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some advice is needed....

For my wedding, my FI and I were thinking that we would have the wedding at 2:30 pm and then after we would do our pictures. The wedding is going to be in our yard so while we are doing pictures, we are going to have like a cocktail hour in the house so that no one is just sitting around. We were thinking that the reception would start at 5 and that it would be about 2 1/2 to 3 hours long. We dont really want to do a dance or anything like that, but after the reception, we are going to have some of the people (anyone who wants) come back to our house and we will have drinks and a fire. I was telling my mom this and she said that it is stupid for us not to have a dance. She says that the dance and the drinking is the only thing that people even come for and that no one really enjoys the wedding but the people getting married. Also, she says that it would be a HUGE dissapointment if people drove to come to the wedding and then they didnt get drinks and a DJ. Me and my FI are paying for this out of our pocket and I reminded her of that. She just said to spend less on the dress and those details and more on what people are going to want. I look at this as my day and I would rather have the dinner at the reception and then just go back and hang out with the people in a more casual way. Is it really that important to have a dance that I should give up other things to make everyone happy? I have never heard anyone complain about having a wedding to go to because I mean no one has to come. Maybe i am just not thinking about this the right way, but I thought it was my day...not my moms...I would really like to know what people think. Thank You!

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Re: some advice is needed....

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    I'm confused. The wedding is at your house but the reception is elsewhere?
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    very few of my family wedding have had dancing. we always have a good time.
    we wont have dancing until the after party. there isnt room in the reception location for dancing and tables for people to eat at. we will  move the tables and dance there for the after party,  most people who wont want to stay for the afterparty arent into dancing or djs.
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    I don't understand why the wedding is at 2:30- I assume will be over at 3, and then you will leave your guests at your house for 2 hours before the reception. Gaps suck. Cocktail hours should be an hour, not 2 IMO.

    Dancing and drinking are not the point of a reception, but they sure make it fun, especially is they have been at a cocktail (2) hour at your house. Is that dry too? If so, I'd count that as the reception and just go home.. if I were a guest.

    No one HAS to come, but isn't the point of in inviting them that you actuall want them there?
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    If I am understanding, you are inviting people to stay at your house after the ceremony for a cocktail hour and then after the reception for an after party?

    What are you serving at the cocktail hour?

    I think it is fine to not have a dance.  Plenty of people do that.  Just don't expect people to stay as long and don't expect everyone to show up for the bonfire part, especially if they are dressed up.  I would maybe warn people so they can bring a change of clothes or something.   The dance and drinking are not what all people come for but it is what people stay longer at receptions for.
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    matzke227matzke227 member
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    edited February 2010

    The wedding is going to be at our house and the place that we are doing the reception is going to be about 15 minutes from the house. Also, the reason that we had such a gap between the wedding and reception is that is what the photographer said is needed for pictures, but we are most likely going to pay a little more and have 2 for those pictures. That way there will be a smaller gap between- about an hour or so... The people that are going to the wedding- grandparents, aunts and uncle, ect... are most likely not going to stay for the after party and that is fine. We are just going to put it on the invitation and that way everyone will know. I am not sure what we are doing for the cocktail party..any suggestions? I have never been to one before....

    Thanks everyone!

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    It's perfectly fine to skip dancing, especially for a shorter reception like you are planning. 

    I do agree with the others that it would be best to minimize your gap in some way.  We did all of our group pictures in 30 minutes.  My DH was in a wedding where they spent 1 1/2 -2 hours taking photos, during which time I was by myself at the reception.  It's annoying.  You might want to discuss with your photog ways to minimize time spent taking photos, and if that doesn't work, plan for your reception to begin without you and then you and the others taking photos will arrive late.

    For the cocktail hour, you could have drinks and snacks served, and maybe some music playing (ipod hooked up to sound system?).   There's only so much you can do with a cocktail hour, which is why it is important to keep it to around an hour rather than 2. 
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    You could always do part of your pictures after the ceremony, and then while the guests are eating or whatever you could step out and do some more pics.  Try to keep your gap as short as possible.  Dont put yourself and your pictures as more important than your guests comfort.

    If you still have to keep the gap that long, then serve lots of food.
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    I'm sure people will find a way to enjoy themselves over dinner.  If dancing isn't your thing, I don't think it has to be part of the reception - though I agree that a two-hour gap might get old.  The drinks and fire at the end of the evening sound like a fun way to end your day.
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    Do you and your FI not want to see each other before the ceremony?  DH and I did so we could take all the pictures before and then we didn't have any gap.  We did a little reveal and then were able to get a few minutes to ourselves which was nice and the day had a nice flow to it.

    Ditto Goheels on the cocktail suggestions.  I've never heard of one longer than an hour, though.
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    Thanks everyone!!! I am going to talk to the photographer and make it so that the gap is shorter- we may have two people come instead of one. Also, thanks for the information on the cocktail hour- we are going to put together some music and serve drinks and food.
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