How to Make the Best of the Gap Between Your Wedding and Reception


Timing is undoubtedly one of the critical aspects of a successful wedding ceremony. It ensures your guests stay on schedule, so they don’t miss important events. It also helps you make the best of your last moments before the reception.

However, when planning the timings of the big day, you should uphold a high level of flexibility. For instance, if you find yourself with a few extra hours between your vows exchange and the reception party, you should try to create suitable activities to cover the gap. 

Let Your Guests Know Your Plans

Let the guests know they will be alone for some hours before the reception. An easier way to inform your guests of such plans is to include the information on the welcome cards or gifts you wish to provide. 

You may cover the gap by directing your guests to nearby spots where they can have drinks or refreshments. 

You may also recommend recreational activities to keep them entertained during the short wait. 

Schedule a Photo Session

A wedding is never complete without taking photos to commemorate the big day. 

Although most couples prefer to have their photo sessions at the end, the downside is that some guests may not wait till the tail end of the ceremony. Therefore, you can take pictures during your spare time before the reception. 

The photo session also allows your guests and relatives to explore your choice of wedding venue.

Do Some Makeup

How you dress and appear in public matters significantly on your wedding day. 

You should maintain a fabulous look as you walk down the aisle and during cocktail hour. 

While your guests wait for the cocktail hour, you may take time off the public glare to revitalize your body, facial, and hair makeup.

Have Time as a Couple

You may chat one-on-one with your spouse in a secluded spot such as a hotel room.

At this time, you can have a sumptuous meal or bask in the sun as the maid of honor helps you adjust your wedding gown if appropriate.

Feed the Wedding Party

Allow the wedding party to eat during the gap, so they aren’t famished.

Ideally, you should have an array of food options to sustain the wedding party until the reception.

Some couples prefer to join the wedding party during the short gap, while others reserve the feeding program exclusively for the wedding party. But, of course, it all depends on your plans for the big day.

Arrange Transportation to the Reception

Assuming your reception is far from the wedding venue, arranging transportation for your guests pays off. 

If you have a bus shuttle to ferry the guests, inform them during the gap so they know when transport will be available.

However, if you’ll not provide transport to the reception venue, you can still use the gap to convey information on the alternative transport means for your guests.

Meanwhile, during the gap, the hospitality department should ascertain that the cocktail hour is ready so the guests don’t wait long after arriving at the reception.

Meet the Guests

The best aspect of having a reception a few hours after the grand ceremony is getting to the cocktail hour before the audience. 

For this reason, you can have a receiving line on the way to the cocktail hour, meet the guests and have a little moment of informal greetings as you walk to the cocktail venue.


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