-between?

Thanks pretty ladies!

20 Comments

Latest activity by Stephanie, on September 16, 2018 at 02:25
  • Stephanie
    Master July 2018 Alberta
    Stephanie ·
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    People are very good at entertaining themselves. I wouldn't worry about it. 4 hours, they can go home/to their hotel in between. It's not a big deal to have a gap in between. We had just over 3 hours in between and no guests complained that they were bored; they found something to do.

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  • Julia
    Frequent user June 2019 Alberta
    Julia ·
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    If guests are staying at the hotel they can take some time to relax and freshen up. Or if the venue allows you to use another room while they set up the main reception you can have a cocktail hour
    • Reply
  • Michelle
    Super September 2018 Alberta
    Michelle ·
    • Dispute

    We have a cocktail hour, that is about the same time 3 hr gap total. There are 2 hrs will nothing will be conducted, but we have a casino attached to the hotel and there are 4 restaurants on site as well at the hotel/casino. So I'm sure our guests will find something to go.

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  • Melissa
    Frequent user September 2018 Quebec
    Melissa ·
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    View quoted message
    Can you do the ceremony and reception in different rooms? Perhaps I’m misunderstanding.

    We aren’t doing a first look either, but we’re doing our photos at the venue and we’ve put aside two hours per our photographer’s request. We’re inviting guests outside for a group photo and a toast after the ceremony, then we’re going to do photos. Guests will have to wait 15-20 minutes but they’ll be outside mingling with a drink before the cocktail starts. Then we’re doing a 1.5 hour cocktail while we take photos. Personally, I can understand a gap when there’s a church and then a reception hall, but if your guests are already at the venue, four hours can be long and they may opt to skip the ceremony and those that stick around might drink to fill the time.
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  • Marie-Claire
    Devoted August 2018 Quebec
    Marie-Claire ·
    • Dispute

    My brother-in-law had a similar gap at his wedding (ceremony at 1.30 and reception at 5.30 or 6, can't remember). I spent part of it taking pictures, so I couldn't tell what everybody did, but they provided cake and coffee at the church, and then there was an official cocktail at the reception venue.

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  • Cassandra
    Newbie September 2019 Alberta
    Cassandra ·
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    Most of them are from the city so I don't think to many of them will be staying there.

    Yea there is a nice lounge in the hotel and a mall not to far away.

    I am just concerned with the big gap people might have to much fun and come to the reception hammered.

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  • Melissa
    Frequent user September 2018 Quebec
    Melissa ·
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    Is the venue centrally located? If so, guests will find something to do. I’m personally opting against a gap because I don’t like it, but most weddings have a 3-4 hour gap. You may have fewer people at the ceremony as a result, but it’s not that big of a deal. Also, just be weary that gaps can lead people to bars or other places, where they might get a tad tipsy. I’ve seen guests show up wasted to the cocktail because they started the party early lol!
    • Reply
  • Sara
    Frequent user January 2021 Alberta
    Sara ·
    • Dispute

    Are the bulk of your guests staying in that hotel? If so, I wouldn't worry about it. They can hang out in their rooms and have a couple drinks or a nap. No big deal. The ones who aren't staying there will probably be invited to hang out with someone who is I'd imagine. Otherwise, there is always the hotel restaurant/lounge.

    At the last couple hotel weddings I've been to, it basically turned into a hallway party between the ceremony and reception, since everyone is usually on the same floor and they just prop their doors open and hang out.

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  • Vinod
    Featured August 2017 Ontario
    Vinod ·
    • Dispute
    Your guests will be occupied by getting rest, getting their drinks on earlier before cocktail hour, going shopping nearby or just catching up with other family members they haven't seen for a long time.
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  • Candice
    Curious October 2018 Alberta
    Candice ·
    • Dispute

    I have 4 hours inbetween my ceremony at 2 and the supper at 6 - I have lots of family that are going to want to visit inbetween - most are from out of town and have hotel rooms. Plus I'm guessing an hour for the ceremony and pictures and then cocktails are at 5. There is shopping super close and alot are from small towns so they are excited to go check out a store or 2.

    I don't think 4 hours is a long time at all

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  • Clarissa
    Expert October 2018 Saskatchewan
    Clarissa ·
    • Dispute
    I agree have a small list of stuff near by to go do. If you have a large group of out of town guests you might want to see about arranging for a time slot at some of those things but that’s definitely not necessary.

    If you have guests that booked rooms at the hotel in a block you could ask the hotel if them can deliver the pamphlet to the rooms before guests check in. Or put it in welcome bags if you’ve opted to do those.
    • Reply
  • Jennifer
    Super July 2019 Ontario
    Jennifer ·
    • Dispute

    That's pretty standard time in between ceremony/reception. even when at the same venue. I wouldn't worry too much about it. people will go to their room or maybe go for lunch or something.

    if you have a lot of out of town guests. I would maybe make some sort of info pack for them saying "hey do this in between/here are attractions" but even that isn't necessary at all. by the time they exit the ceremony/socialize with some family members/check into their hotel. 4 hours will go QUICK.

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  • Cassandra
    Newbie September 2019 Alberta
    Cassandra ·
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    View quoted message

    I am so glad that everything seems like it will be fine. I love the idea of an itinerary!

    thank you

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  • Allison
    Master October 2019 Ontario
    Allison ·
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    I wouldn't worry about the 4 hour delay. Guests will find something to do in that spare time. Locals can catch up on errands (my FH actually mowed the lawn and installed a TV during a gap between ceremony and reception last weekend lol), out of town guests can go up to their rooms (since it is a hotel venue) and relax.

    I agree with the others and provide some attractions for your guests (especially out of town) to go to since 4 hours does give a lot of down time. As long as that gap is mentioned in your invites (i.e. Ceremony time at 1:30pm, reception to follow at 5:30pm) you'll be fine.

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  • Gina
    Super April 2019 Alberta
    Gina ·
    • Dispute
    I wouldn’t worry. Most weddings have a gap between ceremony and reception. Mine will be 4 hours between. If your in a hotel, they likely have a place for people to grab a drink or a small bite to eat. If people are staying at the hotel, they can go back to their rooms and freshen up. I was just at a wedding there there was 5 hours between. No big deal. People tend to occupy themselves. I would rather have things in the same location personally. I remember going to church weddings at 10am and reception being at 6.
    • Reply
  • Moira
    Newbie September 2020 Alberta
    Moira ·
    • Dispute
    I just went to a wedding where the ceremony was at 10:30am and the reception was at6:30pm. People will find things to go and do. You are only responsible for entering your guests for the booked events (ceremony, reception, cocktail hour if you so choose). Definitely recommend activities for out of town guests, but most families and friends can treat this time like a reunion and enjoy it together. I went home and took a nap in my down time. Others went to a pub to watch a game.
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  • Bianca
    Master August 2019 Ontario
    Bianca ·
    • Dispute

    I think you could have some local things for your guests to do around town (movies, lunch places, bowling alleys) in order to occupy them during the 4 hour break. Your guests will see the timing on your invitations and should be prepared for it (mentally) anyway.

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  • Brittany
    British Columbia
    Brittany ·
    • Dispute

    My cousin had quite the gap between when they were able to have the church for the wedding and the dinner/reception (like, ceremony at 1.30, dinner at 5.30 or 6).... A group of us went for a late lunch to kill time.

    If your wedding is all local, and you don't have too many out of town guests (cus usually they don't have cars), you can have a list of suggested restaurants, bars, activities, etc for people to do for the time period before the reception. It's not that you can't have a longer gap, it's that it's courteous to provide activities, or suggestions, so guests aren't just sitting around getting bored for 4 hours.

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  • Cassandra
    Newbie September 2019 Alberta
    Cassandra ·
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    I really like that idea of a pamphlet of things to do!!

    The other thing is the guests aren't allowed in the room as they are transforming it.

    Thank-you!

    • Reply
  • Tori
    Top October 2019 Manitoba
    Tori ·
    • Dispute

    It is quite a bit of time for just a cocktail hour(s)... However - most brides take this time to do photo's so that's what you can be doing during this time. For the guests; I would consider making them pamphlets with what they could do in the area during that little layover. Something like where to grab a snack or an art gallery nearby or something.

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