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Huge gap between ceremony and reception--what to do?

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12 replies to this topic

#1 DRBarceloBride

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  • 15 posts

    Posted 04 June 2011 - 12:12 PM

    Our ceremony is set for 11:30am and reception dinner won't start until 6pm. I've requested a later ceremony date if possible but it doesn't look like that is going to happen. What do we do with all that time in between?


    #2 skybride

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    • 21 posts

      Posted 04 June 2011 - 01:30 PM

      What about setting up a space for your guests to have a casual lunch together after the ceremony?  You will probably be busy for an hour or two taking pictures, but they could enjoy some snacks in the meantime.  You could arrange for a group activity, like a cooking or dance lesson, that won't make guests hot and tired but will keep them entertained.  Another fun option is to arrange an afternoon boat cruise...make it a party with music and drinks, and keep things going into the reception.


      Let us know what you decide!

      #3 torilynnsmith

      • Sr. Member
      • 1,748 posts

        Posted 04 June 2011 - 01:35 PM

        Where are you getting married?  I would say to just let your guests have "free time" they would probably appreciate not having the entire day from 11am- late night planned for them.  If youre at an all inclusive there is lots for them to do and then they could just meet you at dinner!!  

        #4 JayKay

        • Sr. Member
        • 3,472 posts
        • Wedding Date:January 13, 2012
        • Wedding Location:Gran Bahia Principe Runaway Bay Jamaica
        • LocationSouthern Alberta

        Posted 06 June 2011 - 12:04 PM

        I was at a wedding in Mexico a few years ago and there ceremony was at 11am and then dinner wasn't until 6pm.  After the ceremony a bunch of us went to one of the bars on the resort and just hung out for awhile.  Then everyone kind of went their own way, some to the pool, some for a nap, some for more drinks.  I think you could either plan something, which might make for a long day, or you could just let your guests do whatever.  I know If we were doing our wedding in Canada there usually is many hours between the ceremony and the dinner so just let your guests do what they wish!

        #5 Norma83

        • Jr. Member
        • 173 posts

          Posted 06 June 2011 - 02:13 PM

          I agree with JayKay.  It is a little bit of a gap but I'm sure your guests will find something to do.  I'm also having a bit of a gap but alot of them have kids so we figure it'll be a good time for everyone to go rest up and then be ready to party for the reception.  You'll probably be out taking pictures anyway so it'll give you and your fiance some time to be together before the dinner/reception.  


          I hope it all works out!


          #6 J and G 2012

          J and G 2012
          • Jr. Member
          • 423 posts

            Posted 09 June 2011 - 06:46 AM

            We are having the same issue right now. We are considering doing a boat cruise instead of a formal dinner. It goes along with our theme of relax, go with the flow and party!


            Hope it all works out for you.

            #7 skp1

            • Jr. Member
            • 405 posts

              Posted 09 June 2011 - 01:16 PM

              I tend to agree with the others saying to let your guests have some free time.  If the wedding wasn't at a resort then for sure you'd need to entertain them so they aren't just sitting around getting bored.  But that's the great thing about destination weddings - there is so much to do!  Let people do what they want so they can re-energize and be ready to party with the dinner.

              Steph & John........Atlantis.......June 18, 2011......happily married

              #8 weddingaway

              • Jr. Member
              • 196 posts

                Posted 15 June 2011 - 05:34 PM

                We have a 3 hour gap so we are having a cocktail hour with appetizers and a band immediately following the ceremony since there is a natural tendency for guests to linger, then just letting everyone do as they please until dinner.   Plus, our group has kids and older folks that might appreciate the break especially into some cool A/C. 


                If there was more time, I looked into doing a tour - it was priced at $12/person for Negril, Jamaica.  But you could always schedule optional activities (ping pong tournament, poker, crafts)- and people might like to see your photo session as long as it isn't too racy.

                #9 MrsRobinson12

                • Newbie
                • 70 posts

                  Posted 16 June 2011 - 06:15 AM

                  I agree with all of the others - your guests will have no problem finding something to do, I am sure most will go for lunch, maybe a nap and freshen up, then have some drinks and get ready for your reception! That's who it works if it wasn't a Destination Wedding, plus, it's an all inclusive, so there will be tons to do! Good luck and don't worry!

                  #10 celticgirl

                  • Jr. Member
                  • 266 posts

                    Posted 16 June 2011 - 06:31 AM

                    Planning a cruise or excursion could be pricey if you have alot of guests.  I know that my wedding size is 65 people including myself and my FI, so I probably would not be able to afford something of that nature.  If you have the means to provide that sort of entertainment then it would definately be alot of fun, but as most have said... It can get quite hot at these locations, and the guests might enjoy some downtime to do what they please until your reception!

                    Breezes Trelawny- Jamaica
                    January 7th, 2012

                    63 booked

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