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Ceremony and Vow Ideas

Hot Drinks at the Ceremony?

Looking for opinions here. My ceremony is in September, outside on a stone pavilion with a roof. I didn't realize until I went to check it out again a few weeks ago that even if its a beautiful sunny fall day, the shade from the roof makes it pretty cool inside/ a bit of a wind tunnel. It's got me thinking about guest comfort, as well as different "unique" elements to add. I'm thinking of having a table just outside the pavilion with either hot chocolate or hot apple cider to be consumed while guests are waiting for the ceremony to start. I'm thinking more along the lines of hot apple cider because most adults aren't big fans of hot chocolate and it's less likely to stain if spilled. The company I'm renting my ceremony stuff from has those large coffee urns that could be used to keep it warm. Thoughts? Is it cheesy or over the top? I'm also toying with having lap blankets. Its only about 40 guests so if people share with their neighbour it's not a huuge investment. Or I rent heaters, which means I have to rent generators, which are loud. I'm open to suggestions!
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Re: Hot Drinks at the Ceremony?

  • What kind of temperatures are we talking here? If it's going to be under about 60 degrees, I'd strongly advise moving the ceremony inside.
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    southernbelle0915
  • I can't see it dipping much under that. It's early September but it is Canadian Sept so it's hard to say. That being said, all the guests are from the area and acclimatized to the weather so I don't think anyone will show up completely unaware.  
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  • Regardless of being used to the weather, spending an hour (people will arrive up to 30 minutes before the ceremony, so even if it's relatively short they could be there a long time) outside in cold wind is just no fun. SIL's wedding was outside in March, which for my state has very unpredictable weather, and it ended up being in the low 50s. Add the wind off the lake and we were miserable.

    But if it will be more like 60, I like the idea of apple cider. I would add one other hot choice, maybe tea or coffee depending on your crowd. I don't drink coffee myself and hot tea only once or twice a year, so I would take the cider, but I'm aware many people would prefer one or the other.
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    southernbelle0915
  • I got married last Septmber and made spiked mulled apple cider my signature drink for cocktail hour.  The weather was in the mid-60s, but H's family is from the south, so this was pretty chilly for them.  We had a full open bar and hot passed apps, too, so people had plenty of choices.  The cider was a hit, though.
  • For an outdoor wedding, you should have condition standards where you initiate Plan B. So you should consider rain, wind and temperature. September is a finicky time - it could be a warm Indian summer day, or freezing/rainy/windy. Be prepared.

    I think hot cider sounds nice. Think logistics though - will this work? Who will make it? Who will serve it? Are there trash cans? Who will set up/tear down? What will happen with leftovers? Etc. If you can answer all those questions without issue, I don't see why you wouldn't do it.
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  • We are considering offering hot cider (spiked option) and hot cocoa for our outdoor wedding ceremony in 3 weeks... have to decide next week I think.  One of my concerns is having all these cups all over the place in pictures, quite frankly.  

    Will let you know what we do & the results!  We are in the mid-Atlantic, and right now its in the mid-low 70s so I think we have a good shot at high-mid 60s for the ceremony.  One of the perks to our daily high being in the late afternoon!
  • I consider "wind tunnel" to be its own issue aside from temperatures.  I don't care if it is 75 degrees outside, I would be most unhappy to be stuck in a wind tunnel for the better part of an hour.  Also consider how your hair and veil will be blown around as well as your BM's as I assume you will still want photos after the ceremony.  If you can't protect your guests from a wind tunnel effect I really encourage you to think about another venue.
  • doeydodoeydo Southwestern Ontario member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    Most of this September (where I am in Canada, anyways) was still summery.  Anyways, what you are planning sounds awesome, IMO.
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  • Thanks for all the input guys. 

    @artbyallie I like the idea of having more than one option but when you get into tea and coffee then you're talking cream and sugar and stir sticks and garbage which may be more trouble than it's worth. Maybe another hot alternative that doesn't require any additions. 

    @southernbelle0915 The logistics are what I'm stuck on. I don't want to "assign" someone to clean up afterwards because that's rude. My ceremony is at a municipal park that I've only rented for a few hours and the rental company is showing up after the ceremony to pack up the rentals. Maybe I can see if they'll do the clean-up for me for an additional fee. 

    @kla278 Let me know how it goes! I'm not toooo concerned about cups in photos. We're renting those white resin chairs so maybe if I do white cups it'll blend in a little? Not sure. 

    My reception venue has an additional room I can use for a Plan B but I'd really rather not incur the extra cost if I can avoid it. The stone roof of the pavillion will be fine for rain, it blocks it really well and I plan of having the ushers shuttle guests from the parking lot (15 feet away) with golf umbrellas if it's really bad. 
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  • @southernbelle0915 The logistics are what I'm stuck on. I don't want to "assign" someone to clean up afterwards because that's rude. My ceremony is at a municipal park that I've only rented for a few hours and the rental company is showing up after the ceremony to pack up the rentals. Maybe I can see if they'll do the clean-up for me for an additional fee. 
    You could do that, or you could toss a middle/high school kid $25. They'd probably be glad to make money.
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    [Deleted User]
  • Ohhh good idea. 
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  • edited June 2015

    I'm out.
    kmmssg
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    I like the hot cider idea, but I have to agree that although wind is fine for birds, pollination, electric power, sailing, and flying kites and gliders, it's very unpleasant to walk through or spend time in.  So please provide protection from the wind for your guests.  They can layer up against chilly weather, but there's much less, if anything, one can do to protect oneself from wind except to stay out of it.
  • You all have good points about the wind. I should mention that the last time I was there it was one of those crazy warm blustery days and that I didn't notice a problem with the wind the other half dozen times I've been there. Still definitely something to consider though,
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  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut mod
    Moderator Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    edited October 2014

    Let me tell you about three October  in New England weddings I've attended. All three brides had visions of fall foliage and a slight crisp breeze. I'll bet Oct in New England is similar to Sept in certain parts of Canada. You never know what you're going to get weather wise.

    Wedding #1. Japanese pagoda garden in a lovely park. Would have been beautiful had it not rained from early in the morning until late afternoon ceremony time. The bride was holed up in a nearby bar, hoping for a break in the weather, determined to have her garden ceremony. Some of the guests were standing in inch deep mud near the pagoda, no shelter for guests. Most of us stood in the paved area of the parking lot or in our cars. We weren't happy with the bride.

    Wedding#2. Sister of groom in wedding 1. she got the picture perfect fall day. Peak foliage colors, dazzling sunshine, 60 degree temps and a cool crisp breeze. She didn't mention on the invitations that the ceremony was going to held on the hillside garden of her venue. The female guests arrived in cocktail dresses and wraps, the  men in suits. Grandmother of the bride was wheeled down the aisle in her wheelchair, wrapped in a quilt. Everyone sat with their teeth chattering on the cold metal folding chairs provided for the guests. Lucky for me, I had thrown my wool pea coat in the car that day. The other women were jealous of me that day.

    Wedding#3. My daughter and SIL's wedding - Hurricane Sandy. Fortunately ceremony and reception were indoor events, so the guests were comfortable, but she didn't get the lovely outdoor pictures she wanted.

    My daughter's wedding was on the one year anniversary of an October blizzard that brought down trees heavy with fall foliage and power lines. That storm crippled our state for over a week.

    Sorry for the long story, but I wanted to point out that the weather can be a bitch. I know you just asked about hot drinks. Warm apple cider gets my vote. It's seasonal, doesn't require the set up - cream, sugar, spoons. Cinnamon sticks would be a nice touch. And rent the heaters.

                       
    esstee33cupcait927
  • You're right, the weather can be a bitch. I'm going to be clear that it is an outdoor ceremony, and investigate the heaters and my options there. And I like the cinnamon sticks idea. Thanks!
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  • Love the idea of the hot cider, just a nice touch. Check into renting propane operated heaters. Much quieter then generators. I've seen them in patio areas of bars & they are pretty nice & give off heat. I would just check into those & how far you have to reserve them & then play it be hear if you need them or not based on the current weather the week of your wedding.
  • Thanks for the tip! I didn't know propane operated heaters were an option.
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  • I was going to do apple cider for my ceremony also (I'm getting married in November) But both my fiance and catering manager swayed my opinion.  Although a nice touch, it could be a slight distraction if people are holding cups during the ceremony, and you want people to be focused on your ceremony and not on trying to sip a hot drink.  Propane heaters are your best option.  We are just winging it.  We know it will be cold but our ceremony will only be 15 minutes so we are going to let guests know ahead of time that they should dress for the weather and bring a coat.  After the ceremony they can bring their coats to the coat check.
  • kk111415 said:
    I was going to do apple cider for my ceremony also (I'm getting married in November) But both my fiance and catering manager swayed my opinion.  Although a nice touch, it could be a slight distraction if people are holding cups during the ceremony, and you want people to be focused on your ceremony and not on trying to sip a hot drink.  Propane heaters are your best option.  We are just winging it.  We know it will be cold but our ceremony will only be 15 minutes so we are going to let guests know ahead of time that they should dress for the weather and bring a coat.  After the ceremony they can bring their coats to the coat check.
    But they will be in the cold for longer because people tend to arrive up to 30 minutes early for a wedding ceremony. You really make it sound like you don't care at all about your guests comfort.
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  • kk111415 said:
    I was going to do apple cider for my ceremony also (I'm getting married in November) But both my fiance and catering manager swayed my opinion.  Although a nice touch, it could be a slight distraction if people are holding cups during the ceremony, and you want people to be focused on your ceremony and not on trying to sip a hot drink.  Propane heaters are your best option.  We are just winging it.  We know it will be cold but our ceremony will only be 15 minutes so we are going to let guests know ahead of time that they should dress for the weather and bring a coat.  After the ceremony they can bring their coats to the coat check.
    But they will be in the cold for longer because people tend to arrive up to 30 minutes early for a wedding ceremony. You really make it sound like you don't care at all about your guests comfort.
    That was my thought.
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  • We did a champagne greeting.
    The logistics-
    Paid the bartender to come early and handle things.

    Have a small table with the cider/ hot coffee/ whatever.
    A folding stand with a nice clean bus tub next to the table, and people will sensibly drop their empties in there. Leave one empty in there as an indicator. People will see it when they get their drink. 
    jennyleigh16
  • I'm not saying I don't care about my guests comfort at all.  If I didn't care, I wouldn't be letting them know ahead of time that we are having an outdoor ceremony and that they should bring a coat that they will be able to check after the ceremony.  I just wouldn't want peoples hands full during the ceremony.  But 30 minutes before the ceremony is a different story.  I would also say don't make it too hot because then it will take forever for people to drink.  Keep the cider warm and people will be able to get through the cup without having to wait for it to cool and they will get the same affect without causing them to sweat which will actually just cool them more.  

    But if your ceremony area has a wind tunnel issue, hot cider (which is not something everyone will drink) won't be enough to keep all of your guests warm.  Which is why I suggested the propane heaters.  But if you do have a wedding website set up with information, just tell the women (who are the only ones who have to deal with being cold) that they should bring a shawl or you could even have a basket with some pashminas to offer to the women who are chilly.  All the men will be fine since they will either have long sleeves or a jacket.  Your wedding is in September and it's usually pretty warm still in September, the stone patio might actually be a relief for your guests to get out of the warm sun.  

    But if you want cider to add a 'fun/fall' element to your wedding, then just do it.   


  • kk111415 said:
    I'm not saying I don't care about my guests comfort at all.  If I didn't care, I wouldn't be letting them know ahead of time that we are having an outdoor ceremony and that they should bring a coat that they will be able to check after the ceremony.  I just wouldn't want peoples hands full during the ceremony.  But 30 minutes before the ceremony is a different story.  I would also say don't make it too hot because then it will take forever for people to drink.  Keep the cider warm and people will be able to get through the cup without having to wait for it to cool and they will get the same affect without causing them to sweat which will actually just cool them more.  

    But if your ceremony area has a wind tunnel issue, hot cider (which is not something everyone will drink) won't be enough to keep all of your guests warm.  Which is why I suggested the propane heaters.  But if you do have a wedding website set up with information, just tell the women (who are the only ones who have to deal with being cold) that they should bring a shawl or you could even have a basket with some pashminas to offer to the women who are chilly.  All the men will be fine since they will either have long sleeves or a jacket.  Your wedding is in September and it's usually pretty warm still in September, the stone patio might actually be a relief for your guests to get out of the warm sun.  

    But if you want cider to add a 'fun/fall' element to your wedding, then just do it.   


    But what you are saying is that you care less about it than you do about having your outdoor ceremony in spite of the cold.
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  • If you saw my alternative option, you would understand.  I will possibly be dealing with real cold temperatures, but lately the temperature hasn't been dropping until late November.  My guests will be well informed, though. And before the ceremony, they will be able to stand under a heated tent like structure where the cocktail hour is being held which is just steps from the ceremony location.  Since the ceremony will take the least amount of time, we talked about it and decided the most we would mind being outside with no coat is probably 10-15 minutes which is how long the ceremony will be.  With the women wearing coats to the ceremony, they will be able to last much longer than that.
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