A Catholic Gap is defined, according to google, as the period of time between the end of the wedding ceremony at the church and the start of the reception at another location. This typically happens with an early afternoon wedding and an evening reception.
Weddings are often held on weekends and churches already have masses set on the schedule. For example, most Catholic Churches will have a 4pm Saturday Service. This means, if you want to get married on a Saturday, you ceremony time is typically in the mid morning or early afternoon so they can prepare for Saturday Service.
We have done several earlier ceremonies but often they tend to be around 1pm. With your reception and cocktail hour starting at 5pm, what happens in between those hours? Here are a few ideas to make the transition nice and smooth:
Confirm your photographer is aware and knows about not only the two locations but the idle time in between each.
This is something our team often recommends. Tradationlly the wedding party is often getting ready and dressed at the venue and departing from there. Rather than having everyone take their own car, have them rent a bus so everyone can travel together. Plus after the ceremony, everyone likely returns to the venue for more photos!
Bring a cooler with bottles of water and some snacks for either pre or post ceremony. Depending on the timeframe this usually falls between lunch and dinner. The last thing we want is a couple heading down the aisle, feeling dizzy because they didn’t eat beforehand.
Oftentimes guests will RSVP a month prior to the wedding and when the big day rolls around, they don’t recall all the details. Having a printed program at the church ensures they have all the information they need. You are able to add in the wedding party, any readings during church, the location of the hotel or venue. We love when couples add in a fun suggestion or two, of what to do in the hours between the ceremony and reception.
Churches often have a coordinator to help with details like processional order, music from the church, the sermon. This is often a volunteer role and a donation to the church is due for their services.
Planners play a huge role when it comes to church weddings because we can be the person at the venue checking in with vendors and making sure decorations are getting set up and food is ready when guests arrive. Couples often think they can handle this solo but think about it, your family, bridal party and everyone you know to help will be at the wedding themselves.
The Catholic Gap was written for educational purposes by our Dallas Event Planners. We love being a resource for all couples and you can find more about us at our website. If you are looking for a planner and local to the DFW area, we would love to chat with you!! Consultations are are complimentary and a great way to kickoff the planning process. Schedule your consult here!