I've posted on this elsewhere, but I would like more feedback so I wanted to post this question where it belongs - in the etiquette boards.
We are getting married next year. We found a fabulous venue that only has two down sides. One is parking, which is a discussion for another time. The other is that there's no good spot to take pictures. Nothing's perfect, so we figured we can work with this.
Our work-around, as it currently stands, is to leave the venue (both ceremony and reception on the same site) and drive about 10 minutes to the old town area, with cute brick streets and adorable row houses and do photos there. But because we're going off-site, we wanted to ourselves enough time to do photos and include travel time.
Cue the cocktail hour-and-a-half idea.
In our wedding there will be no gap, no matter what. The ceremony is on a green space right by the bay, and then the guests walk about 15 feet to the docks, which will be set up for cocktail hour. We will have a full open bar with passed wine to keep the lines at the bars down, passed hors, and a mac and cheese bar. There will be chairs and tables as well as standing cocktail tables. Guests can wander along the docks or around the building. We will be playing music. Cocktail will begin at 4:30 and run until 6, since we want to be courteous to the kids or older folks who prefer to eat earlier.
My question for the group is this: is this hour-and-a-half cocktail hour a breach of etiquette? We don't want to do pictures beforehand because my FI REALLY doesn't want to see me until the ceremony. Since all he's asked for up until this point is not to see me until the ceremony, to have an outdoor ceremony, and to have a funny cake-topper, I think his desires for this wedding are pretty manageable and I want to give him what he wants.
Because this space is also a museum, my other idea was do have a 45 minute cocktail hour on the dock and then open the doors to the museum. Guests can go and sit at their tables if they'd like, or walk through the reception room to the museum. The museum is particularly designed with kids in mind, there's boats they can climb over, pirate costumes they can put on, etc. Then people can mill about on the docks, the reception room, or the museum for the latter 45 minutes before we return. Depending on costs we may also put a photo booth in there.
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