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Help me choose what kind of wedding to have

(27 Posts)
Spickle Fri 11-Jul-14 11:03:02

Hope you wise MNetters can help me. DP and I want to plan our wedding but are having great difficulty deciding what would be best:

We are both early 50s so don't feel a "big" do with all the trimmings is necessary, but with option 1, it would be "big".
DP - first marriage, no kids
Me - second marriage, widowed, 2 adult kids
DP parents - happy to attend wherever it may be
My mum, late DH's family and aunties - mid eighties, unable to travel far without a lot of assistance
Friends and Family - lots, i.e. over 130 and vast majority would expect an invitation.

So, what would you do? I do have a reasonable budget, but some of the quotes/prices have made me think, eeeek!

1. DP has family connections enabling him to marry at Tower of London, which he is keen to do. However, it is London - very busy, little parking, many awkward pavements - approximately 30 miles from home. My mum, late DH's family and aunties say they won't travel to London, even if I get taxi/chauffeur for them.

2. Local venue, maybe whole day in one location. Sounds reasonable but having visited a few, they all seem a bit conveyor belt ish. And a room mocked up to look like a church doesn't do it for me or DP.

3. Local church and reception in nearby venue. Might be best option but likelihood of my mum and aunts attending still in doubt, which would piss off DP who would prefer Tower of London.

4. Go abroad with a few family members/friends and have a reception on our return. My mum couldn't/wouldn't get on a plane and doesn't have a passport, so she wouldn't feel guilty for not attending. Hopefully she would attend a local reception, though she has history of letting me down at the last minute.

Sorry that was long.

Would welcome your thoughts.

VelvetStrider Fri 11-Jul-14 11:12:04

Option 1 sounds great. Could you hire a red double decker bus to ferry everybody to and from your hometown? Or a boat on the Thames?

ThinkIveBeenHacked Fri 11-Jul-14 11:13:58

Option One! How amazing! And if your DM cant be chuffed to get a taxi to the venue for her dds weddig then she can stay at home. Dont have the wedding that you are only so so on for the visitors.

AuntieStella Fri 11-Jul-14 11:27:09

I'd be going all out to persuade DM she can cope with London and go for option 1, the Tower.

Or combine the Tower plan with option 4, and have a small (but amazing) wedding there plus additional local party.

AlpacaLypse Fri 11-Jul-14 11:33:28

The Tower will have a disability access plan, there will be someone who works there who will be able to tell you what is and isn't possible. In an ideal world it should be possible to drive the more elderly guests right through. More likely they will have to transfer to the Tower's own vehicles or into mobility scooters. But it should be doable.

sooperdooper Fri 11-Jul-14 11:36:05

Why won't they travel to London even in a taxi? How would they get to a local venue??

Heels99 Fri 11-Jul-14 11:37:15

Option one. Saw a wedding take place there last year it was lovely. Vehicles drove right up to the church in the tower. Unique and fabulous. If people choose not to come you can have a meal with them at a later date. Sounds like your mum is being difficult.

Go for the tower!!!!

FamiliesShareGerms Fri 11-Jul-14 11:39:28

Option 1 definitely!!!

steppemum Fri 11-Jul-14 11:42:48

the tower sounds great, love the idea of a bus bringing all the guests but I wonder how much it would cost all together in the end? I wonder if the food etc ends up very costly?

What about a very different local venue? So rent a old barn and have a hog roast, or wedding on a beach or ....

To be honest, I would give dm etc the option of a wedding where they have taxis to the door etc, and then say if they don't come that is their choice, and maybe take them out for dinner a week before or after. Very few of dh relatives came to our wedding as it meant travelling to UK. We had a reception in Holland later. Most of them were quite capable of coming, and fit and well and could afford it, they just didn't want to travel.

AtSea1979 Fri 11-Jul-14 11:43:29

Option 1. Stop planning your wedding around everyone else. Book it and tell your mum your plans. It's up to her what she does from there.

HenI5 Fri 11-Jul-14 11:46:50

Definitely Option 1 marrying at the Tower with your adult DCs and DP's parents there and anyone else who wants to see you married. Would it have to be huge? do they have any specific arrangements/party sizes that you have to adhere to?

I don't think you should compromise and not have the wedding you both want, especially when someone might not even attend when you've changed your ideal to suit them. No way would I pass on the opportunity to be married in such a unique venue and I think everyone should understand that decision especially as you've offered to virtually carry them backwards and forwards.

After the London wedding you could go for a small luxury lunch or a posh afternoon tea maybe and then at another date a lunch party in a nice hotel that's convenient for the relatives who won't travel. You could perhaps find a local Humanist Celebrant to attend as a kind of non-religious wedding blessing that you could tailor specifically to your own requirements and that would take away from the 'conveyor belt' feel. That's if you wanted to include them in some kind of ceremony for them to feel included.
Humanist Society link

Otherwise maybe you could have a small lunch for those relatives and perhaps someone could organize a showing of your photos?

Spickle Sat 12-Jul-14 09:55:12

Wow, thank you all so much. It seems that Option 1 is the favourite.

I am worried about the cost - London prices are extortionate and we have been amazed at the prices to have a sit down meal or buffet in a place fairly close by. We would probably limit the guest list (100), although the actual ceremony at the Tower can accommodate more than enough, but we couldn't afford to buy everyone lunch/dinner afterwards.

My mum is being awkward. She is 85 and has mobility problems and obviously can't guarantee her health on the day so I can understand her concern. She is from a generation where women looked after the home and didn't do independent things like driving, paying bills and organising weekends away etc, she is quite needy and, even though my dad died twenty years ago, she doesn't cope well with anything slightly out of the ordinary. I normally ferry her around but obviously can't do this on my wedding day. Our family is dotted around the country so there is no-one else close to mum to be on hand at the beginning of the journey, though I am sure people would help once she's at the Tower. I'm an only child so no siblings to call upon unfortunately.

Hiring a red bus would be great, I will look into that but I have to bear in mind that many of the guests will be coming from different directions, therefore the bus may only be required to take guests from the Tower to the reception. Some cars can go right up to the church in the Tower, so I will enquire about that too, though there are several guests who might appreciate not having to walk across the cobbles and I believe the Tower only allow 2 or 3 cars in, so we would have to be selective about which guests needed it most.

But, thank you so much for your views. It has helped me to understand that I can't organise a wedding around everyone. I guess that in the end, if people want to be there, they will be there.

AlpacaLypse Sun 13-Jul-14 23:53:13

Does your mum have a friend or neighbour who could be delegated to be her official partner/helper for the day to see her through all this? I'm sure she'd love to come but absolutely you can't be her minder that day of all days!

Spickle Mon 14-Jul-14 19:50:53

That's a good idea AlpacaLypse, I will certainly give that some thought. She would love to come, but she doesn't want to be a burden to anyone so that's the reason she has said she won't come to the Tower (or anywhere challenging!).

HelloDoris Wed 16-Jul-14 07:54:18

Lots of the pubs in the city don't open on a weekend, but do for big parties. Maybe cheaper then buying a lunch out for everyone. Friends of ours used The Old Bank of England on Fleet Street, I believe all they had to do was guarantee a minimum spend and got room hire for free.

AlpacaLypse Wed 16-Jul-14 21:49:44

I do hope it all comes together for you and your husband to be Spickle - will you update us?

Spickle Wed 16-Jul-14 23:04:42

I have been looking at various venues near to the Tower - took a look at the Old Bank of England which does look great. I need somewhere that will cater for around 100 people. Weddings at the Tower are at 4pm so we are unsure whether to have a sit down meal or buffet afterwards depending on how much time is available once the service and photographs are over.

Thank you AlpacaLypse, will update!

AlpacaLypse Sun 20-Jul-14 13:47:07

Thanks Spickle smile

Spickle Sat 13-Dec-14 09:28:19

Just an update:

Wedding is booked at the Tower of London next July. Reception in the Dickens Inn, St Katharine's Wharf, so now plans are being made in earnest!

Thanks everyone for helping me to decide to do the kind of wedding that we want rather than what suits everyone else!

eurochick Sat 13-Dec-14 09:37:14

That sounds fantastic. smile

Paperblank Tue 23-Dec-14 22:18:29

It sounds fabulous! Hope you have an amazing day xx

threepiecesuite Tue 23-Dec-14 22:22:31

How fabulous, what a day to remember for you and all of your guests.
Let us know how it all goes.

sashh Thu 25-Dec-14 08:37:35

Option 1 with a small group then back 'home' for a party. Maybe in a pub or hire a field and a big tent, tell them (who ever you hire from or do catering for) it is a party not a wedding. It could even be at someone's house if you or a friend have a large property.

I went to a wedding where I (and a few other single guests had similar) was given the 'job' of looking after the groom's mother, making sure she had a drink and company, looking after her bag if she went to the loo etc etc.

Could you do something like that with your mum? With a hired wheelchair if she isn't mobile on the day. (I hired one from the red cross for £10 - it was actually a refundable deposit but I chose to make it a donation)

ElfriqueTheSantaHelpingLizard Thu 25-Dec-14 09:05:29

I remember your original post Spickle. Nice choice and congratulations. It'll be fabulous.
Roll on July.
thanks

SofaSpud Sun 04-Jan-15 21:28:43

Congratulations. Sounds wonderfulflowers

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