Can I Take a Break Between the Wedding Ceremony and the Reception?

pink peonies wedding bouquet

Photo: Caroline Tran

From the photos to the dinner bell to the last dance, with a wedding, timing is everything. Map out your big day—ceremony, reception, and everything in-between and beyond—like a pro with our expert tips.

Can I have a pre-reception break?

A short break between the wedding ceremony and reception is probably helpful to you (you can take your formal pictures then and still make it to your cocktail hour). And two hours of downtime shouldn't upset your guests. (It's pretty common, actually, especially for Catholic church weddings.) Your local guests can probably just head back home and cool their heels before the evening festivities begin. As for the out-of-town guests, be sure to provide a little something for them. Maybe offer a few light snacks and drinks in a hospitality suite at the hotel where they're staying. Or, ask a friend or family member to invite the out-of-towners to their house for iced tea and cookies.

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