Post # 1
Hive, I’m having a hard time merging the picture that I had in my head for our wedding with the reality of what our wedding is. I’d always dreamed of having an outdoor, soft sort of wedding, with a ceremony in a tent under the stars. Still a little formal, but comfortably so.
Well, my FI was very unhappy with the idea of an outdoor wedding, and the only site we found that he liked with an outdoor space didn’t have what he thought of as a good rain backup. I didn’t mind having everyone sit at reception tables if it rained, but he and his mother both thought that wasn’t a good enough alternative. And, his parents are paying for the reception, so she has some say.
So, we ended up at the very lovely but very formal ballroom type space. The ceremony space is gorgeous, and I’m not worried about that at all. But, the reception is pretty much the opposite of what I’d always pictured, and I’m not sure how to mesh the two. I’ve never wanted burlap and mason jars, but somewhere in between. I was thinking more wooden tables, fancy runners, lots of soft flowers and candles. But, I feel like the space demands a very formal elegance. Here’s a photo:
I guess I’m not really sure what I’m asking, other than for advice and suggestions. I feel like we have to be tall, dramatic, very grand to suit the space, and that anything less will just look bad. In addition, that’s the way FMIL is leaning, and FI seems to go along with what she says.
So, what do I do? Any advice?
Post # 3
@jpr: My advice is to quit giving in to MIL. It’s not her wedding. She might be paying for it, but it should be a gift to you and FI–no strings attached. ANNNDDDDD FI should be standing up for you. That worries me the most. You need to stand up to FI that this is your wedding too and if he likes his Mommy’s ideas better than yours, maybe he should marry HER.
Post # 4
@jpr: I don’t think the venue needs to dictate the wedding. I’m not in the camp of those who believe that a high grand ceiling needs high grand centerpieces. Your guests will spend 99% of their time looking straight ahead or down, not up.
When I read your post and then saw your pic, I immediately thought of the wedding where the couple hung a huge parachute over their reception. It would give you the feeling of your tent wedding and it looks like it would be fairly easy to do in your venue.
You could get a similar feeling by draping the ceiling.
What do the tables at the venue look like? Are they standard round banquet tables that need to be covered? You could get your wood feel with brown cloths , then add your runner and flowers.
Post # 5
@julies1949: Holy WOW that is beautiful, but all I can wonder is what would it cost to do in a big space?
@jpr: I understand how you feel, I think. I had always pictured a private courthouse civil ceremony and then possibly a low-key backyard party at our family friends’ house on the water (they offered). Simple, sentimental, cheap!
What I got was a FH who wants to have a ceremony with all of our friends and family there to support us as we exchange our vows, after all of our years of hard work staying together through graduate school, long distance, etc. (Who can argue with a man who asks for such a thing?? Come on! lol) Gradually, this ceremony + party has started to resemble a more traditional wedding. It is not a bad thing, but it’s definitely hard to reconcile with what I initially wanted. I guess I just want to say, you’re not alone.
And I think you can still have a lot of what you want in that space. I don’t think it demands grand decoration. Let the architecture speak for itself — it will regardless! — and keep your fabrics simple. Keep the lighting soft with candles and lanterns. But think about ways to make it a little more natural — trees/topiaries; low/soft/overflowing floral centerpieces, etc. Lots of ways to bring in that natural, romantic feel without going “rustic” with the mason jars and burlap, like you said. OR, to go in a totally different direction, some kind of awesome library feel — it reminds me a little of one of those beautiful reading rooms in the Boston Public Library! Lots of ways to avoid the “dramatic” feeling I know you’re balking at.
Post # 6
@KoiKove: I don’t necessarily feel like I’m giving in to anyone, but I can understand how it seems that way. I want the wedding to be something that reflects who FI and I are as a couple, and am just struggling a bit finding what that actually looks like. I think it is largely because his personal style is much more formal than my own is, and that translates to ideas about weddings. If it was just my party I’d have everything outdoors and candlelight under the stars, but I want to take him into account as well 🙂 And yeah, his mother does have some opinions, but mostly they are a pretty good explaination of what he seems to want independently of her.
Post # 7
@julies1949: That is awesome looking! Unfortunately or fortunately, the ceilings are the one part of the reception space that I really love. Here’s a photo so you can see what they look like a little better than my first one!
Post # 8
I think you can do a “shabby chic” or “rustic glam” type wedding. I would think lace, flowers, candles, soft colors – romantically formal.
I think you can get the look you’re going for in the space you’re doing it in.
Post # 9
@brlabrat: Thank you so much for your comment. It is nice to know I’m not alone! I’m trying to find that balance between what I want, something that has my FI’s influence as well, something that people look at and say, “That’s very them.” I really like both of your ideas, the sort of lush garden or library. We’d actually discussed using literature as a way to ground everything, so that might be perfect. Or maybe we can combine the two 🙂
Post # 10
@jpr: The ceilings are gorgeous! I definitely would not cover those up.
I still think that you do not have to let the venue entirely dictate the wedding. There are lots of lovely weddings with personal touches that are held in grand venues.
Post # 11
@futuremrsk18: That second one looks gorgeous! I think that could be a definite possibility. Thanks for sharing!
Post # 12
that room is AMAZING!!!! do not cover it up with something! for real that would be a travesty
however don’t think that you need to do all binged out gold accents either….. you can just have less formal place settings and flowers to tone it down. Also maybe get rid of the head table on a platform and do different table arrangements or something to get rid of that really formal feel as well
I like that second link above….