My parents recently attended a wedding that started at 3pm for a church ceremony. On the invitation it said “reception to follow at 6pm”. The ceremony only lasted about 30 minutes and all of the sudden they had two and a half hours of lull time. The reception was about a 20 minute drive, so they couldn’t figure out why the bride and groom put such a huge gap of time in between their ceremony and reception. It turned out that they wanted that time for pictures around town.
For a wedding that was about 180 guests, and 70% of those guests from out of town, my parents didn’t understand why there wasn’t a plan. And so what happened is that most guests just stood around outside the church, some people went and got drinks in town, others drove out to the reception site and stood around there. Not really what I’d want my guests to be doing, but maybe that’s just me.
If I can offer any advice, it’s to NOT leave your guests hanging in between your ceremony and reception. If you want that time for pictures, make sure you do one of the following things.
- Explain in the program that “The Bride and Groom will be taking photos around town, immediately following ceremony”
- Provide an insert in your program that gives ideas for drinks at a bar/restaurant that is close to the ceremony/reception site.
- Have your cocktail party start early at the reception site. When you arrive they will all be there for your grand entrance!
- Do a “first sight” and take care of those pictures ahead of time.
Have you been to a wedding recently where you’ve had to wait awhile in between the ceremony/reception? Or are you planning on having that time for pictures at your wedding?