Maggie
Champion October 2025

Faux Pas or Nah: Having a gap between your ceremony and reception?

Maggie, on February 26, 2019 at 11:05 AM

Posted in Etiquette and Advice 61

How do you feel about having a gap between the wedding ceremony and reception? Do you think it’s a faux pas to leave your guests to entertain themselves in between your ceremony and reception? Or have you been to lots of weddings with a gap and find this fairly normal? Where do you stand on this...

How do you feel about having a gap between the wedding ceremony and reception? Do you think it’s a faux pas to leave your guests to entertain themselves in between your ceremony and reception? Or have you been to lots of weddings with a gap and find this fairly normal?

Where do you stand on this one? Is having a gap between the ceremony and reception a faux pas or nah?


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Photo from LVL Weddings & Events in Scottsdale, Arizona


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61 Comments

  • Gonnabeaburch
    Super July 2019
    Gonnabeaburch ·
    • Flag
    It's not preferable, especially if there is no travel time between ceremony and reception. I wouldn't call it a faux pas, but rather an annoyance or bit of a mood killer. Obviously a commute or cocktail hour are the exception.
    • Reply
  • MD
    Super July 2019
    MD ·
    • Flag

    Not sure if it really qualifies as a faux pas, but definitely not fun for guests! We're having a cocktail hour, but if we had a long gap in between I'd be worried that a lot of guests would skip out on the reception.

    • Reply
  • Nemo
    VIP August 2018
    Nemo ·
    • Flag

    Faux pas for sure. The only gap should be for travel time to the venue.

    • Reply
  • Katie
    VIP November 2019
    Katie ·
    • Flag
    Faux pas. I think the exception would be the cocktail hour
    • Reply
  • Laura
    Rockstar October 2019
    Laura ·
    • Flag

    I think a big one is a definite faux pas! I went to a wedding once where there were three hours between...WAY TO MUCH TIME. I say no more than 90 minutes because of pictures, less if it is in the same location

    • Reply
  • Mrs.
    Super May 2019
    Mrs. ·
    • Flag

    An hour gap is fine, but anything more is an inconvenience to your guests unless you keep them entertained and fed somehow.

    • Reply
  • Maggie
    Champion October 2025
    Maggie ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment

    I can see that. It's hard to keep a party mood going if you've got enough time to take a nap in between events. (Although I can and will nap anywhere for any amount of time, so that's a hole in my own logic.)

    • Reply
  • Gonnabeaburch
    Super July 2019
    Gonnabeaburch ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment
    There is probably a bit of my own logic in here as well. I am uncomfortable in social situations and large social gatherings, so if you give me an "out" like a gap between the ceremony and reception, I could easily loose my will to be there and leave.
    • Reply
  • Rhiannon
    Dedicated July 2019
    Rhiannon ·
    • Flag
    We’re having ours all at the same venue, with a cocktail hour (we don’t have actual cocktails sadly because of budget but our beer/wine open bar will start then!), with garden games and music.
    Ceremony 4.30-5
    Cocktail hour 5-6 (give or take a couple of minutes but knowing us probably less 😅)
    First dance 6-6.15 if photos are finished, if not it’ll be after dinner
    Dinner 6.15-7
    Dancing 7-whenever we have the venue with no volume or time restrictions
    midnight snacks being brought in between 11 and 11.30 but not fully decided yet.
    • Reply
  • Rachel
    Dedicated October 2021
    Rachel ·
    • Flag

    I think it's fine! There are so many circumstances that could lead to a gap, as a guest you just have to be understanding. This is a day to celebrate you and your spouse and the commitment that you made to one another, not a commitment that you made to your 100+ guests - my opinion is that those people were invited to participate in a day about the couple and no matter what the structure of the schedule is or whether you agree with how or why they got married, you should be there with a smile on or excuse yourself if you don't think you can.

    • Reply
  • R
    Dedicated October 2017
    Rachael ·
    • Flag

    Faux Pas.

    I don't consider cocktail hour to be a gap, nor do I consider giving time to travel between two locations a gap. To me a gap is a certain amount of time between the ceremony and reception where I don't have anywhere I can sit down and relax. Personally when I go to a wedding I don't want to be stressed out about how I'm going to fill the time. This especially sucks when I'm not local. If I don't know the area I'm not going to explore it in an hour or two when I know I have to be somewhere (if that makes sense). Honestly at that point I'm going home, going to the hotel which might mean I skip the reception, or I'm going to sit in my car and wait for the reception to start.

    • Reply
  • Future Mrs. Polar Bear
    Super April 2019
    Future Mrs. Polar Bear ·
    • Flag

    I think these days its normal. Every wedding I've been to there is always a gap to allow time for pictures. Before we decided to do Elope there was going to be a 1 hour gap, but we provided food/drinks and entertainment.

    • Reply
  • Kendall
    Savvy March 2019
    Kendall ·
    • Flag

    Only acceptable gap is a cocktail hour OR travel time (if ceremony and rehearsal are at 2 separate venues).


    Otherwise it is not fun for your guests.

    • Reply
  • Marie
    Savvy September 2019
    Marie ·
    • Flag
    What's wrong with a gap? Especially if ceremony and reception are in different locations. That gives everyone time to relax, maybe they cried a lot and need to touch up makeup, restroom break, realized they left the card at home and need to go get one, whatever. Things happen and gaps can be convenient. Just keep them short 40 minutes to an hour should do
    • Reply
  • Pannabar
    Savvy June 2019
    Pannabar ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment

    I have an hour and a half gap too, but we are also having the reception half an hour away from the ceremony.

    Also, the reception venue is the hotel most of our guests are staying at anyway so if they want or need they can just go up to their rooms for a bit and freshen up or whatever.


    • Reply
  • Chandra
    Master May 2019
    Chandra ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment
    That's exactly the same as mine!! I figure it's fine because A)everybody is an adult and can manage their time. B) all of our guests are from out of town. C) there aren't many occasions for our family to get together since everybody lives from coast to coast so they can use the extra time to chat and just see family!
    • Reply
  • Sarah
    Devoted October 2018
    Sarah ·
    • Flag

    A lot of churches make gaps unavoidable. Although it might be an inconvenience for guests, I think it's an overstretch to say it's "rude." The guests are adults, they should be able to plan in advance and keep themselves busy in between or not attend.

    • Reply
  • Julia
    Just Said Yes September 2020
    Julia ·
    • Flag
    NAH. I have a gap between my wedding and reception. My reasoning is my ceremony is being held at my church, their only time option was 1 pm. I can get to my hall as early as 4/5 pm. I appreciate the time in between for photography purposes and videography due to us being traditional and not wanting to see each other before I walk down the aisle to him
    • Reply
  • Maggie
    Champion October 2025
    Maggie ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment

    I can see that. I don't know if I've been to a wedding that has a gap that isn't travel time or cocktail hour, so I don't know if I can speak from experience on whether or not it's fun.

    • Reply
  • Rica
    Dedicated September 2018
    Rica ·
    • Flag

    The first time I was invited to a wedding with a gap I was annoyed, but it turned out to be nice. I made good use of the time. My wedding actually ended up with a gap, which I was pretty embarrassed about at first, but now I don't regret it. It's often hard to avoid. After driving time I think guests had about 45 minutes in between. It was local for most, or they had a hotel to go to, so there honestly weren't many people too affected. Those who were found things to do. My biggest reason for deciding to making the ceremony on the earlier side is that we couldn't predict for sure how long we would be at the ceremony location. I hated the thought of losing out on half an hour of cocktail hour that we paid thousands of dollars for if no one showed up on time!

    • Reply

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