Budget Weddings

vow exchange AT the reception

My fiance and I are looking to just do a small vow exchange at our reception.  We are a laid back couple (with this being his second wedding) and want it to be a very intimate affair with friends and family. We already have our reception spot picked out and this can be accommodated, I am just running the scenario in my head. Has anyone ever done this?  We were thinking of doing it about a half hour into our reception with a friend as the officiant.  

Re: vow exchange AT the reception

  • Well normally vows (ceremony) would be done before a reception begins. My concern is that if you do it after the reception has started, you're competing with people eating for attention and if there are servers that will also cause a distraction. I have gone to weddings where a short ceremony was done at the reception hall inside the same room the reception was held. Chair were set up on the dance floor (you could also have guest seated at their tables), the ceremony was held, then cocktail hour while chairs were put back around tables & then the reception portion began. They were very nice weddings.

  • Thanks for the input!  It would be possible to arrange for the ceremony to be done before the actual reception begins, so that will probably be the route we take.  The reception itself is more of a cocktail reception, with there being a small buffet of food and open bar.  I guess that is why I thought we could have it shortly after the reception began.
  • peachy13peachy13 in my cubicle, doing very important work
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
    I would communicate with your reception venue that you are interested in doing your ceremony there as well. I know with my venue, we are having the ceremony at the same venue but in a different room, and there is also a ceremony fee. We can choose whoever we want to officiate, and it's going to be pretty short and sweet (30 mins) and then everyone will head to the main party area for cocktail hour and reception to follow.
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  • I agree with PP. Definitely talk to the coordinator at the venue you picked. My future BIL and his wife had their ceremony and reception all at the same place. It took not even 20 minutes. Afterwards, they went off and took a few pictures during cocktail hour. I feel like it would be best to do it in the beginning rather than having to try to get everyone's attention 30 minutes into the reception. 

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  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    People do this all the time. Just do it at the beginning, not in the middle.
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
  • Before the 1970's most weddings were held in churches, and often receptions immediately followed in the fellowship hall.  This is a very traditional approach.  Nothing wrong with it.
  • Thank you everyone for your comments! I will definitely talk with the coordinator and make it happen at the beginning. I appreciate all the input!!
  • This is basically what we're doing. We're having a super simple, short ceremony that will be over in 10-15 minutes, and drinks/buffet will be available immediately afterwards. Guests will be at their dinner seats for the ceremony.
  • I was at a wedding where people were seated at tables in a restaurant (the whole restaurant was booked), and the wedding happened and then people got food. I enjoyed it and see no problem with something like that.

    I tend to think having the ceremony first thing without stopping the whole reception to do it would work better than waiting half an hour to do it.

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