Finally had some time to sit down and talk wedding with FI yesterday. We have a budget and a concept now.
We also made a decision on photography: finding a pro instead of looking in our circle of friends (which has some semi-pro's) or searching a gifted student/amateur. So the hunt is open!
As for the day, it will be a pretty conventional schedule. It will be kind of different than it would be in the US, but for the anthropologists among you:
We're not sure about the timing of the civil wedding yet. In Belgium, as in many other European countries, there is a strict seperation between church and state, which in this case also means that the government doesn't recognize church weddings. Traditionally, people get married twice: first in city hall, later on (hours, days or weeks later) in church. In fact, it is prohibited to get married in church without getting married in city hall first! Belgium is mostly a Catholic country, so a religious wedding is almost automatically a church wedding.
Today, more and more people do not adhere to a certain religion, and that includes us. Some people opt for a non-religious ceremony, apart from the city hall part, because the official part is a ten minute, very boring thing. We're not sure what we're going to do yet.
But we'll probably go to city hall in the morning or the day before, with (rand & god)parents, sisters and witnesses. After that, we'll have a long lunch and a gap to fill.
From 4pm on, there will be cocktails and hors d'oeuvres for about 200 people. If we'll have a seperate ceremony, it will be before that. Around 7pm, most will leave and we'll have dinner, a barbecue in our case, with 60-80 close friends and family. From there, the party continues until dawn...
I know all of this may sound like a big etiquette faux pas (inviting people for the reception only? crazy), but I assure you that's how it's done over here :-) I'm so glad we've got ourselves a concept, it means that I can finally go ahead with planning. yay!