Post # 1
Our wedding (ceremony and reception) will be in a rose garden within an arboretum that is not at all set up for any type of event. Guests will arrive at the parking lot of the arboretum, then together take a tram to the site of the wedding. We have limited space for tables in the garden, and we REALLY want to avoid having a gift table in the rose garden itself, since there really isn’t anywhere to put it that works with everything we have going on.
Guests will be greeted by groom’s family and gather in a small lawn area adjacent to parking lot before riding tram into wedding. We thought we could have a little table set up for gifts at this point, then put the gifts into someone’s car trunk before going into the ceremony. This way it would be one less thing to worry about carting into and out of the garden (which is a little tricky).
So, would you be offended to see your gift put into a trunk shortly after you handed it over? What if there was no table, and groom’s mother nicely accepted the gift, then put it (carefully) into a trunk?
Post # 3
What if guests never SAW the gifts go into the trunk? If groom’s family stays behind to pack gifts into car, then arrives at ceremony site a few minutes later than the guests?
Post # 4
Meh, i guess it’s kinda the same as gifts going into the trunk after the reception…i mean, if there’s nowhere to put them….what can you do?
However, most guests don’t bring gifts to the ceremony, just the reception. They may try to bring them along anyways.
I wouldn’t even THINK to set gifts down on a table before the ceremony. Most of our guests went back to the car after the ceremony and brought gifts to the reception–and our venues were in the same place.
Post # 5
hmmm, tricky. I think if there was a nice sort of exchange of the gifts to the grooms mother at a table out front that may work. ( guests don’t see her put in trunk maybe?)
As a guest if i walked up to the venue and there was a car parked with a trunk open and you gave it to her and she put it in right away… i don’t know.. i’d feel funny about it.
Post # 6
@ejs4y8: oh wow I never thought of that. Once our guests arrive at the garden, they’re just going to be there for the length of the event (cermemony and reception). People would have to ask for a special trip on the tram to go back to their cars mid-event.
Hmm… so you think people won’t even bring them and will want to give them after the reception, when everyone takes the tram back out to the parking lot?
Post # 7
I think setting out a nice table and having someone welcome guests makes sense.
Once all the guests have arrived and left on the tram then put them in the car.
Post # 8
I think if she can do it sneakily, not have the guests see her do it, its fine.
Post # 9
Just make sure they know the trolley doesn’t go back and forth…once they’re there, they’re there.
Post # 10
Here’s a thought. What about setting up a wheelbarrow in the garden area for the gifts to be placed in. That way it wouldn’t be as intrusive as a table and could be moved around if needed.
Keep in mind too that people will show-up late after the ceremony starts. So you might just want to have the tram run again in every so often so that people can go back and forth to their cars. I noticed that during our wedding we had 3 couples show up after the ceremony ended and they went straight into the reception room. I also noticed some people going to the cars for break and such.
Post # 11
Whatever is convenient for them. If I had to carry a 20lb waterford punchbowl for any longer than 3 min, I wouldn’t care if you tossed it into the back of a beat up truck.
Post # 12
I don’t think gifts necessarily should be on display. My venue recommends against that because people can “steal,” but that aside- I personally think it is a little tacky to have them on display.
I think it is ok to have them “taken somewhere” by someone after you thank your guest. I think gifts are kind of personal and almost private.
Post # 13
I like the wheelbarrow idea…there must be an area where you can set up a creative little space…it doesn’t have to be a big table
if not, then set up the sign-in table & gift area at the tram pick-up & be sure to let guests know that once they are at the ceremony location they will then walk over to reception & will not be coming back because as someone said above some guests will want to wait to get their gifts after the ceremony…
the reason I say set the sign-in table with the gift table is that you don’t want it to seem like you were obviously expecting gifts.
waiting to put them in the trunk until guests are our of sight is a good idea as well, or at least wait a while…
Post # 14
Thanks for all the helpful tips! We are definitely not *expecting* gifts, we are not even registering. Also, we’re having a very small wedding (30 people including us!). So we’re not talking about a massive amount of gifts to begin with, but there are a lot of complications with setting up the ceremony & reception area, and there just isn’t a suitable spot for the gifts. Also, I think it could potentially be really awkward for people to hold gifts while riding the tram…
We’ll definitely let people know that once they’re on the tram, they’re at the garden for the length of the event. We’re including some info on wedding website and possibly in the invites, too.
The wheelbarrow idea is really cute! I wish we could do something like that, but at this point in planning a wheelbarrow is not in the budget, and anyway we don’t have the ability to haul something that big to the garden (big stuff is handled exclusively by the equipment people). Super cute idea though!
Post # 15
@cbee- I don’t think the idea is to have them on display. It is more of people show up and need a place to put the gifts. Just like someone coming to your home and wanting a place to sit their purse or hang their coats. The table is just a designated place for people to leave the gifts. Otherwise they’d leave them on their dinner tables and who knows what could happen to them at this point.
@Marinara- since you have such a small group coming to the wedding anyways, you probably won’t have many gifts to contend with since most people will gift to you prior to the wedding. I think the idea of having a welcome table with the guestbook and some photos of the two of you would work just fine. I also wouldn’t have your parents in charge of taking down the table. As they will need to be with you and your Fiance getting ready for the ceremony. I would assign this task to a really good friend or other family member that is in the ceremony.