Post # 1
We’re getting married at a park with a gazebo at one end of our five-block downtown and our reception is at the other end in a hotel. The cocktail hour will start at 6. I’m thinking 5 p.m. for the ceremony, but it all hinges on this one concern: an exit strategy.
In traditional church weddings — or even outdoor weddings at a venue — you typically escape to a hallway or another room once you’re married. This is your guests cue to follow you more or less.
But when you’re getting married in an outdoor park with no place in sight, what do you do?
I’m thinking about just taking off for ice cream cones at our favorite nearby scoop shop with our bridal party and just crossing my fingers that people will take the hint and gather their things and move on to the next site. Then we would go back to the park for photos.
Or is there a way to incorporate the receiving line into this scheme? I’m fine with doing without one, but if it helps with awkwardness then fine.
I guess I’m just trying to avoid people hanging around and interfering with our precious picture time.
Has anyone had this problem? What were your solutions?
Post # 3
I went to a wedding with a similar situation where, at the end of the ceremony, the officiant let everyone know that the couple was going to take some moments to have some privacy by themselves, and was looking forward to seeing everyone at the reception site. I thought that was a polite way of letting people know to go ahead and move on. Disappearing in the meantime is probably a good idea. I’m always a fan of ice cream… 🙂
Post # 4
We had an outdoor ceremony, and the reception was down a staircase in another garden. So, like, all of 30 feet away. We included a line in our minimalist program that said, "Please join us immediately after the ceremony in the adjoining garden for our reception."
We recessed back down the aisle and away from the staircase to the reception garden, and our ushers "ushed" peopel down the staircase into the reception area. A couple people did hang around to take photos, but they were pretty much close family or the spouses of the wedding party, and they took a couple snaps and then headed for the food & booze. Lucky them!
If you have a coordinator, it helps to have them tell guests what to do. Or maybe your parents/bridal party could help by quickly coming back after recessing and saying, thanks, we’ll see ya at the reception! While some are doing that, you can take pix w/ the others, swap, and then by then guests should have cleared out so you can have everyone for the big group shots.