Ceremony only! So confused

posted 4 months ago in Etiquette
Post # 76
Member
13946 posts
Honey Beekeeper

View original reply
@theweddingunplanner:  Wedding gifts are meant to be a symbolisism of sentiment on the occasion of a couple’s marriage and from the heart. The only proper guideline to spending is the closeness of the relationship and one’s budget. The unfortunate misconception notwithstanding etiquette absolutely deplores the notion that the custom of gift giving has anything to do with “covering your plate.” 

Gifts are considered voluntary and couples are not supposed to feel entitled to or even be thinking in terms of what gifts they might receive. The catch is that gifts are also customary and one would likely not attend a wedding if you didn’t feel close to a member of the couple or moved to give them something. 

The obligation to thank the couple is verbally at the affair itself and also with a note or call to them afterwards. 

Post # 78
Member
298 posts
Helper bee

^^posted by kittycat “Are there going to be facilities nearby for people? Bathrooms, easy parking, etc? These are things you have to consider for your guests.

Also, I’m concerned that it’s on a public beach when you’re anxious about having lots of people around. The general public are going to see there’s a wedding and they’re going to watch and gawk…”

And they will likely film it and put it up on the internet. You may not find/see where it is but since that is what people do these days, you can expect it will occur. That may not be desireable to you if your social anxiety extends to being up on the internet with commentary, so I would think the public beach thing through (not to mention the permit aspect). (For that matter your own guests may post it too for all you know).  Having guests hang around for hours with no real location, nor a comfortable one, with no rest rooms, and left to roam the town is not ideal.

 

Post # 79
Member
124 posts
Blushing bee

Please feed your guests. If you don’t want to take them to a restaurant, do a picnic. Reserve a pavilion in the park so people can sit. Make sure there are restrooms nearby. You don’t have to make it extravagant, but at least do the minimum please. Food, water, seating, bathroom. If you don’t want to accomodate your guests, maybe you shouldn’t have any.

I think the easiest way to do this would be taking them out to brunch after the ceremony. Have a ceremony on the beach, lay some beach blankets on the ground with cushions if you can’t get chairs. Pay for their meal, find an inexpensive diner. That way you won’t have to worry about bringing food and refreshments. Either way, put some effort in.

Post # 80
Member
86 posts
Worker bee

After all of the back and forth between supporters and critics of this plan, the bottom line for me is this: inviting people to celebrate your marriage and not actually planning a way to celebrate with them does not feel in the slightest bit celebretory to me. Since there seems like no point or reason to inviting all of these witnesses only to say goodbye to them after half an hour, simply don’t invite them. That would solve ALL of your logistical issues. 

Post # 81
Member
588 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2019

My husband and I would go, especially for a close friend. We’re fairly young (30 and 35) and not super well off, which is the same for our circle. Formal hosting is less common with us and it’s more everyone comes if they want and pays for themselves. However I will say I would absolutely love donuts and coffee, that is so cute! I would also appreciate a chair, even if you have to get a permit. Personally I think it would be nice if you had 20 chairs, a small sign or something, a little bucket with bottled waters (pre-ceremony), bubbles for guests to blow after you are official, and a small table with the coffee, donuts, and a guest book to sign. My husband and I got married in a local park, and we had the chairs, sign, bubbles and bottled water (as well as a reception elsewhere afterwards). It did not cost much and just made things nicer while still keeping a fun, casual vibe. I would also definitely value you sticking around for even 15-30 minutes afterwards. Depending on how we felt, we might choose to make a day of it and meet you for drinks later on, but also possibly not. We may even get a hotel room and make it a mini vacation. I would not find the commute time unreasonable either. I live near denver and an hour’s drive would take us to many places I would still consider “local”. Honestly I’d probably even drive a couple hours to somewhere like Vail for a short, casual ceremony with cupcakes and coffee to follow. Then I’d just hang out in vail with my hubby or other guests we know. The only time I might not is if I was attending alone (which you can avoid by allowing plus ones!). But I agree most people may not feel as ok with this as we would be.

Post # 82
Member
472 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: City, State

don’t blame anxiety for being a poor host. Previous bees have given lots of great advice and suggestions. Hopefully you take some of it into consideration. 

Post # 83
Member
3 posts
Wannabee

I think it really depends on the friend/family group. I know a lot of people in my circle would be down to do a small ceremony and splinter off afterward to get a meal or check out the sites. They’ll probably want to linger for a bit though for congratulations, chit chat, etc, so it might make sense to have some snacks and water as people hang out for a little bit afterward, and definitely make sure there’s a clean, public bathroom nearby.

On the flip side, I also know people who would feel upset or offended for various reasons, so just make sure you’re thinking about everyone in the group. But at the end of the day, this is a ceremony to celebrate you as a couple making a commitment to each other so it should be what makes you happy. You’re not asking anything crazy from your guests, just letting them know it will be informal and short, and if they’re happy to make the trip for the two of you then that’s great!

Post # 84
Member
848 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

I commented earlier but I would like to add an additional thought about not having chairs. I attended one wedding where the guests were standing for the ceremony. The ceremony was outside at the same location where a tent had been set up for the reception. A lot of us arrived at the site a good hour before the ceremony took place. Although there were tables under the tent, everyone mingled around the grounds, walking around,  standing and talking to other guests. When the bride showed up, we all gathered around and stood while vows were exchanged.

In all honesty, I never heard any guest complain or declare that the wedding was a travesty of etiquette because everyone was standing. So you probably could get away with no chairs. I would have chairs, though, because I think it is considerate of people who might have difficulty standing. 

Post # 85
Member
295 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

View original reply
@Anonymous1063:  The thing is, most people give a lot of latitude to a wedding so it’s not likely that you’re going to hear anyone complain or say that it’s a “travesty of etiquette.” I have also been to a wedding like the one you described. I don’t typically have difficulty standing, but it was hot and I was uncomfortable standing for the entire ceremony. I never would have complained where I could be overheard but later when I got home, I mentioned it to my husband and he immediately said that he felt the same way.

I guess my point is that just because you don’t hear anyone complain, it doesn’t mean that the guests are necessarily comfortable.

Post # 86
Member
57 posts
Worker bee

View original reply
@Anonymous1063:  Also another key element in your comparison is that there was a reception being held right after the standing ceremony. So you at least knew you were going to sit, drink, eat, and be merry shortly after the ceremony. OP was planning on doing nothing for her guests or provide coffee or donuts or something like that. 

Post # 87
Member
13946 posts
Honey Beekeeper

View original reply
@Anonymous1063:  I don’t know anyone who would complain to the couple or other guests where it could get back to the couple. I agree with PP that just because you didn’t hear anyone complain doesn’t mean everyone there thought it was fine. Regardless, every guest should have had a seat, including for the ceremony. At least in your situation the couple provided adequate seating for the guests who arrived early and for the reception afterwards.  It was your choice to stand. Big difference. 

Post # 88
Member
4887 posts
Honey bee

I went to a wedding once where they had a vision in mind and it was definitely to the detriment of their guests.

They had maybe 10 chairs for the ceremony reserved for grandparents but had the other 150 of us standing.  It would haven’t actually been a huge deal, but A) it was an evening wedding, downtown Chicago, and it was at a very formal venue. We were all wearing formal wear with high heels and B) the Bride and Groom were 1 hour late.

So we all got there about 15-30 minutes early and then we stood around for another hour waiting, and then the ceremony was a christian ceremony and they did some Korean ceremony concepts. So in total, we all stood for probably 2.5 hours.  And then to top it off, they did a appetizer station dinner (the food was amazing), but they again only had tables with seats for the grandparents.  Everyone else had to stand around high tops for the entirity of dinner (and they didn’t even have enough of those, so a lot of people were balancing drinks and plates while standing around awkwardly). I’m pretty sure that no female had shoes on by the end of dinner. 

No one complained directly to the B&G, but we were all frustrated with the situation. 

Post # 89
Member
6700 posts
Bee Keeper

I might be the lone one that’s ok with this but I like the idea. .  I’m still nervous about going out to eat with covid going on so this sounds like the perfect event to go to right now.  For me at least.  I have added a comment below.  I admit to only skimming the content.  

  • This reply was modified 3 months, 3 weeks ago by sweatergal007.
Post # 90
Member
6700 posts
Bee Keeper

I missed the last part. Not sure they will still be dressed for the occasion after all that time?  But if I went to the ceremony only I wouldn’t really be going to drinks after several hours.  I think it would be better to have that right after and yes if you do that it should be hosted.  

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