(Closed) Alternative to a traditional reception?

posted 6 years ago in Reception
Post # 3
236 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

First off:  Shout out to Northern Cali!

About the post:

Woah! These are some great ideas!  My favorites is 1, and I don’t see a problem with switching busses.  However, I have two concerns. 1. asking people to drink a lot of alcohol with only bagels in their stomachs is a recipe for disaster.  Maybe add some heavier things like smokes salmon, shrim coctail, mini quiches, and ham and chees coissants. 2.  depending on the season it gets might hot up here, so those busses might become stuffy and uncomfortable unless you get the nice charter busses. 

2 sounds fun as well, but it seems like your guests will pick and choose what they want to attend (some people might not be athletic, others might not like the old movie) and you may end up with some empty “legs.”

Post # 4
7173 posts
Busy Beekeeper

@lasd2be:  To expand on #1 – what if you set something up like a mini-wine tasting tour (like a vinters weekend, only on a smaller scale).  Pre-select certain wineries and then work with them to provide an experience for your guests.  Something like either cave tours, set menu items at their location, etc.  Obviously, you would have to pick wineries that were willing to work with you and have the space to accomodate.  You could hand out a list of the wineries and what they offered at the ceremony.  If you did something like that – I would also have an end point where everyone could meet up afterwards.  The only issue I see with this is that it’s kind of like a:  hey, thanks for coming to our wedding – now leave and go have fun.  As a guest, I don’t necessarily want to be entertained, as much as I enjoy seeing the couple interact with each other (which would be missed at the various wineries).

What are your favorite things to do with Fiance around the area?  Maybe keep brainstorming for things that are totally ‘you’ and things you two enjoy doing and work around that.

Post # 5
3885 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

The logistics of taking 150 people on winery tours will be a nightmare. Switching busses will only complicate that— say you are riding on Bus #2, jump out at a winery, go to leave and find that 5 people from Bus #3 and 3 people from Bus #1 like Bus #2 better. Now you’ve not got a seat, but your purse and jacket are somewhere on Bus #2. Do it the other way and ask people to stay with the same bus all the way through so things are smoother, and now your mingling opportunities are very limited. Not to mention that many of the more interesting wineries do not accept busses, and I just can’t imagine trying to do a tasting with 30 people, let alone 150.

When we vacationed in Auckland we did a winery tour with a very small charter company— max group size was 11, and on our specific date we had just 5. It was *amazing.* We were leaving one winery as a big bus group pulled up– one normal-sized charter bus so maybe 50 people– and a couple from that bus asked us how we were liking our tour. We told them how wonderful our guide was, and how many neat places we’d gone to, and they looked crushed. They weren’t having fun at all.

I just think it would be really hard (and really expensive) to pull this off for such a large group AND make it enjoyable.

Maybe look into a country club in the area where you can do an outdoor reception with music, croquet, badmitton, and other types of games?

You could also look into a private rental of the Napa Valley Wine Train, which should be able to fit the entire group.

Post # 6
280 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

What fun ideas!  They all sound great, but here are some of my thoughts.

The logistics of having 150 people show up and taste at a vineyard seems very difficult, unless you’ve worked some kind of private (read: expensive) arrangement beforehand, and I second that tasting might not be a great idea with only bagels in the stomach.  That one does seem verrryy heavy on the logistics.  Would any vineyards send reps to you for tastings?   

I think the games day sounds really fun, but that’s probably becuase that’s what we’re doing for our Day After Sunday Brunch!!  We’ll be meeting up at a goregous state park, we have a pavilliion rented, and there is a beach volleyball court, horeshoe pit, lake with canoes for rent, and we’ll be bringing lawn games.  FI and I are both pretty compettive people so, it makes sense for us.  If you went with this, I think a private screening of your favorite movie in the park would be super fun! You could rent an inflatable screen and projector, and serve everyone popcorn while they lay on blankets.  That would avoid the need of moving people around for the second part of the day.  

We’re also taking everyone bowling for our rehearsal dinner, and by everyone I mean the whole wedding guest list, but that’s also special to use because Fiance grew up bowling with his whole family.  Might be another option! 

I also saw a really great blog post once (although I have no idea where it was), where the couple had a mini-carnival after their ceremony.  They made games, rented some booths I think and it looked really fun and like everyone had a great time!  It was very heavy on the DIY though.  My favorite thing I remember from it was that they had those ducky race games where you pull ducks out of a pond for your prize, and the bride and groom picked whose last name they were going to pick by racing a little bride and a little groom duck.  The bride won! 

Good luck! 

Post # 9
102 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I love these ideas but the logistics are tough. Many of them would be the best hennight,but at a wedding, I’d be keener to celebrate with the couple. Maybe it’s worth thinking about what it is draws you to each idea and why the entertainment route appeals? Perhaps there’s a way to combine elements on a smaller scale, like have the wedding at one vineyard with appetisers and desserts? Or a BBQ? Or see if there’s a ranch/farm nearby with something like a petting zoo for the kids and a venue for the adults to mingle? I know there’s a colonial house outside Boston like this but I don’t know about California. It sounds as if you want something fun and outdoors – there’s ways to do that without losing the group element. Super-cool ideas, though!

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