- 4 years ago
- Wedding: July 2016
Hi folks! I’m hoping for some widsom on making a ballroom wedding less formal, if that’s possible.
Background: FI and I are late 40’s. I’d rather elope and come back married 🙂 , but Fiance and my family want a wedding/party. I’m pretty easygoing, so I’m good with that. We are obviously paying for it all, and the budget isn’t a big issue; we’re well established in careers. However, neither Fiance nor I live in my hometown in the south, where we’ll have the wedding (most of the guests live there), so I’m looking for STRESSFREE for my planning. I would like everything handled by the venue–wedding, cocktail hour, reception, cake, flowers, decor, lights. Everything but the band.
The best all-inclusive venue for the wedding in Hometown is a great, old hotel. It was built in the ’20s and restored several years ago to its 1920’s gorgeousness. Very art deco, just a beautiful place. They can do everything I need above. I tell them what I want, we agree on a price, then I show up. All other venues we’ve looked at are mostly do it yourself, i.e. I’d have to arrange for tables, caterer, cake, decor, floral, lighting, etc., or they are more traditional chain hotels with conference ballrooms which I’m not fond of.
The problem is, I don’t want a “formal” wedding. I’m wearing a lace tea-length dress with a light blue crinoline, my BFF will be the Matron in a dress of her choice, and Fiance will have a bestman. FI and Bridesmaid or Best Man are both country guys at heart. Office jobs but love the outdoors, going to alma mater college football, hunting, boating, you get the picture. Outside of work (and sometimes in) he’s a cowboots and jeans person. BM owns a big ranch. I can imagine that Fiance and Bridesmaid or Best Man would be uncomfortable all night in a suit, but since I agreed to a wedding, he said he’ll take my advice on what to wear. I 100% do not want them in a tux; it’s not who they are. Just like a big flowy gown isn’t me.
The furthest I’ve gotten on colors are that I’ll carry yellow roses with blue & white flowers mixed in. And my ivory dress has the light blue crinoline. Food will be excellent at the hotel; we want a Mexican/fajita/enchilada themed buffet line and add some chef stations with Cajun food like cups of gumbo, cocktail shrimp, etc. Around 125 guests. Open bar. We won’t be doing traditional reception things like the entrance, father-daughter dance (my dad would be so uncomfortable!), bouquet toss, garter, speeches, none of that. Maybe a first dance. The wedding will be in the hotel lobby (see picture), followed by a standing cocktail “45 minutes” with heavy apps in the foyer of the ballroom (cocktail tables, some chairs), followed by dinner then the band. The ballroom is on the top floor. Because of the venue, guests will probably dress up (I know I would) so we can’t be all casual when the guest make the effort to dress up.
So, sorry for the long background! If we book the ballroom, how do we make it not a “formal” wedding? What do Fiance and Bridesmaid or Best Man wear? Is a Mexican/Cajun too casual (though I’m sure the hotel would do a great job at whatever they prepare, and how they present it)? It’s our very favorite food. Ugh again, I don’t know how to do this–I want to elope after all! I want our friends and family to enjoy themselves, and I don’t want a formal, tuxedoed wedding. Will the venue be ok for that? I haven’t booked yet, but need to decide soon. Pictures below, the white tables/silver chairs are the hotel standard. The picture with couches is to show the entire ballroom. The one with the stairway is the lobby area that is curtained off for the wedding.