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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?


Photo from LVL Weddings & Events in Scottsdale, Arizona

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Back to the Beginning: Faux Pas or Nah?


  • N
    Beginner October 2021
    Nelly ·
    • Flag
    Nah... if you have two different locations then having an hour gap is fine to allow for travel and such. I’ve been to several weddings that have done this. We are planning to do ceremony and reception at the same venue however because we personally don’t want our guests to get stuck in bad traffic (especially in Miami)
    • Reply
  • Gabriela
    Dedicated October 2019
    Gabriela ·
    • Flag
    Nah. It’s very normal (for me and my family) to have gaps between ceremony and reception. It actually gives time for pictures with groom and family, making last minute changes to reception venue, doing any hair or makeup touch ups, or if you’re changing. It actually works out for those who have kids too, especially if you’re having a long ceremony (like we are).
    • Reply
  • C
    Savvy May 2019
    Cindy ·
    • Flag
    Ceremony and reception are at the same place. Not a gap at all. 11:30 ceremony reception at 12.
    • Reply
  • Bianca
    Super August 2019
    Bianca ·
    • Flag

    Nah. Sometimes these things can't be helped.

    • Reply
  • Futuremrsv
    Super October 2020
    Futuremrsv ·
    • Flag
    We are having about an hour and a half gap between ceremony and reception. They are both at the same venue, so the gap is due to my vendor having to set up tables and move everything into place.
    We also unfortunately are not having a cocktail hour. Our venue offered a very small cocktail list and the prices were outrageous- and yes i know wedding prices are expensive but i asked around my recently married friends and they said those prices were we wont be doing that.
    We will be suggesting guests to head to town town(5 minutes away) and see the sights or freshen up at the hotel. Our venue is 5 minutes away from a marina
    • Reply
  • Jennifer
    Super December 2019
    Jennifer ·
    • Flag

    Faux pas. Cocktail hour isnt a gap - its a part of the reception you are providing. Travel time also isnt a gap it is a necessary evil when you are marrying in one place (a church for example) that doesnt have reception space and having the reception elsewhere. A gap is leaving your guests with nothing to do for a long period of time which is quite rude. If you cant start the reception right away you should provide some sort of entertainment/activity for them. Our caterer will actually be ready to start cocktail hour 15 minutes early in case the ceremony goes faster than expected (less people take communion?) or we have some lead feet in our guest list who get there faster than expected.

    • Reply
  • Stephanie
    Dedicated August 2019
    Stephanie ·
    • Flag

    I don't know if I'd consider our plan to be a gap... The ceremony is from 2-2:45, then receiving line, and then the reception will start around 4:45. The ceremony and reception venues are around the corner from each other, but we will be opening up the reception building around 3:00 and we have finger foods and beverages for everyone. We will also have a photo booth, "our story" video, a picture slideshow, and a table with wedding activities: madlibs, crossword puzzles, advice cards, etc. Additionally, we have a wedding activity book/coloring pages for kids.

    • Reply
  • Jasmine
    Rockstar February 2021
    Jasmine Online ·
    • Flag

    Faux pas!! I think if it's a cocktail hour or something like that, your guests wouldn't be so bored as to try and figure out what to do with themselves. I wouldn't mind a cocktail hour but if it was a gap for no reason, I think it's unacceptable.

    • Reply
  • L
    Savvy September 2019
    Lisa ·
    • Flag
    My ceremony & reception are in the same venue. I do have a cocktail hour with open bar all night capped. I just want to make sure I get all my pictures in before dinner regardless of time it takes. I will have a DIY photobooth there too for entertainment. I can't wait.
    • Reply
  • Expert August 2020
    • Flag

    Faux pas unless that gap is cocktail hour. It's kind of odd to just be hanging around for a period of time.

    • Reply
  • Ciara
    Dedicated June 2019
    Ciara ·
    • Flag
    Nah. I will have an hour gap between my ceremony and reception to be able to do pictures with my FH and family because I refuse to do a first look. I just don’t want it. My mom has, however, planned a mashed potato bar for ‘cocktail hour’ so no one feels bored or like they have nothing to do. She even bought martini glasses to put the potatoes in. It’s gonna be super cute.
    • Reply
  • M
    Dedicated November 2021
    Melanie ·
    • Flag
    I have a couple of different opinions between both because I’ve been to most weddings where the ceremony and reception are held in two deifferent places so there’s obviously a gap and that’s fine, but I would be having both the ceremony and the reception at the same place so they may have to mingle for a minute and entertain themselves while we get things set up for the reception, but my family knows how to mingle so I’m not too worried about the them entertaining themselves for a moment.
    • Reply
  • Sarah Eliza
    Dedicated May 2020
    Sarah Eliza ·
    • Flag
    Depends on how long the gap is
    • Reply
  • Pattie
    Devoted June 2020
    Pattie ·
    • Flag
    No gap. Just cocktail hour or hour and half
    • Reply
  • Natalia
    Expert October 2020
    Natalia ·
    • Flag

    Faux pas. a cocktail hour is lovely and entirely appropriate to give the Bride and Groom time for photos and perhaps getting ready and freshening up for the night ahead.

    • Reply
  • Melle
    Champion June 2019
    Melle ·
    • Flag
    Total faux pas. I hate hate gaps. I know they're good for taking pics and setting up reception but this makes nicer sense if you have cocktail hour in between or need to travel to the reception.if you're just going to have a four hour gap it's just too much time
    • Reply
  • Andrea
    VIP April 2020
    Andrea ·
    • Flag

    Depends on how long the gap is... 20-30 minutes or 2 hours? Huge differences.

    • Reply
  • K
    Expert February 2020
    Kristina ·
    • Flag

    Nah but I am having a cocktail hour for that in between time.

    • Reply
  • Ashley
    Expert November 2020
    Ashley ·
    • Flag

    We are having a cocktail hour so we have time to get photos.

    • Reply
  • MrsHamm
    Dedicated September 2019
    MrsHamm ·
    • Flag

    Have a cocktail hour in between the wedding and reception to keep guests entertained

    • Reply

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