Wedding Reception Forum

Beach in April?

My fiance and I are planning on getting married on April 25th, 2015.  I have a summer home in Plymouth, MA that is a very special and sentimental location for me (spending every summer of my life there, it is where we got engaged, etc.) I would really like to incorporate it into some facet of the wedding.  Our combined families are too large to have the actual wedding or reception there.  My idea was to have a lunch reception at a rented venue and then invite everyone to my house after for a casual dinner BBQ (knowing that only close family and friends would probably go).  However, my parents and grandparents are concerned that it would be too cold, the house is on a cliff on the water so it is typically about 10 degrees cooler than the average temperature.  My fiance is concerned that more people than we anticipate will go and it will end up being too small.  With this being a more causal dinner I am not too concerned with more people going but I am concerned with people being cold or uncomfortable. I was planning on getting heaters and giving out pashminas. But would it be too cold to be outdoors for dinner in April? What other ways could I incorporate my beach house into the wedding? Any suggestions or thoughts are much appreciated!!! 

Re: Beach in April?

  • Move your wedding date to summer? If your families (who are used to the area) are telling you it's too cold, it's probably too cold. What temperature are we talking?
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    PrettyGirlLost
  • We don't exactly have the option of moving the date. Finace is a medical student with a very demanding schedule and this date provides the most flexibility - believe me that date has been discussed about 1mil times.  The average temp for this time of year is about 60F. 
  • My fiance and I are planning on getting married on April 25th, 2015.  I have a summer home in Plymouth, MA that is a very special and sentimental location for me (spending every summer of my life there, it is where we got engaged, etc.) I would really like to incorporate it into some facet of the wedding.  Our combined families are too large to have the actual wedding or reception there.  My idea was to have a lunch reception at a rented venue and then invite everyone to my house after for a casual dinner BBQ (knowing that only close family and friends would probably go).  However, my parents and grandparents are concerned that it would be too cold, the house is on a cliff on the water so it is typically about 10 degrees cooler than the average temperature.  My fiance is concerned that more people than we anticipate will go and it will end up being too small.  With this being a more causal dinner I am not too concerned with more people going but I am concerned with people being cold or uncomfortable. I was planning on getting heaters and giving out pashminas. But would it be too cold to be outdoors for dinner in April? What other ways could I incorporate my beach house into the wedding? Any suggestions or thoughts are much appreciated!!! 
    That doesn't make any sense.  You need to plan for 100% attendance.  If it's too small to hold 100% of your guests, then it's too small to use.



    doeydoSKPMPrettyGirlLost
  • I'm sorry! You are right. Let me clarify - it would be too small for a formal reception (sit down dinner, dance floor, DJ etc).  However, for this casual after party we would be doing a mix of high top and bigger low tables with seats for only about 75% of the invited guests, music from an iPod as well as access to both the main house and guest house in case anyone wants to go inside for bathrooms - more comfortable seating etc. Think cocktail reception/cookout. 
  • I think that 60 degrees next to the ocean is too cold. I'm from Ohio so it gets really cold here and in the spring when it hits 60 degrees everyone is in shorts; however, the air coming off the ocean will be really cold because the water is still really cold. I think your guests will be uncomfortable outside next to the ocean at that temperature.
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  • This year around that time it was about 75 degrees, so nice days can definitely happen but it is rare. I was definitely going to rent heaters. I don't have much experience with them, does anyone know if they work well or would make much difference in this situation?
  • Wait - so 25% of your guests have to stand or leave the reception area? You need a seat for every guest, even if it is a mingling, casual wedding. 

    I also think humid 60 degrees is way too cold. I don't think heaters will work well unless everyone is in a really cramped area or you have a very small wedding.
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    doeydoPrettyGirlLost
  • I realize this place means a lot to you and you want to incorporate it into this large event in your life. But it's simply not suited for your wedding unless you drastically cut your guest list so that you could provide everyone with a seat. It's not ok to only have seats for 75% of your guests. Even if you want to have a cocktail reception, it's against etiquette to have seating for less than 100% of your guests.

    Planning a wedding/reception at a private residence is a headache even if it's the perfect time of year, the property has a shitload of parking, multiple bathrooms, and a large enough space where seating can be set up for 100% of guests. EVERYTHING is a la carte and you have to coordinate tons of vendors. I know it seems like it'd be a dream wedding now, but I can guarantee it'll be a complicated headache and probably not turn out as you imagine. (I'm really sorry to be the negative nancy and the rain cloud over your parade - I really don't mean to be. But you have to think about it objectively. Emotions removed.)

    Could you use the summer house for your honeymoon if you want to incorporate it into the wedding? What about your rehearsal dinner? That'd be a much smaller crowd.
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    doeydoohannabelleSKPMPrettyGirlLost
  • I realize this place means a lot to you and you want to incorporate it into this large event in your life. But it's simply not suited for your wedding unless you drastically cut your guest list so that you could provide everyone with a seat. It's not ok to only have seats for 75% of your guests. Even if you want to have a cocktail reception, it's against etiquette to have seating for less than 100% of your guests.

    Planning a wedding/reception at a private residence is a headache even if it's the perfect time of year, the property has a shitload of parking, multiple bathrooms, and a large enough space where seating can be set up for 100% of guests. EVERYTHING is a la carte and you have to coordinate tons of vendors. I know it seems like it'd be a dream wedding now, but I can guarantee it'll be a complicated headache and probably not turn out as you imagine. (I'm really sorry to be the negative nancy and the rain cloud over your parade - I really don't mean to be. But you have to think about it objectively. Emotions removed.)

    Could you use the summer house for your honeymoon if you want to incorporate it into the wedding? What about your rehearsal dinner? That'd be a much smaller crowd.
    Brilliant idea! You could always do pictures on the property as well.
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  • The rehearsal dinner is a great idea!

    But I also wanted to clarify that this is 100% NOT a reception, by any means. I would never provide less than ample seating if it were. This event would be after the reception with my father and uncle cooking hamburgers on the grill with the slight possibility of hiring a caterer just for ease. And of course this would be well advertised to the guests. The venue we are considering for the reception would have us leave by 5pm and we would invite them to this after event for around 6pm. We would extend the invitation to every guest as a courtesy but the reality of who would go is (practically speaking) only about 25% (40-50 people) of the guests. Most of the guests are either elderly or have small children and the prospect of going out after the wedding does not appeal to a lot of them (having asked opinions).  

    Other idea - would brunch the next day work? 
  • I think the weather is too risky.  In addition to temperature, rain would be a very real possibility--what would your rain plan be?  I am somewhat familiar with the area and would not plan to do an outdoor event like this.  

    How far is your summer home from the reception?  I would be nervous about not being able to accommodate 100% attendance at the after party, even if you don't think you will get it.  
  • Well there would be a tent and tented walkways from the tent to both houses.  I have been to rainy weddings in a tent before and did not find them unpleasant.  I think it is pretty obvious that I am desperately pulling at strings to include the house :- ( 

    The reception is about a 15-20 minute drive from the house.  
  • I think either the rehearsal dinner or a morning after brunch would be the perfect alternative. Your guest list for each would already be smaller. I would make sure that all guests could be accommodated indoors if it really is cold that day. And definitely chairs for everyone! If you want an after party the evening of the wedding, I'd find a bar or restaurant that could accommodate that. You might be too tired from the day's events, though.
  • I think either the rehearsal dinner or a morning after brunch would be the perfect alternative. Your guest list for each would already be smaller. I would make sure that all guests could be accommodated indoors if it really is cold that day. And definitely chairs for everyone! If you want an after party the evening of the wedding, I'd find a bar or restaurant that could accommodate that. You might be too tired from the day's events, though.
  • The more I listen to you all and the more I think about it, I think that brunch might be the way to go! Definitely with a tent and heaters - with a smaller group (75 people) it should be ok. There is room in my house for that many people as well so I think I do have all my bases covered. 
  • I think that sounds like a much better plan!
  • I like the ideas of either rehersal dinner, brunch or photos (or all of it) at the house. It would be a great way to incorporate the love of the home you have into your special time. Less stress for you too which is always a good thing. If you host brunch or rehersal dinner, consider finding a caterer who can come in to prepare & serve for you so that you can enjoy more time with your guests.
  • I think a brunch with tents and heaters is definitely the way to go. I'm an East Coaster too and the weather is super unpredictable in April. You could end up with a very cold and rainy day! I definitely wouldn't want to sit outside for that, especially later in the day (after 5pm). 
  • I think a brunch with tents and heaters is definitely the way to go. I'm an East Coaster too and the weather is super unpredictable in April. You could end up with a very cold and rainy day! I definitely wouldn't want to sit outside for that, especially later in the day (after 5pm). 

    From the opposite coast, but agree absolutely. April is an unpredictable bitch. It might be warm and 75' but equally likely to be damned cold. And a few weird times, I've actually seen snow on the daffodils. It's rare, but can happen.
  • Your revised plan, with a brunch with tents and heaters sounds great.  I agree that you need to have a plan B in case of inclement weather (I hope it doesn't happen but you never know).
  • My fiance and I are from NY and we are having a wedding WEEK in Rehoboth Beach, DE for the same reasons... it is a special place to both of us and we go every summer on vacation.  We are having a ceremony and reception for about 50 people (just close friends and immediate family) while we're down there and coming back to have a big blow out party at home the next week for everyone else we want to celebrate with.  Have you considered doing something like that?
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