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    • JoanneW588
      Posted: Jan 8th 2017
    Our wedding is in just over 5 months and I've been to-ing and fro-ing in my opinion of this for ages so thought I'd see if any of you ladies had any advice. I'm panicking about my guests being bored between the ceremony ending and being called for dinner.

    Our ceremony and reception are at the same place and the ceremony starts at 12.30 (latest that the registrar would do it on a Saturday) so realistically will be ov er by 1 at the latest after a few photos signing the register etc. Our venue has advised that for a 12.30 wedding they would recommend a call into the main reception room for dinner at approx 4.15 with speeches before dinner and dinner served at 5.30pm.

    That leaves just over 3 hours between the end of the ceremony until they go in to be seated in the main room. My dad thinks this is appalling and keeps saying he would be really annoyed if he was left that long between at someone elses wedding which is sending me into a panic that everyone is going to be complaining about it.

    We're having tea/coffee/shortbread in a separate room with lovely balcony and views over the countryside immediately after the ceremony, and then after about 1 hour sparkling wine and canapes (with my family I wanted them to start on the tea/coffee before the wine, although there will be a cash bar available throughout anyway), and we've made playlists of music that we think everyone will like. After we've had our own photos with the rest of the bridal party, we're going to have photos involving the rest of the family guests and then a large group photo which I imagine will take some time in doing as well.

    I had been looking up other ways to entertain people but the majority will be family in there 60s/70s plus a small collection of friends, so they wouldn't really like a photo booth or any of those sort of things.

    What are your opinions on a gap of this length? Should I be trying to arrange something else or just leave the guests to fend for themselves?
    • JulieB11
      Got married 4 years ago
      Posted: Jan 8th 2017
      Is poweruserJust marriedBadgeBadge
    Its quite a long gap but not unheard of. We aren't having a sit down meal but there is a 2 hour gap between the ceremony and start of our disco/hog roast. We are having drinks and canapés same as you. We have also booked a magician to keep people entertained during the photos etc.
    I think if theres background music everyone should be ok. people will be chatting and catching up with each other which will make the time go quickly.

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    • MichelleC961
      Got married 3 years ago
      Posted: Jan 8th 2017
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    Hey, this does seem quite a long gap- we are getting married at 1 in a church- service will be over by 2pm and the church is approx 30 mins from venue so people will be at venue for 2.30- our venu advised that wedding line at 4.15 to sit down for 4.30pm and then dinner would be over for 7pm for evening guests arriving at 7.30pm

    We are having an guitar playing through reception drinks and dinner-

    Have you thought about having outdoor games or as Julie says a magician- we are having a magician. Etween dinner finishing and band starting

    Hope you sort it- guests will entertain themselves for a bit and if guests are staying over then they can use this time to check into their room

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    • Elinor Claire
      CommentAuthorElinor Claire
      Got married 6 years ago
      Posted: Jan 8th 2017
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    If they are largely older they might appreciate a quiet afternoon. Some people will be quite happy to sit and chat. I wouldn't have anything too time specific as people can end up feeling rushed. The photos will definitely take a while. It sounds like a wander outside might be an option if the weather behaves. If you have a guest book or somewhere else for guests to write messages it could be a good time to start that. My brother and his wife had a photo of themselves made into a jigsaw and people could go in and out doing that, so something like that could fill in time. Maybe have some board games around as well.

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    30th August 2014 was the best birthday ever.
    It was the day that I became Mrs. Dixon.

    • CommentAuthorLoz K
      Posted: Jan 8th 2017
    We were provided with a run-through of a typical day by our reception and they've allowed about 90 minutes for mingling/photographs before the main meal. At the end of the day, these are all only guides and unless you're totally unrealistic (i.e. you want the meal within 10 minutes of the signing of the register) then your reception should be flexible and allow you the time you feel is right for photographs etc.

    Our wedding breakfast is also to come out at about 3.30ish, and we think we'll be done with food/speeches by 6ish, which allows a bit more mingling before the evening reception starts at 7. Hoping that that's enough time!
    • Emily17
      Got married 3 years ago
      Posted: Jan 10th 2017
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    I wouldn't worry about the time gap. you have food and photos to full the time plus you will be mingling etc.

    We have hired an ice cream truck to help pass the time.

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    Met in 2009
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    Will become Mrs P 7th October 2017
    • JennK
      Got married 5 years ago
      Posted: Jan 10th 2017
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    The time will fly by, you could always consider a harpist or string quartet for some ambience? As long as you feed and water people they will be fine :)

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    Our perfect day - 08.08.15 <3

    • FutureMrsW
      Got married 4 years ago
      Posted: Jan 10th 2017
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    My sister didn't spend much but had some great lawn games at her wedding which helped to fill the gaps. Boules, skittles, giant Jenga and pick-up sticks. It wasn't a big thing but the boules especially were popular with all ages.

    • FayeH
      Got married 3 years ago
      Posted: Jan 11th 2017
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    I think most people will expect a 2 - 2.5 hour gap between the start of the ceremony and the meal. I think the big problem with such a long gap may be that guests will expect to be fed within a certain time frame, and the reception can feel like forever if you're hungry.
    Guests will want to arrive a little early to make sure they get there with plenty of time - a lot of guests will arrive at 12. If you have any guests a little far afield, it could take them an hour to travel to the ceremony, so they're setting off at 11am. It probably takes people half an hour to an hour to get ready for a wedding, and people expect to be fed mid afternoon, so the latest people can eat is around 9.30-10am and if they're not forewarned about the wait some will eat first thing or only have a light breakfast, so it's very likely that if you aren't eating until 5.30 that's a lot of guests who are likely to be very hungry. Hungry guests are usually grumpy guests, and unlikely to enjoy the speeches that your relatives have prepared.

    If that's your preferred timeline then I think you should include an order of service with your invitations and a note that a late breakfast might be appropriate beforehand.

    However, if you're just adopting that timeline because it's what the venue have recommended it might be worth thinking about if that's actually what you want - it might make the venue staff's lives easier but ultimately it's your day. Another option would be to do the speeches after the meal - with a long gap people may not be very attentive if they're dying to have their meal.
    • StephanieC41
      Got married 22 months ago
      Posted: Jan 12th 2017
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    From experience of helping a friend with her wedding we had an hour to do photos before meals with the entire wedding guests and it was not enough time they had to cut off about 10 pictures the bride wanted done and they had to be done after the meal. So if you were looking for pictures like that then with everything else it should fly by! Do not panic if people do not like the wait time maybe they could go off for a hour n then come back. Do not put any more pressure on yourself!
    • JoanneW588
      Posted: Jan 14th 2017
    Thanks for all your responses! We were just going with times that the venue had suggested but we're going to ask if we can bring the dinner forward a bit so people arent waiting quite as long to be fed. Hopefully they'll be abe to facilitate that for us.
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