Earlier this year, we ran into our first major stumbling block with our wedding planning. The reception venue that we chose only does one wedding a time, which is a good thing, but you have to pick from either 1-5 pm or 7-11 time slots. We selected the evening option, without really thinking much about it, and then carried on with the rest of our planning. Then we decided to have a Catholic ceremony and started looking for a church that would was available on the same date and that would marry an out-of-town couple. We finally found our church, but since Catholic churches have mass on Saturdays (usually around 4 or 5 pm) the latest that we could schedule our ceremony was 2:30 pm. We aren’t having a full nuptial mass, since I am not Catholic, so the wedding would be over by about 3:15.
That meant that our guests would have to wait around for almost 4 hours for the reception to begin, and they wouldn’t get to eat dinner until after 8:00. Now, I’ve been to Catholic weddings before where I’ve had to wait between the ceremony and the reception, but most receptions I’ve been to have started closer to 5:00, so the wait wasn’t as bad. The other big problem with this is that the vast majority of our guests are coming from at least a few hours away for the wedding, so it’s not like they can just go home between the ceremony and the reception.
We started trying to think of some way to remedy the situation, and came up with the idea of having some kind of place for our guests to gather in-between the ceremony and reception. My parents’ place would’ve been the obvious choice, but it is not nearly big enough and it’s on the other side of the city from the church and the reception venue. We thought of trying to find some kind of restaurant or something to rent out, but that would’ve been very expensive.
Mr. Radish and I are both from different parts of upstate New York, but we are having the wedding in Syracuse (which is where my parent’s live now) because it is right in the middle of the state, there is an airport there and plenty of hotels, etc. Most of our family and many of our friends are spread out across different parts of New York State, and they will be driving in for the wedding. Most of them will probably not want to get a hotel and will just come out for the festivities and head home afterwards. So, having a reception that ends at 11 pm might be tricky for them, too. Mr. Radish has a lot of elderly folks in his family (his parents are in their early 70s) who would probably want to hit the road home by 9 pm, the time that most receptions that I’ve been to end, so this would’ve been a big inconvenience for them.
We thought about having the wedding on a Friday evening instead, with the wedding ceremony starting at about 5:30 or 6:00 and the reception following at 7:00. But that seemed like a bad idea too because, again, most people are driving in from at least a couple of hours away and they would have to either leave work early or take the day off for a Friday evening wedding. We started asking everyone we could think of for advice and most people said, given the circumstances, that they would prefer a Saturday afternoon reception. Both sets of our parents said the same thing”¦ so we called up our venue and changed to an afternoon reception from 1-5, and then we called our church and changed to a morning ceremony starting at 11:30. The only people who seemed to not like the idea of a daytime wedding was”¦ me!
In many ways, I was relieved because we didn’t have to worry anymore about our guests getting hungry and cranky while waiting around for 4 hours between the ceremony and reception. We also realized that we would could save a lot of money on the bar tab (our venue does open bar by consumption) since most people won’t want to drink as much during the day”¦ so that was great. But I just felt weird about having a daytime wedding for some reason. I’ve never been to one before, and I just couldn’t envision what it would be like. Will people dance and have fun? Will it feel anti-climactic when it’s over at 5 p.m.? I just don’t know. But Mr. Radish convinced me that it would be fine and we started thinking about what our new, daytime wedding would be like.