Post # 1
Not just in an attempt to save – although it will probably end us costing about the same as a sit down dinner for all – but in an attempt to make it more meaningful, especially since if family does end up traveling a long way, I was thinking of us not having a rehearsal dinner the night before, but to just have a no host welcome party at a bar nearby and then have a private dinner with just family on the wedding night followed by the ceremony with all of our invited guests and then a cocktail party reception with everyone with cake, dessert, hors d’oeuvres, full bar, dj and dancing. Do you think people would be offended? That it would be too much of our families time? Or that it would be fine? Dinner would probably be around 5:00 and our ceremony would probably start around 8/8:30pm with the cocktail party beginning at around 9/9:30pm and going on for about 3 or 4 hours. What do you think? Also, that would mean we’d only have about an hour and a half to get ready before the ceremony? Do you think that’s unrealistic? Should dinner start at 4 or 4:30pm instead? Do you think it’ll make a difference that Fiance will see me before the ceremony? We’re planning on having a first look anyways. Thanks bees!
Post # 3
I would be offended if I knew you had a private dinner with your family. But if didn’t know, I would just think your wedding timeline was odd for a ceremony at 8:30 p.m. followed by a 9:30 reception. I would probably assume you planned it for later to cut costs of serving guests dinner.
You say that it’s not an attempt to save money but I feel it is because I don’t see how it would cost the same for your option. the no host welcome party will cost you nothing versus several hundred dollars for a tradition rehearsal dinner. private dinner at a restaurant will cost less than a wedding dinner at a venue.
it’s fine if you want to save money. times are tough and weddings are expensive. go with your plan if you think your group of family and friends will be fine with it. you might want to bounce the idea off someone you trust will give you an honest opinion.
the hour and half time of getting ready is adequate if you don’t have complicated hair, makeup or dress and if each of your bridesmaids will be responsible for their own hair and makeup.
Post # 4
I see no problem with this. An 8/8:30 PM ceremony with a cocktail reception immediately to follow satisfies your obligations as a hostess. You are inviting everybody who witnesses your ceremony to join you afterward for food, drinks, and entertainment. As the wedding does not span a mealtime, you are not obligated to provide a full meal.
People have weddings like this all the time. When a wedding starts after the dinner hour, presumably the bride and groom aren’t just going to skip dinner that day and will be eating dinner at some point before the wedding. I think it’s fine that you’ll be eating with your families.
… If the dinner included more people than just family, it would be iffy. If the order of operations were different and you wanted to do ceremony, then family dinner (while everyone else had to fend for themselves for dinner), then cocktail party, it would not be okay.
But I think your plan is just fine.
Post # 5
I think that’s a fine plan. The only potential source of awkwardness would be if all 3 are in the same place and a guest shows up way early for the ceremony, but it doesn’t sound like that’s your plan. No one would be able to fault you for doing something with just your family.