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Please help me with my small wedding. I am clueless

(15 Posts)
wonderwoo Wed 28-Mar-18 16:38:11

I have put off planning a wedding for years because we are not used to hosting things and we are both quite shy, so the whole idea scares us. We just don't know what to do for our day.

We finally have a date in mind, and want a small and simple wedding. So far we plan to get married in the registry office around late morning time, and then go to a local restaurant/bistro and have a meal. We plan to have between 20-30 guests. And then we will all go home (we don't want an evening do).

But I am struggling to work out timings and what (if anything) to do in between the ceremony and the meal. Say the ceremony finishes at midday and the restaurant is a 10 min drive/20 min walk away - should we just tell the venue we will be there for 12.30pm? Or I am also thinking of having a photographer for half an hour or so after the registry office (do they even tend to offer small and cheap deals?) but what do I do for the guests around this time? I could take some fizz and glasses and serve them whilst people are milling around and some M&S canapes maybe (our two dc could serve them out), and then go on to the restaurant for around 1pm - does this sound like a good idea?

I suppose I am asking for any ideas to make the day a bit more special and weddingy, and some reasurrance that what I am planning sounds okay.

Maybe some stories of your small weddings and what worked well would help? I am so nervous about it all. We don't have much money so am trying to make it as cheap as possible, whilst still wanting it to be a bit special too of course. Any stories/ideas/reassurance would be much appreciated. Thank you!

OP’s posts: |
FinallyHere Wed 28-Mar-18 16:53:07

This sounds lovely, congratulates and very best wishes.

I would suggest that your next step is to find a photographer, and then take their advice on timings and where/when to have pictures. Take that information together with a concern for the comfort of your guests and you won't go far wrong. Imagine yourself as a guest, and work out what they need to be comfortable. I would be looking to make sure they at least had a drink, and ideally something to nibble, suitable for adults, drivers and any little ones as soon afger the ceremony as possible. And lots of loos, too

The last thing I wanted was lots of formal wedding photos, but the only thing DH insisted on was a professional photographer. We found one who does reportage, they probably all do.... In the quiet time before the ceremony, while my makeup was perfect, he took us for a short walk and took lots of candid shots. Then, at the reception, he took made sure he got a shot of each group, or family/couple arriving.

Long afterwards, i treasure those photos, they are almost more real than my own memories, because everything went past so quickly on the day. And, when we took the photos to show people, we took one group shot (on stairs, very artistic), one of us and then a picture of whoever we were visiting arriving.


Oh, and the florist found me some cards with a bouquet very similar to my own, which we used for thank you cards. Genius.

wonderwoo Wed 28-Mar-18 23:33:42

Oh thank you for your advice Finally. Lots to think about! I think you are right: i would regret not having some professional photos after.

I was looking at photographers just now actually. I think I only want one that covers the ceremony and some group shots after, but I cannot seem to find any that offer small packages. I will have to email some to see if they would consider it.

I had forgotten about making sure there are loos... i need to think again as there will be a gap of about just over an hour between the ceremony and arriving at the restaurant. But i suppose they could go back inside the town hall if needed. If its wet i suspect we will just find a bar to habe a drink in.

OP’s posts: |
wonderwoo Thu 29-Mar-18 12:27:31

Argh! Had all the details planned out after hours of research and discussion. Phoned the registry office today to book our wedding and they are closed for refurbishment next year. So its back to the drawing board again. Fed up now.

OP’s posts: |
RandomMess Thu 29-Mar-18 12:46:03

Noooooooooo sad

Backhometothenorth Sat 07-Apr-18 20:54:40

Hello! We cancelled our 'big' wedding a couple of weeks after booking it as we realised something smaller was more our cup of tea. 30 guests in all and looking forward to it now! We went for an afternoon ceremony in a nice spa hotel (staying the night before as well) so the day will run something like this:

Big breakfast
Swimming and fun with our daughters
Get ready (make-up and hair lady coming to hotel)
Partner hosting drinks in bar from 3 o clock
Ceremony 4 o clock
More drinks and photos
Dinner at 6 o clock
Done by 8.30 ish

Then the plan is to move to the hotel bar. Small conference room with beanbags and movie set up for kids (supervised by rotation of family) so hoping they will doze off!!

FinallyHere Sat 07-Apr-18 21:18:20

@Backhometothenorth ohh, that sounds lovely, hope. You have a lovely time xx

madvixen Sat 07-Apr-18 21:26:26

We didn't have a photographer at our wedding, we gave all the guests disposable cameras and got them to take shots for us. There were two guests armed with proper cameras and nearly everyone had a smart phone as well. We got some incredible shots and I have the most wonderful photo album which I treasure. The candid shots are some of the best ones as they really caught the spirit of the day

Jennyz123 Sat 07-Apr-18 21:28:52

Hi there - we had something very similar to what you have planned for similar reasons and it was great. We got married in the registry office at 11.30 and let relatives/friends take photos in the registry office garden for about 10 mins afterwards. We then drove to a local hotel where we had afternoon tea served at 12.30 (with a glass of prosecco on arrival). We milled around a bit and had a chat with the guests but were on our way to our honeymoon in Wales by 3pm! It was fantastic and I'm so glad we did it that way - neither of us like being the centre of attention and we didn't want to spend a lot of money. A lot of people have said it was their favourite wedding they've been to (although I'm sure they say that to every bride!) - very chilled, no hanging around waiting for photos and no fuss. Good luck with your plans - I think the main thing is to do whatever is right for you and don't feel like you have to do anything "because that's what people do at weddings." If it's close friends and family they'll want you to do whatever makes you happy.

EggysMom Sat 07-Apr-18 21:37:39

OP, your wedding sounds similar to ours but slightly larger - we'll only have B&G plus 4 guests! Register office is at 11:30 and I know it'll be under half an hour long (as the previous slot is 11am). We're not having a professional photographer, just a few candid shots, so I'm planning on booking a table for a meal at 12:30 smile

annandale Sat 07-Apr-18 21:47:34

Closed next year? Could you move it all forward and do it sooner?

Or look for a licensed venue? In our city we are lucky to have the Town Hall licensed as well as the register office - the Town Hall is gorgeous and has one quite small room. Or a local Guildhall - often beautiful?

MrsICantSayMyName Sat 07-Apr-18 21:48:19

We had a smallish wedding a few weeks ago a few more guests than u are having tho with family and friends. Typical tho you invite a few u either get a reply we're coming or u have the rude people like we did who didn't bother to even turn up, We Married in a church then has photos outside with groups etc where are u based? I got a photographer and she done me a good deal, for her time and she wanted a few pictures for her protfolio, after we did have a bit of a do to start with I didn't want nothing like that but got persuaded we ended up hiring a social type club and had a do there done decorations and buffet our selves also scoped in friends for music etc. Some things we got gifted like wedding car so that was a nice touch we wouldn't of bothered otherwise with one, flowers I got made by a lady who does it for a hobby & cake the same. Decoration of internet etc I hope you big day goes well whichever way you choose to spend the special day grinthanks

MaderiaCycle Sat 07-Apr-18 21:55:08

Sounds like exactly what we did.

We had lunch with family at 12noon, went back to the hotel and got ready until 2pm. Went to visit my Nanna at her Care home for an hour so she could see us in our wedding gear (she was too ill to attend anything and passed away a month later). Back to the registry office / town hall for 3.30pm. Short ceremony. Outside for photos and a short walk to the restaurant where we had dinner until about 8 and then went to the hotel bar.

Restaurant served drinks (people just ordered what they wanted rather than fizz as most of my lot don’t drink!) on arrival and we caught up after photos (only about 15-20 mins difference)

I’d say the things that made it wedding for me and others were, we had a wedding cake (made by a friend of my sister - we paid for it but cheaper than most!), flowers just for me and 2 bridesmaids and I still wore a “proper” wedding dress (£165 second hand eBay job).

It was perfect for us, relaxed, small and no fuss. Organised in about 8 weeks max.

wonderwoo Sat 07-Apr-18 22:42:03

Thank you so much for your stories... its given me confidence and made me feel all excited now!

Good news is that the registry office will be open next year now after all... so i have booked the ceremony! I am so pleased because we cant afford to pay for another venue+registrar fee and our other local registry offices are just not nice or too far away.

We plan to find a nice pub to book a table at for lunch... Somewhere with a garden is the plan. We will have an hour in between for drinks/ice creams on the beach, with a few photos and for the kids to let off steam. (If it rains we can just find a bar or go straight to the pub). Sorted! (I think).smile

Have loved reading all the stories of your wedding days. Thank you.

mrs we are in the south east.

OP’s posts: |
MrsICantSayMyName Sun 08-Apr-18 12:58:56

We are in surrey and the women was from London

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