Wedding Reception Etiquette: A.M. Vows and P.M. Wedding Reception?

by The Knot

My Catholic church holds wedding ceremonies on Saturdays only, at 10 a.m., noon, and 2 p.m. Almost all of the 2 p.m. slots have been booked, way in advance. This leaves me with an earlier time slot. I would like to have a very formal sunset dinner wedding reception, but there will be too much time between the wedding ceremony and the reception. How do I handle this? I do not want to have a lunch reception: All but two of the guests will travel 2,000 miles to be here, and it's very important that I host a dinner reception for them.


You definitely want to minimize the time between your wedding ceremony and reception to make it easy on your guests, but sometimes circumstances don't make that practical or possible. Your reasons for wanting a dinner wedding reception are totally understandable. It's okay to have time between your wedding ceremony and reception -- as long as you make sure guests are entertained or have the option of being entertained. You may want to plan an outing -- a sightseeing tour or a casual lunchtime barbecue at the home of a friend or relative -- or set up a hospitality lounge, with drinks and snacks, at the hotel where your guests will be staying. Your main goal is to make sure nobody's left in the lurch with nowhere to go and nothing to do.

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