Wedding Recap and Withdrawal

The wedding went really well!

Thanks for the advice regarding host vs open bar, lawn games, bartender tipping math, and all the other things I asked about.

We had a cloudy day  (great for pictures) with occasional rain showers, but that cooled things down a bit, and the beautiful tent protected guests from the random downpour. We did end up using the lawn games (ladder ball, corn hole, hula hoops) when the weather cleared and they were a huge hit with the children, as well as some adults.

We went with a hosted bar, and that was absolutely the right call for our brunch reception. Seriously, we saved about $3K doing it that way!

We did not assign tables (even though I got massively flamed for this on another board.) People just found places to sit with old friends, and made some new ones, too. Really, if you don't want to assign seats, it will be okay.

We did not end up using the florist beads I bought. @Jen4948 (I think it was her) was right. The flowers were so gorgeous the beads just weren't necessary.

Things I would change: we had waayyy too much cake! I knew this would happen going in, but my daughter insisted on having several tiers, deconstructed, as well as a sheet cake. I ended up bringing one of the massive tiers home and serving it at church coffee hour the next day.

The pictures took forever. I have no idea how this could have been avoided, as the couple didn't want them done until after the ceremony. So they got to the reception about an hour and a half after it started. The planner handled it well by opening the hot buffet at the right time, even though the couple hadn't arrived. They were fine with it and of course, there was plenty of food.

They had a fiddler and Celtic harp, which made some very danceable music. Only no one really wanted to dance. My daughter and her H didn't really care, and no one else did either, but if you want dancing to music like this, you do need a caller. (I would say I told them so, but I'm too diplomatic.)

The event staff told me this was one of the nicest receptions they'd done in a long time, because the guests were so gracious. (I think they meant no one got wasted or rude!)
missJeanLouisethisismynickname2charlotte989875MesmrEwe

Re: The wedding went really well!

  • Congratulations to your daughter and her spouse!! I am glad everyone had a great time. :)
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
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    Sounds very beautiful. Congratulations!

    Except: I'd still make sure everyone has a place to sit by assigning tables. This doesn't force people to spend the entire reception together; they can move around. But it makes sure that nobody has to walk around asking if seats are available at tables, like in a school cafeteria where everyone saves seats and people who don't have other friends or relatives there might not be able to find unoccupied seats at tables.
  • I think the reason the no seating chart went well was because we made sure to have more seats than guests. I know that seating can cause a lot of angst (I have family members with autism, so I do get this), but people seemed to enjoy the freedom of not being told where to sit. I don't think it's wrong to have a chart, just that it's okay not to for those who are stressing about this. There's no moral imperative to do this either way.
    MesmrEwe
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    member
    edited August 7
    I think the reason the no seating chart went well was because we made sure to have more seats than guests. I know that seating can cause a lot of angst (I have family members with autism, so I do get this), but people seemed to enjoy the freedom of not being told where to sit. I don't think it's wrong to have a chart, just that it's okay not to for those who are stressing about this. There's no moral imperative to do this either way.
    I disagree. There is a moral imperative to look after your guests' needs -- physical, logistical, and emotional. That includes making sure everyone has a place to sit and not expecting them to have to walk around looking for "unsaved" seats, especially while carrying trays of foid and beverages.

    The fact that you believe not having assigned tables "went well" at your wedding does not mean that everyone else there felt the same or that anyone else should feel the same. All it means is that nobody complained to you about it. That's because it's impolite to complain to one's hosts about inadequate service, not because unassigned seating is "okay."

    There's no reason at all why anyone should feel " stress" over assigning tables. But it really isn't "okay" not to do it. While there is no "police force" that will penalize you for not doing it, failing to do it means that you haven't done the best possible job in looking after your guests' needs.
  • Jen4948 said:
    I think the reason the no seating chart went well was because we made sure to have more seats than guests. I know that seating can cause a lot of angst (I have family members with autism, so I do get this), but people seemed to enjoy the freedom of not being told where to sit. I don't think it's wrong to have a chart, just that it's okay not to for those who are stressing about this. There's no moral imperative to do this either way.
    I disagree. There is a moral imperative to look after your guests' needs -- physical, logistical, and emotional. That includes making sure everyone has a place to sit and not expecting them to have to walk around looking for "unsaved" seats, especially while carrying trays of foid and beverages.

    The fact that you believe not having assigned tables "went well" at your wedding does not mean that everyone else there felt the same or that anyone else should feel the same. All it means is that nobody complained to you about it. That's because it's impolite to complain to one's hosts about inadequate service, not because unassigned seating is "okay."

    There's no reason at all why anyone should feel " stress" over assigning tables. But it really isn't "okay" not to do it. While there is no "police force" that will penalize you for not doing it, failing to do it means that you haven't done the best possible job in looking after your guests' needs.
    I think this can be a rule by circle and possibly event size thing.   The OP did as suggested when not assigning tables which sounds like it went well.  
    maine7mobcharlotte989875MesmrEweSTARMOON44
  • I think the assigned tables varies from place to place. In my area nobody does it and I have never had a problem getting a seat, always plenty to go around. In the area of MI I"m from I have been to both and other than one case where there were not enough seats overall, it has been fine.
    maine7mobMesmrEwe
  • thisismynickname2thisismynickname2 City By The Lake
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
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    1) There's never too much cake! Haha. Glad you were able to share it later. 

    2) Pictures taking forever- they did NO pictures pre-ceremony? Usually that's how people avoid missing their own reception. Even couples that do some pictures before the ceremony (just the bridesmaids / brides' family, and just the groomsmen / groom's family) usually only take an hour after the ceremony to get the full bridal party and couple portraits done. 
    I get there can be some cost savings to not having the photographer around as long, but getting as many photos pre-ceremony really helps so you can enjoy your reception and mingling with guests. 

    But generally speaking, sounds like a lovely wedding- glad you helped them ensure everything went well! 
    ________________________________


    maine7mobcharlotte989875
  • Their reason for not doing the pre-ceremony pics was because they didn't want to see each other until the aisle walk. I doubt there was a cost savings.

    @Jen4948, we're just going to have to disagree. We totally get the moral imperative to meet our guests needs. We just don't agree that this requires seating charts. Maybe our gathering was smaller and more intimate than the kind you're thinking of, and maybe it was a bit older. That might be the difference. 

    @pegasuskat, we made sure there were plenty of empty seats, too. Assigning seats is considered kind of gauche here, too, especially for a daytime event. In the evening, which tends to be more formal, it is often done, although we have been to several benefits where you were free to pick your own table. I prefer the latter because it's more natural.
    ShesSoColdcharlotte989875
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
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    Actually, I think older guests are even more in need of not being expected to walk around looking for available seats than younger guests. 


  • It really is okay to have different opinions. And if you want to assign seats, please feel free to do so. I won't tell you you're in error or that you are violating the rules of etiquette. 
    ShesSoColdSTARMOON44
  • I agree with @thisismynickname2 - Having been the guest who didn't get cake because the B&G didn't order enough on at least four occasions, then other times when they've ordered sheet pan mini slices so there's barely a petit four size portion (that only half gets served, the others got four layers of filled deliciousness)... There truly is NO such thing as "Too much cake!"...  
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    ILoveBeachMusiccharlotte989875
  • Congratulations! you made it!
  • Sounds like a great day!
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