Post # 1
- Wedding: September 2015 - Roseland Cottage Woodstock CT
Long story short I am finishing school, we just bought a house, I don’t have a job or lots of $ to contribute to the wedding, parents aren’t helping us, we live in one of the most expensive states, etc etc. My fiance is nauseated at the thought of spending anywhere near $10k on a wedding with all of this, and I am in total agreement and would like to keep it as cheap and intimate (as few guests) as possible. <br /><br />So a possible solution I came up with was to have the ceremony and reception at the house in the backyard. Great! We could rent a tent, tables, chairs, etc and have a potluck where everyone brings a dish (we brew our own beer/wine and have a very large garden) and we can have a small, intimate gathering with close family and friends and save $ while making memories in our little love nest. <br /><br />Problem…I’ve got one grandmother in a walker/wheelchair and another aunt with MS in a similar situation and by the time the wedding rolls around (tentative date: summer 2015), my grandfather might need a hip replacement and my father might need knee/back surgery and also have limited walking ability and need a large, spacious bathroom. Our house has a bathroom on the first floor, but there are steps to climb to enter the house to reach the first floor and the bathroom is very small and not wheelchair/disabled accessible and if any of the elderly fall in my bathroom it could be a life or death situation. Also, the backyard is uneven and I worry the elderly will trip and fall. Another problem is that while I want to keep the wedding to just family for me (about 25 guests), my fiance, Mr. Popular wants to invite close to 100 or so people, including friends and extended family and we cannot fit all these people in our backyard. We are still discussing this as I do not think this is realistic if he wants to keep the wedding to under $10k. <br /><br />Potential solution for the bathroom problem is to:
1. totally scratch hosting in my backyard at my house and try to find a cheap venue but we run into another problem in that there are no freakin cheap venues here everything has a basic facility fee of like $4k and looks terribly cheapo (you get what you pay for!). So we would be paying for something we don’t like and will probably go over our budget.
2. have the wedding in my backyard and rent a toilet (is this even possible?). I could have it delivered right onto the driveway which extends into my backyard and guests that can’t climb steps into the house could walk/wheel right up and use it. To make it more discreet, I could put that in a smaller, separate tent and call it the “washroom” so guests could freshen up, etc. That solves the bathroom problem (am I crazy for considering this?). <br /><br />For the number of guests my fiance wants to invite and the limited space in my backyard, my solution was to have 2 separate events: one for family on one day (something tame and formal), and then another for his posse the next day (something like a college party complete with endless booze, beer pong, flip cup, etc). This will solve the problem with space and will create a more appropirate environment for both groups, as I obviously don’t want my grandmother exposed to beer pong. <br /><br />My question is, has anyone else experienced a similar situation as this and what did you do? Can anyone else think of possible solutions to these problems? <br /><br />Thank you in advance.
Post # 2
Renting a bathroom is totally possible and can be done nicely. My Aunt had a grad party for her daughter in her backyard and they rented one since they only had one bathrrom and expected 40 or so guests. It wasn’t gross and was nice and spacious too.
Now, that might not solve the issue, but it’s a thought!
Post # 3
I don’t know where to get them, but I know I have seen a wheelchair user accessible porta-potty type of thing. This seems like the best way to ensure the safety and comfort of your relatives if you have the party in your home. I like the idea of a tent to hide it, as long as it doesn’t interfere with the accessibility.
I like the split party idea too. It seems ideal for everyone’s comfort/enjoyment.
Post # 4
Pot luck for 100 people sounds like a disaster and it is pretty rude to ask your guests to cater your wedding. It is basically asking them to spend money so you can save it!
And yes you will need to hire an accessible bathroom if your bathroom is not accessible to some of your guests. You also wont want 100 people trapsing through your house and using the sole toilet. Imagine the line up.
Post # 5
Yeah a potluck is considered rude for a wedding reception in a lot of areas. I would proceed with caution. If it is considered normal in your circle then go for it. If not then I would try to come up with something that fits your budget. Heavy apps cocktail style or desserts only?
Sounds like the two party idea would work best. I would consider two different weekends. Hosting back to back days might be a little stressful.
Post # 6
I wouldn’t go ahead with plan until you have discussed guest numbers with your fiance more. You need an idea of numbers before you plan anything else and know how much it will cost.
Post # 7
Aside from PPs recommendations i. There a reason why you cannot wait and save more money? I would most likely do that. It sounds like a hassle to try and do it at the house and it doesn’t seem like you really want the intimate ceremony when you start mentioning 100 people. It’s just trying to do too much IMO.
I agree about the potluck…a bit rude for a wedding.
Post # 8
I have been to 1 potluck wedding and the food was amazing! However, some things to consider: the bride and groom’s family owns a restaurant with the aunts, uncles, cousins, etc., that were invited. In addition, this was the tradition within the family and the other guests were not asked to bring dishes (although some did in lieu of wedding gifts). That being said, they had a pretty large wedding (100-150?) and hosted it in a park. If potluck weddings are not common in your social circle, I would agree with other PPs and say save your money for another year or two and host the wedding you want.
Post # 9
I don’t necessarily agree that a potluck is rude for a wedding. It’s a regional thing I think. Where I am from, no one would bat a lash at that. 100 people though, that’s a lot of potluck food and may get a bit crazy with people trying to co-ordinate things to bring.
Are there any community centres where you live? Many of those are rented for cheap and would provide accessible means for those who are disabled.
Post # 10
cherries: I actually like the idea of a pot luck wedding, and I think that at a small, mostly family wedding, it would be fine(I don’t know much about formal wedding etiquette though, so take it with a grain of salt)….BUT, I think the expectation should be that they bring a dish instead of a gift, and that it be specified somewhere. Maybe an insert in the invite that says something like: “The bride and groom humbly ask that instead of a gift, guests would bring a covered dish to the reception”.
I second the idea of renting a handicap accessible washroom. You can get one that is very nice, and nothing like a porta potty.
Post # 11
- Wedding: October 2014 - Our Backyard/Steakhouse
cherries: I’m not going to get started on the pot luck issue…but it’s terribly rude.
Have a small wedding, host what you can afford. You don’t need 100 people to make your marriage valid. Be smart with your money and you can have a lovely small wedding where you properly host your guests.
Post # 12
This sounds like a big mess. I would find a church or a community center that will let you get married and hold your reception there. Many places will do that for relatively cheap. Then you could host a dessert reception which would make it cheaper than dinner.
Post # 13
cherries: We are having it in a restaurant. Since it isn’t a full buy out and it’s in the summer when restaurants typically hit their slow season, there is no room fee. Also, no fee for linens, etc. we have a certain amount of money we have to spend (in our case $6500, not including gratuity because it’s a fancy place). But that pretty much covers food and alcohol (beer/wine) as well as cocktail hour before for 40 people on a Saturday night. There were less expensive options ($4500 for Sunday night instead, etc).
You may want to think about this, as all restaurants have to be up to code regarding handicap access.
We also chose one of my favorite restaurants in the city, so this also has sentimental value. Is there a date-place you and FI share? I live in Boston, so trust me I feel your pain.
Post # 14
Have a wedding at a non-meal time and do a cake and punch reception or a cocktail reception. Do not ask your guests to bring food. It is terribly rude to do so and also puts everyone at risk of getting food poisoning.
Post # 15
I don’t think a potluck is rude for a small, intimate wedding like what you’re planning, so I wouldn’t let that stop you. And yes, I believe you can rent handicap-friendly portapotties.
I would honestly do the backyard thing and just tell FI that if he wants to keep the price low, he’s going to have to cut down his list.