SLOW DOWN! Wedding days can be a blur and fast paced and chaotic. After months of planning, don’t you wish you could slow down and enjoy it ALL?! Enjoy the dress you’ve dreamt of, the flowers that you picked out, the table centerpieces you scoured Pinterest to be inspired by, the photo booth you wondered if you should or shouldn’t have… SLOW DOWN and enjoy every.single.thing.

In European countries, weddings days take breaks. Meaning the ceremony is earlier maybe around late-morning/midday, then a break (for your photo ops and some time together), then everyone gets back together for an evening party, errr reception. It’s like a super extended cocktail hour. Why isn’t this a thing everywhere!
This would give the couple plenty of time to breath after the I Do’s and before the party, oops, reception. It also allows time for those wedding party shots in another location, those newlywed pictures in multiple locations without guests looking on and watching their clock during cocktail “hour.” Couples get so concerned with the rush to the reception, or that they are keeping guests waiting, or that they have all of these guests that they need to greet. They forget to pause and actually enjoy the fact that they just said “I Do” to the person they love and will be with forever and ever. Do you really want to rush thru the post-ceremonies greetings with grandparents you are glad could make it, with out of town guests that flew in to be there to celebrate with you? NO, you want to slow down, stop and smell the roses, and hug people. Not rush to your photo op. You also don’t want to miss the photo ops because cocktail hour is ticking by.
Take a breather; a moment to enjoy each other; a moment to kiss and hold hands and call him or her your husband or wife. Once you get to the reception it is a whirlwind race to the exit. There are grand entrances and greetings; first dances and toasts; cake cuttings and tosses… Not to mention the party part. Between your ceremony and your reception is the one true chance to pause. Even if you do a first look, you don’t get to really pause (though there are PLENTY of reasons we do think a first look rocks, read this). There is still a timeline to keep up with, still a ceremony and guests and details to figure out. If you are splitting the event, you guys and your guests get the chance to take a breath and get ready for the next big thing.
NOT TO MENTION, the amazing images you now have time for. By time, I don’t mean we take the entire 3 hour break (unless you want to, in which case let’s do this thing). I mean we get to spend a solid 1-1.5 hours together versus the quickie 15-20 minutes during cocktail hour. You know those awesome shots where the couple is on a downtown roof with the city skyline, but their ceremony was at a church and the reception is not a rooftop? Or those newlywed shots on on the beach, when their wedding was in a hotel ballroom? Those take time.
Split days, or extended cocktail hours (about 2-3 hours) are the perfect way to get amazing images, take a deep breath, reapply your makeup after crying during your vows and just have private snuggles with your new forever mate. Not everyone can follow this new wedding trend, we get it. But if you can coordinate with your wedding planner, photographer and venue, you would NOT forget it. There’s nothing like the lack of a rush to get your forever started.
Some couples are hesitant to do split days because they feel their guests would “choose” between the two big events; if that is the case for you, that’s where the extended cocktail hour comes in. If you know your crowd and they are partiers, there are a bunch of ways to blend in the flavor of your ceremony and reception that don’t involved endless amounts of alcohol. Junebug Weddings actually has some great ideas to adding creativity to an extended cocktail hour.
Ahhhhh, the dream trend………