Wedding Vows & Ceremony Discussions

Ceremony... during reception?

I didn't know whether to post this here or under Reception Ideas, so bear with me.  I am rolling a reception and ceremony into one.  The event schedule I have is as follows:

receive guests
drink/snack/meet guests
vows
toast from friends and family
toast from me and FI
cake cutting
more drinking/snacking/mingling and dancing

FI and I are very untraditional and not religious. We want to emphasize that our wedding is a celebration of us and our loved ones.  Has anyone every done that or been to a wedding like that?  Any tips or ideas?  I keep thinking about songs to play and it gets a little weird since we're not doing the traditional ceremony.  If it helps, we are having a Jazz Age theme.
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Re: Ceremony... during reception?

  • What is your venue for all of this? My concern would just be how to seat everyone so it works both for a ceremony and a reception. Are you planning on having tables and standing at the front of the room to say your vows? Is there a platform at all? I would just make sure all guests can see fairly well for the vows, as many relatives will probably want to take pics and whatnot during that part.

    Also what time of day is this? You mention snacking, but if you have this at a meal time, you should offer enough food to equal a meal if you aren't actually offering a meal.


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    Vacation
  • edited June 2012
    I agree with PPs.

    We may actually have a "second ceremony" [or even a third, lots of legal and religious issues with our marriage] during our reception. What we might do is recite the Jewish wedding vows. When you think about it, the vows take about as long as your typical toast, so it's not like you're interrupting the socializing of the reception any more than normal. I hate when a good conversation is interrupted.

    cutting the concerned off at the pass: Everything is being done in consultation with all religious and legal authorities concerned, and in consultation with interested family members. This is no PPD grab.
  • lgoin1lgoin1 member
    100 Comments First Anniversary
    IDK why I chose the word "snacking."  The food will be tapas style, so small and plentiful options that would be enough for a big dinner.  Our time is 6 p.m.  Open bar of course.  

    Logistics: the event is in one room, an indoor type of auditorium that is used for orchestral performances etc., so there is also a large stage.   We're looking at 150 guests in a room that can fit 400 guests.  I would like to have tables and seats for everyone, so they can be seated for the vows (which would take place at the front of the room).  

    Perhaps we should do the vows first then?  I hadn't thought about what interruptions may do to the socializing of our guests.  Thanks for the insight.  I knew there would be things I wouldn't have thought of.
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  • I think doing the vows first would be good. I think if you and FI are out greeting people beforehand, everyone will want to see and talk to you and it may be hard to steal away to get the vows started. I think it would be fine to have drinks and snacks available while guests come in, but have a definite start time for the vows and have someone announce that guests should take their seats before the vows begin. Then the rest of the night can be uninterrupted partying :)


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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_ceremony-ideas_ceremony-during-reception?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:10Discussion:d61a0ad5-8d75-482e-b42b-20417d96437fPost:537d8b5e-0c7e-411e-861e-97d4839c0150">Re: Ceremony... during reception?</a>:
    [QUOTE]IDK why I chose the word "snacking."  The food will be tapas style, so small and plentiful options that would be enough for a big dinner.  Our time is 6 p.m.  Open bar of course.   Logistics: the event is in one room, an indoor type of auditorium that is used for orchestral performances etc., so there is also a large stage.   We're looking at 150 guests in a room that can fit 400 guests.  I would like to have tables and seats for everyone, so they can be seated for the vows (which would take place at the front of the room).   Perhaps we should do the vows first then?  I hadn't thought about what interruptions may do to the socializing of our guests.  Thanks for the insight.  I knew there would be things I wouldn't have thought of.
    Posted by lgoin[/QUOTE]

    I went to a wedding like that a few years ago.  They had the tables set up and everything, and everyone had a good view of thei aisle and alter from them.  They started with the ceremony, which rolled right into toasts, and then dinner.  It worked really well. 
  • If you want to do it all kind of as one event, you could do a cocktail hour before the ceremony part.  You will need a coordinator, but toward the end of the cocktail hour the coordinator begins to circulate, saying "lgoin and Mr lgoin are ready to begin the ceremony, please take a seat."  Guests find their seats (you can even dim lights to help with this - think of it like a dinner theatre), you do the ceremony part of it, and then dinner is served after.
  • ceceibsonceceibson member
    100 Comments 25 Love Its Second Anniversary
    edited June 2012
    We're doing something similar but in 2 separate venues.  We're having a "preception" [cocktails and light apps] for an hour, then the wedding ceremony.  Both will take place in a large, outdoor public garden. The preception will be a mix and mingle type of set up, with some tables and chairs available in that part of the garden, along with gathering spaces/tables/benches/etc. throughout the garden.  The guests will then all have seats under large tents for the ceremony itself.

    After the ceremony, we'll move to a second venue about a 1/2 mile away for the reception.

    My only real "panic" is that the same caterer is doing both events.  But she assures me they can do both.
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  • We did this.

    People came early, and FI and I greeted them.  I wore a purple silk shirt and white pants, and he had on his suit.  Everyone enjoyed a cocktail party-style mingling time.  I slipped out and put on my dress, and then everyone sat down at the tables. 

    Fi and the officiant went up to the front of the room.  I came in and walked to the front of the room.  The officiant married us and declared us for the first time, etc.  Then the officiant and DH and I went over to our mothers, and had each of them sign the wedding certificate as the legal witnesses.  (We had no wedding party.)

    Then a retired minister gave a blessing to the couple and the food that was about to be served.  And we had the meal, then cut the cake and served it, and then we all mingled, and hung out for a while before it was over and everyone left.
    jmvance
  • Does the theatre have a balcony in the seat area? Maybe you could do the vows from up there so everyone can see, provided it's not too far away from the stage.
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