Post # 1
First time poster here with some questions boggling my mind. I’m covering a myriad of topics here so if you only have advice for some of the questions I understand and totally appreciate any advice offered.
First, we are having a Friday wedding and reception to save money, and only about 100 guests. We have a ceremony site and reception site. They are about a half an hour apart, our concern is when to have the ceremony start? The vast majority of our guests will be coming from out of town, ranging from about an hour to 2.5 hours plus. I want people to have time to check into the hotel, get settled etc.
We are also being fairly casual with our food, doing a BBQ for dinner. How can we let people know that the dress is fairly casual (so they don’t ruin their clothes with delicious BBQ!)
Let’s see, ah, the Bridesmaid dresses, I’ve found the idea of the convertible dress really appealing so that my girls can wear the dress again and again. Victoria’s Secret has a dress that’s fairly inexpensive ($108). Has anyone use something similar to this? Would it look ok for a wedding? Here’s a link to look it over, it would be in the fiesta red: http://www2.victoriassecret.com/collection/?cgname=OSCLODRSCVT&cgnbr=OSCLODRSCVT&rfnbr=5983
Another big concern we’re debating over are flowers, we are DIYing quite a bit of the wedding to save money. I really like the silk flowers I found on http://www.thebridesbouquet.com but my mom thinks that real flowers order in bulk that we put together ourselves would look better. Any advice?
I think that’s it for now! I know it’s a lot, but any advice would be great. Thanks everyone!
Post # 3
as for the wording to convey your theme, i would mention casual and bbq on your invites! i think the style of your invites sets the toone for your wedding. Also do you have a wedding website? As for your timing- start at the end and work backwards- what time do you have to be out of your receptiion venue? how long do you want for dancing and eating how long in between and how long is your ceremony that should get you to a time
Post # 4
Congrats and welcome to the hive! You’re sure to get lots of good advice from the wonderful bees!
My only suggestion is that you keep in mind whatever rush-hour traffic your Out of Town guests may experience. My Fiance and I were originally planning on doing the Friday evening wedding thing to save money….until we thought about how horrible the traffic is on a Friday where we live. That plus they’d have to take the Friday off (most of them without pay) meant that we would’ve had significantly less attending the wedding. For us, it was more important that our family and friends be able to make it, so we changed the date to Saturday.
If your guests will be running into traffic, you’ll want to find a way to tell them they’ll need to allot extra time to get there. And if you can tell them how much time, that would be even better. Also keep in mind that most hotels won’t allow guest check-ins until after 3 pm, sometimes 4 pm. You may be able to work out something with the hotels you are booking rooms with.
Have you thought about starting a wedding website with all this info for your guests to check out? As far as the reception, you can word your invitation in a way that lets guests know that it’s a pretty casual affair, but with a website you can give a lot more information. I started one (and it was free- yay!) using my Google account. It’s not difficult to learn how to use either.
Post # 5
for your day of timeline: start at the end of your night and work backwards. we have our reception hall for a total of 6 hours and I wanted the night to end at 12 so that helped us with framing the day.
for your guests attire: simply putting "join us for a BBQ immediately following the ceremony" or whatever time you want it to start will alert your guests that it is a more casual function.
congrats and good luck!
Post # 6
I have no advice other than YES the convertable dress is OK for a wedding! I actually REALLY want one now! 🙂 It’s a great way for your ladies to be individuals without having different dresses! Plus $108 for a dress that can be worn a million ways and worn over and over without being the same dress? That’s a STEAL!
I also agree with the wedding website to convey your info. Traffic might be a beast, but I don’t know your area! Best of luck and WELCOME TO THE HIVE! 🙂
Post # 7
I have advice on the flowers, and I would say your mom is right. Buying real in bulk is going to cost you about the same as buying silk, plus they will smell amazing! Also, what are you going to do with all those silk flowers after the wedding’s over? I’m ordering mine in bulk and then having my mom, Mother-In-Law, Maid/Matron of Honor and Bridesmaid or Best Man help me put them together the day before. It’s totally do-able!
Post # 8
Thanks for the advice so far! Keep it coming! Just afew things to add.
Traffic in our area really isn’t bad. There is a bit of a rush hour around 5:30, but never anything so bad that it would prevent someone from arriving somewhere on time. We’ve talked to the majority of our guests, as we have a guest list about about 100 and most of them are family, we made sure the Friday would work for the people we want to be with us on our special day. I know a mjaority of the guest lists will be stahying overnight and need to check into a hotel. I had an idea for a time frame and I’d like to run it past someone. If we have the ceremony around 2:30 then have the reception start at 5:30 would that be too much of a break? I thought maybe that would be nice to allow people to check in.
Post # 9
As far as the timeline, I agree with others that you should work backwards to the start, but if you’re concerned about check-in, getting ready, then a 5:30, 6 pm start time seems reasonable to me.
I also agree that you need to convey the casualness of your wedding through the invites. Also the website is a good idea. On our wedding website, I’ve posted the exact menu so that people know what they’re getting.
As far as flowers go, I would caution the DIY route if you do not have the coolers to store them in. I’m doing professional arrangements for my bouquets, etc and then buying bulk for the loose flowers. My Wedding coordinator has a cooler to store them in, so it made the most sense and cut my cost in half to do it this way for me.
Post # 10
@ Miss Snowflake Where are you ordering your flowers from? I’m doing the same thing you are but can’t decide where to get them.
Post # 11
I just saw your new post. And by the way, welcome to the hive.
I think that it might be too stressful to get to the wedding, then check in and then get to a reception. That’s my personal opinion however though.
Post # 12
We’re getting our bulk flowers from Sam’s Club. You can order 8 weeks ahead and they will deliver 2-3 days before your event.
Post # 13
I don’t know that I would be too happy if I had to travel for wedding and then not be able to check into my hotel until after the ceremony. The problem being is that normally after a long car ride or any plane ride, I like to shower and change clothes. If you start the ceremony at 2:30, your guests really won’t have the option of freshening up before going to the wedding; they’d have to wait until between the ceremony and reception.
Personally, I prefer Friday night weddings to be late night events. I have only been to two, one started later, one started mid-afternoon, and the one that started later was so much more convenient. It’s really up to you, but I would suggest maybe starting the ceremony around 6:30 and having a late reception. Just my opinion, of course. 🙂
Post # 14
I know we don’t want the ceremony to go too late as we’d like to invite anyone who’d like to come to a brunch the next morning. If we started around 4:30 and had the reception start at 6:30 would that timeline work? I’ve worked backwards, we’d like the reception to end by 12:30, we have the hall for 6 hours. I’ve read a few places that if you are serving a full meal the recetpion needs to start between 5:30 and 7:00. Has anyone ele heard this?
Post # 15
If you’re doing an evening wedding, I’d try to start your wedding a little later to minimize the amount of time guests have to take off work to be there on time. Maybe 7pm, and then the reception could start around 8.
It’s totally fine to put "casual dress" (or "cocktail attire," or whatever) on the invitations. Or you can specify "Barbeque to follow at X" so they know what they’re in for!
I think that dress is a great idea, especially for a more casual, outdoorsy wedding. It might look a little odd for a more formal affair, but it sounds like it will be perfect for yours.
Most people won’t get close enough to tell if your flowers are real or fake. If you are fine with the look of silk flowers, it’s definitely a more economical way to go. If you’re crafty, you can make your own with flowers from Michael’s and save even more (especially if you wait until you have a coupon). Silk flowers also let you inexpensively use a variety of flowers. If you order more than one or two varieties from the bulk flower places, you’re spending as much as if you’d had a florist do your bouquets. That said, I’m going the bulk flowers route because I don’t like the look of silks, but that’s just my personal preference (and I’m only using one flower in two colors).
Post # 16
Welcome Welcome! This place is full of great advice so stick around!
First off, since you’re having a Friday for your ceremony and reception I would suggest not doing the ceremony until at least 5pm. This gives people enough time to get changed, and set before your wedding.
Second since you’re doing a casual reception you could put in the bottom right hand corner of your invitation, cocktail attire, or casual dress. This way people know that they don’t need to be formal. Also depending on how your doing your invitations, you could maybe put that you’re doing a BBQ and most will take that as less formal attire.
Third, as a bridesmaid in my uncles wedding we had two piece dresses from Davids Bridal, and they worked great! I’ve used the skirt several times over and $100 is a good price for a bridesmaid dress now a days.
As far as the flowers go, look into various silk flowers. There are some that are called "real touch" flowers and from what I’ve heard they are great and very life like. Unfortunately I havent been able to find them at a store near me, but there are some boards on here about them. Look through local supermarkets and online for wholesale flowers as well. Some of the better sites I’ve found are fiftyflowers.com and growersbox.com They both have set ups for weddings, and vary in price so they can work with just about any budget. The great thing about the flowers is that you silk ones you can save and they will be the same as your wedding day.
Hope this helps!