Post # 1
We are having a very simple/casual wedding for close friends and family (cocktail party at a nearby restaurant with an informal “ceremony,” no wedding party, official marriage the day before at the courthouse with only immediate family, etc.)
We’re limiting the event itself to out-of-town friends, family, and our close local friends for both cost and venue size issues, but would like to host an even more casual potluck picnic with our local friends and co-workers to celebrate and be able to include everyone, particularly the many friends with young children since it would be more family-friendly than the evening event. We plan to have this at a nearby park that has bbq sites available for just this sort of event. (You do need to reserve the spaces some months in advance and pay for fees, permits, etc. so we need to decide before we settle on a date to make sure everything’s available on the chosen weekend.) We would ask in-town people to bring a dish to share, but not out-of-towners for obvious reasons.
The question: does it make sense to hold this picnic the same weekend as the actual wedding festivities (they’d be on a Saturday evening; this could then be on a Sunday afternoon) in order to let the out-of-town visitors and relatives attend and have another planned activity for them? Or is this not something to worry about, in which case we can host it whenever? (Our close local friends would be invited to both events regardless.)
We’re not concerned about hurt feelings (we aren’t so close to the people who will only get picnic invites that they would expect to be invited to the wedding festivities) or about energy level on our part (again, no formal wedding involved here). We do want to have enough going on for out-of-town friends and relatives that they feel that they’ve had opportunities to spend time with us and each other, and are concerned that our less-traditional wedding has fewer of those times built-in (e.g., no rehearsal dinner, no post-wedding brunch, etc.) However, for the most part the out-of-town people don’t know the in-town people (and don’t know each other), so I don’t know if it will seem strange to mix these groups, especially given that about a third of the in-town folks will have been at the reception, and the other two thirds won’t have been.
I would love to hear thoughts on whether it makes sense to hold this picnic the same weekend as the wedding party or if there might be another good solution. (We are trying to avoid adding a third event, or we’d consider a brunch or something akin to that for out-of-towners.)
Post # 3
That sounds so much fun! I’m totally envying this more relaxed (and simple? Can I call it that?) approach right now 😛
The only thing I’m not sure about is having the BBQ on a Sunday afternoon. Isn’t that right when the out-of-towners would be wanting to get away and be travelling home? Would it matter to you if they left before it?
Is Saturday lunch/afternoon an option or are will you be getting ready? (Not sure how much you’re going for with dress/hair/make up etc?)
Post # 4
I think doing it the same weekend might be nice if you think your out-of-towners will want to mingle with in-town people. I’m also really loving this idea!
Post # 5
Thanks—yes, the Sunday timing was one potential concern. On the one hand, we certainly wouldn’t be offended if out-of-towners left early or missed out on it; on the other, if the primary rationale for having it all the same weekend is so that they can come, it seems silly if they’d likely skip it anyway. I’m also not sure how people will plan their travel—most of the out-of-town people are coming quite a long distance (5- to 15-hour flights) so we’re not sure if they’ll plan to stay longer than just a couple of days or not. (We live in a popular area for vacations, and some of the guests have never visited before.) On the upside, because of the time zone and such, there are “trends” for when flights to various parts of the country leave, so we can guess to some degree when people are most likely to head in and out.
I think my biggest concern is actually the in-town friends who would be invited to both—not sure if it’s asking too much for both Saturday and Sunday that weekend. (Of course they could always choose to skip the picnic, but they’re also the people we’d most like to have at both events.) So I’m a bit torn on this….
We have no objection to doing it on Saturday instead—timing works out fine with the evening event—except that it seemed strange to have the celebration before the ceremonyish event. It would also make for a pretty long day for people attending both (including us!), which is a concern.
Post # 6
I think that as long as you’re far enough out that people haven’t booked flights yet, Sunday LUNCH bbq would work. If it was someone I cared about I would go to both events that weekend!
Post # 7
Thanks—yes, we haven’t even settled on the date at this point, so hopefully no one’s booked any flights yet! 😉
I was thinking of an 11 am start time for the BBQ, figuring a critical mass of people would show up by noonish, and then at least the in-town folks would hang around until mid-afternoon. (Another reason for the mid-day picnic/bbq idea is that we have two dozen (!!) children under age four on the list, most of them the children of local friends, so we figured they’d want a daytime event.) For people flying cross-country, direct flights from the airports near us tend to leave in two clusters, one right around noon and a second around 10 pm. My (potentially flawed!) logic was that if people are leaving at noon, they’re long gone by BBQ time anyway, and if they’re taking a red eye they wouldn’t need to start getting organized till the early evening….
Post # 8
I’m in a similar situation!!!!
can’t decide. our venue to host the large event is only available on sunday. so we cant decide if its better to have the small event on saturday evening or sunday after the large event. we are also having a traditional party on friday.
If we have everything on sunday then we would move the traditional party to saturday.
Some of my family think it wouldn’t be good to have a large event the day after the wedding, & think thats aukward. On the other hand having everyhting in one day is kinda long & sunday evening is kinda late for out of towners.
i’ll let you know what we decide & give feedback