Post # 1
This is my first post on here…I was directed to this site after having had some traumatic experiences at another popular wedding board. Right now I wonder if I am breaking any sort of etiquette rules.
1. There is about a 2-3 hour gap between the end of the ceremony and the reception. Venue issues (both church and reception site) make it impossible to have the ceremony start any later and the reception begin any earlier. All of the guests are either very much in town, live within 20 minutes of both venues, or very much out of town but will be staying in hotels 5-20 minutes away. I was also planning on letting guests know via our website what things there are to do in town. Is it poor manners to have such a large gap between the events?
2. The wedding party will be joining PenguinGuy and I in the limos after the ceremony so that we can take pictures during the gap. We do not have room for the SOs of the wedding party in the limos with us. Are we rude to expect them to ‘entertain themselves’ for the gap?
3.I am having a head table which will consist of only the wedding party, no SOs of the party. The SOs will be seated out with the rest of the guests, either with friends of theirs or with people with whom they have much in common. Is it wrong of me to not seat the SOs at the head table too?
These questions have been bothering me for a while and I would truly like to know if I am breaking the rules of ‘modern’ etiquette or not.
Post # 3
I think all of those things, while not ideal, are the type of unavoidable situations that people expect during weddings. Would it be nice to have the ceremony and reception right after each other, yeah, but it can’t always happen that way and people know that. I think your wedding party picture time is fine too, because since you are providing the wedding party with limos then their SOs will have use of their cars. The one thing I would say is once you are done with your pictures (it really won’t take 2-3 hours) then let your wedding party rejoin their SOs until the reception. Either invite the SOs to come hang out with your guys or send the wedding party off on their own.
But yeah, none of those things are rude, so don’t worry about it. We’re not like those nitpicky girls at The-Other-Site-Which-Must-Not-Be-Named 😉
Post # 4
Welcome! I wouldnt’ worry too much about the down time between venues. From what I’ve seen its pretty standard and expected by some. People will deal fine. I’d just explain to wedding party members that they’ll be transportation for them but not their guests’. Its probably not that big of a deal if everyone knows each other! Same goes for the seating at the reception. Although we’re not going this route- it seems a little forced. Why bring a date if you cant sit with them?
Post # 5
I usually don’t conform to “etiquette” 🙂 Besides with so many weddings now days, anything goes!
But, the gap is a bit of an inconvenience. I’m trying to think of a suggestion for your guests to do (keeping in mind that they are dressed up) but can’t think of anything. Have you already booked both places? Is there anyway you can find somewhere else that wouldn’t have such a gap?
Regarding the limo, its totally fine that its just the WP, dates of your WP wouldn’t expect to go in the limo anyway, b/c typically they wouldn’t be traveling with the bride & groom to take pics.
Personally the whole head table & no dates isn’t my thing. But, its def not “wrong” for the WP’s dates to sit elsewhere, in fact this happens in many cases with a head table.
Post # 6
My husband was in a wedding party last fall, and he went for pics as I hanged out with other people in the meantime.
Also, he was sitting up front with the married couple, and they (at first) had me alone at a table with people I didn’t know. Now, there were guests I knew at the wedding, but they didn’t sit me with them because my husband’s ex was also at that table (they did not end on good terms and have never spoken since. She left him for another man and was with him at that wedding). Soooo… I did an awful un-etiquette thing; the day of the wedding (or the day before I can’t remember) when I saw I wasn’t sitting with our friends and there was an empty chair at their table, I asked them to move me even if the ex was there – I mean, I don’t care what happened years ago, and I didn’t want to be alone…
I was also at another wedding, where there was a long gap between the ceremony and the reception. We had a little get together at a friends place for drinks in the meantime, no biggie…
I guess what I’m saying is there’s no problem with what you’re planning to do, but maybe make sure that the SOs that won’t be with their partner have other people who they can enjoy their dinner with, not be alone out there if possible.
Post # 7
None of those things are at all ideal but I don’t think they are necessarily breaking etiquette rules.
Just know that you’re guests will be inconvenienced with the 2-3 hour gap. And the bridal parties SOs are probably going to be uncomfortable not being to be with their SO (especially if they don’t know other people there. How would you feel being alone at an event like a wedding with no one to socialize with?).
Like I said though, etiquette-wise, no I don’t think there are major issues, however, you probably will get some annoyed comments after the wedding.
Welcome to Wedding Bee, by the way! lol
Post # 8
- Wedding: May 2011 - Bartram's Garden
Man, I bet the Knotties had a field day with you! Many of us have been there. I can sympathize.
Here’s what I think about your questions.
1: For a guest, that’s not an ideal situation, but it’s nothing worth complaining about, especially if I lived or was staying close to the venues. It sounds like something you can’t control, and I wouldn’t worry about it too much. It’s nice of you to offer ideas of activities on your website, though.
2: I guess it depends on the relationship of the SOs to the bridal party,and how your bridal party and their SOs would react. If I didn’t know many people who were going to the wedding, I’d be pretty lonely and bored while my SO was off in the limo getting photos taken. Would I think it was rude? Nope. But I would probably be a bit uncomfortable.
3: Again, it depends on the relationship of the SOs to the bridal party, and their personalities. I went to a wedding as a date one time. He was in the bridal party and ate at the head table, and I ate with strangers at another table. I didn’t resent the couple for doing it that way, but I did feel uncomfortable for most of dinner. If I was a more social person, I probably wouldn’t have minded, but I’m pretty shy.
So, in conclusion (sorry this was so long), I certainly don’t think that any of your decisions are rude. But they might make certain people uncomfortable if they’re not very independent or outgoing.
Post # 9
- Wedding: May 2011 - Bartram's Garden
Man, a whole bunch of comments went up while I typed up that long-ass comment! Hahaha!
Is there any way that you can have a close friend or relative act as “social coordinator?” Maybe they can have some people over to their home for wine and cheese in between the ceremony and reception, or plan an outing at a bar or cafe?
Post # 10
#1 and #2 are fine. Don’t even worry about it. We do that in my culture all the time, it’s expected actually.
For #2, if you and your FI can try and take some separate photos pre-ceremony with your attendants that will cut down on the time you need with them post-ceremony, so that would be nice if possible.
#3 is fine too, but it’s always nice is people in the bridal party can sit with their SO’s. If not don’t sweat it. It’s only one evening and once dinner is over it’s not like everyone stays glued to their seats the entire time.
Post # 11
- Wedding: June 2010 - Indiana Memorial Union
Some of those issues are mostly out of your control, but are you absolutely set on the head table? All of the attendants will abandon it as soon as dancing starts and move to sit next to their SOs. So it’s going to be a big empty table, front and center. I would eliminate it unless you just super love the idea of a head table.
Post # 12
I’m ok with the gap and the limo situation. As stated by other posters it’s not ideal, but I think acceptable. I would, however, consider changing your seating plan. As a member of the bridal party, or as a significant other I would be very upset about being split up from my date. We had a large bridal party and it wasn’t feasible to have them and their dates all seated at one head table. So, we opted for a sweetheart table and sat our bridal party and their dates with the rest of our guests based on who they knew best.
Post # 13
I understand that sometimes these things cannot be helped – but with regards to #2 and #3, I would definitely make sure that it really will work. For instance, as I live in nyc, I don’t drive. If my SO was in the wedding party, I would have no way to get myself from the ceremony site to the reception if I had to drive. Also, when we travel to out-of-town weddings, we don’t even put my name on the car rental policy (bc I don’t drive). But, if I did drive and we were traveling to a wedding, it would be nice to know that both people need to be put on the rental – otherwise again, I wouldn’t be able to drive myself from the ceremony to the reception.
My biggest dislike with weddings is not sitting with my SO during the reception. Especially if I don’t know many others at the wedding. It isn’t fun to be at a wedding and feel alone.
Post # 14
@Ribbons, I plan on abandoning the table ASAP too! Actually, the head table is one thing that PenguinGuy was very, VERY adament about when it came to the reception.
@danadelphia, I have actually talked with a couple of the SOs and they were actually shocked that I would even consider either having them at the head table or seating their SO with them. For the most part all of the SOs are going to have friends at the wedding and for the one that doesn’t, he is INSANELY outgoing and I have a very strong suspicion he will have no problems with the people with whom I was planning on seating him.
@egb, I don’t necessarily think you did an etiquette no-no, then again, who I am to judge? lol However I am all about the wedding party and everyone mixing it up and getting social. I look at the head table and seating in general as a necessary evil to get everyone into the place, eat, and take a couple of pictures then it is party time for EVERYONE!
@just about everyone, We are looking at a couple of ideas on what we can do for our guests during the gap. We wanted to have some sort of thing in the church hall (cheese and cracker kind of stuff) but we found out we can’t use the hall because of the same reason we had to schedule the ceremony as early as we did. So right now we are looking to work something out with one of hte really close hotels and maybe do a hospitality suite in a conference room where people could hang out and mingle, have a light snack of fruit/cheese/whatever until the reception venue opens.
@everyone (again) Thank you guys so much! I love how even when you don’t agree with me you don’t call me horrid names and degrade my character. Thank you for the wonderful advice and suggestions. 🙂
Post # 15
I just wanted to say welcome to Weddingbee! I hope you find it a supportive environment to bounce around ideas. We’ve got some pretty smart and creative folks here!
Post # 16
@penguingal – I think the “hospitality suite” is a good idea. Especially for families/elderly/locals, who may just want somewhere to relax and prepare for the party.