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Could you troubleshoot my 'non-standard' wedding and reception

(104 Posts)
GangstersLoveToDance Sun 29-Sep-13 18:03:10

So, the typical wedding nowadays seems to be marriage at 1pm, 3 course meal, evening buffet.

We want to do something a bit more casual at the reception, so this is our rough idea:

Church wedding, 3.30pm
Guest pics outside church, 4pm-4.30pm

4.30pm - 5.30pm, Guests would then walk to the venue (2 minutes away) and have canapés and drinks on arrival whilst df and I nip off for some pics alone. It's a beautiful setting with a breath taking view (above the beach, Gower Coast) so we thought people would be ok with no 'entertainment' for an hour ish and can mingle just with a bit of background music.

5.30pm - 7.00pm, df and I arrive at venue and mingle a bit. Then speeches (very short and sweet, just a couple of words from df, my dad and best man). Then a bit more mingling lol.

7pm - Evening guests arrive and semi-hot buffet is laid out for all guests, day and extra evening. When I say semi-hot, i'm thinking more than a few sarnies but less than a full hot meal. Considering it will be the only 'real' food served though, I want it to be filling for the day guests.

Then a DJ and typical wedding party until 11.30pm.

A couple of extra details - we would do the room up like your 'typical' wedding - round tables, nice table centres etc. But there would be NO top table and NO table plan. We're thinking of maybe having some sort of welcoming sign coming in, asking them to grab a table or suchlike. Considering there's no sit down meal, it seems silly to do up a table plan and put place settings and so on.

We would have around 70 guests at the church and possibly an extra 30-80 in the evening.

What do you think? Would you enjoy this sort of wedding or feel cheated of a meal? Would you find it 'uncomfortable' not having a table plan as a guest? Etc. Every wedding I've been to has included a full meal and buffet, table planned and so on and we wanted something a bit different but i'd like to see if anyone can forsee problems we've not thought of!

nkf Sun 29-Sep-13 18:06:09

I think it sounds nice. Very nice in fact. What will the food be? I don't really know what semi hot means, Not having seating plans is ace. I hate seating plans.

eurochick Sun 29-Sep-13 18:06:29

I think a lot of people will be very hungry. I think even more people will be very shitfaced with the food appearing a while after the alcohol.

MortifiedAdams Sun 29-Sep-13 18:06:43

Sounds great to me. I work in a hotel and a recent wedding ran like this, though they had a church srrvicr at 4pm.

One thing I would do is put something along the lines of "at X venue at 3.30pm, with an evening buffet to follow" so guests know to have a proper lunch.

I dont eat til 7/7.30 anyways so wouldnt mind the wait, but ots good to forewarn guests in a subtle way.

eurochick Sun 29-Sep-13 18:08:03

But I've been to a number of weddings with a buffet and no table plan and they were fine, although you do seem to always end up with some busy fun tables and a couple of sparsely populated dull ones.

QuintessentialShadows Sun 29-Sep-13 18:08:10

You are clearly on a shoestring.....

But I would not enjoy this setup.

QuintessentialShadows Sun 29-Sep-13 18:11:59

In fact, I would hope to only be invited to the evening do in your setup!

First church service. Then standing around outside for pictures with guests. Then more standing around!

You rely on 70 people just mingle with nibbles, with you out of the way, for an hour. Then speeches.

Then the remaining 80 people arrive for a buffet.

At least provide some decent grub if you just intend for people to sit around and entertain themselves.

RandomMess Sun 29-Sep-13 18:12:46

Have the wedding later and considerable canapes otherwise alcohol on an empty stomach.

Do you have many people travelling far?

GirlWithTheDirtyShirt Sun 29-Sep-13 18:14:10

We're having a similarly timed wedding this year.

We get married at the register office at 2:45 and the reception begins at 4pm at a pub a couple of miles away. I'm expecting photos and travel to fill some of the time between.

However, we're serving a hot buffet meal to day guest at 5:30 ish and then will have "substantial" canapés later in the evening for everyone. We have around 80 in the day and another 30 or so in the evening.

I think to do things your way you need to invite all your guests "all day" and serve the meal earlier. If you're going to feed them all anyway it shouldn't make any difference to cost.

QuintessentialShadows Sun 29-Sep-13 18:15:50

Or just skip the thing in the middle, forget the canapes and speeches.

everybody come back at 7 pm

MortifiedAdams Sun 29-Sep-13 18:16:08

OP what about an afternoon buffet for the daytime guests, and then bacon/sausage baps at 9.30/10pm for everyone?

ZZZenagain Sun 29-Sep-13 18:17:22

As a guest, I'd be thinking : an hour in the church, half an hour to chat and catch up with people I know after the service, an hour hanging about, an hour and a half hanging about with speeches and then it starts at 7pm really. Bit hard on the guests

Smartiepants79 Sun 29-Sep-13 18:17:24

I think it will be ok. Three is quite a late start, long enough for people to have had a decent lunch.
If you make sure they are a aware that the proper meal won't be til later and ensure there are plenty of nibbles people have no reason to complain of being hungry.
I would be a bit wary of the alcohol issue though.

Lemonraisin Sun 29-Sep-13 18:17:25

Not a lot going on for about 3 hours... Sorry, I wouldn't like that. The rest sounds great though! Congratulations smile

nkf Sun 29-Sep-13 18:18:48

I hadn't clocked it was three hours in the middle. People will be pissed. Unless it's an expensive paying bar, in which case they will be pissed off.

PotteringAlong Sun 29-Sep-13 18:19:42

You definitely need more food in there! The worst weddings are the ones with too much hanging around and not enough to eat.

spicynaknik Sun 29-Sep-13 18:20:03

It sounds lovely, but I think there might be a gap caused by no meal. At weddings, the meal bit gives people the chance to unwind and relax a bit.

I realise there might be budget restraints, but in my experience of weddings, after all the dressing up and travelling and polite hello-ing, people do generally just want to sit down and be fed and watered as they gradually relax into the event.

I think at the very least you need to make it clear that there won't be any grub until 7pm so that people can lunch heartily beforehand or order chips at the bar.

But since you asked for opinions, to be honest I wouldn't really think ooh this is different, I'd just think it wasn't particularly guest friendly. Sorry.

However, no table plans etc is ace.

Smartiepants79 Sun 29-Sep-13 18:20:51

For my personal opinion a wedding without a bride and groom is a bit of a none event. Keep your time away from the other guests to a minimum. I just always think its a bit weird when the bride and groom disappear from their own wedding for hours.

QuintessentialShadows Sun 29-Sep-13 18:22:22

"I wouldn't really think ooh this is different, I'd just think it wasn't particularly guest friendly"

^ this.

I will never forget my cousins shoe string sushi wedding, where the only seats in the venue was reserved for the parents of the bride and groom, and everybody had to stand and chat and mingle for hours.... Nothing to do. He thought "Oh this is new and modern" the guests though hmm

clary Sun 29-Sep-13 18:23:14

I would expect food at 6 ish before the speeches etc. Or even earlier than that tbh.

If the evening guests arrive at 7pm the buffet won't be served till 7.30 earliest? Hmmm from 3pm to 7.30pm is a fairly long while. If I have eaten at (say) 1.30pm before setting off (or on the way) I will be well hungry 6 hrs later.

I would do the buffet at 6pm or so then invite evening people 8pm and have canapés for them. If you are going to a do which starts at 8pm I don't think you are expecting a full blown meal. Same cost (or less actually!) but works better. JMO.

Smartiepants79 Sun 29-Sep-13 18:23:30

Ooh just thought of one other thing! If you have no table plans please be aware of any couples you may have invited who will not know many other(any other) people there. If they're not going to sit down and be introduced it could be a very lonely and dull experience for them.

ruddynorah Sun 29-Sep-13 18:23:37

No. That won't seem like a long time to you but to the guests it'll be a long dull drawn out afternoon. If you really must do it this way then at least make sure they all know the timings of things or you'll have rumbling stomachs and bored faces by 5.30.

RandomMess Sun 29-Sep-13 18:25:12

If you're just have canapies/buffet why don't you just invite everyone to the whole thing and get married later?

MissGarth Sun 29-Sep-13 18:26:33

I think there is too much time to stand around with no food and nothing to do but drink. Three hours is a long time in fancy clothes and hurting shoes with nothing to do.

I would bring the buffet forward for the day guests, and do more food for the evening guests lateish say 8-8:30ish.

I've been to weddings where the evening buffet has been :

a) a posh fish and chip van (was v funny to see everyone tucking in whilst glammed up
b) a cheese-bread- salad set up where the cheese was like a second wedding cake
c) a hog roast
d) a burger van (again quite a posh one, not a b&q car park type affair
all of these were pretty cheap but went down very well.

specialsubject Sun 29-Sep-13 18:29:09

too much hanging around, not enough food. Feed before speeches, you'll get a much better response.

it does NOT take an hour to have your photos done, despite what the wedding industry tells you.

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