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Etiquette

Please help pick apart my wedding!

Hi everyone, I'm new on here but a bit late to the game, my wedding is in only 2 weeks and I've been reading the "worst wedding you've ever been to" thread all weekend freaking out that I may be making some of those mistakes. Please let me know if you think any of these are etiquette breaches or might offend people. I really just want everyone to have a good time, we dragged our 25 guests to New Orleans during Mardi Gras (SUPER expensive flights and hotels) so we really want to make sure the wedding is awesome and nobody regrets it.

Our ceremony is in the courtyard of our bed and breakfast, and our reception is at a restaurant that is an 8 minute walk from there.
Some of the things I have read about that concern me:

- People complaining about ceremonies starting late - we put 4:00 pm on the invitation but plan to start the vows a 4:30, I was told that there will always be people showing up late if we started straight at 4:00. Would this upset people and will people be showing up even before 4:00? My fiance and I will be out there greeting our guests before the ceremony begins, so nobody will be standing around bored hopefully.

- People complaining about gaps - Our ceremony will probably end at 4:45 but our dinner doesn't start until 7:00, so over 2 hours in between, is this too long of a gap? We figured this would be just like a cocktail hour, we have appetizers and drinks available and we will be out there with guests as well, probably even taking pictures with all of them.

- Should we arrange some kind of transportation for everyone to get to the restaurant after? It's 8 minutes of walking (according to Google) but to be honest i wouldnt want to do that myself in my big heels and especially if it will be cold out which it might. Plus maybe some of them will be unprepared and have no idea how to get there?

- Should I look into getting space heaters for the ceremony? It's outdoors and I read that the temperature can be as low as 10 degrees C during that time of year

- I am worried we do not have enough entertainment for guests, our reception is just a sit down dinner and open bar. There will be a live jazz band at the restaurant but I dont think people really dance to jazz music, do they (i am not a dancer myself)? I dont think there will be any speeches or toasts, or games. So i am worried people will be bored and leave right after the meal. We are thinking of bringing board games (and giant jenga!) for guests to play after the meal, or maybe finding a club nearby to go to for an afterparty? How upset will people get at the lack of dancing?

- We are skipping a lot of the smaller details like flowers, centerpieces, decor, etc.. is this bad etiquette? We did hire a decorator but got a cheapie package so we have no idea what she will actually bring.

- Thank you notes - I was planning on skipping this entirely as our 25 guests are all close family and friends who we talk to regularly. Can't we just thank them over the phone or in person? Or is this a faux pas

Thank you for reading!!
«1

Re: Please help pick apart my wedding!

  • I wouldn't stress about lack of entertainment at this point. You are going to be in New Orleans! There will be entertainment probably one minute from your venue :). Same goes with decorations, I'm sure there will be plenty of interesting things for guests to look at.  I would write thank you notes, even if I am close friends with someone and I know they are thankful I always look forward to a thank you note in the mail.
  • bethsmilesbethsmiles Denver, CO member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    Hi everyone, I'm new on here but a bit late to the game, my wedding is in only 2 weeks and I've been reading the "worst wedding you've ever been to" thread all weekend freaking out that I may be making some of those mistakes. Please let me know if you think any of these are etiquette breaches or might offend people. I really just want everyone to have a good time, we dragged our 25 guests to New Orleans during Mardi Gras (SUPER expensive flights and hotels) so we really want to make sure the wedding is awesome and nobody regrets it.

    Our ceremony is in the courtyard of our bed and breakfast, and our reception is at a restaurant that is an 8 minute walk from there.
    Some of the things I have read about that concern me:

    - People complaining about ceremonies starting late - we put 4:00 pm on the invitation but plan to start the vows a 4:30, I was told that there will always be people showing up late if we started straight at 4:00. Would this upset people and will people be showing up even before 4:00? My fiance and I will be out there greeting our guests before the ceremony begins, so nobody will be standing around bored hopefully. DO NOT DO THIS! If people are late that is on them. Your guests are adults, they should know to arrive about 15 minutes prior to the start time so they have time to find their seats and get settled. If you start 30 minutes late people could be waiting around for you anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour! That is incredibly rude.

    - People complaining about gaps - Our ceremony will probably end at 4:45 but our dinner doesn't start until 7:00, so over 2 hours in between, is this too long of a gap? We figured this would be just like a cocktail hour, we have appetizers and drinks available and we will be out there with guests as well, probably even taking pictures with all of them. This is also a really big etiquette blunder. You need to either move your ceremony time back or move your reception forward. You are hosting one event, not two. Your guests need to be properly hosted from start to finish. I suggest moving your dinner to a 6:00 start time and having a cocktail hour for your guests immediately following the ceremony. 

    - Should we arrange some kind of transportation for everyone to get to the restaurant after? It's 8 minutes of walking (according to Google) but to be honest i wouldnt want to do that myself in my big heels and especially if it will be cold out which it might. Plus maybe some of them will be unprepared and have no idea how to get there? You don't need to provide transportation but if it's in your budget it's a nice option.

    - Should I look into getting space heaters for the ceremony? It's outdoors and I read that the temperature can be as low as 10 degrees C during that time of year I think you're probably fine without the heaters.

    - I am worried we do not have enough entertainment for guests, our reception is just a sit down dinner and open bar. There will be a live jazz band at the restaurant but I dont think people really dance to jazz music, do they (i am not a dancer myself)? I dont think there will be any speeches or toasts, or games. So i am worried people will be bored and leave right after the meal. We are thinking of bringing board games (and giant jenga!) for guests to play after the meal, or maybe finding a club nearby to go to for an afterparty? How upset will people get at the lack of dancing? Dancing is not required at a wedding. What you have planned sounds fine.

    - We are skipping a lot of the smaller details like flowers, centerpieces, decor, etc.. is this bad etiquette? We did hire a decorator but got a cheapie package so we have no idea what she will actually bring. Decorations don't have anything to do with etiquette really so this is a non-issue.

    - Thank you notes - I was planning on skipping this entirely as our 25 guests are all close family and friends who we talk to regularly. Can't we just thank them over the phone or in person? Or is this a faux pas You can thank people for attending in person but you need to send thank-you notes for any wedding gifts you receive.

    Thank you for reading!!



    SP29lnixon8PrettyGirlLost
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    Hi everyone, I'm new on here but a bit late to the game, my wedding is in only 2 weeks and I've been reading the "worst wedding you've ever been to" thread all weekend freaking out that I may be making some of those mistakes. Please let me know if you think any of these are etiquette breaches or might offend people. I really just want everyone to have a good time, we dragged our 25 guests to New Orleans during Mardi Gras (SUPER expensive flights and hotels) so we really want to make sure the wedding is awesome and nobody regrets it.

    Our ceremony is in the courtyard of our bed and breakfast, and our reception is at a restaurant that is an 8 minute walk from there.
    Some of the things I have read about that concern me:

    - People complaining about ceremonies starting late - we put 4:00 pm on the invitation but plan to start the vows a 4:30, I was told that there will always be people showing up late if we started straight at 4:00. Would this upset people and will people be showing up even before 4:00? My fiance and I will be out there greeting our guests before the ceremony begins, so nobody will be standing around bored hopefully.

    - People complaining about gaps - Our ceremony will probably end at 4:45 but our dinner doesn't start until 7:00, so over 2 hours in between, is this too long of a gap? We figured this would be just like a cocktail hour, we have appetizers and drinks available and we will be out there with guests as well, probably even taking pictures with all of them.

    - Should we arrange some kind of transportation for everyone to get to the restaurant after? It's 8 minutes of walking (according to Google) but to be honest i wouldnt want to do that myself in my big heels and especially if it will be cold out which it might. Plus maybe some of them will be unprepared and have no idea how to get there?

    - Should I look into getting space heaters for the ceremony? It's outdoors and I read that the temperature can be as low as 10 degrees C during that time of year

    - I am worried we do not have enough entertainment for guests, our reception is just a sit down dinner and open bar. There will be a live jazz band at the restaurant but I dont think people really dance to jazz music, do they (i am not a dancer myself)? I dont think there will be any speeches or toasts, or games. So i am worried people will be bored and leave right after the meal. We are thinking of bringing board games (and giant jenga!) for guests to play after the meal, or maybe finding a club nearby to go to for an afterparty? How upset will people get at the lack of dancing?

    - We are skipping a lot of the smaller details like flowers, centerpieces, decor, etc.. is this bad etiquette? We did hire a decorator but got a cheapie package so we have no idea what she will actually bring.

    - Thank you notes - I was planning on skipping this entirely as our 25 guests are all close family and friends who we talk to regularly. Can't we just thank them over the phone or in person? Or is this a faux pas

    Thank you for reading!!
    No, you should not have put a time that is different from your start time on your invitations. I am someone who gets places early if I can. I would be pissed if I were there at 3:30 for your alleged 4:00 ceremony that didn't really start until 4:30. Why are those of us early and on time being penalized for those who are tardy? 

    Yes, that is too long of a gap, even with drinks and food. Personally, after 2 hours eating, drinking, and socializing, I'd be ready to go home. I'd feel I'd gotten enough "reception" with that. 

    There should either be transportation provided or people should be able to drive there. I would be pissed if I had to walk 8 minutes (maybe more) around town in heels and dress clothes. Are YOU walking there? 

    You're having an outdoor ceremony in winter with no space heaters? Ummmm.....yeah. 

    If someone gives you a gift, you write them a thank you note. That is etiquette 101. 

    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
    image
    PrettyGirlLost
  • I'm from new Orleans!

    I would start the ceremony at 4. Guests will arrive early, figure at least 15-20 minutes, so you'll be asking them to wait 40-45 minutes after arrival until the start of the ceremony. 

    I'd move dinner up if you can, otherwise will there be enough apps to cover the entirety of the cocktail portion?  Also, will you be absent for some of the cocktail portion?  If so, then two hours will be too long, even if you and your H are there for the last hour,  your guests will have been there for an hour already.

    Absolutely hire transport to the restaurant.  A walk through the French Quarter is long, plus it may be crowded and there is crime to consider in addition to the ladies in heels, older people who cannot walk great distances, etc.  Also, a lot of the streets and sidewalks are brick or cobblestone as well.

    As for dancing and the rest, it's a know your crowd thing.  There are some slower jazz songs that can be danced to.  Is your dining room private?  Can the doors be closed?  If so you may want to consider an iPod and speakers for dinner music.  If there is room for a dance, you could do a first dance if you like.

    As to the weather. Do you have a back up plan in case it rains? While rainy season is commonly spring/summer and temperatures are fairly steady, it can and does rain quite a bit in the winter and it can indeed get quite cold.   You really need an indoor back up plan for the ceremony, for rain and cold because space heaters won't cut it if the courtyard is too big or if the heaters aren't strong enough (especially if it's windy!) and often times the cold is accompanied by rain.

    I hope this helps!  I also hope that you, your FH and guests enjoy New Orleans!  It's a wonderful city and the people are really nice, too!  Try some of the local specialties like gumbo and po-boys etc.  If your dinner is at Commander's Palace, y'all are in for a real treat!  But really, y'all are in for a real treat anyway no matter which restaurant you go to.

    Good luck and congratulations!
    Thank you notes are a MUST.  Even if it's to family and close friends.  Not only are they traveling to your wedding, which sounds like a destination wedding, but if you receive gifts, the givver must be thanked in writing.

    ohannabellePrettyGirlLost
  • Gosh!  I missed the part where she said it was during Mardi Gras! 

    Transportation is ABSOLUTELY a MUST in addition to everything else we've suggested.

    The city is PACKED.  Packed with people and if you're in the Quarter 99.999% of them will be drunk and rowdy and all sorts of things. 
    ohannabelleholyguacamole79PrettyGirlLostluckysnorkel
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    You shouldn't have lied about the start time on the invite. I always arrive early. So if I was sitting outside in the winter for 45 minutes waiting for the ceremony to start, I'd be pissed.

    A two hour gap is ridiculous, even if you're hosting them with food and drinks.

    That is too long of a walk especially in the French Quarter.

    You need a backup plan for inclement/cold weather.

    And you cannot skip sending thank you notes! It doesn't matter how close you are to them. It's rude!

  • With that small a group, and all close people you can talk to, It would be better to let them know with a phone call , there was an error on the invitation and the ceremony will actually start at 4:30. The seating will be set up and the courtyard open for anyone who arrives early and wants to greet other guests or take pictures. Don' leave people sitting around in possible cold temps for up to forty five minutes because they were polite enough to arrive fifteen minutes for seating.
    You know these people. Talk to them and make it right.

    Having been in New Orleans during Mardi Gras, it could take a full hour for people to walk the half mile google usually calls an eight minute walk. You may not be able to get through in a vehicle any better than on foot because everyone walks in the street. Many people would rather enjoy walking in all the street fair like fun than getting in a vehicle which stops in place while people walk around it, 18 times in the ride. Ask the ceremony place if in their neighborhood walking will be enjoyable. And check the exact distance.

    If they walk, the gap until a 1 hour pre- reception cocktail hour would not be so bad.

    Shoes - they know they are going to walk, anyone who wears shoes that they cannot walk in to walk around New Orleans a few blocks deserves any turned ankles or blisters they get. It is one thing to be courteous, another to spend a lot on transportation in case they have grown to adulthood unable to figure out what shoes to wear. There are paved and cobblestone streets and brick walks in the city. If they can step out of their lodgings at any time during their trip, they understand shoes.

    2 or three hours til cocktail hour starts would be too long definitely.

    Whatever you do,don't skip handwritten thank you notes. Say thank you and write a note.
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    Something about this post makes me think MUD. I was thinking about it as I was reading, and then when I got to the no thank you notes, I was like, yup definitely MUD.

    Even the title insinuates she wants drama.


    I agree. I mean this many faux pas in one post? 
    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
    image
    charcoalandblushPrettyGirlLost
  • Hi all, thank you so much for your replies, I appreciate all the input, even if some of it is harsh!

    I think I will just call everyone and let them know we made a mistake on the invite and the ceremony starts at 4:30, and I will also see if we can push the dinner back to 6:30. This should cut an hour from the gap, I think that will be good.

    I just want to clarify, we plan to be there the entire time, from greeting our guests as they walk into the ceremony site, to the very end of the evening. We won't be disappearing for pictures or going off anywhere. We plan to use the gap after the vows as our cocktail hour where we can drink with our guests, introduce them to one another, and take lots of photos with all of them. We even have a backdrop set up where our photographer will take portraits of the guests. So they won't just be sitting around waiting.

    We will definitely look into providing transportation, although if the traffic will be terrible then it might make sense to walk. I I'll speak to the BnB and see what they say about traffic/crowds during that day of the year in the area, and I think it would help if i can at least warn all the guests to bring comfortable shoes and warm clothing.

    Our wedding is not in the French Quarter, it is in mid-city. I am surprised at some of the responses about it being Mardi Gras like it's a bad thing, I suspect the majority of our guests are coming precisely because it IS Mardi Gras and they want to party all weekend. I've had lots of compliments form people saying "this is the coolest wedding idea ever, way better than a boring banquet hall wedding". I do expect people will have a fun weekend just because of all the festivities.

    Alright if people really feel that strongly about thank you notes then I guess they're a go!

    Also I will rent space heaters, can't hurt. I did read the highs during this time are 20 degrees C, but it's not a risk I want to take.
    aurianna
  • I don't understand why you guys think I'm trolling, I posted this precisely because I read that thread and realized there were lots of potential blunders. I don't know anything about wedding planning and we planned this whole thing in only 3 months. It was initially supposed to be an elopement, but then our families really wanted to come so we let them.

    Maybe this is the wrong board for my post then. We're not traditional people and just want to have a kickass party with our friends and family. Not put on a whole production based on some ancient rules.
  • lovegood90lovegood90 Ontario member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary Name Dropper

    Hi all, thank you so much for your replies, I appreciate all the input, even if some of it is harsh!

    I think I will just call everyone and let them know we made a mistake on the invite and the ceremony starts at 4:30, and I will also see if we can push the dinner back to 6:30. This should cut an hour from the gap, I think that will be good.

    I just want to clarify, we plan to be there the entire time, from greeting our guests as they walk into the ceremony site, to the very end of the evening. We won't be disappearing for pictures or going off anywhere. We plan to use the gap after the vows as our cocktail hour where we can drink with our guests, introduce them to one another, and take lots of photos with all of them. We even have a backdrop set up where our photographer will take portraits of the guests. So they won't just be sitting around waiting.

    We will definitely look into providing transportation, although if the traffic will be terrible then it might make sense to walk. I I'll speak to the BnB and see what they say about traffic/crowds during that day of the year in the area, and I think it would help if i can at least warn all the guests to bring comfortable shoes and warm clothing.

    Our wedding is not in the French Quarter, it is in mid-city. I am surprised at some of the responses about it being Mardi Gras like it's a bad thing, I suspect the majority of our guests are coming precisely because it IS Mardi Gras and they want to party all weekend. I've had lots of compliments form people saying "this is the coolest wedding idea ever, way better than a boring banquet hall wedding". I do expect people will have a fun weekend just because of all the festivities.

    Alright if people really feel that strongly about thank you notes then I guess they're a go!

    Also I will rent space heaters, can't hurt. I did read the highs during this time are 20 degrees C, but it's not a risk I want to take.

    Sounds like you're making all the right steps to make sure your guests are properly hosted. This plan sounds much better!

    Formerly martha1818

    image


    [Deleted User]
  • flantasticflantastic The Midwest member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I don't understand why you guys think I'm trolling, I posted this precisely because I read that thread and realized there were lots of potential blunders. I don't know anything about wedding planning and we planned this whole thing in only 3 months. It was initially supposed to be an elopement, but then our families really wanted to come so we let them.

    Maybe this is the wrong board for my post then. We're not traditional people and just want to have a kickass party with our friends and family. Not put on a whole production based on some ancient rules.
    People gave you advice. A good amount of what you're doing is fine, if not ideal, so I disagree with the trolling accusation. You need to shorten the gap if possible, because even though it may be fun for you to spend that amount of time with cocktail hour offerings, that may not be the case for your guests.

    On the thank you note issue, I assumed you were thinking of thank you notes for attending the wedding. You're right, if that's the case - there's no need to send thank you notes for attending the wedding, because that's what the reception is for. However, if they give you an actual gift, the least courtesy you can do is send a note in return. It's not about the rules for rules' sake, the rules are about being kind and courteous to the people you care about. 
  • I had no idea the thank you notes were for gifts and not for attending. This makes more sense now since I wouldn't be able to properly thank them for the gifts at the wedding without having opened them first.

    Still, I guess I feel like a phone call after is more personal and meaningful than a note in the mail, but that's just me, I wouldn't want to offend anyone that felt otherwise.
  • jacques27jacques27 member
    Knottie Warrior 500 Love Its 1000 Comments 5 Answers
    edited January 2015
    There is nothing wrong with calling, too.  But you should still send a thank you note.  I will say though, that I'm of the mindframe that since you're doing a destination wedding, that you should send thank you notes for attending in addition to sending any for any gifts you may happen to receive.  Chances are these people are spending at least $500-1000 to spend several days with you at your behest - I would consider that a gift in and of itself worthy of a formal thank you.

    Lying about start time is rude no matter what way you cut it, but seems especially unnecessary when you have a small captive audience who are there already for the express purpose of your wedding.  It's not like you're worried about Aunt Janie forgetting that Little Billy's soccer practice usually runs late or you have people driving from all over hitting road construction.  They are already there.

    And people are commenting on Mardi Gras because it means 1) you are asking them to spend even more money to attend your wedding than if you had picked it for another time, and 2) depending on your crowd, hanging out with boob-flashing college kids who can't hold their liquor may not be everyone's idea of a good time.  It all depends on the crowd and how well organized you are to minimize that sort of thing and maximize the general party atmosphere.


    newvalley
  • I had no idea the thank you notes were for gifts and not for attending. This makes more sense now since I wouldn't be able to properly thank them for the gifts at the wedding without having opened them first.

    Still, I guess I feel like a phone call after is more personal and meaningful than a note in the mail, but that's just me, I wouldn't want to offend anyone that felt otherwise.

    ***********
    I always think of a personal thank you as nicest, and still write notes. But I came to understand it more , that the more formal occasion of marriage calls for both because it is a landmark or milestone in your life, and the gift you are thanking people for is more than a yearly birthday gift. The formal thank you note for a wedding present is supposed to show a statement of your relationship to the giver, a naming and acknowledgement of the gift, and some statement of how that gift is important to you.

    Dear Aunt Sue, I was happy to see you at our wedding. Living far apart as we do now, we rarely meet . Yet every time we do I think of all the happy times when you lived next door to us and spoiled us all with cookies and treats, and an extra hug if I needed one. The tablecloth you gave us is just right for entertaining. Bob and I are making a real home together, and I am so happy. Love,

    Obviously, one to family is longer and more thoughtful than the thank you to folks from work. But the formal format is supposed to make you think again of the giver and their generosity. Many people used to keep thank you notes as keepsakes , though maybe like letters that is disappearing.
    [Deleted User]newvalley
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    The time thing is wrong.  With only 25 people though I would start as soon as you know everyone is there. If that is 4:05, then start then. 

    The gap actually doesn't bother me.  It's 25 people, you are eating drinking and socializing.   While some might find it a bit long, it might not be for your family.   Is the cocktail hour the same place as the dinner? If yes, I would ask the venue if you can play dinner by ear.  Meaning if you think people are ready for dinner see if they can more it up a little. I've worked wedding that had longer cocktails and we have moved up dinner (15 or so) when it was clear people were ready. Most kitchens are ready anyway.  Most of the time though the longer cocktail hour wasn't an issue.


    Walking - that is a tough one.   Not sure what day or where you are walking from, but Mid-City during Mardi Gras weekend  can be a nightmare transportation wise.  There are some krewes that parade that way.  It could be faster/easier to walk.  Check out THIS to see the parade schedule.  Then I would go from there.  You might be in the clear, you might be in the middle of it all.  Hard to say since I don't have any details.

    Weather  - I was to have an outdoor wedding.  It didn't happen due to a very strong tropical storm.  It was a non-issue because I had a plan B.  Because of that my advice is ALWAYS, I don't care where you live, always, always have a plan b.  In your case that means a backup plan in case of rain and heaters on stand-by if the weather is cold.

    Entertainment seems appropriate for the amount of people you have.

    Decorations - totally fine

    Thank you note.  Please do not underestimate the power of a nicely handwritten note.  Personally I think it's means way more than a phone call.








    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    edited January 2015
    Hi everyone, I'm new on here but a bit late to the game, my wedding is in only 2 weeks and I've been reading the "worst wedding you've ever been to" thread all weekend freaking out that I may be making some of those mistakes. Please let me know if you think any of these are etiquette breaches or might offend people. I really just want everyone to have a good time, we dragged our 25 guests to New Orleans during Mardi Gras (SUPER expensive flights and hotels) so we really want to make sure the wedding is awesome and nobody regrets it.

    Our ceremony is in the courtyard of our bed and breakfast, and our reception is at a restaurant that is an 8 minute walk from there.
    Some of the things I have read about that concern me:

    - People complaining about ceremonies starting late - we put 4:00 pm on the invitation but plan to start the vows a 4:30, I was told that there will always be people showing up late if we started straight at 4:00. Would this upset people and will people be showing up even before 4:00? My fiance and I will be out there greeting our guests before the ceremony begins, so nobody will be standing around bored hopefully.

    Yes.  If you put 4:00 pm on the invitation, that's when the vows should start.  It's just as rude, if not ruder, to give a false start time and make people who get there at the starting time claimed on the invitation wait on you as it is for guests to be deliberately late.  And not every guest is deliberately late.  Sometimes there's traffic or some other delay that's beyond their control.  Don't automatically assume that when someone is late, it was on purpose on their part.

    - People complaining about gaps - Our ceremony will probably end at 4:45 but our dinner doesn't start until 7:00, so over 2 hours in between, is this too long of a gap? We figured this would be just like a cocktail hour, we have appetizers and drinks available and we will be out there with guests as well, probably even taking pictures with all of them.

    Yes.  More than one hour is too long of a gap.

    - Should we arrange some kind of transportation for everyone to get to the restaurant after? It's 8 minutes of walking (according to Google) but to be honest i wouldnt want to do that myself in my big heels and especially if it will be cold out which it might. Plus maybe some of them will be unprepared and have no idea how to get there?

    This isn't required, but it's a nice gesture.

    - Should I look into getting space heaters for the ceremony? It's outdoors and I read that the temperature can be as low as 10 degrees C during that time of year

    Why are you having an outdoor ceremony at that time of year?  I don't think a space heater will provide enough heat.

    - I am worried we do not have enough entertainment for guests, our reception is just a sit down dinner and open bar. There will be a live jazz band at the restaurant but I dont think people really dance to jazz music, do they (i am not a dancer myself)? I dont think there will be any speeches or toasts, or games. So i am worried people will be bored and leave right after the meal. We are thinking of bringing board games (and giant jenga!) for guests to play after the meal, or maybe finding a club nearby to go to for an afterparty? How upset will people get at the lack of dancing?

    No one is entitled to expect dancing at a wedding reception.  Speeches and toasts aren't necessary either.  That said, I would not have board games.  Many people don't care for them, and the pieces could get lost or fall on the floor and be tripped on.  Just have good music, sufficient good food and beverages, and plenty of good conversation and you'll be fine.  An afterparty would be okay.

    - We are skipping a lot of the smaller details like flowers, centerpieces, decor, etc.. is this bad etiquette? We did hire a decorator but got a cheapie package so we have no idea what she will actually bring.

    This is fine.

    - Thank you notes - I was planning on skipping this entirely as our 25 guests are all close family and friends who we talk to regularly. Can't we just thank them over the phone or in person? Or is this a faux pas

    It's fine for people who are just attending, but to omit them for gifts given or really big favors is a huge faux pas, and a phone call or verbal thank-you alone for a gift or a really big favor will not cut it.

    Thank you for reading!!

  • I'd like clarification on your outdoor wedding -- you do have seats for everybody, right?

    [Deleted User]
  • holyguacamole79holyguacamole79 a taco truck in Houston member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Hand write your thank yous.
  • Hi everyone, I'm new on here but a bit late to the game, my wedding is in only 2 weeks and I've been reading the "worst wedding you've ever been to" thread all weekend freaking out that I may be making some of those mistakes. Please let me know if you think any of these are etiquette breaches or might offend people. I really just want everyone to have a good time, we dragged our 25 guests to New Orleans during Mardi Gras (SUPER expensive flights and hotels) so we really want to make sure the wedding is awesome and nobody regrets it.

    Our ceremony is in the courtyard of our bed and breakfast, and our reception is at a restaurant that is an 8 minute walk from there.
    Some of the things I have read about that concern me:

    - People complaining about ceremonies starting late - we put 4:00 pm on the invitation but plan to start the vows a 4:30, I was told that there will always be people showing up late if we started straight at 4:00. Would this upset people and will people be showing up even before 4:00? My fiance and I will be out there greeting our guests before the ceremony begins, so nobody will be standing around bored hopefully.

    Fix this for sure. Plan to start at the time you state (or call up your guests and let them know there was an error and the ceremony will start at 4:30. Sh*t happens, and anyone can be late, but generally expect adults to be adults and arrive early). 

    - People complaining about gaps - Our ceremony will probably end at 4:45 but our dinner doesn't start until 7:00, so over 2 hours in between, is this too long of a gap? We figured this would be just like a cocktail hour, we have appetizers and drinks available and we will be out there with guests as well, probably even taking pictures with all of them. 

    This is a bit long. It's great this time is being hosted, but over 2 hours is LONG. People will either get hungry for dinner or eat so many apps (especially with a 7pm dinner) that they aren't hungry when dinner does come. If you have your ceremony at 4:30, I would plan dinner to start at 6:30 the latest- consider travel time.

    - Should we arrange some kind of transportation for everyone to get to the restaurant after? It's 8 minutes of walking (according to Google) but to be honest i wouldnt want to do that myself in my big heels and especially if it will be cold out which it might. Plus maybe some of them will be unprepared and have no idea how to get there?

    You are not required to arrange transportation. Guests can walk, or they can also grab a taxi or drive themselves. Since Mardi Gras is going on, I would ask the BnB as well as the reception venue what they recommend/ what you can expect in regard to transportation time. Walking *might* be faster than driving if there will be people filling the streets. I would verbally let guests know what to expect, "The reception venue is easily accessible from the ceremony site, but Mardi Gras events may cause traffic delays. We will be walking, so we welcome you to join us if you like!". Myself? I'd be cool with walking if I knew there were Mardi Gras events going on (and I'd bring flats with me) but my grandmother would be unable to walk that far and would complain about it regardless ;)

    - Should I look into getting space heaters for the ceremony? It's outdoors and I read that the temperature can be as low as 10 degrees C during that time of year.

    I don't think you need space heaters. I don't think there is anything wrong with outdoor ceremonies, but I would let your guests know the ceremony is outdoors. If it's cold enough for them to wear a jacket to the ceremony, they can choose to wear it during too. Do try to keep the ceremony short though. 

    - I am worried we do not have enough entertainment for guests, our reception is just a sit down dinner and open bar. There will be a live jazz band at the restaurant but I dont think people really dance to jazz music, do they (i am not a dancer myself)? I dont think there will be any speeches or toasts, or games. So i am worried people will be bored and leave right after the meal. We are thinking of bringing board games (and giant jenga!) for guests to play after the meal, or maybe finding a club nearby to go to for an afterparty? How upset will people get at the lack of dancing?

    A jazz band is just fine- I would love it! There are lots of jazz songs that can be danced to, fast or slow. No games required (since your group is so small, I do think it's a know your crowd thing, if you honestly think that your family would enjoy *a* game or two, then you could always bring it, but it's not required. If it was a larger group I would say absolutely no- trying to get 100 people who don't really know each other to engage in the same game is a logistical nightmare). No other entertainment required. 

    - We are skipping a lot of the smaller details like flowers, centerpieces, decor, etc.. is this bad etiquette? We did hire a decorator but got a cheapie package so we have no idea what she will actually bring. 

    Smaller details not required and not part of etiquette. As long as you host your guests properly with food and drink, a chair for every butt with a table to eat at, you are good. No one honestly cares if you have programs, centerpieces, flowing flowers, etc etc- what they really care about is being comfortable, a good meal, and good company! 

    - Thank you notes - I was planning on skipping this entirely as our 25 guests are all close family and friends who we talk to regularly. Can't we just thank them over the phone or in person? Or is this a faux pas

    Thank your guests in person for attending the wedding, either during the cocktail hour or at dinner. Hand written notes should be sent (soon) after the wedding for any gifts received. If you wish to additionally call guests to thank them for coming, that would be lovely.

    Thank you for reading!!

    I'm not sure why everyone always assumes people are posting MUD- I didn't get that from you. Good luck, and enjoy!!!

  • Your new timeline sounds good to me. Get your thank you notes out as soon as you get home.

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    [Deleted User]PrettyGirlLostlevioosa
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    I like your new timeline.

    As far as heaters, have them on stand-by.   A month ago it dipped in the 30's in NOLA.  So it's always possible 2 weeks from now it could do the same.   

    Also temperature is relative.    In the spring when it hits the mid-60's people are in shorts and open their windows.  In the fall when it hits the 60's some people up on sweatshirts.   Same mid-60's but different ideas on what is cold.

    Basically, what is comfortable to you isn't necessarily comfortable to others.  You are using Celsius some I'm thinking you are from Canada? Just assuming.   90% of my Canadian guests feel like they are in a heat wave when they visit this time of year. (I work for a guest house in NOLA).  People from South Florida thinks there is a little chill in the air.  
     






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
  • JCbride2015JCbride2015 Dirty Jerz member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary First Answer
    Yes we definitely have plenty of seats for everyone, and several tables as well. We also have a bartender, server, a harpist, and a day of coordinator who could always run out for something if we needed it, so I think the guests will be comfortable. We do have a plan B (indoor location for the ceremony) but it is obviously not as beautiful as the courtyard which is why we would rather do the courtyard.

    I didn't realize people thought the weather in February in New Orleans is so cold!! I just checked the weather today and it was 17 C there at 6 pm at night, and it's still 2.5 weeks out. Is that too cold for an outdoor ceremony? Personally I'm quite comfortable in that weather, but maybe that's just me. We'll all be flying from -5 degree weather to 17 degree weather, so i'm sure we'll feel like we're in Mexico. Definitely will grab a few space heaters though.

    Ok so new timeline goes like this:
    4:30 - Guests arrive and ceremony begins when everyone is seated
    5:00 - Drinks, food, introductions, and socializing
    6:15 - Everyone heads over to the dinner location
    6:30 - Dinner begins

    Is this better?

    The reception is 0.2 miles away from the ceremony, which is only actually 3 blocks. There are also no parades running in the area that day, the parades are all in the french quarter or uptown, so there is no way that walk would take more than a few minutes. It's all side streets anyway, not major intersections.
    This timeline looks fine to me.  Sounds like fun!

    And another vote to handwrite thank you's for any gifts received.  You can also call if you want but a handwritten thank you is a very powerful thing.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
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    "I'm not a rude bitch.  I'm ten rude bitches in a large coat."

  • You posted before I finished, so I'll "update". Timeline sounds great.

    *I* think the temperature is just fine and heaters not needed, but I am also from Canada ;). 17C could still be cold if there is a cool breeze, but again, I think people would be fine wearing jackets in this temperature- as long as your guests know the ceremony is outdoors, they should be able to dress appropriately.

    Mind you, if the venue HAS heaters available, I'd take them, but I would worry about finding and spending money to get them. 
  • That looks fantastic.

    (Now all I can think about are muffaletta sandwiches. Giant ones.)
    [Deleted User]
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