Reception Ideas

Reception Outfit Changes/Negotiating Tips

edited July 20 in Reception Ideas
Hi everyone! I have a two part question. They're a bit long, so to sum it up:

1. Outfit change locations during reception?
2. How to negotiate for more reception time?

-----------------
1.

My venue is at a historic vineyard. The venue comes with a mansion that's open to the wedding party (bridal & groom suites) 2 hours prior to the ceremony to change/take pictures, etc. They suggested we do hair and makeup prior to getting to the venue & to just change into our outfits when we get there. Once the ceremony (outdoors) starts, the mansion gets locked up and no more access is permitted. We are to take all of our things out of it and either put it in someone's car or need to figure out what to do. 

We are able to buy extra time $X/30mins, but that's just not realistic.

*Note: I fell in love with the outdoor look (mansion/ceremony site), but I really don't love the reception hall (on site). LOL, but we figured that it's really about having fun at the reception any way so......

Anyway, my concern is that my makeup/hair package comes with 3 outfit/style changes and it's very inconvenient without a proper place to store my things and get ready after the mansion locks up.

My venue told me that most brides have their bridesmaids guard the bathroom while the bride does outfit changes in the reception hall bathroom... Though they did mention that most brides they've worked with just stayed in their wedding dress all night.

I mean, I wouldn't mind doing minor hair/makeup touch ups in the bathroom, but to do outfit changes in/out of big gowns and change of hair/makeup in a small, not well lit bathroom just doesn't seem too appealing to me. (I'm also a bit of a germaphobe...)

The reception venue isn't too big (it can probably fit 15 tables?) and it being a historic building, the bathrooms (men/women) are not super fancy/updated or big. I think it's a one or two stall bathroom for each gender.

Someone suggested to me that there are beauty trailers that we can rent. Kind of like the ones that celebrities get ready in on set of a movie. I'm obviously not looking for a FANCY one, but the idea of having one of those as oppose to a small bathroom definitely tickles my fancy. lol.

I think it's also wise to mention that the closest hotel to our venue is about 15-20 mins. out, so doing changes in the hotel wouldn't be ideal due to the distance.

*Edit: The reason why I (actually the groom too, but his are just shirt changes) have multiple outfit changes is due to us having a multicultural wedding with certain traditional outfits/customs in our reception program. Our guests are mainly of the same cultures, so I'm sure it's something they're accustomed to.

This is also why I feel like we wouldn't have enough time during our reception to actually have fun and mingle with our guests.

So my questions are:
- Does anyone know where I can rent one of those trailers in the Bay Area, CA?
- Aside from the trailer, does anyone have any suggestions as to what they did at their wedding to change or what I can do in my situation?

-----------------

2.

My venue gives us 4 hours for reception. Any extra time after is $5/pp/30mins. Let's say I'm having 100 people, that means it's $1000 every extra hour! (This applies to every person and doesn't matter if it's an adult or child.) 

We are having an open bar at our wedding and our venue said if we want to close the bar after the initial 4 hours, then it's $4/pp/30mins. That's still alot! :(

4 hours really wouldn't be enough to get everything done. Our wedding is in December (it gets dark early), so our ceremony will be either 3ish or 4ishpm, then cocktail hour, then reception at 5ish or 6ish...either way, our reception would end at 9ish or 10ish depending on when we start the ceremony. We are both in our 20s so our friends love to party! We don't want to spend all the time, effort, and money planning our wedding just for it to end at super early. For that reason, we've thought of having an after party somewhere else...but why move the party when all the vendors are already set up at the venue? 

We're planning everything ourselves so we don't have a planner to help negotiate....Any negotiating experts out there that can help us out?

Thanks in advance!! 

Re: Reception Outfit Changes/Negotiating Tips

  • CMGragainCMGragain
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 25 Answers
    member
    edited July 20
    Hi everyone! I have a two part question. They're a bit long, so to sum it up:

    1. Outfit change locations during reception?
    2. How to negotiate for more reception time?

    -----------------
    1.

    My venue is at a historic vineyard. The venue comes with a mansion that's open to the wedding party (bridal & groom suites) 2 hours prior to the ceremony to change/take pictures, etc. They suggested we do hair and makeup prior to getting to the venue & to just change into our outfits when we get there. Once the ceremony (outdoors) starts, the mansion gets locked up and no more access is permitted. We are to take all of our things out of it and either put it in someone's car or need to figure out what to do. 

    We are able to buy extra time $X/30mins, but that's just not realistic.

    *Note: I fell in love with the outdoor look (mansion/ceremony site), but I really don't love the reception hall (on site). LOL, but we figured that it's really about having fun at the reception any way so......

    Anyway, my concern is that my makeup/hair package comes with 3 outfit/style changes and it's very inconvenient without a proper place to store my things and get ready after the mansion locks up.

    My venue told me that most brides have their bridesmaids guard the bathroom while the bride does outfit changes in the reception hall bathroom... Though they did mention that most brides they've worked with just stayed in their wedding dress all night.

    I mean, I wouldn't mind doing minor hair/makeup touch ups in the bathroom, but to do outfit changes in/out of big gowns and change of hair/makeup in a small, not well lit bathroom just doesn't seem too appealing to me. (I'm also a bit of a germaphobe...)

    The reception venue isn't too big (it can probably fit 15 tables?) and it being a historic building, the bathrooms (men/women) are not super fancy/updated or big. I think it's a one or two stall bathroom for each gender.

    Someone suggested to me that there are beauty trailers that we can rent. Kind of like the ones that celebrities get ready in on set of a movie. I'm obviously not looking for a FANCY one, but the idea of having one of those as oppose to a small bathroom definitely tickles my fancy. lol.

    I think it's also wise to mention that the closest hotel to our venue is about 15-20 mins. out, so doing changes in the hotel wouldn't be ideal due to the distance.

    So my questions are:
    - Does anyone know where I can rent one of those trailers in the Bay Area, CA?
    - Aside from the trailer, does anyone have any suggestions as to what they did at their wedding to change or what I can do in my situation?

    -----------------

    2.

    My venue gives us 4 hours for reception. Any extra time after is $5/pp/30mins. Let's say I'm having 100 people, that means it's $1000 every extra hour! (This applies to every person and doesn't matter if it's an adult or child.) 

    We are having an open bar at our wedding and our venue said if we want to close the bar after the initial 4 hours, then it's $4/pp/30mins. That's still alot! :(

    4 hours really wouldn't be enough to get everything done. Our wedding is in December (it gets dark early), so our ceremony will be either 3ish or 4ishpm, then cocktail hour, then reception at 5ish or 6ish...either way, our reception would end at 9ish or 10ish depending on when we start the ceremony. We are both in our 20s so our friends love to party! We don't want to spend all the time, effort, and money planning our wedding just for it to end at super early. For that reason, we've thought of having an after party somewhere else...but why move the party when all the vendors are already set up at the venue? 

    We're planning everything ourselves so we don't have a planner to help negotiate....Any negotiating experts out there that can help us out?

    Thanks in advance!! 
    To plan a wedding, first you make your budget.  Next you draw up your guest list.  Then you can look for a venue that fits your needs AND your budget.  There must be enough space, proper bathroom facilities, and a seat for every person there.  Your guests comfort and convenience trump a picturesque historic mansion.

    Have you signed the contract?  If you have, then the negotiation is OVER!  You have agreed to terms and conditions in writing.  If you have not I would suggest that you find a different venue that better suits your needs.  It doesn't matter if the venue is charming and historic if your guests are uncomfortable, and it doesn't have what you need - like adequate bathroom space for everybody.  How big is your guest list?

    I simply do not understand why you would even want to change your dress.  You only get ONE DAY to wear that beautiful bridal gown.  After that, it either hangs in your closet or you donate it to charity.  Why would you want to change clothes three times at your own wedding?  It is going to be inconvenient, take up too much time, and your guests won't care.  They might even be a bit annoyed that you are absorbed in your appearance instead of partying with them.  I would honestly side eye this.  Stay with your guests and thank them for coming to your wedding.  I think 90% of your problems are because you are doing these outfit, hair and makeup changes.  This does not relate to your guests comfort in any way, does it?

    "Doris, where's the bride?"
    "Oh, she's changing her hair clothes and makeup - AGAIN!  Can you believe it?  Let's just leave.  She won't notice."

    Does the venue allow trailers?  Better check first.

    Open bar isn't required.  You are at a winery.  Why not serve wines?  It would be much cheaper, and your guests will enjoy it just as much.

    I honestly hope you have a lovely wedding, but you are making things way to complicated.  Simple is best.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
  • edited July 20
    Thank you for your input. I understand where you are coming from in regards to staying in the same dress all day. Trust me, I'd love that too. The reason why I (actually the groom too, but his are just shirt changes) have multiple outfit changes is due to us having a multicultural wedding with certain traditional outfits/customs in our reception program. Our guests are mainly of the same cultures, so I'm sure it's something they're accustomed to.

    *This is also why I feel like we wouldn't have enough time during our reception to actually have fun and mingle with our guests.

    ---------------

    About the open bar, that's not a problem to us. We want it. I mentioned it to show the dollar difference for alcohol service or no alcohol service after the 4 hr reception time.

    Our venue has everything we want. Minus a place for the bridal party to change comfortably after they lock the mansion up. Aside from that, guests will be more than comfortable. It's actually more expensive then some of the venues we've checked out. 

    In regards to our contract, yes, it's been signed. Been signed for awhile.

    I just pulled it back up and these are the only clauses I see that mentioned anything about facility time?

    It says:

    1. RESERVATION FEE AND PAYMENTS 

    "c. Renter must meet event cost minimums as stated by Venue Name. After Contract and Reservation Fee have been received by Venue Name, the Facility Fee(s), food pricing and beverage pricing will not change. Items obtained through outside vendors (including but not limited to; chairs, linens, draping, and hard alcohol) are subject to change." 

    12. OTHER POLICIES

    "a. Event Changes: Renter must notify Venue Name 72 hours prior to the event date of any changes in the room set up or timing of the event. If the Renter wishes to purchase extra time, all arrangements, including payment, must be made 72 hours before the event begins. Extra time is based on availability. All changes must be confirmed and approved by your coordinator. Any arrangements made with another member of the event or office staff that are not assigned as the day-of coordinator, must be approved by your day-of coordinator." 

    13. ADDITIONAL PROVISIONS

    "c. Modifications: Any modification or amendment to this Contract requires the mutual consent of the Parties, and must be made in writing and signed by all Parties." 

    ------------

    To our untrained eyes, it seems as if we can still negotiate for extra time as long as my original contract stays the same. We could be wrong, though...? 
  • CMGragainCMGragain
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 25 Answers
    member
    edited July 20
    I doubt it.  It says no changes unless everyone agrees, and why would they agree?  You can pay for the extra time if you notify them in writing, but you won't get  cost break on it.  You will have to pay what the contract says.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
    holyguacamole79InLoveInQueenscharlotte989875
  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary 5 Answers
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    I agree with CMG. You signed the contract so you really have no negotiating to do now. I mean you could try but I doubt they will cut you a price break. 

    It is water under the bridge, but I think you don't have the perfect venue for you because it doesn't have changing space and the time doesn't allow you to do everything you want to do.
  • If you want extra time, pay for it. 
    InLoveInQueenscharlotte989875
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
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    As far as changing goes, I think renting a trailer is a little extreme. What if you bought two room dividers, and created a little changing room somewhere inside? You could also have a chair in there as well for makeup retouching. 

    If you want extra time, you're going to have to pay for it. Or, host an afterparty somewhere else. 

    ahoyweddingInLoveInQueenscharlotte989875
  • Sorry Charlie....negotiations happen BEFORE you sign. Once you sign, the venue has literally no incentive (and you have no leverage) to ask for any adjustments. 

    It's water under the bridge, but you really picked a venue that doesn't work for you. Pretty only goes so far. It sounds like the outfit changes and a long reception were really important to you....why did you book a venue that isn't good for those things?

    Anyway and to answer your questions:

    1) I'm not familiar with the Bay Area so can't recommend a vendor, but if it's out of your price range, ask the venue if you can pitch a tent. Yes, literally a cheap tent you can stand up in. Some of those really big ones would probably fit your whole wedding party plus your moms. If y'all don't camp, sell it on craigslist after the wedding. 

    2) You are either going to have to pay for extra time (at the rate you agreed to when you signed your name) or rent a cheaper space for an "after party". 
    *********************************************************************************

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    InLoveInQueenslovesclimbing
  • holyguacamole79holyguacamole79 a taco truck in Houston
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    I'm just curious ... which culture is accustomed to multiple wardrobe changes like this?



    Anniversary
    InLoveInQueens
  • I'm going to agree with PPs that you kind of goofed choosing this venue. If accommodating the hair/makeup/clothing changes was a key part of your receptions plans, that should have been a criteria you set when looking at venues. I agree with the suggestion to purchase a couple room dividers and set up your own changing area. 

    As far as the time, again, this should have been negotiated before the contract was signed. You probably knew going into things that 4 hours wouldn't have been enough, right? Most venues we looked at had some idea of their "base" time, and then listed the extra time per hour somewhere in the information they gave potential customers. Again, this seems like a criteria that should have been set prior to even looking at venues. We did add time to our reception, and had to pay whatever the venue's standard rate was. 

    I will add, I don't think they're required to let you make changes, or they're allowed to limit how close to the event you're able to make changes, since that would affect their staffing, etc. Of course if you extend the reception time, you'll also have to extend the contracts for your bar service, DJ/band, and any other vendors you'd plan to have at the reception. 
    ILoveBeachMusicInLoveInQueenscharlotte989875
  • Cookie PusherCookie Pusher Looking over your shoulder
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
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    I'm just curious ... which culture is accustomed to multiple wardrobe changes like this?
    Chinese and many other Asian cultures. I had 3 dresses at my wedding, though they were much more simple than what my family had originally wanted (my money, my choice).
    ~*~*~*~*~
    Seriously, why the FUCK are you stalking me?! You need to get a life and stop being obsessed with me.
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  • CMGragainCMGragain
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 25 Answers
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    edited July 21
    I'm just curious ... which culture is accustomed to multiple wardrobe changes like this?
    Chinese and many other Asian cultures. I had 3 dresses at my wedding, though they were much more simple than what my family had originally wanted (my money, my choice).
    Don't those wedding celebrations last much  longer than four hours?  I have relatives that are from the Hindi culture, and they have costume changes, too, but the wedding can last days.  I don't think it works in a western time frame.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
  • CMGragain said:
    I'm just curious ... which culture is accustomed to multiple wardrobe changes like this?
    Chinese and many other Asian cultures. I had 3 dresses at my wedding, though they were much more simple than what my family had originally wanted (my money, my choice).
    Don't those wedding celebrations last much  longer than four hours?  I have relatives that are from the Hindi culture, and they have costume changes, too, but the wedding can last days.  I don't think it works in a western time frame.
    Definitely why I thought OP goofed not taking the length of reception into consideration when looking at venues. AFAIK, most weddings in cultures that involve wardrobe changes go way longer than 4 hours, so that should have been something they asked up front.
    mollybarker11InLoveInQueenscharlotte989875
  • mollybarker11mollybarker11
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    edited July 22
    Blocking off access to the only restrooms on-site while you change outfits, hair, and makeup would inconvenience your guests tremendously each time. I think renting a beauty trailer for this purpose seems a bit over-the-top so I would find a spot elsewhere in the reception hall or use room dividers as PP suggested.

    You said this venue has everything you want minus a place to change, but the other half of your problem is that it's also lacking the time you require. I suggest figuring out the cost/logistics of the following two options for comparison:
    1. Paying for extra time at the vineyard (the time for negotiating this cost was before you signed a contract).
    2. Splitting your event across two different venues. In 4 hrs you could have your cocktail hour + receiving line + dinner + toasts + cake-cutting & dessert at the vineyard (depending on the size of your guest list), and then move to a nearby location for the dance & other cultural traditions.

    Or if you're able to fit all the cultural traditions you may be including into the allotted 4 hrs, you could end the reception there at the vineyard and then have an afterparty/dance at a nearby location. The difference is that you would simply spread by word-of-mouth that you & your FH are heading to Blank Bar and guests can feel free to join you. You wouldn't be obligated to host this because your wedding will be over, but the bar may not be able to accommodate a huge influx in patrons.

    InLoveInQueensahoyweddingernursejAustralian_girl_in_Paris
  • eileenrobeileenrob
    Fifth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
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    edited July 22
    CMGragain said:
    I'm just curious ... which culture is accustomed to multiple wardrobe changes like this?
    Chinese and many other Asian cultures. I had 3 dresses at my wedding, though they were much more simple than what my family had originally wanted (my money, my choice).
    Don't those wedding celebrations last much  longer than four hours?  I have relatives that are from the Hindi culture, and they have costume changes, too, but the wedding can last days.  I don't think it works in a western time frame.
    Ive attended Chinese and Indian (Hindu) weddings where the bride switched between an American white bridal dress and a cutural dress; all within an American timeframe so to speak.  OP, an hour for cocktails and a four-hour reception is pretty standard, and as long as there's an open bar the whole time, it definitely is a good amount of time, even for partiers. Ditto PP that if you want more time, pay for it.  

    Edited for crappy spelling 
  • lnixon8lnixon8
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    Maybe I'm just ignorant about other cultures but why does the hair and makeup have to change? Even with henna, do it in the morning- if it's done well it will look beautiful with other styles of dresses.

    Have your outfits steamed and laid out in the order you wear them. Physically changing your clothes will take what... 10 minutes? Its the hair and makeup that will slow you down and keep you from your guests.


    InLoveInQueensjustsieMyNameIsNot
  • eileenrob said:
    CMGragain said:
    I'm just curious ... which culture is accustomed to multiple wardrobe changes like this?
    Chinese and many other Asian cultures. I had 3 dresses at my wedding, though they were much more simple than what my family had originally wanted (my money, my choice).
    Don't those wedding celebrations last much  longer than four hours?  I have relatives that are from the Hindi culture, and they have costume changes, too, but the wedding can last days.  I don't think it works in a western time frame.
    Ive attended Chinese and Indian (Hindu) weddings where the bride switched between an American white bridal dress and a cutural dress; all within an American timeframe so to speak.  OP, an hour for cocktails and a four-hour reception is pretty standard, and as long as there's an open bar the whole time, it definitely is a good amount of time, even for partiers. Ditto PP that if you want more time, pay for it.  

    Edited for crappy spelling 
    Agree--ceremony (30-min to an hour), cocktail hour, and 4 hours for dinner and dancing seems pretty standard to me. That's essentially a 6 hour event. That's plenty for most people. I've also been to American weddings incorporating a cultural aspect where the bride changed into a different outfit for part of the reception or ceremony, and then changed back into her "regular" bridal gown. I've never seen more than 1 change, though. I've also never seen substantial hair and makeup changes that I noticed. 

    Why is it not realistic to buy extra time at the mansion to change during the reception? That sounds like your best bet. You can cut costs elsewhere--such as having a limited bar instead of a full bar, spending less on your dresses, not changing your hair and makeup, not having floral arrangements, etc.. 

    My suggestion is to let the official even end at 10pm, and then spread via word of mouth that you're going to be at X bar after the reception and people can come if they want. That's free for you. 
    InLoveInQueensSTARMOON44
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