Post # 1
I need lots of advice! I am a terrible bride – I am excited for the marriage, but the wedding in general just stresses me out. We are planning a very small and intimate (30-35 guests) wedding. We are very casual and it will be our family and best friends. No attendants, no big formal venue. Here’s the thing: we are considering a venue that is outside – it is undercover in a pavilion (reception) and an outside amphitheater for the ceremony on a cliff with view to die for. This place is breathtaking gorgeous – it is a very upscale mountain retreat – and the theater and pavilion are so gorgeous that we really loved the outdoor mountain feel that we could have without adding lots of frills. Weather will be great – not worried about that. The place charges a site fee, and then everything else is up to us. When we first saw the place we thought OMG this is so beautiful we could have everyone here and have burgers and dogs and no one would care! Not that we will do burgers and dogs…:-) but what is appropriate? I have already ordered my dress, my Fiance will be in a summer suit – everyone else we expect casual/casual dressy. There will be several folks from out of town – do we have to have a rehearsal dinner? Do we have to have the brunch the next day? We don’t want a formal sit down dinner – we were thinking buffet would make more sense with the feel of the place – but is a big BBQ ok? Not sure what catering options I will have in a small town where it is, but I assume the caterers provide utensils, plates, etc? Also, originally we had planned on a small ceremony and then nice dinner at an upscale restaurant…something tasteful and pretty, and no plans for any music. I don’t care about first dance and all that stuff. Now, with this new venue – is it weird to not have music? Do we need to provide more entertainment if people are milling around with food and drink? Also, welcome bags will be difficult b/c people will be staying in all different places. Any ideas or suggestions or guidance is most appreciated!! Sorry so long a post…attached pic of pavilion and theater
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Post # 3
How about an upscale BBQ… steaks, cabobs, and chicken on the grill. You could hire in a caterer who specializes in outdoor gilling on-site. Everyone loves a BBQ!
Some caterers provide plates and utensils, and some don’t. For a setting like this, you could just go out and buy a bunch of plastic plates from the store anyway, and that would be totally fine. The manager of the venue should be able to give you names of caterers and rental places that they’ve worked with in the past.
Post # 4
Just noticed your question about the music. You should have something playing in the background, but you definitely don’t need a DJ. Just do the boombox and iPod thing. 🙂
Post # 5
Beautiful!!! We had our caterer come and grill onsight. We did chicken, tri-tip and then butternut squash ravioli with a killer ceasar salad. Lots of complements on the food! (We did have china, as our parents couldn’t really abide paper and we wanted to be eco-friendly).
We did have an ipod going with dancing under the stars, but people were running all over the mountain as well. Everyone seemed to be very self-entertaining.
We had a rehearsal BBQ for all of our guests with simple burgers and hot dogs. We just really wanted to make it into a weekend wedding, so we figured we’d gather everyone the night before.
We decided NOT to do welcome bags, as our guests were scattered to the 4 winds.
If you want to PM, I can share some of our mountain wedding photos with you 🙂
Post # 6
wow your venue is AMAZING!!!! absolutely breathtaking!!!!! Can I ask what state that is? The upscale bbq idea that jenbrandner mentions would be perfect! There is a catering place in NJ that does that…but that is probably not near you. But they create the BBQ feel but in a tasteful way. I am sure you can find plenty of caterers in your area that can do that. That would fit perfectly with your place. You can even do a S’mores station by the fireplace!
Post # 7
Your venue is beautiful. We are getting married in the Cascade mountains and are doing BBQ (burgers, grilled portabellos and veggie burgers) and no music. It’ll be fun. The idea is to get people up and talking and playing with hula hoops and fun stuff. Do what you want. It will be a blast.
PS There are a bunch of casual weddings like this at apracticalwedding.com
Post # 8
Your venue is gorgeous! I think an upscale BBQ like jenbrandner suggested would be perfect. As for music, it’s nice to have, but not necessary, especially if you’re not planning on having dancing. You could plug in your ipod if you want. A rehearsal dinner might not be necessary since you’re keeping it simple (no bridal party, etc.), but would be a good time to thank the people that helped with the wedding. It would be nice to do something for the out-of-towners, like a brunch the next day if it’s in your budget. Even without these things, I think your guests will have a blast with the awesome view and food!
Post # 9
omg that place is AWESOME!!!! im so jealous of you!!!!
Post # 10
wow. im super ridiculously jealous of this venue.
Post # 11
Thanks so much…you guys are awesome!!
@dmp777 the venue is in NC – blue ridge mountains. It is really a fluke that we know about this place. The people that developed this community were my neighbors across the street when I was growing up in FL – I used to babysit their children! They used to go to NC for summers and several years ago built this place. I have been meaning to go check it out for ages, and when my Fiance and I were near there recently (we live 2 hrs away from there now), we decided to go see it. Wow, we were totally blown away. It was perfect for what we wanted! We had actually gone to the town to check out a different venue.
So, I am so glad you guys (@jenbrandner!) agree with the upscale BBQ! And we were totally thinking of s’mores, too. Now, if we do a big BBQ caterer, what the heck do we do for a Rehearsal Dinner?? What is more low-key than a BBQ?! I think we prob should have RD – there are several folks that would be coming from other states…but with 30ish they’ll all be part of it anyway.
So, I am hoping a small wedding of 30ish will make it possible to really plan for this July…am I really crazy to not have a wedding coordinator? I figured minimal flowers (maybe some for tables and my bouquet), caterer, cake, liquor…anything else I am forgetting about? I’ll need to find a hair/makeup place or person. I know this is all stuff a WC would usually arrange. My Fiance thinks we can easily handle all this ourselves since we are not doing a big wedding with all the formal stuff. I don’t want to spend a fortune, but I want it to be really nice. Is the DIY thing going to make the day itself stressful?
Post # 12
i’ve got lots of suggestions… as we’re having a similar affair.
Out of Town bags we are distributing the night before at a campfire/s’mores gathering because our guests will be staying everywhere.
our catering is going to be BBQ, as well. brats, veggie brats, 1/4 chicken, grilled summer vegetables, corn on the cob, summer spinach salad, corn bread, potato salad. our caterer is providing disposables and table linens, for a small additional fee.
we’re having a gathering the day after, we rented a cabin on a lake and it will be informal burgers and dogs and swimming. before we rented the cabin, however, we had planned on organizing a hiking trip to a local easy hike mountain.
centerpieces are super easy for us – mason jars with either wildflower bouquets (picked from local fields and my mom’s garden) or votives with birdseed to anchor them.
as far as DIY, find out how far in advance you can have access to the venue – that will make all the difference. we’re having a 1pm ceremony but will get the key to the reception site the night before and can set up then.
i love your venue btw, it’s amazing!
here is our wedding blog and wedsite – feel free to poke around for an idea or two.
Post # 13
welcome to weddingbee! i love your venue is so romantic and original. i think that you can plan your wedding however you and ur fi wants. i think the bbq idea is great. for music you can use an ipod. im having a simple wedding too and im not doing a rehearsal dinner or a brunch. everything will depend on what will make u and ur fi happy. here in weddingbee you can find a lot of ideas. looking around is how i had plan my whole wedding.
i wish you luck!!
Post # 14
Thank you all so so much for everything you all have shared with me already!! I just love this site – so glad I discovered it!
@VagabondGurl…I love love love the idea of the mason jars with flowers. I really wanted to do a wildflower look and it seemed like something maybe we could do ourselves instead of through a florist. Have to see how that works out. I also love your campfire idea the night before! That’s perfect – I wish we could do something like that. Since we can have that at the wedding, it still feels like I need to come up with something else.
Everytime I start to get into all this, the budget freaks me out and I start second-guessing everything I already was fine with. I’m sure you all have the same feelings at one point or another in this process! Weddings just take on a life of their own…
Post # 15
wow what a beautiful venue!!! I wish I could find something like that close to my home!!
I agree with the upscale BBQ idea though!!
Post # 16
i don’t anticipate the wildflower bouquets really being a headache. we can pick a bunch the day before, grab a handful and secure them with twine or coordiating ribbon and pop them into mason jars with some water (and an aspirin). change the water the next day and i’m certain they’ll be fine. if you’re close to the area around your venue you could scout it out a couple weeks in advance for fields of wildflowers. you could also grow your own or, you could just buy the cheap bouquets from wal-mart, or what-have-you. our bouquets are going to be dried lavender (which is pretty cheap on save-on-crafts.com) and we had initially planned on using those as table flowers too, but it’s cheaper to pick the wildflowers, and live flowers are a bit nicer too!
as far as the night before thing… if you’re game people you can host a game night! scrabble, uno and trivial pursuit and maybe some custom games like madlibs, crosswords and word searches. oh! or maybe a scavenger hunt!