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  • November 20, 2017, 03:25:09 PM

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Author Topic: Non-traditional .. everything!  (Read 1449 times)

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TaurusGirl

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Non-traditional .. everything!
« on: September 18, 2017, 07:43:12 PM »
 :D
So TheHawk and I are tying the knot! The date is coming up in spring, and we're doing many things in a non-traditional way. I am hoping to get some perspective on our ideas!

Some details:
1. We are having a teensy morning ceremony in our back yard - including us it will be 15 people. This will be followed by a light lunch, and then bride and groom are shooing everyone away, because...
2. We are doing an outdoor casual bbq reception-type-party the next day and will have to be up *very* early to set up. 
3. We are catering a lunch, but welcoming people to bring their own snacks. (The reason for this is that there are *many* picky eaters in both our families, both adults and children, and we cannot keep track of who will or won't eat what.)

So, the first of what will probably be many questions!
Normally a rehearsal dinner would be just the bridal party, but with our ceremony so small, we were thinking of doing a private dinner the night before the wedding, to get to visit with our out-of-towners. We would host the dinner at a restaurant, and be sure to have multiple hours to visit and get caught up with everyone.

Does that sound like an ok plan?

gramma dishes

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Re: Non-traditional .. everything!
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2017, 08:11:23 PM »
I love small intimate weddings and I think yours as planned sounds lovely.    :)

lakey

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Re: Non-traditional .. everything!
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2017, 11:44:34 PM »
Sounds good. I've known a number of people who've had smallish backyard receptions. They were very nice. I especially liked being able to dress more comfortably.

bridalviolet

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Re: Non-traditional .. everything!
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2017, 07:59:24 AM »
This sounds lovely!  And I think a small dinner the night before is perfect.
My niece recently got married in our front garden. There were about  a dozen guests, family and very close friends. Afterward we all had cake and champagne in our dining room, then the happy couple drove a few blocks away to a nice bed-and-breakfast for the weekend.
The following weekend we rented a space in our local train depot, a lovely historical building near here. We invited about sixty people and had a belated reception with more cake and punch and dancing and gifts.
It worked out very well because the couple weren't worn out from the wedding, and could actually enjoy the reception.
As for being "traditional", I say make your own traditions!

Luci

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Re: Non-traditional .. everything!
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2017, 09:27:22 AM »
I like your plan, too.

As for the rehearsal dinner: that's the way I've seen it done since the 90s by several couples.

Best wishes!

gellchom

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Re: Non-traditional .. everything!
« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2017, 09:57:38 AM »
Congratulations! Many years of happiness to you both.
Quote
Normally a rehearsal dinner would be just the bridal party, but with our ceremony so small, we were thinking of doing a private dinner the night before the wedding, to get to visit with our out-of-towners. We would host the dinner at a restaurant, and be sure to have multiple hours to visit and get caught up with everyone.

Does that sound like an ok plan?

As a matter of fact, that is how it is typically, almost universally, done in our community: The rehearsal dinner is not it all up limited to the bridal party, but includes out of town guests and also local family and close friends, especially those who did things like host showers and such.  So you definitely don't have to worry that this would be other than "normal."

TracyXJ

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Re: Non-traditional .. everything!
« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2017, 10:06:12 AM »
Just a few thoughts.  And please note, I'm not actually trying to change your plans, I'm just pointing out some questions/comments you might get from guests along the way.

1 & 2.  Is the casual BBQ reception party taking place in the same backyard as the wedding the day before?  Because I have to admit, if I got invited to a reception at the same place the ceremony took place the day before, but wasn't invited to the ceremony itself, I'd wonder why and be a bit hurt.  Obviously the location had enough space for all the people to come to the BBQ reception, so why wasn't I wanted at the ceremony?

3.  The bringing the snacks is a bit odd.  How do you word this?  I would just not mention anything about snacks whatever and just provide whatever food/drinks you want to provide.  If someone offers to bring a side dish or whatever, let them.

As for the rehearsal, it sounds like an awesome plan.  Most rehearsals dinners that I know of include the out of town guests.  My brother had the rehearsal dinner at a restaurant and it worked out perfectly.  They had a room set aside for just us and they had already selected the foods to be put out (they didn't allow ordering off the food menu).

#borecore

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Re: Non-traditional .. everything!
« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2017, 10:23:16 AM »
Everything but "bring your own snacks" or "bring snacks to share" sounds good to me. Just provide a ton of different sides.

Luci

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Re: Non-traditional .. everything!
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2017, 11:14:39 AM »
Everything but "bring your own snacks" or "bring snacks to share" sounds good to me. Just provide a ton of different sides.

TaurusGirl said people are welcome to bring snacks, not requesting they do so. I am on a low potassium, low dairy, no nitrate, no caffeine, low salt diet. I have been to potlucks and dinners where I can't eat anything, so I would be very happy to bring something that I don't have to think about eating. A niece had to bring all of her own food due to severe, life threatening allergies.

(I have since learned or eat only vegetables and herbed pasta or rice the day of an evening feast, so I don't have to be obviously 'piicky'.)

gellchom

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Re: Non-traditional .. everything!
« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2017, 11:18:31 AM »
I agree, don't say anything at all about bringing snacks.  I get your considerate impulse, but you are inviting confusion and possibly a real mess. 

People who have dietary restrictions know how to take care of themselves, including bringing their own snacks if they aren't sure they will be able to eat what is offered, without your telling them or giving them permission to do so.  Luci's post, which came up while I was writing, is a good example.

lmyrs

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Re: Non-traditional .. everything!
« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2017, 11:23:39 AM »
I've had a couple of cousins who did this same wedding set up - small backyard ceremony with food, larger reception the next day. I think it's nice. And it's becoming more common I think.
I like your plans

LadyL

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Re: Non-traditional .. everything!
« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2017, 01:28:12 PM »
I have been to two backyard weddings in the last few years. My biggest piece of advice is to do your best to accurately estimate the time it will take to setup and breakdown, and ask for or hire help accordingly. Think of worst case scenarios weather and logistics wise especially. Do you have enough bathrooms for the guests and what if one of them breaks mid reception? Do you have enough electrical setup to power any sound system or lighting you plan to use? Will you have a tent and heaters for inclement weather? Is there uneven ground or poorly lit areas that could be dangerous for guests with mobility restrictions? Here's why I ask:

Wedding #1 was on the side of a mountain, beautiful locale, except it poured the days preceding the wedding and the entire tent setup became a mud pit. After an emergency run to get bales of absorptive straw, it was...a straw covered mud pit. The bride wore gardening shoes to the reception  ;D. Watching people slip and slide to their tables was certainly amusing but not really ideal. They also ran out of food which was really non ideal given the location was remote so it wasn't possible to just order pizza or whatever.

Wedding #2 was on a farm property during a month where it's usually 60-70 degrees in the Fall, except the weekend of the wedding was drizzly, overcast, and in the mid 50s. The HC had dedicated to an elaborate outdoor decor scheme that had a team of 8-10 people assembling centerpieces, lanterns, garlands, etc. right up until an hour before the wedding. They waffled for too long about whether to move to the backup indoor location because of weather and so the evening reception was held outdoors. There was only one portable heater for ~60 guests and they didn't have enough power for the sound system so there was no music at the reception, and the port-a-potty was located quite far from the reception which was hard mobility wise for some guests. Overall they had a beautiful wedding but guest comfort not being central to the planning of it,  people started leaving about an hour into the reception, and most of the guests were gone by 8 PM.


gellchom

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Re: Non-traditional .. everything!
« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2017, 01:37:12 PM »
I have been to two backyard weddings in the last few years. My biggest piece of advice is to do your best to accurately estimate the time it will take to setup and breakdown, and ask for or hire help accordingly. Think of worst case scenarios weather and logistics wise especially. Do you have enough bathrooms for the guests and what if one of them breaks mid reception? Do you have enough electrical setup to power any sound system or lighting you plan to use? Will you have a tent and heaters for inclement weather? Is there uneven ground or poorly lit areas that could be dangerous for guests with mobility restrictions? Here's why I ask:

Wedding #1 was on the side of a mountain, beautiful locale, except it poured the days preceding the wedding and the entire tent setup became a mud pit. After an emergency run to get bales of absorptive straw, it was...a straw covered mud pit. The bride wore gardening shoes to the reception  ;D. Watching people slip and slide to their tables was certainly amusing but not really ideal. They also ran out of food which was really non ideal given the location was remote so it wasn't possible to just order pizza or whatever.

Wedding #2 was on a farm property during a month where it's usually 60-70 degrees in the Fall, except the weekend of the wedding was drizzly, overcast, and in the mid 50s. The HC had dedicated to an elaborate outdoor decor scheme that had a team of 8-10 people assembling centerpieces, lanterns, garlands, etc. right up until an hour before the wedding. They waffled for too long about whether to move to the backup indoor location because of weather and so the evening reception was held outdoors. There was only one portable heater for ~60 guests and they didn't have enough power for the sound system so there was no music at the reception, and the port-a-potty was located quite far from the reception which was hard mobility wise for some guests. Overall they had a beautiful wedding but guest comfort not being central to the planning of it,  people started leaving about an hour into the reception, and most of the guests were gone by 8 PM.

Which I guess is why there are venues for events like wedding receptions that are prepared for all this stuff.  In addition to questions of inclement weather backups, sufficient bathrooms and power, access to extra items needed at the last minute, and all the other things you mentioned, there's also parking, accessibility, insurance, and much more.

Of course there are wonderful weddings and parties at untraditional and non-professional venues, including homes.  I've attended them and I've hosted them.  It can certainly be done, and quite well, but keep in mind that once you get into very large groups and meals and sound systems, it's a much bigger undertaking than many people realize.

Oh Joy

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Re: Non-traditional .. everything!
« Reply #13 on: September 19, 2017, 03:50:49 PM »
Congratulations, and of course it sounds OK.

Kind of like TracyXJ was saying, I'd personally feel a little strange as a guest regardless of whether I was on the smaller or larger guest list.  I would smile and be happy and think only supportive thoughts.  But something about it being lunches at the same venue on two consecutives days feels sort of redundant. 

TurtleDove

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Re: Non-traditional .. everything!
« Reply #14 on: September 19, 2017, 04:08:21 PM »
Congratulations! I am not a fan of your plan, based on how I understand it, though.

If I am understanding this correctly, your plan is:

1. somewhat inclusive "rehearsal dinner" on day one for the bridal party and out of town guests
2. small wedding on day two - it is not clear to me whether the out of town guests are invited?
3. larger reception on day three

It looks like you are expecting some people to devote portions of three days - over the course of three days - to your wedding, which to me is really too much. I wouldn't do a rehearsal dinner at all. I would simply spend time with out of town guests at the reception on day three (which would then be day two) rather than expect them to be out of town for three days plus travel time. Why would they come in two days before the reception just for a rehearsal dinner, and then have nothing to do for an entire day because they are not invited to the actual wedding, and then celebrate again the next day?

As a guest I would find the timeline odd.