Bride-to-be Blogger Alyse: What Do Guests Do Between The Ceremony And Cocktail Hour?

I’ve been thinking recently—or more accurately, trying not to think—about the “gap.” That is, the significant amount of time left between the end of the ceremony and the start of the cocktail hour.

The church where our ceremony will take place requires that it begin at 2:30 p.m. at the latest. Presuming it’ll be an hour-long ceremony, that brings us to 3:30. The reception site is about ten minutes away from the church, which means that unless the cocktail hour begins at 3:45 p.m., there will be some sort of lag time. Also, the cocktail hour, weather permitting, will take place outdoors, and with a mid-July day, I don’t want to melt the guests before they even get into the reception. Weighing all of these factors, we have decided on a 5:30 p.m. cocktail hour start time—which leaves about two hours of free time for our guests.

Rather than tell you how I actually do worry about how a bunch of adults will find some way to entertain themselves for two hours on a Saturday, I will focus on the positive. The best part is that Kevin and I will be able to attend the entire cocktail hour. The reception venue,Pomme, has a beautiful bridge that leads to where the tent is. I plan on doing a receiving line there, so that I can see all of the guests. We can get all of our pictures done in between events without rushing. There won’t be much time before the ceremony for lots of group and family shots, but there will be plenty of time after. Another positive is that we can use the same transportation vehicle to take the bridal party to the reception site, and then to also shuttle some guests who don’t want to drive from the hotel to Pomme.

Now, what should the guests do? Will this really be that big of an annoyance? I plan on having some recommendations, but I am sure many of the younger guests will wind up at the hotel bar, and many local guests will go home. Some other guests could use the time to check into the hotel. But because the gap is inevitable (there’s no changing the ceremony start time, trust me), this has to be one of those things that I let go and focus on the positive.

Is having a gap between the ceremony and cocktail hour that big of a deal? Did you have any plans or recommendations for how your guests should spend that time?


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