Wedding Etiquette Forum

Cocktail Hour-And-A-Half

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. 

Thoughts? 

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Re: Cocktail Hour-And-A-Half

  • cowgirl8238cowgirl8238 member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    edited July 2014

    I generally don't mind 90 minute cocktail "hours" as long as they are well hosted and don't drag on any longer.  I think you wll find many people have mixed reactions on this topic on TK.  I also think that people will be fine entertaining themselves, but opening up the museum would be pretty awesome.  Could you do that for the entire 90 mins?

    However, I am going to ask if you are sure you want to have your wedding here.  Parking is definitly a logistic that you cannot overlook, and shuttles can blow up your budget before you know it.  I would just be careful and perhaps look some more before you settle here.  If you really can't find better thats fine, but I think you should love your venue, not just think its okay.

    Good luck and happy planning!

    Edit to fix typos/add a thought

    japrincess24
  • edited July 2014
    I think 90 minutes is the absolutely max for a cocktail hour and is really pushing it. 

    Your venue sounds really beautiful with the green space, the bay the docks. Why can't you take photos there? 

    Even if you decide to take photos elsewhere, I don't think you need that much time. My recommendation to cut down your cocktail hour to one hour would be:

    - Take all your photos with just you and your BMs; and just you and your family before the ceremony. Have your FI do the same with his GMs and family.
    - Immediately following the ceremony, get your family and WP formals at the green space. (20 minutes)
    - Leave with just your WP to do 20 minutes of offsite photos. (40 min total with travel)

    ETA: you could also get a trolley or larger bus and take photos on the way to the offsite location. Our photog took a lot of candid photos like this for us where we're just hanging out with our WP on the way to the reception venue and they're some of my favorites.
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    PrettyGirlLost
  • slothiegalslothiegal The Sloth Farm member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer Name Dropper
    Ninety minutes is reeeeally pushing it for me.  Like PPs have suggested, I would do WP photos beforehand and trim cocktail hour back down to an hour.
    Anniversary

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  • jnissajnissa member
    100 Love Its 100 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
    I would mind a 90 minute cocktail hour if that's all it was - but I wouldn't if I were also able to entertain myself in a museum. I had a 90 minute cocktail hour at a wedding a few years ago and was miserable by the end, but it was literally "stay here in this room with cocktails and crowds and limited seating."  Just be aware that you will definitely, definitely have at least some people who complain about how long cocktail hour was. 
  • MegEn1MegEn1 member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments Second Anniversary First Answer
    Woohoo, responses already! 

    I am thinking we'll try and take photos ahead of time with the bridal party. We're going to use the green space for a few quick family photos, and then let the families wander down the docks to the cocktail party. So I suppose we can do FI and myself in an hour. I'm just worried it'll be a bit tight. I'm sort of planning my whole wedding that way - padding extra time, extra money, etc. I'd rather have too much than not enough.

    As for the parking situation, it's not ideal, there's only about 40 parking spots. So on the wedding website we are going to be totally up front and indicate that parking is limited, and that unless you are coming from out of town or carpooling please utilize the shuttles. We've priced them out, they're in our budget. On one hand it seems like a waste of money, but on the other we like the idea that it makes it easier for people who've drank to avoid driving. But with 130 guests, with 40 parking spots, if there's two people in each car we've already covered more than half of the guest list, and they're all welcome to find street parking if they'd like. We can't guarentee the street parking though so it's at their own risk. 

    Otherwise the venue is a dream. We wanted something historical, quirky, and that had an outdoor ceremony space. It's all of those! We might open the museum up halfway into cocktail hour anyway, but we can't open it right away because that means opening the reception room and the caterer needs time to turn over the chairs from the ceremony to the reception. It'll only take about 15 minutes though, and there's a back door, AND you can't see the green from the docks so I'm not too worried about this being unsightly. 

    Lord, I sound like such a diva. 

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  • I tend to agree with mysticl. I'm sure the location you've chosen for your pictures is lovely, but it really doesn't have anything to do with your wedding or reception. And it is at the expense of your guests, who have to wait for you, which some may find offensive. I know that I would be incredibly annoyed to have a 90 minute cocktail "hour" for the sake of pictures, even if there were things to do, and especially if the location were nothing but a photo op.
  • melbensomelbenso Hoth, apparently member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments Third Anniversary First Answer
    Count me on the 90 minute cocktail hour is ok side, if guests are well hosted.   But I would caution you to make absolutely sure to be back at the venue and ready to be introduced at the end of that 90 minutes, because it is the high end of what is acceptable. 

    If the drive is 10 minutes each way, that doesn't mean 70 minutes for pictures.  Bustling your dress and going to the bathroom will take at least 10-15 minutes.  I'd also suggest building in some additional cushion time in case traffic is bad, etc. - 5-10 minutes, just in case.  That means no more than 45 minutes of pictures (including set up) at the other location.

    The chances of everything on your wedding day going 100% according to schedule are slim to none.  It didn't for mine (and I'm a big stickler for being on time, so I was doing my best to make sure things were running on schedule).  Don't let a planned hour and a half turn into several hours.

    Also if your FI doesn't want to do a first look, could you both do individual family pictures as well as wedding party pictures first instead?
    image
    PrettyGirlLost
  • Unless your wedding is very small, I don't think 40 parking spots will be enough. If you think it will be problem, I think you should come up with a solution so people don't have to park far away - that could be a big problem for older guests and people with mobility issues (plus just annoying for others). I'd suggest hiring a valet company (it's cheaper than you think) and/or having a shuttle.
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  • I think 90 minutes is fine. I would have no issues with the extra half hour, especially with how it seems you will be hosting it. You appear to have all areas of food, drink and entertainment covered, and the whole museum thing actually sounds like a lot of fun.
  • MegEn1 said:
    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. 

    Thoughts? 
    SOLD!

    I live for macaroni and cheese. Make sure there's a bunch, and I'd be a happy clam for hours (okay, not really.) But, yay mac and cheese!
  • Unless your wedding is very small, I don't think 40 parking spots will be enough. If you think it will be problem, I think you should come up with a solution so people don't have to park far away - that could be a big problem for older guests and people with mobility issues (plus just annoying for others). I'd suggest hiring a valet company (it's cheaper than you think) and/or having a shuttle.
    She is having a shuttle.  
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  • Put me in the 90 minutes is too long category (this actually happened last weekend at the wedding I went to-- story for a different time). 
  • buttercup1958buttercup1958 Blue Smokey Mountains
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    I think 90 minutes is fine and I love your venue choice. I mean it sounds awesome!
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  • I appears it may be a pretty even split — some people are going to be annoyed with a 90-minute cocktail hour, and some people will be fine with it. If you don't want to annoy any of your guests, then I would figure out how to limit cocktail hour to 60 minutes. If you're okay with some people getting a little antsy, go ahead with your plan… but make sure not to go over 90 minutes. 

    For me, 90 minutes is definitely pushing it. BUT if I am fed, there are drinks available, and other stuff to keep me occupied, I'm not going to notice it.
  • jacques27jacques27 member
    Knottie Warrior 500 Love Its 1000 Comments 5 Answers
    edited July 2014
    90 minutes is pushing it, but it sounds like you are well-prepared to host that time.  Just really really make sure there is no way of running out of food and there are places to sit in that time period.

    Also, I beg of you on behalf of your guests, do as many pictures as you can before the wedding. 

    1) As someone else pointed out, between walking to/from vehicles, drive time (what about traffic or potential detours), parking (unless you're just having a limo idling the whole time), bustling the dress, doing make-up and hair checks, packing and unpacking camera equipment (unless you have two photographers with one waiting at the picture site), checking the lighting, and finding the best spots to do the pictures, you may be pushing your luck with 90 minutes if you include all of your WP and do all of the pictures then.

    2) A wedding I went to a few years ago didn't have a gap (or at least a planned one).  The ceremony, cocktail hour+, and reception were all in the same location (ceremony outside, cocktail hour in the barn, reception in a tent).  They didn't do any photos beforehand and did all of the photos onsite (I could see them the whole time).  It was supposed to take an hour and a half.  Well, an hour and half became two and a half hours and it was two hours before we could go in the tent.  There was no seating in the barn, they ran out of food after 45 minutes, and the only people I knew were in the wedding party so I was lonely and starving.  Things will almost always take longer than you think and to this day when I think of my friend's wedding one of the first memories that pops in my head is everyone standing around (or sitting on the grass in their dresses and suits) getting drunk on mostly empty stomachs waiting for pictures to finally be over.  (And even the original planned 90 minutes in that instance would have still been unbearable due to the lack of seating and running out of food.)
  • JoanE2012JoanE2012 Exit 21 (Jersey!) member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    Cocktail hour is my favorite part of a wedding, so as long as the appetizers keep coming and the drinks are available, I'm happy.  Just don't push it and go longer than 90 minutes.

    I'd be far more ticked off about the parking situation though.  I always drive, even when a shuttle is available.  If I found a shortage of parking spots and had to start searching to find something on the street, I'd be annoyed.  In fact, that 90 minute cocktail hour might start annoying me at that point too!  I'd be wondering if your photos and venue choice trumped your guest's comfort.
    RebeccaB88
  • I would hardly be upset with cocktails and mac & cheese for 90 minutes.

    BUUUUUT, let's be real... sometimes a planned 90 minutes doesn't really pan out to be just 90 minutes. I'd say aim to get the shots in under an hour, which in reality, you should be able to since your photo site isn't so far away and you opt to shoot the WP pictures prior to. 

    A good photographer will get the shot and the reality is, the best pictures/captured moments will be the ones from the ceremony and reception that aren't posed. 
    image
  • OP, I think you're doing this a bit backwards. Make a photography list... Every picture that doesn't include both you and your then H can be taken before the ceremony. This should cut down a lot. 

    I  went to a wedding where cocktail hour slid into an hour and a half and people were getting bored. The apps were gone and it tightened the rest of the night.

    On a side note, I think brides in general have this idea that they need a bazillion artsy photos of themselves and their H's. The couple mentioned above has literally a million pictures, they don't even have enough wall space in their apartment for all the pictures of themselves, so please be realistic. You don't need funny/trendy pictures either, don't waste your and your guests time. /end rant
  • Sars06Sars06 member
    Fifth Anniversary 250 Love Its 100 Comments Name Dropper
    mysticl said:
    Once upon at time people took their wedding pictures at the alter. The pictures reflected the ceremony. People didn't go looking for pretty spots to take them and I guess I really don't understand leaving to go somewhere else that has nothing to do with your wedding at all and take pictures there.
    I don't understand either. OP, if the venue is not too hideous for your ceremony, I do not see how it is too hideous for photos after the ceremony.
    lizybeffRebeccaB88
  • MegEn1MegEn1 member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments Second Anniversary First Answer
    All,

    Thanks for all the responses! I really appreciate it.

    To clarify, my idea for the 90 minute cocktail hour was to make sure that we had enough planned time to do the photos, which I'll be aiming for an hour for. But in case there was traffic, I required more touch-up than I thought, etc. and it gets pushed, everything will be available for 90 minutes. I wanted to aim for that longer time to pad my hour-long shoot because we were planning on doing bridal party photos before the wedding. But if we rent a trolley as opposed to a shuttle, we could probably do fun photos on that too, and not have to go anywhere. It might be best if we don't leave the site, as much as we'd love to take advantage of the gorgeous town nearby. I'm definitely leaning that way now.

    As far as the parking goes, it's not ideal. Honestly I'm not totally upset about it though - we're going out of our way to provide as many options as possible to guests as far as transportation. My understanding of etiquette is that people are responsible for their own transportation but even so we're still providing shuttles from both hotels where there are blocks, and we're being up front. You can absolutely drive - but please bring some other people who are coming to the wedding in your car. We're also making a point of avoiding invite one-offs - people who only know the bride and groom. At least two people/couples from each social circle are getting invited to make sure we don't have any guests who don't know ANYBODY. If someone wants to just drive themselves I can't stop them, but they'll have to find street parking, which may be super easy to find. Or it may not. If the choice between carpooling, utilizing a shuttle, or street parking isn't good enough for some people I don't think my wedding was going to make them happy. I don't know what else to do to alleviate that situation.

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  • OP, I think you're doing this a bit backwards. Make a photography list... Every picture that doesn't include both you and your then H can be taken before the ceremony. This should cut down a lot. 

    I  went to a wedding where cocktail hour slid into an hour and a half and people were getting bored. The apps were gone and it tightened the rest of the night.

    On a side note, I think brides in general have this idea that they need a bazillion artsy photos of themselves and their H's. The couple mentioned above has literally a million pictures, they don't even have enough wall space in their apartment for all the pictures of themselves, so please be realistic. You don't need funny/trendy pictures either, don't waste your and your guests time. /end rant
    This is a great point...I had envisioned all of these photos I just HAD to have of me and H...we did the same thing about taking about many pictures before hand as we could (he refused to see me before the ceremony), so we really only had our pictures and family+us pictures after the ceremony.  Honestly, I just wanted to take a few pictures and go!  I was ready to be at the party and celebrate with my family and husband. 
  • misshart00misshart00 Oklahoma member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    I have no problem with the artsy photos at various locations (though all of mine are where we stood to get married) but if you're going to do that, I really feel like you (general) need to have a first look and do all of that before the ceremony.
  • MegEn1MegEn1 member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments Second Anniversary First Answer
    I will definitely admit that I really want all these artsy photos. I did a lot of photography work in my previous jobs, and having these fun photos of us will really be the icing on the cake for me. But I'm definitely taking the point that the parking situation might be our one 'hail mary' with this location. I'm going to try and find a few other work-arounds that will keep our cocktail hour to just an hour. There's a boat that the museum owns, for example, a single-masted sloop I think from the early 1900s. Maybe they'll let us use that for photos? That would satisfy me I think, and since we're renting transportation anyway, might as well make the transportation the fun trolleys and do some photos on that. 

    I think if we also do this, we'll definitely do engagement photos in our home neighborhood, which is very similar with the old town feel. 

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  • I recently attended a fabuously hosted wedding - amazing appetizers, high end open bar, the works! Unfortunately their cocktail hour lasted two hours. Two hours of oysters and grey goose normally wouldn't phase me, but the guests looked totally drained by the time the wedding got started. Why the two hour gap? They wanted to go offsite of photos. We were all miffed. I would suggest you try your best to keep cocktail hour to the "hour" it is meant to be.
    MegEn1
  • MegEn1 said:
    All,

    Thanks for all the responses! I really appreciate it.

    To clarify, my idea for the 90 minute cocktail hour was to make sure that we had enough planned time to do the photos, which I'll be aiming for an hour for. But in case there was traffic, I required more touch-up than I thought, etc. and it gets pushed, everything will be available for 90 minutes. I wanted to aim for that longer time to pad my hour-long shoot because we were planning on doing bridal party photos before the wedding. But if we rent a trolley as opposed to a shuttle, we could probably do fun photos on that too, and not have to go anywhere. It might be best if we don't leave the site, as much as we'd love to take advantage of the gorgeous town nearby. I'm definitely leaning that way now.

    As far as the parking goes, it's not ideal. Honestly I'm not totally upset about it though - we're going out of our way to provide as many options as possible to guests as far as transportation. My understanding of etiquette is that people are responsible for their own transportation but even so we're still providing shuttles from both hotels where there are blocks, and we're being up front. You can absolutely drive - but please bring some other people who are coming to the wedding in your car. We're also making a point of avoiding invite one-offs - people who only know the bride and groom. At least two people/couples from each social circle are getting invited to make sure we don't have any guests who don't know ANYBODY. If someone wants to just drive themselves I can't stop them, but they'll have to find street parking, which may be super easy to find. Or it may not. If the choice between carpooling, utilizing a shuttle, or street parking isn't good enough for some people I don't think my wedding was going to make them happy. I don't know what else to do to alleviate that situation.
    I was on a trolley tour once. No air conditioning in late June. It wasn't fun, it was very uncomfortable.  If I was a guest and was planning to take the shuttle and saw it was a trolley I'd probably change my mind and take my car.  

    You are right etiquette says guests are responsible for their own transportation.  The flip side of that is that you are responsible for making sure that accessing your venue is not a hardship to your guests.  There should be adequate parking and guests should not have to walk an unreasonable distance from their car to the venue.  And what kind of museum only has 40 parking slots?
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  • MegEn1MegEn1 member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments Second Anniversary First Answer
    mysticl said:
    MegEn1 said:
    All,

    Thanks for all the responses! I really appreciate it.

    To clarify, my idea for the 90 minute cocktail hour was to make sure that we had enough planned time to do the photos, which I'll be aiming for an hour for. But in case there was traffic, I required more touch-up than I thought, etc. and it gets pushed, everything will be available for 90 minutes. I wanted to aim for that longer time to pad my hour-long shoot because we were planning on doing bridal party photos before the wedding. But if we rent a trolley as opposed to a shuttle, we could probably do fun photos on that too, and not have to go anywhere. It might be best if we don't leave the site, as much as we'd love to take advantage of the gorgeous town nearby. I'm definitely leaning that way now.

    As far as the parking goes, it's not ideal. Honestly I'm not totally upset about it though - we're going out of our way to provide as many options as possible to guests as far as transportation. My understanding of etiquette is that people are responsible for their own transportation but even so we're still providing shuttles from both hotels where there are blocks, and we're being up front. You can absolutely drive - but please bring some other people who are coming to the wedding in your car. We're also making a point of avoiding invite one-offs - people who only know the bride and groom. At least two people/couples from each social circle are getting invited to make sure we don't have any guests who don't know ANYBODY. If someone wants to just drive themselves I can't stop them, but they'll have to find street parking, which may be super easy to find. Or it may not. If the choice between carpooling, utilizing a shuttle, or street parking isn't good enough for some people I don't think my wedding was going to make them happy. I don't know what else to do to alleviate that situation.
    I was on a trolley tour once. No air conditioning in late June. It wasn't fun, it was very uncomfortable.  If I was a guest and was planning to take the shuttle and saw it was a trolley I'd probably change my mind and take my car.  

    You are right etiquette says guests are responsible for their own transportation.  The flip side of that is that you are responsible for making sure that accessing your venue is not a hardship to your guests.  There should be adequate parking and guests should not have to walk an unreasonable distance from their car to the venue.  And what kind of museum only has 40 parking slots?
    The wedding is in mid October, when the average temperature is 70-56 degrees. Is providing a shuttle OR trolley OR some parking (with a request to carpool) OR the option of street parking putting an undue burden on my guests? I really don't see that it is, but maybe I'm wrong. 

    Still, if most Knotties would read that parking is limited and decide the wedding was not worth the effort or that it would place an undue burden on my guests, I'd like to hear it. At the very least I'll be prepared for having extremely unhappy guests.

    Honestly if this becomes the issues that ruins my wedding I'll be very upset. And if despite all the efforts this issue is still such a big dealbreaker, I'm fairly certain that nothing I do will be good enough. We are really, really trying to make sure that people are as comfortable and the situation is as convenient as possible. 

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    jules3964
  • Issues with the shuttle:  
    Is everyone staying at those two hotels?  Because that is the only convenient for the hotel guests. I would be highly annoyed if I had to drive to a hotel from wherever I was staying, park my car, take a shuttle to the wedding, then take a shuttle back, and then drive home.  That is a burden to me.  Especially if it's a hotel that limits their parking to guests of the hotel and/or charges for parking.  Also, are the shuttles big enough to take everyone in one run or will they have to make multiple trips? Standing around a hotel lobby in dress clothes for an hour is not my idea of fun.  

    Issues with carpooling:  
    It could come across as rude expecting people to carpool.  When you carpool you are now at the mercy of whoever is driving.  What happens if they decide to leave after two hours? Does everyone in the car leave or do some people scramble to find another ride back.

    Issues with street parking:  
    You said it's "at your own risk".  Does that mean people could be ticketed or towed?  How far away is it?  DH has had three surgeries on the same knee.  Sometimes walking is not the easiest thing in the world for him.  So if it's a bad day walking a couple blocks is going to put him in a bad mood.  So that could be an issue for anyone with physical limitations, or who is pregnant, or who is just wearing high heels.  

    Honestly, you should have picked a venue that can accommodate all of your guests and that includes the parking situation.  

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  • MegEn1MegEn1 member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments Second Anniversary First Answer
    mysticl said:
    Issues with the shuttle:  
    Is everyone staying at those two hotels?  Because that is the only convenient for the hotel guests. I would be highly annoyed if I had to drive to a hotel from wherever I was staying, park my car, take a shuttle to the wedding, then take a shuttle back, and then drive home.  That is a burden to me.  Especially if it's a hotel that limits their parking to guests of the hotel and/or charges for parking.  Also, are the shuttles big enough to take everyone in one run or will they have to make multiple trips? Standing around a hotel lobby in dress clothes for an hour is not my idea of fun.  

    Issues with carpooling:  
    It could come across as rude expecting people to carpool.  When you carpool you are now at the mercy of whoever is driving.  What happens if they decide to leave after two hours? Does everyone in the car leave or do some people scramble to find another ride back.

    Issues with street parking:  
    You said it's "at your own risk".  Does that mean people could be ticketed or towed?  How far away is it?  DH has had three surgeries on the same knee.  Sometimes walking is not the easiest thing in the world for him.  So if it's a bad day walking a couple blocks is going to put him in a bad mood.  So that could be an issue for anyone with physical limitations, or who is pregnant, or who is just wearing high heels.  

    Honestly, you should have picked a venue that can accommodate all of your guests and that includes the parking situation.  

    Lets hope I get lucky and no one comes. 

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  • MegEn1 said:
    mysticl said:
    MegEn1 said:
    All,

    Thanks for all the responses! I really appreciate it.

    To clarify, my idea for the 90 minute cocktail hour was to make sure that we had enough planned time to do the photos, which I'll be aiming for an hour for. But in case there was traffic, I required more touch-up than I thought, etc. and it gets pushed, everything will be available for 90 minutes. I wanted to aim for that longer time to pad my hour-long shoot because we were planning on doing bridal party photos before the wedding. But if we rent a trolley as opposed to a shuttle, we could probably do fun photos on that too, and not have to go anywhere. It might be best if we don't leave the site, as much as we'd love to take advantage of the gorgeous town nearby. I'm definitely leaning that way now.

    As far as the parking goes, it's not ideal. Honestly I'm not totally upset about it though - we're going out of our way to provide as many options as possible to guests as far as transportation. My understanding of etiquette is that people are responsible for their own transportation but even so we're still providing shuttles from both hotels where there are blocks, and we're being up front. You can absolutely drive - but please bring some other people who are coming to the wedding in your car. We're also making a point of avoiding invite one-offs - people who only know the bride and groom. At least two people/couples from each social circle are getting invited to make sure we don't have any guests who don't know ANYBODY. If someone wants to just drive themselves I can't stop them, but they'll have to find street parking, which may be super easy to find. Or it may not. If the choice between carpooling, utilizing a shuttle, or street parking isn't good enough for some people I don't think my wedding was going to make them happy. I don't know what else to do to alleviate that situation.
    I was on a trolley tour once. No air conditioning in late June. It wasn't fun, it was very uncomfortable.  If I was a guest and was planning to take the shuttle and saw it was a trolley I'd probably change my mind and take my car.  

    You are right etiquette says guests are responsible for their own transportation.  The flip side of that is that you are responsible for making sure that accessing your venue is not a hardship to your guests.  There should be adequate parking and guests should not have to walk an unreasonable distance from their car to the venue.  And what kind of museum only has 40 parking slots?
    The wedding is in mid October, when the average temperature is 70-56 degrees. Is providing a shuttle OR trolley OR some parking (with a request to carpool) OR the option of street parking putting an undue burden on my guests? I really don't see that it is, but maybe I'm wrong. 

    Still, if most Knotties would read that parking is limited and decide the wedding was not worth the effort or that it would place an undue burden on my guests, I'd like to hear it. At the very least I'll be prepared for having extremely unhappy guests.

    Honestly if this becomes the issues that ruins my wedding I'll be very upset. And if despite all the efforts this issue is still such a big dealbreaker, I'm fairly certain that nothing I do will be good enough. We are really, really trying to make sure that people are as comfortable and the situation is as convenient as possible. 
    I'm just gonna throw it out there that that seems like PLENTY of options. Happy planning :)
    mimivacjules3964beethery
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