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Different Ideas of Etiquette

Long story short, I moved to Holland on a temporary work contract. Now, there's a ring, a dog, and a mortgage -- not so temporary anymore. We are trying to settle on a venue location, and I went to have a second walk through of our # 1 choice this morning. Apparently the Dutch have a very different idea of wedding etiquette than what I've gleaned from lurking on the etiquette board here.

Some of it is cultural, which is totally fine. They do a hardcore tiered guest list. The simplified version is having "day guests" (ceremony, toast & cake reception, dinner, party) and "party guests," (just party) but I've also heard of people being invited to part of the day events, having to leave because they aren't invited to the dinner, and then coming back for the party. Whatever, it's cultural, and we're definitely not going to do that. Plus we get treated really nicely by venues because it means we're looking at spending about twice as much!

However, during the walk through today it became abundantly clear that they were going to clear out all but 20 chairs during the party portion of the day. When I told the guy this was a big problem, he looked at me like I'd grown two heads. He's apparently never tried to dance four hours straight in heels!

His response was infuriating. "Well, we find that the more seats you offer, the more people will sit." So? Isn't that an indication that they want to sit, and should be able to?! I'm hosting a wedding, not a dance marathon. I talked to him about opening up some more space where we could ideally offer much more seating, and he said that we want the party to be as compact as possible. I guess it forces the guests to dance....? My idea of a successful wedding is NOT a raging party, it's everyone having a good time with a steady flow of good food and drink.

Sucks because this was our #1 pick, but I think I'm going to return to the drawing board. FI made a great point in that our guests aren't really our age, and the ones that are aren't big partiers. When we go out with friends it's at a pub or a day on the beach with lots of games. I'd initially dismissed the idea of a beach wedding because there are so many beautiful castles and estates, but maybe it's just way too formal for us!

Re: Different Ideas of Etiquette

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    I don't understand what he's not understanding. Do Danish partygoers typically dance and stand the entire time? That sounds pretty stiff to me, but then again, I'm getting married on the beach specifically because the idea of a formal wedding was offputting to me, so I might be biased.
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    That does sound really odd OP!  You're not hosting at a dance club, sheesh. 

    Just keep focusing on doing what's best for you and your crowd; the right venue will come along. 


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    I wonder how the Danish dance .
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    I don't understand what he's not understanding. Do Danish partygoers typically dance and stand the entire time? That sounds pretty stiff to me, but then again, I'm getting married on the beach specifically because the idea of a formal wedding was offputting to me, so I might be biased.

    I wonder how the Danish dance .
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but they'd be Dutch, not Danish, right? 

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    I don't know I just said it because alexandducky412 referred to it as so. I never Googled it. Did you?
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    I don't understand what he's not understanding. Do Danish partygoers typically dance and stand the entire time? That sounds pretty stiff to me, but then again, I'm getting married on the beach specifically because the idea of a formal wedding was offputting to me, so I might be biased.



    I wonder how the Danish dance .

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but they'd be Dutch, not Danish, right? 
    you're right smarty pants.
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    I was just under the impression that people from the Netherlands were referred to as Dutch, and people from Denmark were referred to as Danish. I've shared a work environment with several Danish people, and they were from Denmark. 

    I did just run it through the googlemachine, though, just to be sure, and from a cursory glance yes, people from Holland are called Dutch. 

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    I got schooled.
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    I got schooled.

    Eh, It was completely off topic, just something that made me go
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    lol

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    My dad and his entire family are from Amsterdam.  They party hard.  Weddings can be like dance parties, especially if the couple is young.  
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    Thanks guys, I knew this was odd, but the venue guy had me questioning this.  That guy in general has been getting on my nerves.  He seems quick to ignore things that I tell him are very important to us, but in other instances he comes off as a big suck up -- it just comes off as extremely insincere when he's trying to talk us out of things we've explicitly said are important.  I have the proposal from him now, and FI is going to touch base with him on a few of our issues.  They can hash it out in Dutch.  Right now I'm hoping that a different location pans out, I don't want to deal with this guy!

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    ....If you are getting bad vibes I would search elsewhere.  You don't want to deal with shitty people when you will probably already be stressed.
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    Most of the advice I give is from USA guides to etiquette.  Other countries and cultures have different customs, so I don't feel qualified to advise on those.  I say, when in Rome......  Is there a standard etiquette guide in Dutch that you can check?
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    1) If the venue coordinator makes you uncomfortable and argues with you about your choices, I would not use that venue. Would it still be your #1 pick if it's a PITA to work with? Probably not. 

    2) Most of my family is Dutch. Granted, it was my grandparents who crossed, so we're a couple of generations into American culture, but not one person in my family has done a tiered reception or not provided enough chairs. Nobody.

    Look, you decide what's important to you. Who gives a shit if your venue coordinator thinks it's weird? Are you paying him to judge your choices? Or are you paying him to deliver what you ask for? Remind him it's the latter. 
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    Saw another venue today, the first beach one. Guy was dismayed that I wanted seating for everyone during the ceremony, because it "would look weird" and if I want seating like that we should get married in a church. FI made it clear that I wasn't going to change my mind on this (guy was going into a long drawn out speech because he wanted to "make me understand"). Gah.
    CMGragain said:
    Most of the advice I give is from USA guides to etiquette.  Other countries and cultures have different customs, so I don't feel qualified to advise on those.  I say, when in Rome......  Is there a standard etiquette guide in Dutch that you can check?

    I've found some articles, there's a website similar to TK that I've signed up for, and find it useful for things like local vendors and contact venues. Their etiquette articles, however, seem to be more elements of a wedding. Like, the bride having a moment with her father at the alter (he doesn't often "give her away"), and toasting with proseco. The article ended with "let us know what etiquette rules you're going to follow!" Not exactly the same thing! I also found etiquette on invitations that included how to address invites to only one half of an established couple for instance if you're inviting colleagues but not their partners. A lot of my family and extended family will be making the journey from the US and Canada, and I want to make sure they're hosted and treated properly, and to standards on par with what they would expect, if that makes any sense.
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    I'd keep looking if neither of the venues you've looked at so far will accommodate you on the number of chairs you need during either the ceremony or the reception.
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