Wedding Reception Forum

Laidback outdoors reception with activities?

My fiance and I are having our ceremony in the sanctuary of our church in the afternoon. The reception will be held on a grass lot on the church property, next to the sand volleyball and basketball courts. Our hope was to have an outdoor family picnic kind of reception. We will be providing refreshments and plenty of covered sitting areas with tables. There will be lawn games, volleyball games, etc. We want it to be a fun time of celebration and enjoyment of each other. The plan was to arrive in our formals, do the traditions, and then eventually change into our "game clothes".

Have any ever done this? Any advice How can I keep guests occupied (and not bored) until we arrive from taking pictures?

We will not be doing any dancing or the cake cutting, but he would still like to incorporate the garter and bouquet toss. How can it be weaved into the reception without seeming out of place (with no dancing)? We don't want to seem like we're rushing things at the beginning to get the "typical wedding stuff" out of the way and into the "fun game stuff". Any ideas for a flow of events, to keep things moving but not rush through it?

Re: Laidback outdoors reception with activities?

  • I am not a fan of games at weddings.  I think if you provide good food, drinks, some music in the background....people will socialize and have a great time.  You don't need to entertain adults.

    At the very most, I could see something like horseshoes on the side.  Something people could pick up if they saw it there but does not require them to change into "play" clothes.
  • Of course, no one will be forced to participate in any activities. The "games" idea was brought about not to entertain everyone, but because we are very active people and enjoy anything outdoors.
    What if we had a scheduled game immediately following the reception? That way it would not put any pressure on guests to participate, but those who wish to may stay after and enjoy the activities. (Sand volleyball is also a tradition at our church, which is another reason we'd like to incorporate it.)
  • Are you having a DJ or an MC at all? They could just announce the garter/bouquet during a break in the games. I think volleyball is a cute idea since it is a tradition at your church. As far as changing clothes go, I have to say I haven't heard of that for a wedding, but I know from when I was in the Navy the formal ceremony for the Navy Day Ball is held in uniform, then there is a short break where you change into civilian clothes for the second half which is dancing and partying. 
  • Are guests supposed to bring a bag of clothes to change into and then do so in a bathroom at the venue or something? 

    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
  • "Scheduled" didn't seem like the most appropriate word. More of when the reception has winded down, then we'll go out ourselves and anyone who wants to join. Because some people will have left by then anyway.

    Yes, people would have to bring a separate change of clothes if they'd like and change in the restrooms.

    However, the more I ponder it and the logistics of it all, the more it seems to be a hassle and too much trouble for what it's worth. We are not wanting to do something like that in the few days before the wedding to give my fiance a few days to rest after graduation. I suppose another day, another time. :o)
  • We are doing something very similar for our day. We will be "dressed up" fr our ceremony, pics and dinner. Then, our plan is to put on our normal jeans and t shirt and kick back for a nice evening of music and drinks. We will have a few games of corn hole and horseshoes, along with a fire pit for s'mores later in the evening. The games are will not be scheduled, but will be set up for people to enjoy or not, their choice. We are both outdoorsy people who spend a lot f time camping, so this type of non formal set up works well for us. Our guests also know that this is not a formal affair, and are invited to dress comfortably
  • Having to bring a separate change of clothes is what doesn't work for me-especially the "change in the restrooms" part.  This I can't see working.  The restrooms need to be available to people who need to use the toilets, which won't be available if people are changing in the stalls, and depending on how many people there are and how many stalls there are available, it could take a very long time for people to finish changing, while in the meantime the toilets are unavailable. 

    If you want people to dress up for your wedding in the church, then I think you need to have a reception that lets people stay in those clothes. Either that or you need to forgo the church ceremony with the fancy outfits and perhaps do this at a park instead where people can wear, say, sundresses and jeans or shorts.
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