Have you ever been to a wedding where you had to wait a really long time for the bride & groom to make it to the reception after the ceremony? At most weddings, there is a “waiting period” between the ceremony and the reception, often filled in with a cocktail hour. But sometimes that waiting period is well over an hour, and there is only so much eating and socializing people can do before they start to get antsy. This can especially be a difficult time to wait when you have children with you.

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Over the weekend, we attended our good friends’ wedding. And for the first time that I have ever experienced, there was actually a long afternoon break between the ceremony and the reception. The ceremony was held at 11:00 a.m. and the reception didn’t begin until 5:00. When I first saw the times on the invitation, I thought it was odd and was going to make things inconvenient for us. However, I think that having a really long break in between is a great idea! After the ceremony, we had a few hours to spend together as a family. We could change into comfortable clothes, go sightseeing or take a nap. We could do whatever we wanted! This is wonderful for kids, who can burn energy with some play time or squeeze in nap time before the evening festivities begin.

We returned to the dinner & dancing part of the evening in our ceremony attire, after spending an afternoon in casual clothes at a go-kart track. It was nice to unwind and relax for a bit before returning to the wedding celebration. When we did arrive, there was a cocktail hour, which included a kids activity table (great idea!). Appetizers and drinks were served and because we had already had a break in the day, it didn’t feel like we had to wait forever on the bridal party to get the party started.

I love the idea of a long “waiting period” between a wedding ceremony and reception. What are your thoughts?

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