Post # 1
So were getting into full wedding planning mode, We’ve secured the date (8/20/11) renting out a local park. There’s full facilities ie. full kitchen, bathrooms and pavillion. We plan on having the ceremony there, just a short vow exchange then get down with the partying. Im just not sure how to do this…. the ceremony “area” will be separate from the actual “reception area” I just don’t know if we should have some one directing people over to the “ceremony area” or if people should just come in and mingle then have a general announcement by the DJ for everyone to move to the ceremony area. I would rather not have people standing there with drinks in hand while we finally say I DO. So i don’t think i want to open the bar before the ceremony but thats usually the first place people head at a wedding. UUGGGHH So reconsidering the venue. Were paying for this ourselves so were trying to keep costs low. We have also decided to self cater with the help of a few family and friends, with alot of DIY’s. I’m just starting to think we may be in over our heads. The guest list is at 150 and thats not a final, final count yet. I just don’t know how to separate the areas and have people understand the reception area will not be open until after the ceremony, Also, since its going to be a very quick ceremony probably max. of 15 mins I’m not sure if i should even put out chairs. Please tell me if I’m honestly insane and i should just elope!!!!!!
Post # 3
Ok… I’m trying to follow and answer all your questions here…
I would just not make the reception area open to the guests before the ceremony. Just have some signage that the ceremony is “here” and they will go. I don’t think most people would expect the reception area to be available before the ceremony, so it shouldn’t be an issue.
I think you should put out at least some chairs. Guests typically arrive early for ceremonies, so even 30 minutes is a long time for some elderly (or those who choose silly shoes) to stand.
You are not insane. It’s definitely doable, especially if you choose foods that can mostly be prepared ahead of time. However, I would probably look at bringing in a caterer if your family isn’t REALLY excited about taking this on, and you could afford it.
You should elope if that’s what appeals to you 🙂
Post # 4
Since you’re having a 15 min. ceremony, have you considered allowing people to sit at their tables? I’ve heard pros and cons, but I’ve never been to a wedding like this myself. It’s just something to consider.
Have someone DOC for you. Maybe someone who is important to you who wouldn’t necessarily be a bridesmaid, but still have this important role to help transition.
My brother in law got married two months ago in a beautiful backyard by a pool. We all stood, and had drinks in our hands, and it absolutely did not detract at all from the ceremony. (And believe me, it was longer than 15 min.!)
Something as simple as adding an arch and outlining the “ceremony” area with flower petals might even do it.
Just relax and walk away from it for a day. It will come to you.
Post # 5
I agree that some seating for guests would be a good idea but it could even be a few benches that you could turn into a lounge area after the ceremony or something like that? I don’t think you should open the bar but what about having something out for guests like trays of champagne or wine so there was something if that is the feel that you are going for. I would also vote against having the guests in the reception area.
Post # 6
I would make 5 tall posts(four 6 ft.and one 8 ft ) out of 4×4 wood posts with round plywood bases nailed to the bottom. Paint it all with white gloss paint.Put the posts at each corner of the reception and one in the middle.Swag white tullle(really cheap stuff)from each post to the next post making a square and then from the center post to each corner.Decorate the poles with long ribbons hanging from each post or wowever you choose . This will define the area as a reception area and look like a tent but still have the outdoor feeling. Make a cute paper sign and attach to a lawn stake that says reception in front of it . At the entrance put some lawnstakes saying ceremony on them in the shape of an arrow and use them to lead the guests to the ceremony area.No alcohol before ceremony but maybe a lemonade and iced tea table at the entrance.Definately have seating. Get friends to loan you picnic table benches and line them up in a row end to end and cover them with fabric like a skirt.Hope this helps.
Post # 7
I think you need more help… go on craigslist you can find cheap servers or day of planners. I think that’s your best bet