Post # 1
This might sound a little strange but does anyone have any experience of a couple who exchanged vows in some way during the wedding reception dinner?
My fiancé and I are keen on a small wedding with minimal fuss. We will probably marry legally at city hall before the ‘wedding day’ but will have about 70 people joining us to celebrate ‘the wedding’.
I don’t really feel that we need to walk down an aisle and declare our love in front of everyone. Plus the place where we will have the reception doesn’t really have an appropriate spot to do it. So I thought about skipping that part altogether and just having food, drinks and dancing with our guests.
However, I feel like the day might lack a kind of focus if we do that. The guests will probably be expecting some kind of vows or ceremony. Something to mark the day as a wedding. Plus, how and when should my fiance and I arrive if we are not walking down the aisle?!?!
I thought that arriving and then doing some kind of exchange of vows while everyone was seated at their spots for dinner might work as as a short alternative. Any thoughts????
Thanks so much 🙂
Post # 3
Honestly, from my perspective, it makes perfect sense. I’m Catholic, and our wedding ceremonies are forty five minutes to an hour long. So many secular wedding ceremonies are crazy short – sometimes, like five minutes long. If that’s the sort of exchange of vows you have in mind, I think it makes a ton of sense to do it during dinner, or right before but with everyone seated, rather than make it a whole separate entity.
Post # 4
@carysew: That’s not a bad idea! Maybe you could have a table to yourselves (like a sweetheart’s table) in a place that’s visible to everyone in the room. You could ask someone to demand a speech after hors d’oeuvres, for example, and then exchange vows in front of everyone or have a friend or family member act as your “officiant” and say “you may now kiss the bride” afterwards. Something like that?
Post # 5
@carysew: When I saw the title I was confused and didn’t think that would be a good idea. but reading your explanation I totally get it. If that’s what the two of you want, it sounds totally good.
Post # 6
@carysew: We are doing this since our courthouse can’t fit everyone we want so we are doing it at the restaurant. We have one of the dining areas reserved so it will be private. It has leather booths lining the walls and then a few tables in the center. We plan to just walk in to the middle cleared area and exchange vows. We will do two nice centerpieces on those tables since they will be seen in the photos and we do want it to feel like a defined space.
Post # 7
I don’t see a problem with it.. your guests can view the ceremony which is the reason for having a wedding, and you are offering your guests seats & food.
It might strike a few people as a little strange, but it certainly shouldn’t offend anyone. Who says that people have to sit in rows and watch anyway?
Post # 8
I don’t see anything wrong with having truly private vows. No audience at all. My husband and I exchanged 12 words solely to each other and that was sweet.
I would caution you about having your guests attention and less silverware clanking. I’d give the guests and waitstaff plenty of time to settle into their seats, order/receive drinks, get their bread and maybe even start on their salad. No matter how full a person may be when they arrive sitting at an empty table begs the questions: when’s dinner? What’s for dinner?
Post # 9
@carysew: I agree with @Duncan: – as a Catholic, secular ceremonies seem so short, it almost isn’t worth it to set up a whole other set of chairs for a ceremony where the processional is the longest part. The only thing I would worry about is the ceremony cutting into your time to eat, which is often cut short anyways.
Post # 10
I would maybe do just a small one in the front of the room with your guests at their tables. Since you are already legally married just have a friend do it. And you two can walk in together. You can write your own vows so they can be personal and fun. Quick, easy, then walk to your seats together and eat. 🙂
Post # 11
I think that sounds like a great idea.
Post # 12
Thanks everyone for the helpful and supportive advice. So nice to hear “it’s your wedding, do whatever makeds you happy” for a change instead of the usual two-cent’s worth from people 😉
Post # 13
I think this is a great idea if you plan something short and sweet! I definitely agree about waiting a little bit to let everyone get settled in so you’re not dealing with the silverware, chair adjusting, clanking kind of stuff!
Post # 14
I went to a wedding once that did that. We arrived, found our seats, we’re brought beverages and appetizers, and then the B&G came in (together), and they said brief vows to onw another while the “ceremony” was lead by a friend acting an the MC. The couple was already legally married, so this was just a commitment ceremony of sorts. After it was over, we had dinner.