Updated: Jul 21, 2019
What is the gap?
The gap is the awkward period between the ceremony and reception where nothing is really happening. People get this idea in their head that the ceremony and reception are two totally separate events and often don’t plan them to transition as well as they should. Say you’re getting married at 3pm, your reception starts at 5, have you thought about what’s happening in between or are your guests left to entertain themselves? Your wedding day is the whole day. It’s not the 30 minutes of ceremony then the reception a couple of hours later, from the moment your guests arrive, they’re yours.
So why is ‘the gap’ so overlooked? Sometimes it’s just not thought of, or your budget doesn’t allow for the extra couple hours of service, but it doesn’t need to be an expensive luxury. The main things your guests care about at a wedding is food, music and alcohol. Of course yours is the dress, flowers, venue etc, but that’s for you…. The experience is all about the guests. They don’t need to be fancy or overdone, they just need to be present. There’s nothing worse than arriving at a wedding to setup and the guests are already there asking for a drink, and we have to tell them we don’t start for a couple of hours, the devastation is real.
Music - Music is the gamechanger. Silence is horrible at a wedding. Have some music playing for when your guests arrive, it’ll set the tone for the day and put everyone in a good mood. As I said it doesn’t need to be an expensive luxury, there’s a couple of options for this one.
A. It’s as simple as speaking with your DJ or band. Will they be looking after your ceremony music? Ask them to pop some music on before the ceremony starts.
B. Doing the ceremony music yourself? Ask a friend if they have a speaker they can bring along and hook your phone up. This can literally cost nothing but having music playing when guests arrive will make the biggest difference. When the ceremony finishes move the speaker to the reception area and plug it in to play before your Dj arrives so when guests start to arrive they have the same atmosphere, fun!
C. This one is the goods… Have a soloist playing acoustic tracks for the couple of hours in between the ceremony and reception. This will deadest bring your wedding to life! We had Nathan LoMonaco from Silent Shout play on the lawn for a few hours, our guests hung out, played some lawn games, had a drink and vibed out to Nathan in the sun while we were off getting photos. Heaven!
Food - Being early in the afternoon most people will have eaten lunch already and won’t eat too much so you don’t need a huge offering. You don’t need to have food available pre ceremony but something to greet guests at the reception area is a nice touch.
A. Your caterer will have a grazing table or canape option. (Check out Fennel & Co) You can have staff roaming with entrees or a station setup.
B. Do it yourself. We had the women of our family do our food for us. They loved being involved and everyone had plenty to eat. While you’re off getting your photos done keep your mums busy and have them setup a little grazing station for you. It doesn’t need to be anything fancy. It’s food. People will eat whatever you give them and they’ll appreciate the snack, trust me!
Drinks – This is the biggest thing. It’s a wedding, people want to drink. And sometimes not even alcohol, they just want a can of coke or some water. What they don’t want is to be told no. You might think your budget isn’t there for 8 hours of drinks service but there are ways around blowing your budget and still putting on a good wedding for your family and friends.
A. We can serve as long as you like. We had one amazing couple have us serve from 12pm - 12am for their wedding, the guests loved it. Not all couples can afford 12 hours of service when you factor in the staff and amount of alcohol you’ll go through, but this is option A.
B. We can setup a self serve bar with one of our freestanding bars. We bring a bar, set it up ready for when your guests arrive, top up the drinks when they run low and restock glassware when needed. Your guests won’t care having to help themselves, they just want a drink. Most of the time we are already on site setting up the van so we’re happy to set this up and keep an eye on the drinks in between setting up the van. All you pay for is the physical bar which is $225.00 + $80.00 for a barware package which includes ice buckets, scoops, bottle openers, bins, champagne stoppers etc. This can be turned into an extra seating option later in the night too!
C. DIY. Again, people just want a damn drink. Pop some ice tubs around the reception area or setup a bar of your own, buy a few extra cartons of beer and wine and leave them be. I’m sure you can russle up some relatives to top up the drinks if they need to.
D. Go one better and have some beer and champagne ready on arrival so guests are welcomed with a drink. Genius! Served to them or self serve, it doesn’t matter in the slightest.
You’re not there while this is all happening so you’re none the wiser. But the looks we get from your guests when we tell them there’s no drinks for a couple of hours is indescribable, like I just kicked their dog. It’s all so simple and doesn’t need to cost an arm and a leg but that dreaded gap can kill the vibe of your wedding day and ruin all your hard work. There’s not a couple in the world who thinks “I don’t care what my guests think of my wedding”
You’re welcome x