Post # 1
Hi ladies! This is my first topic ever!
FH and I have been engaged just about a month now. We are planning on getting married right after he graduates from med school, Spring 2014, but before residency in July.
Here’s my conundrum. We are HS sweethearts and I would love to get married at our HS’s church. It would mean a lot to us both. My mom suggested doing something different than a traditional RH reception. She suggested getting married on a Friday at the church, just the bridal party and family (anyone who would be in professional posed pictures), going out to dinner that night, and in the morning on Sat, driving out (1.5 hours) to their summer place and having the more casual (but HUGE) reception on our friend’s deck, overlooking the beach Sat evening. It’s seriously the most gorgeous house I’ve ever seen.
I absolutely love the idea. FH is open to it, but he feels like it’s asking a lot of people’s time. He thinks we could go for it, but just in one day (11 am ceremony, 6:30 pm reception). I feel like that’s a lot of driving and might cause some people not to come to the reception, which is the whole point of doing it this way (more casual, great music, great food, great view, 250+ people).
Is it completely ridiculous to be considering this? What do you think?
Post # 3
I like the first option since you are having an intimate wedding ceremony. I wouldn’t have a problem as a guest doing a small ceremony and then driving the next day for the reception.
Post # 4
Friends of ours did just that this summer. Ceremony at 11am and reception at 5:30-6pm. We were fine with it, it gave us time to get back to the hotel, have a snack and a drink and freshen up before the reception.
Post # 5
The ceremony is the important part, invite your friends and family. Expect some to decline or be grumpy about it, but the ones who care will be there.
Post # 6
I think your original plan sounds like it would work, but it really depends on who you want to be able to attend which part of your day. How do you feel about having a smaller ceremony?
Post # 7
- Wedding: January 2013 - Harbourfront Grand Hall
I think your original idea is good, as long as you’re ok with not a lot of people being around for the ceremony and spending extra money if you want to have your hair and makeup done again the next night for the reception.
If there was that large of a gap between ceremony and reception I honestly would only go to one or the other.
Post # 8
IS there a reason you can’t look for a reception site near the HS church? Maybe even a private room at a restaurant or hangout spot from your HS days (to keep with your theme)
Post # 9
@Salted_Caramel: You will get less gifts, people give gifts because they are included in the wedding day, not so much for the reception. If you’re ok with that then go with the first option. I would end up only attending one if the venues were 1.5 hours apart.
Post # 10
@arsing89 I think FH feels like we are asking for our family’s entire weekend. Which, we are, but would be anyway if the rehearsal dinner was the night before. I wouldn’t be opposed to foregoing the rehearsal dinner if we went with the first idea. I am concerned that we do have very large families, so here intimate doesn’t mean small. There would be maybe 10 non-wedding party friends in attendance. I also don’t want to offend like my mom’s second cousin by doing a reception only invite. Ugh hahha
@Ixtlali do you think it would matter that there is a considerable drive involved? even if it was just family at the ceremony, it would still be a while in the car during the giant gap.
@almostmrsj @Gemstone i agree that the ceremony is the most important part. That’s a big part of why we would want family only and best best friends. We have a massive guest list and it starts to get impersonal IMO, so it would be nice to just have those closest to our hearts to share the special moment with us. The cost of additional hair & makeup is not a dealbreaker for us.
@mchitt329 even as a family member? I think that the family and wedding party’s time is the concern here since they would more than likely need to spend Saturday night away from home. If they were the same day and only family was invited to both will they still choose just one, in your opinion?
Post # 11
@VAwife, my family has a summer house and we love the whole area. This would be different (where I am located, it’s a bit of a wedding factory location “just add bride & groom”). There isn’t a real reason other than cost of nice venues nearby. It would need to be a peak weekend and a Saturday. We just can’t be flexible on this because of FH’s schedule. We thought it would be unique and much more appropriate for personalization to do something like this. As far as theme, we just thought it would be special since we met at the HS and regularly had church activities and graduation there! It’s not a dealbreaker, but we thought it would be cute 😉
@drummerbride While it would be nice to get nice gifts, I don’t feel like I am going to plan something around that, if that makes any sense. By having this larger, slightly less formal reception, we are able to afford to include more people, which is a real priority for us.
Post # 12
I didn’t vote, because as a guest I’m not sure if any of them would be acceptable.
If you want a small ceremony and larger reception, the only way to do that without offending people would be a private ceremony, which would be your and his immediate families only. Opening it up to any others is trickier, because you’re giving some friends more ‘importance’ than others. A wedding is one event, and should be treated as such. I know I wouldn’t be happy if I were only invited to a reception and not a ceremony, or vice versa.
Having a gap, especially such a long gap, really isn’t in the best interest for your guests either. What are they supposed to do in between? If you host an event in between it might be better.
Could you opt out of the ceremony at your HS church, and just do everything at your FMIL’s?
Post # 13
@futuremrsfitz18: I agree that none of the options are ideal. As a guest, I would be hurt that I wasn’t considered important enough to attend the ceremony but yet you wanted me at the reception. I would assume you just wanted me to attend the reception in the hopes that I brought a gift with me.
Post # 14
@futuremrsfitz I’m less concerned with the friends thing. (FH’s brother’s long-time Girlfriend is one of them, so is FH’s classmate who took pics of our engagement) As for the longer gap, we could easily just have the family go to our summer house. There is plenty to do there and in the area: beach, pool, cute little town, shopping, movies, etc. We plan on borrowing our seasonal neighbor’s house for FH’s family. As for non-ceremony guests, they could go to the hotel block whenever they please–there’s tons to do in the area! Catholic church ceremony is a non-negotiable. Which church is more flexible. Unfortunately, we can’t use my parent’s summer house for the reception because it isn’t large enough for more than 20ish people and grandma can’t handle the stairs!
Post # 15
- Wedding: January 2013 - Harbourfront Grand Hall
@Salted_Caramel: Could you provide accomodations and entertainment for the family from Friday to Saturday? Do all of them live so far away that going home and coming back the next day is not an option? If it’s family we’re talking about I don’t think they would leave or only come to one, but that is a LONG time between ceremony and reception!
Post # 16
@nursemel: would it be different if it was just family (parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins) and the wedding attendants at the ceremony?