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Dedicated September 2020

Cocktail hour activities with a long break

Furure Mrs., on February 24, 2020 at 4:33 PM Posted in Wedding Reception 2 26
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So I'm not sure if this is a good idea or not and am looking for opinions. We will be having a long break between our ceremony and reception (3 hours) and right now I'm trying to think of ways to make this suck less for our guests. Our whole wedding is at the same venue (on a farm), and we will have food, drinks, and lawn games. I was also thinking of hiring someone to come out and do an hour or so line-dancing lesson for those who wish to take part. I know not everyone would be into it, but I'm hoping some would be. Any opinions on whether or not this would be worth it? If not, do you have any other suggestions for things to have for our guests to do during this break?

26 Comments

Latest activity by Furure Mrs., on February 25, 2020 at 11:22 AM
  • Kelly
    Champion October 2018
    Kelly ·
    • Flag
    Is there a reason for the needed 3 hour break? I can’t imagine guests would sit around for 3 hours for anything including dance lessons. I know sometimes people have a gap at a church wedding but I’ve never seen it at the same venue and would be confused.
    • Reply
  • Caytlyn
    Legend November 2019
    Caytlyn Online ·
    • Flag

    I would do everything in my power not to have such a long break or I would expect guests to attend either the ceremony or the reception, not both. I'm sorry, but no one wants to dedicate 7.5+ hours to attending your wedding.

    • Reply
  • Gen
    Champion June 2019
    Gen ·
    • Flag
    Why is the break 3 hours?! Honestly I don’t think there’s any activities you could do to make that break more bearable. Most guests get antsy after a 1 hour cocktail hour. You could probably stretch it to 90 minutes. But no one will want to idle around for 3 hours before the reception even begins... people just don’t have that amount of time, or energy!
    • Reply
  • F
    Dedicated September 2020
    Furure Mrs. ·
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    Our photographer said because of divorced family members (who will NOT go near each other, even for photos) causing family photos to take longer than usual, and us going to a second location for our couples photos, she recommends we have a 3 hour break. It's longer than we wanted the break to be, which is why we are trying to think of things to fill the gap with.

    • Reply
  • LB
    Champion November 2016
    LB ·
    • Flag

    3 hours is the length of a lot of weddings. I can't imagine guests just hanging around for that long. Why the gap if it's all at the same venue?

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  • Melle
    Legend June 2019
    Melle ·
    • Flag
    That’s a big gap especially it being at the same place. I personally if I lived close enough would go home or just do something else but That sounds kind of cool to have a dance lesson in between.
    • Reply
  • Sarah
    VIP September 2019
    Sarah ·
    • Flag
    If I knew the couple planned a 3 hour gap, I’d either skip the ceremony or skip the reception. I wouldn’t hang around for 3 hours waiting for the couple to take pictures.
    • Reply
  • M
    Expert October 2021
    Megan ·
    • Flag

    I would really recommend against a three-hour break. Consider doing a first look with your fiancé and taking up some time before the ceremony to do one set of family pictures plus couple photos, wedding party, and any solo shots. Then spend max. one hour for cocktail hour between ceremony and reception to do other family shots.

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  • Kelly
    Champion October 2018
    Kelly ·
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    I would have a serious talk with your photographer and just say that a 3 hour gap isn’t possible. We have divorced family members and did separate shots with the different families and it took maybe 10-15 minutes. Also if going to a second location for couples shots is important to you then I would do a first look. I don’t think it’s fair to make your guests wait around because you want photos done somewhere else.
    • Reply
  • Rebelle Fleur
    VIP July 2021
    Rebelle Fleur ·
    • Flag
    That is way too much to expect from your guests. I suggest taking your couple pictures before the wedding and during the first half of your cocktail hour have one side of the family take pictures and the other half of your cocktail hour. Having someone sitting around for 3 hours for any reason is rude and your going to probably loose a lot of guests. Most people’s receptions are only 3-5 hours. I’m surprised your photographer made this suggestion.
    • Reply
  • Erin
    Devoted September 2021
    Erin ·
    • Flag
    Could you try and do some of the photos before the ceremony? Maybe have a first look and start getting pictures done right after? You could go to the second location beforehand. That way, you wont have a 3 hour wait in between cause thats a long wait especially if its all in the same place
    • Reply
  • MrsD
    Legend July 2019
    MrsD ·
    • Flag

    So how long would the entire wedding be, ceremony + 3 hour break + reception? I've never been to a wedding longer than 6 hours and probably wouldn't stay any longer than that anyway regardless of how long the break is. I suggest taking as many pictures as you can before the ceremony then take the ones with bride & groom together after. It will take much less time that way. Both our parents are divorced, my husband has a stepmother and two stepsisters and a stepbrother, I have a stepfather and my father has a girlfriend. We had 19 people in our wedding party total plus two kids plus our dog. We still got all our pictures done within a 1 hour cocktail hour on site.

    • Reply
  • Mcskipper
    Master July 2018
    Mcskipper ·
    • Flag
    An hour of line dancing would be way too much for me. Something like that could be okay for 15-20 min max if I was in the mood (would require a fun crowd and a couple of drinks first lol), but much longer and i fear it would start to feel like a chore....or a workout class, which I would not have signed up for !
    • Reply
  • F
    Dedicated September 2020
    Furure Mrs. ·
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    View Quoted Comment

    Thank you for your opinion! My thought was to hire them for an hour and have them do a few different dances (about 20 minutes each) so that people could do as much or as little as they want. And if they don't want to participate that's fine too obviously. I just thought, especially for the kids, it might be fun.

    • Reply
  • F
    Dedicated September 2020
    Furure Mrs. ·
    • Flag

    Thank you all for your input! We are absolutely trying to shorten the break as much as possible, but since we will not be doing a first look and due to the fact that our venue is very open it will be difficult to do any of the pictures before the ceremony. We are definitely going to talk to our photographer and see if she can come up with any ideas for a shorter timeline for photos.

    • Reply
  • Dj Tanner
    June 2021
    Dj Tanner ·
    • Flag
    With all due respect I think you should talk to your photographer. Me personally as long as I’m with friends/family and an open bar and food I wouldn’t care that much, but 3hours is quite a lot of time for a dead period. Maybe you can get dance performers or something. I would just make sure there is plenty of food if it has to be a 3 hour gap. How do you think your guests will respond to the three hour gap? Do you have a lot of people that are OK with that kind of thing or do you think you’ll have people complaining?
    • Reply
  • Kelly
    Champion October 2018
    Kelly ·
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    View Quoted Comment
    Can you do separate wedding party photos before the ceremony and just do a group shot after the ceremony? Keep the bridal party hidden away while they shoot the groomsmen and then switch? That’s what I’ve seen done in most weddings I’ve been in that they didn’t do a first look.
    • Reply
  • F
    Dedicated September 2020
    Furure Mrs. ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment

    We will absolutely have lots of food/beverages, and are trying to plan things to entertain guests (hence the idea of a dance lesson as well as yard games).

    Every wedding in my family has had at least a 2.5 hour break, many have been longer. So over 50% of our guest list is completely used to a long break at weddings. We've only had one or two people express concern over it. However we realize that it is unconventional and are trying to shorten it as much as we can.

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  • F
    Dedicated September 2020
    Furure Mrs. ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment

    We are looking into that. However the farm we are getting married on is VERY open (a house on open fields), so logistically I don't know if it's really an option.

    • Reply
  • Caitlin
    Devoted June 2021
    Caitlin ·
    • Flag
    I agree with others that 3 hours is way too long to have in between. Something else to consider is that you might have people drinking wayyyy too much and being drunk before the reception even begins with that long of a cocktail hour.
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