Post # 1
So, after looking at a lot of reception venues (and I mean a LOT) we have finally narrowed down our options to two. The first, I’m okay with. But just okay. It’s far away, and in a so-so location. But the second, well, I LOVE it!!! It has everything I’ve been looking for in a reception hall. We can bring in our own caterer (his mom is a chef and offered to cater as her gift to us), we have a separate room to set up a ‘kid-zone’, the building is gorgeous.
There is only one drawback: We don’t get access to the building until 3:30 on the day of the wedding. This means no decorating or access to the kitchen or anything before that. We were planning on having a cocktail hour at 4:30 downstairs and the reception beginning at 5:30 upstairs. This gives only 1 hour for decorating the down stiars and getting the appetizers out, and 1 hour to get the upstairs decorated and the food started (mind you, it will be mostly all done, just has to be set out and ready to go) for dinner. Unfortunately, FI and I will be at photos, along with the bridal party and even our parents for the first bit. So for decorating we’d just have a few friends and our parents/families helping for the last hour. That seems to be cutting it pretty close.
FI wanted to get it at 4:30 (so we wouldn’t have to pay for the rental of an extra hour) and thought we could easily decorate, but I said no way, we’d be cutting it close as it is.
Do you bees think it can be done, if we have everything scheduled and planned out before hand?
Post # 4
Hmmm, could you hire a DOC? That would be really helpful in getting everyone/everything organized and getting the job done in those time constraints. It would also make someone the “go-to” person to make sure everyone follows the directions you set out and executes your vision.
To be honest, my biggest concern would be the catering. If your MIL can’t get into the kitchen before the cocktail hour, that means she has a lot of stuff to bring in, set up, and finish cooking in the 1 hour before dinner. Even if the majority of the food is cooked beforehand and she just has to reheat, that’s a lot of work for one hour.
Post # 5
Yikes. I guess this depends on how many people are coming (i.e. how many tables you need set up?). How complex are your decorations?
Will anything be set up before you get there or do you have set up chairs/tables too?
Post # 6
How much decorating will need to be done aside from the getting the food ready? Linens, centerpieces and chairs will already be set up for you or does all that have to be placed too? How many tables and for how many guests?
Post # 7
I have about 100 guests coming, so we are thinking about 13 tables, plus the head table . The tables and chairs will already be set out, but we would have to do the tablescloths, table setting and everything. As for decorations I don’t think we would have a lot of them, I’m not so good with decorations, so I think aside from the centerpieces we would have minimal decorations.
I considered getting a day of cooridinator, but FI is worried about the cost. I’m looking into prices though, and I’ll see how he feels.
Post # 8
We decorated my reception space – it was about 70′ x 30′. one third was tables (which we put DIY centerpieces on – fabric, lace, doilies, flower pots, table numbers, glasses), the middle 3rd was the dance floor area with the DIY photo booth to one side and the guest book table and dessert to the other side. the last third (acutally a little under) was for part of the dessert table and catering station. I had a TON of DIY items that went up all over the place. I had my entire wedding party, their spouses, and my 2 brothers helping out (like 20 people – almost too many) and I think it took us 2 hours, or a little under 2 hours.
This is what the space looked like before (table half):
how are you decorating the downstairs? are you hanging a lot of things, putting a lot of decorations on tables, etc? How many people will you have to help you? I think it’s do-able.
Post # 9
I hope it’s doable! Luckily the downstairs will be minimal. It’s just settingv up the tables and putting the food on them, it’s already fairly nice looking and doesn’t need much else.
I spoke to the building manager today. If they don’t have any other events booked we are welcome to come in to the building the morning of to decorate. But she isn’t sounding very hopeful that will be able to happen.
Post # 10
Thank you for this thread, I’ve been wondering the same thing lately and freaking out about whether or not I’ll have time to decorate before everything gets started!
Post # 11
I think as long as you are very organized and have enough help decorating on your own is do-able. Since I had so many DIY items I boxed everything up and taped a sticky-note on the box (the boxes paper come in are awesome for this task!) and wrote what was inside. every.single.item. I knew where I wanted everything, so I simply looked at the label, opened the box, and told people where to put things. We had an entire cargo van filled with my crafts and it was set up quickly.
Post # 12
@Juliepants:Are you in the same boat as me? I find it stressful, because I really won’t know how long it’ll take till the day of!
Post # 13
We did it for 85 guests plus bridal party, and we had 11 guest tables, plus sweetheart…..placecard/guest book table,cake table,gift table. Dessert buffet long tables (3), 4 outside hi-tops, and 4 outside regular rounds….
We had 8 people, and it took us 4 hours to do tablecloths, chair covers, napkins,centerpieces, flowers,bathroom baskets…..set up 50 ceremony chairs with sashes.
If you have plenty of people to do it ,you should be OK.
Post # 14
I am told repeatedly that it IS possible, however I would personally have a nervous breakdown with such a time crunch.
Our venue allows 90 minutes between the first and second wedding on Saturdays and that IMHO wasn’t enough time so we booked the full day on Friday instead (and it was cheaper!). The main draw back for me was the fact that you would have to arrive at the venue ready and dressed rather than getting ready in a back room.
Again, it is possible depending on how much help you have but it will be stressful guaranteed. I would recommend with such a time line to definitely look into a coordinator for the day of at the very least.
Post # 15
@ms. rice crispy treat: Thanks for the boxes and sticky notes idea! It’s helpful for me to try to picture how all of this will come together (right now I just picture me running around like a crazy person and being stressed out).
@adnama: Hi! I’m not in the exact same boat as you, since my understanding it that I’ll be able to get into the building in the morning. However, I FEEL similarly to how you do! I just don’t know how it will go. I mean, we’re going to have to do everything right from putting the tables and chairs on the floor. How heavy are those tables going to be!? What if the floor is dirty? What if we can’t find enough chairs or like….what if no one’s there to open the building? We’re going to be coming straight from the ceremony site to the reception site and taking our photos at the reception site (it’s right on the lake and there’s a beach), BUT we won’t be going IN to the reception building, and our guests will. So it’s really going to have to be DONE before I go to get my hair done.
I guess I just fear being stressed and running out of time. We are going to have put a lot of trust in the people helping us that day. 🙂