Wedding Vows & Ceremony Discussions

Large Ceremony, Small Reception

I know this has been talked about in other discussions but they mostly seem to be church related which isn't what we are planning.

We are getting married on an island where the charter ferry holds a maximum of 100 people. The cafe on the island caters for a comfortable 50, 100 with a marquee. The island is open to the public with the last ferry returning to the mainland at 5:30pm. Our direct families add up to around 70 people + the wedding party we will total around 85-90 guests.

Our plan is to have a ceremony which anyone can attend, family, friends, co-workers etc with the idea that they will spend the day on the island with their family and friends on the beach/ island. We will have finger food and drinks provided from midday until the public ferry leaves. The ceremony will be around 3-4pm with the cake and catching up afterwards.

Once the public ferry has left, our family will gather for a seated meal and a more intimate getting to know the family time before heading home on the charter ferry.

I understand some people see this as a tiered system but I dont know how we can include everyone.

Any advice or experiences will be helpful.


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Re: Large Ceremony, Small Reception

  • Why do you need to have more people there for the ceremony if you can't really accommodate them?
                 
    InLoveInQueens[Deleted User]lnixon8mrsgram7892
  • I know this has been talked about in other discussions but they mostly seem to be church related which isn't what we are planning.

    We are getting married on an island where the charter ferry holds a maximum of 100 people. The cafe on the island caters for a comfortable 50, 100 with a marquee. The island is open to the public with the last ferry returning to the mainland at 5:30pm. Our direct families add up to around 70 people + the wedding party we will total around 85-90 guests.

    Our plan is to have a ceremony which anyone can attend, family, friends, co-workers etc with the idea that they will spend the day on the island with their family and friends on the beach/ island. We will have finger food and drinks provided from midday until the public ferry leaves. The ceremony will be around 3-4pm with the cake and catching up afterwards.

    Once the public ferry has left, our family will gather for a seated meal and a more intimate getting to know the family time before heading home on the charter ferry.

    I understand some people see this as a tiered system but I dont know how we can include everyone.

    Any advice or experiences will be helpful.


    Just invite the 90 people you've already accounted for (families and wedding party). Otherwise this will be a tiered reception, which is rude. You can't include everyone unless you change your venue or hold a simple cake and punch reception.

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    InLoveInQueens
  • holyguacamole79holyguacamole79 a taco truck in Houston member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I agree with the others. Find another venue or cut the guest list.
    InLoveInQueens
  • geebee908 said:
    My feeling is that it's not technically tiered if she hosts everyone with some kind of food and drink after the ceremony, but where the trouble comes in as I see it is when the guests leaving on the public ferry notice that not all the guests are making their way back and begin to wonder what they're missing out on.
    This. The person who's in the middle of a conversation, saying "oh, that's the last ferry! Let's walk over together," and gets a reply of "Oh, I'm staying for the family dinner tonight. They've chartered a private ferry to bring us back later" is going to be upset and feel second string. There's no way around it. 

    Particularly, it would be terrible if a co-worker was the one in that situation, because now the whole office is going to hear about it, and that's going to affect your job. 
    InLoveInQueens[Deleted User]kimmiinthemitten
  • I think you can argue that it's not tiered since the guests are hosted immediately following the event.

    That said, you're not changing the overall area of your reception which makes it very clear that there are two tiers of guests.   If you had a ceremony with a cake and punch reception in the church hall from 2-4 with a later dinner from 6-10, I could *almost* get on board.   But this is a recipe for disaster.  

    How would you possibly execute this well?   Would you ask your coworkers to make the plans to see part of your event?   Would you tell them that you don't plan to host them as well as the rest of your guests?   I can see that working out well come review time.

    Ditto for the friends.   Does the group from Wednesday trivia night make the cut for dinner while the old college friends that you haven't seen in years get to go on the first ferry?   What about the high school friend who drove you to DQ after your first breakup?   Is she your MOH but your mutual friends from choir are in the group of the first list only?   Would you come out and tell them, "I like you enough to invite you to the first part but I like Margie more so she gets to go to the whole thing.   Sorry but you guys will need to find someone else for the car pool."

    Even better, what if the groups don't realize what's going on UNTIL the wedding day?!

    Just trim the damn list and invite only those you can host for the whole thing.

    People are excited for you and may care about you but that does come with strings attached.   Those strings are that they don't want a pity / consolation invitation.   They want to be there for the entire thing.   They don't want to be invited to just a small part of it because that's all you could swing while working within your vision.   They'd rather just see you for drinks on a Friday if that's the case. 

    I'm close with plenty of people.   But there aren't any people who could invite me to only part of the event while publicly showing me that I'm not welcome to the entire thing who can then expect me to be totally fine with the plan.   
    nerdwifeflantasticlc07
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    banana468 said:


    Just trim the damn list and invite only those you can host for the whole thing.

    This. Seriously this tiny piece of advice can help solve so many issues that OP and many other brides face.

    nerdwifeInLoveInQueens
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    edited January 2016
    If you can't or won't host at the reception everyone you want to attend the ceremony, then don't invite anyone you don't want to host at the reception to the ceremony. That means cutting your guest list and/or finding a venue you can afford and inviting everyone to the whole event. There are no other polite options.
    lc07
  • So id be pretty pissed if I paid and traveled to a DW on an island, was hosted only cake and punch (very close to a meal time) and then found out I was not invited to the dinner being held in the same location right after.

    PPs are right; find another way to host everyone you are inviting. If they are traveling (which I'm assuming they are if its an island location) they deserve more than cake while your "close enough" guests get a real meal.
    InLoveInQueensOliveOilsMomlc07spockforprez
  • So id be pretty pissed if I paid and traveled to a DW on an island, was hosted only cake and punch (very close to a meal time) and then found out I was not invited to the dinner being held in the same location right after.

    PPs are right; find another way to host everyone you are inviting. If they are traveling (which I'm assuming they are if its an island location) they deserve more than cake while your "close enough" guests get a real meal.

    I'm assuming this isn't a DW. It sounds like a local reception for someone who lives near a beach with barrier islands (NC, RI, OR, WA...). Otherwise this wouldn't make any sense to me at all.
    nerdwife
  • You think people want to take a ferry to an island to see you get married and not have a reception? Even Beyoncé isn't that special.
    charlotte989875Sherbie25InLoveInQueens
  • It seems to me you gave up the opportunity to include "everyone" when you decided to book a venue and a charter ferry that could only accommodate 100.  If your list had more than 100 people on it, then you should have only been looking at venues that could accommodate that number.

    From the description, it's almost like you're treating your wedding as an open house.  You're expecting that people will be falling all over themselves to just hang out on an island all day and then stop by to see you get married and eat some cake and then be on their way.  Truthfully, since my free time is precious to me and weddings cut into my weekend when I get stuff done, I would be taking the morning to run the errands that I normally do on the weekend, hit the gym, and then take an hour to get ready and leave in time to get to the wedding about 15-20 minutes early.  Because I'm also a procrastinator, I'd probably be rushing at the last minute to buy a congratulations card along the way.  Since the wedding would be the only reason I would be there, I'd feel pretty put out to discover that I wasn't one of the special 100 and getting booted off the island so you can have dinner. 
    [Deleted User]STARMOON44InLoveInQueensYogaSandy
  • thisismynickname2thisismynickname2 City By The Lake member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    Another flaw in the plan is that you're thinking of having your larger group of guests go home on the public ferry. What if the ferry is full because other members of the public want to take it too? I just see people getting left behind.

    What's sticking in my brain is an image of Survivor and putting out the torches. Your general guests are going to have their torches put out and told to leave while other people get to stay. Please don't do the wedding equivalent of voting off the island! 

    Great advice above. 
    ________________________________


  • CMGragainCMGragain member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    edited January 2016
    Forget the island or cut your guest list.  Your guests are more important than your wedding vision.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
  • The main reason for the dinner after the reception is for the merging of the families to get to know each other.

    So we are having 3 events: Ceremony, Reception (Cake, drinks, finger food), and then later that night, a joining of the families dinner which the wedding party will be at because we are staying on the island. 

    Would that be the best way to word it? As a merging of the families dinner?

  • The main reason for the dinner after the reception is for the merging of the families to get to know each other.

    So we are having 3 events: Ceremony, Reception (Cake, drinks, finger food), and then later that night, a joining of the families dinner which the wedding party will be at because we are staying on the island. 

    Would that be the best way to word it? As a merging of the families dinner?

    Call it your rehearsal dinner.
    MairePoppylnixon8
  • banana468 said:
    The main reason for the dinner after the reception is for the merging of the families to get to know each other.

    So we are having 3 events: Ceremony, Reception (Cake, drinks, finger food), and then later that night, a joining of the families dinner which the wedding party will be at because we are staying on the island. 

    Would that be the best way to word it? As a merging of the families dinner?

    Call it your rehearsal dinner.
    But its after the ceremony and reception
  • The main reason for the dinner after the reception is for the merging of the families to get to know each other.

    So we are having 3 events: Ceremony, Reception (Cake, drinks, finger food), and then later that night, a joining of the families dinner which the wedding party will be at because we are staying on the island. 

    Would that be the best way to word it? As a merging of the families dinner?

    So you'd like us to come up with a euphemism that validates this bad idea. Just have your dinner guest list as your only guest list.
    CMGragainSTARMOON44InLoveInQueens[Deleted User]
  • Look, OP, your plans are rude.  If you do this, people will be offended.  Don't do it!
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
    STARMOON44holyguacamole79InLoveInQueenslc07
  • "Hey, Skipper!  Where's the lifeboat for this wedding?"
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
    banana468flantasticQOTC2016spockforprez
  • holyguacamole79holyguacamole79 a taco truck in Houston member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited January 2016


    This is all I hear when I read about the dinner plans.
    kimmiinthemittenbanana468
  • holyguacamole79holyguacamole79 a taco truck in Houston member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited January 2016
    Seriously, OP ..... if I traveled to an island where I had to take a ferry to attend your wedding, I'd want something a bit more substantial than finger foods.  ESPECIALLY if I found out that you had plans later that night to "merge" your families.

    If you want to have a dinner for the families to "merge", do it another time.  

    Also, your families don't have to become BFFs.  If they don't mesh, that's okay.  My parents & my ILs have nothing in common except for us.  My parents haven't seen my ILs since the wedding (my parents live 3 hours away).  

    ETA:  Why not have a brunch the next morning for your families to mingle?  
    charlotte989875InLoveInQueens
  • So this is the third forum you've asked this question on, and it seems like you've had the same response on all three....but you still want to do it, and how to word it so that you don't cause offence?! There's a reason you are struggling with how to word it politely - its rude!
                 
    kimmiinthemitten[Deleted User]adwks
  • LondonLisaLondonLisa London, UK member
    Eighth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    What happens when your colleague Susan get's talking to your aunt Jane and Jane says: "Let's head over to the dinner area". 

    Are you going to turn Susan away? What happens when she misses the ferry because she assumes she is invited to the dinner too ( I would!). 

    The reason there is no word for it is because it is rude. If you MUST do it, take the ferry back with all of your guests, and plan it at a restaurant later that night. 

    There is no polite way to say to your guests "OK, you need to leave now so we can have dinner!"


    mollybarker11lc07adwks
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