Wedding Invitations & Paper

Notifying Guests of Location Change

We are planning to get married outside at 2:30 pm, with the reception at 6:00 pm at a location closer to the hotel. If weather prevents us having an outdoor ceremony, we plan to have the ceremony at 4:30 pm at the same location as the reception. If this happens, how do we notify 250 people that the venue has changed? Should we ask for their email on the response card or have them contact the resort?


  • The ceremony site is 30 minutes away from the hotel and reception. Should the weather be nice, we would like the time to take pictures without rushing back to the reception. If we need to do the ceremony inside, it will be at the reception site so we won't need the extra time to travel and won't take as many pictures.
  • This is a terrible plan. Not only is it a location change, but a time change, too. This is a recipe for disaster. Plan you start time with no gap; it can be outside but have an indoor Plan B at the same location. 
  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs member
    Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers

    The ceremony site is 30 minutes away from the hotel and reception. Should the weather be nice, we would like the time to take pictures without rushing back to the reception. If we need to do the ceremony inside, it will be at the reception site so we won't need the extra time to travel and won't take as many pictures.

    You need to make a commitment to one location or the other, regardless of weather.  You are welcome to take pictures, however if it creates any gap in time, you must offer a comfortable and hosted event for your guests.
  • LondonLisaLondonLisa London, UK member
    Eighth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Wait, so you want your guests to be ready at 2:30 in case there is at outdoor ceremony, and then wait around for a 4:30 ceremony, all dressed up, if there is rain? Or else you want your guests to wait around for several hours in between your ceremony and reception? 

    Not only is this rude, but from a selfish standpoint, nothing will shut your party down with grumbling guests and negative gossip then making them sit around for hours. It's not fun, beyond  rude and no one likes it.

    Why not have a marquee on standby for your outdoor event in case of bad weather and hold the ceremony so it ends right before your cocktail hour. 
  • There is no polite way to word something so incredibly rude.  You are letting your wedding vision and pictures be more important than your guests comfort and convenience.
    Change your plans to something sensible.
  • CMGragainCMGragain member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    edited May 2017
    OP, I have another option for you.  If being married at a beach with pictures is SO important to you, have a private ceremony with immediate family members ONLY, and then invite your guests to your reception later in the day.  This is not a popular choice, but it is etiquette acceptable.  Be prepared for more declines because people may not be willing to travel just for a reception.  On the other hand, guests might be relieved that they don't have to walk across a hot sandy beach to get to your ceremony site.   Personally, I couldn't manage that, and I would have to decline for that reason.  Large wedding parties are not appropriate for a private ceremony, so if you have already asked a gaggle of bridesmaids, you would need to cancel your plans and re-plan your wedding.
  • OurWildKingdomOurWildKingdom in the 216 member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    You can take your pictures before the ceremony at your outdoor location (weather permitting, of course) and then have your ceremony at a time that wouldn't cause a gap.
  • I agree with PPs, there is no polite way to do this. It is fine to have an indoor option at the SAME location and the SAME time as originally planned (we had a plan B indoor option for our outdoor ceremony).

    If you bump your ceremony up to 4:30 no matter what, you can take your pictures before (outside if it's nice, at another location if it's not). I know it's not what everyone wants, but we did all of our pictures before the ceremony and it was SO nice to just relax once the ceremony was done. You could also have a private (immediate family only) ceremony outdoors earlier in the day, and then a reception with all of your guests at 6. 

    I totally understand the feeling of hoping the weather will cooperate...all of our picture locations were outside and so was our ceremony. We had our fingers crossed for weeks for good weather! That being said, our plan B option didn't require any additional planning on our guests' part.  

    Putting your guests in limbo until the day of the wedding will not go over well at all. What if it's only partly rainy, or a chance of rain? Will you try to send a mass text that day, or leave people guessing how bad is "bad enough" to switch locations and times? If your reason for switching is that the weather is bad, you're going to have your guests wait around for two additional hours, all dressed up, and find a new location? Personally, I don't check my email on my phone on the weekend, so asking for an email address may not help you reach everyone the day of. 
  • OP, if I were coming from OOT to attend your wedding at 2:30pm, depending on how far away your wedding location is, there is a chance I would be flying in. Which would mean, for a 2:30pm wedding, there is a chance (depending on distance from airport, how many flights from Boston there are to said airport, etc.) I could be paying extra to fly in the night before, spending extra $$ on another night in the hotel and another night to board my dog. This is the type of traveler I am - I want to make sure I am not rushing like crazy to get off a flight to make it to your wedding on time. 

    If I then found out that, due to weather, the wedding was now going to be held at a different venue, TWO HOURS later, I would be pissed - because I probably could have flown in the day of the wedding without worrying about being late/missing the ceremony due to potential unforeseen flight delays. 

    You cannot do this to your guests. It's poor planning. Have a first look, take your photos at 2:30 at the outdoor venue you would have gotten married at, and then have your ceremony at 4:30pm. Don't change plans last minute.  
  • Image result for horrible this idea gif

    There is no good way to change a location the day of (or even the day before) and adequately reach 250 people. There is literally no way to do it. Not by email. Not by text message. Not by phone tree. Someone isn't going to get the memo. Someone's going to think it's "nice enough" and go to the wrong location. And they're going to be pissed at YOU because you're the ones responsible for hosting an event in which people know the when and where (at a bare minimum). 

    I would suggest one of the following options:

    1) Book a tent. You can always cancel it the day of if the weather looks great. Will you spend some money doing this? Yes, but it's an insurance policy. We did this for our outdoor wedding and the peace of mind cost us only a few hundred dollars. 100% worth it.

    2) Move the ceremony to the reception location.

    No matter what you do, eliminate your unhosted gap. You CAN bake in time to take pictures IF you host a cocktail hour. So your guests head to the reception and start appetizers/drinks while you take photos. If you don't think that's enough time to take pictures, then do a first look. And/Or take all bridal party and family pics ahead of time. 

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