Pre-wedding Parties

Is this enough? RD...

So, my wedding ceremony is really small 35 at the most. I don't want a wedding rehearsal (even if we had a big ceremony), but I would like a dinner. I was thinking maybe a buffet like Golden Corral, a grill at a Japanese Steakhouse, or a dinner at my parents. Our reception is going to be a big bbq at a park, because we are thinking over a hundred for that. So, I was thinking the dinner at my parents would be too much of the reception feel. The other issue is the Japanese Steakhouse, it only holds like 10 per grill so we would be separated. I'm leaning to a buffet so it can be casual and everyone can mingle. I'm wondering if it's enough, I think they would enjoy it they are all low key. Is it enough though, since I'm not having a rehearsal? Something to get all of us together before the ceremony. Thoughts? Suggestions?

Re: Is this enough? RD...

  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    What do you mean is it enough?
    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
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  • JoanE2012JoanE2012 Exit 21 (Jersey!) member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    edited April 2014
    Hobada said:
    So, my wedding ceremony is really small 35 at the most. I don't want a wedding rehearsal (even if we had a big ceremony), but I would like a dinner. I was thinking maybe a buffet like Golden Corral, a grill at a Japanese Steakhouse, or a dinner at my parents. Our reception is going to be a big bbq at a park, because we are thinking over a hundred for that. So, I was thinking the dinner at my parents would be too much of the reception feel. The other issue is the Japanese Steakhouse, it only holds like 10 per grill so we would be separated. I'm leaning to a buffet so it can be casual and everyone can mingle. I'm wondering if it's enough, I think they would enjoy it they are all low key. Is it enough though, since I'm not having a rehearsal? Something to get all of us together before the ceremony. Thoughts? Suggestions?
    35 is not "very small" for a wedding ceremony.  Then, you plan on having a hundred + for the reception the same day?  It is rude to have a tiered wedding.  How will people feel when they realize they were important enough to be invited to the reception (and bring a gift) but not important enough to be invited to the ceremony.   The only way this is acceptable is if the ceremony is truly private with only immediate family.  35 people is not considered private.
    AddieCake
  • Hobada said:
    So, my wedding ceremony is really small 35 at the most. I don't want a wedding rehearsal (even if we had a big ceremony), but I would like a dinner. I was thinking maybe a buffet like Golden Corral, a grill at a Japanese Steakhouse, or a dinner at my parents. Our reception is going to be a big bbq at a park, because we are thinking over a hundred for that. So, I was thinking the dinner at my parents would be too much of the reception feel. The other issue is the Japanese Steakhouse, it only holds like 10 per grill so we would be separated. I'm leaning to a buffet so it can be casual and everyone can mingle. I'm wondering if it's enough, I think they would enjoy it they are all low key. Is it enough though, since I'm not having a rehearsal? Something to get all of us together before the ceremony. Thoughts? Suggestions?
    I have been to a rehearsal dinner at a Japanese Steakhouse.  Not only were we separated, in some cases we were seated with other customers who weren't part of our group.  Also, they weren't able to seat us all at the same time so some of us had to wait a really long time to get seated and some members of the group were finishing their meals as other's were ordering.  Which meant a lot of people just ransoming hanging around the restaurant waiting for everyone to be done.  

    Golden Corral (at least ones I've been to) can set you up in a private room so you are all together and don't have other people sitting with you.  
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  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    Ugh. I totally missed the tiered wedding element. NOPE.
    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
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    JoanE2012
  • Our immediate family are the only ones coming to the ceremony. I said 35 at the most, right now it's only about 20 (depends on his siblings and if all grandparents can make it) We both come from larger families, with divorced parents/grandparents. As for the reception, it's for everyone to have a good time and party with us. It's jus a big get together to celebrate, and won't have any typical traditions. We aren't registering, and ask that no one bring gifts. We have been together 5 years, and don't need/want for anything. It might sound bad, but honestly everyone looks at it as being a wonderful time to celebrate and be reunited because we moved far away a few years ago. 

    What I meant as enough is if we should do something bigger. I want our families to come together, but I don't want it to seem cheesey or be sub par. I was looking for suggestions of what would be something really nice for them. We are handling it, and we want it to be enjoyable. I just want to make sure we are doing enough for them.

    Thanks for the suggestion on the steakhouse. That's exactly what I was worried about. 
  • If your wedding celebration is essentially a family+friends party (not a reception, as that would mean receiving the guests who witnessed your wedding ceremony, which isn't entirely accurate if 65+ guests weren't invited to it) then I don't see the real need to have an additional family dinner the night before. The reception is meant to thank your guests for coming to your ceremony - you don't need an additional dinner as "something nice for them." The rehearsal dinner is meant to thank your guests for coming to the rehearsal, which you're not having.

    If you do need an additional family dinner... please rethink the buffet. The thought of Golden Corral makes me want to vomit. 

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  • On a bit of a side note: 
    Can I ask why you are only have 35 people come to the ceremony? Sounds like you want to celebrate with your guests to want to invite them to two dinners. 
  • ^ Thanks for asking.

    Actually I wanted a big ceremony with everyone. However, my boyfriend has a disease and stress is a really bad trigger. He told me that he was nervous about having alot of people there, but he knew it important to me to have something more than just us. I never went to school functions, prom, never walked the stage at graduations. Looking back now I kick myself for not doing alot of the life steps. So, we made the decision to have only immediate family, which I'm fine with because family is the most important thing to me. After that we made phone calls to everyone, because  I was worried I would hurt feelings. I have a lot of great grandmothers, aunts, cousins, and friends I didn't want to hurt. Everyone knows about my fiance, so I was so happy when everyone understood the situation. That's when we decided to have a big reception or party whatever you want to call it. It's less stress on him, not having all eyes on him and being stuck at the alter, and everyone gets to celebrate with us as well. I know it's not the typical wedding standard, but it was made for good reasons. Not because it's too much money, or I don't want people there. I want to enjoy my wedding day, and if I'm constantly worried about him it's not fair to me or anyone else.

    The reason I wanted a rehearsal dinner, or I guess it's just a get together for family is because both sides of the families haven't come together yet. Parents have met, and that's about it. Family is really important to me, and we would like everyone together to get to know each other before the big day. I don't want it to get too busy where everyone doesn't really get to properly meet or anything. I just want to make sure it's nice enough or enjoyable enough for them because we both love and appreciate our families. The reception to me is  a thank you to everyone else, for coming to celebrate in a different way and being so understanding.

    Sorry for the ramble lol
    perdonami
  • Hobada said:
    ^ Thanks for asking.

    Actually I wanted a big ceremony with everyone. However, my boyfriend has a disease and stress is a really bad trigger. He told me that he was nervous about having alot of people there, but he knew it important to me to have something more than just us. I never went to school functions, prom, never walked the stage at graduations. Looking back now I kick myself for not doing alot of the life steps. So, we made the decision to have only immediate family, which I'm fine with because family is the most important thing to me. After that we made phone calls to everyone, because  I was worried I would hurt feelings. I have a lot of great grandmothers, aunts, cousins, and friends I didn't want to hurt. Everyone knows about my fiance, so I was so happy when everyone understood the situation. That's when we decided to have a big reception or party whatever you want to call it. It's less stress on him, not having all eyes on him and being stuck at the alter, and everyone gets to celebrate with us as well. I know it's not the typical wedding standard, but it was made for good reasons. Not because it's too much money, or I don't want people there. I want to enjoy my wedding day, and if I'm constantly worried about him it's not fair to me or anyone else.

    The reason I wanted a rehearsal dinner, or I guess it's just a get together for family is because both sides of the families haven't come together yet. Parents have met, and that's about it. Family is really important to me, and we would like everyone together to get to know each other before the big day. I don't want it to get too busy where everyone doesn't really get to properly meet or anything. I just want to make sure it's nice enough or enjoyable enough for them because we both love and appreciate our families. The reception to me is  a thank you to everyone else, for coming to celebrate in a different way and being so understanding.

    Sorry for the ramble lol
    Are these people who are ever going to see each other again?  If the odds are "no" I wouldn't worry about them getting to know each other.  My mom and mil met at our rehearsal.  They took a picture together with me at the reception.  They have not laid eyes on each other since.  DH and I have been married 3.5 years and have a child.  They deliberately staggered their visits to not be here at the same time when DS was born.  
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  • Our families aren't like that we have had suppers and holidays together, but we want to include all immediate family in this.  We are both close with our respective families, so we just want to bring everyone together.  We want them to be comfortable with each other. 

    Other suggestions for the dinner would be nice. Even something outside the box, instead of a restaurant. 
  • Well, given the options I would vote for a family dinner at a family member's residence or the Japanese steakhouse idea. I agree with a PP on avoiding the buffet though.

     
  • What you're wanting to host sounds more like just a family or welcome dinner than a 'rehearsal' dinner, since there won't be a rehearsal. 

    Since it sounds like you want to host it so people can talk and mingle, a Japanese restaurant with the teppanyaki seating may not be the best for that. A restaurant FI and I really like has both teppanyaki and dining room seating. You can still order the other items, you just wouldn't see them get made. If you're just wanting good food and conversation, I would suggest looking for something like this. Maybe you could even reserve a private room?

    Golden Corral does have more options for types of food, but buffets freak me out. Food can be sitting out for God-only-knows how long, and the quality isn't always the best.

    Having it at a family member's house could be nice if they could accommodate all of the people you want to have there. I would ask you to consider, however, who will cook and serve the food. Would it be your parents? If so, they wouldn't have as much time to talk and mingle with guests, which is what your goal seems to be.

    FI and I are also hosting a welcome dinner since most of our guests will be traveling for our wedding. We reeeeeeealllly like Pho, but are not sure everyone else would be down for that. We'll all figure it out! =)

  • Hobada said:
    Our families aren't like that we have had suppers and holidays together, but we want to include all immediate family in this.  We are both close with our respective families, so we just want to bring everyone together.  We want them to be comfortable with each other. 

    Other suggestions for the dinner would be nice. Even something outside the box, instead of a restaurant. 
    Do you mean your family and his family have celebrated holidays all together?

    I am close to my family.  DH is close to his family.  His family is extremely close to each other.  But there are very limited circumstances under which his family and mine would ever be in a position to spend time together.  Those would be if DH ever gets our child baptized and possibly at our child's graduations/wedding.  There is nothing wrong with getting them together just don't focus on them all becoming friends if there really aren't going to be future opportunities for them to get together.  They may want to spend time talking to their own family rather than making friends with someone they never plan on seeing again.  In fact that is exactly what I saw happen at an event like you are planning.  The two sides pretty much stuck to the people they already knew.

    As for ideas of what to do:

    We did our rehearsal dinner at an Irish Pub.  They put us in our own area.  Prior to the dinner we went over their menu and picked out five items.  The restaurant then printed these up as a menu for our guests to order from (this was the policy of the restaurant for events held there).  This helped us control the price a little because we didn't pick the most expensive items.  

    A friend of mine had a cook out at a park.  Her's was just a get together and didn't have a rehearsal to go with it.  
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