Sunday, May 10, 2009

Sorry for this, but I'm truly stuck

I have a wedding question, and my mom and I aren't getting anywhere with this.

Would a three-stage wedding--with the ceremony in one place, the dinner somewhere else, and the drinking/dancing/party at a third location--be weird? (The dinner would be about a 15-minute drive from the ceremony and the party, which would be very close to each other.) Is this a thing? And how likely would you expect guests to be to bail after Stage 2 (dinner)? We're just having a terribly hard time figuring out venues, esp. how in the world we can feed all these people.

Thoughts welcome. Thanks....

6 comments:

Dr. Crazy said...

I don't know if this is a thing - I've never encountered it. As a guest, I think that I would find it irritating to have 3 different destinations. I wouldn't actually be worried about people bailing after dinner, though, if I were you... I think that people who are really committed to celebrating with you through those two stages will go on to the third. I think I'd be more worried about people just not coming to the ceremony. Or not coming to the ceremony + dinner - and I'm not sure how RSVPing would work if you're having the dinner at one place and the dancing at another - I'd imagine that you'd get a fair number of no-shows at each venue even if people rsvp'd they were coming to the wedding. YMMV.

Fretful Porpentine said...

I don't think three locations are that bad. I went to a wedding over the summer that was a weekend-long extravaganza, with welcome party, afternoon picnic, rehearsal dinner, wedding, and reception all in different places, and I don't think anybody got lost or bailed early, although there were never more than two locations on any one day.

Dance said...

random thoughts....Would drinking and driving after dinner be an issue? I think people will stay with you, but that it would affect the mood and flow of the party. How hard will it be to get your people dancing?

Moving makes the dancing less organic---e.g., if people are trickling into the dance venue, the energy might be lower. Doing the cake (and/or slideshow, if one were intended, I think they are fun) at the dance venue so that people have a specific reason and time to move might overcome part of that, as well as re-jumpstart the celebratory mood. As well as pre-empt the "I'm not dancing, so I'll skip the dance party part" reaction.

What about reconceiving the dinner to fit the dance venue? Eg, very heavy appetizers rather than a sit-down dinner? Tables spread thru multiple rather than a single room?

Or, would it be better to put up with a sub-optimal dance space at the dinner venue than to risk losing the energy? I think the ability to move between the dancefloor and a base at the dinner table helps make everyone more comfortable dancing.

pocha said...

Depends on two things, as far as I can tell (and based mainly on experience). Transportation and place. If you arrange it so that guests have an easy time going from A to B to C, and if they're not navigating their way through a big city where traffic and roads can be hectic, then you're probably OK. Partner and I had our wedding ceremony and post-ceremony reception in two different locations. It turned out to be pretty bad: guests got lost on the way to the ceremony location and it happened to coincide with Seattle's big summer event "Sea Fair," which meant several roads were blocked and people had to figure out alternative routes on their own. So, here's what I'd say: if you can narrow it down to two different locations, that would be great. If you can't, then do *all* in your power to ensure that transportation and directions are very planned out etc.

pocha said...

On second thought: Yeah, I'm thinking about it and I'm thinking three different locations can be a big "much." Especially if you want people to be present at specific moments (cake cutting, toasts, pictures, bouquet-chucking). Then again, if the wedding is small enough and if you have everything uber-planned, it could turn out just lovely, actually. (That didn't help, now did it?)

Maude Lebowski said...

i guess another thing to think about is what if it takes you and the minister a while to get to each of the venues and you arrive, unplanned, long after the guests do, particularly for the third venue?

it's hard coordinating this stuff. we lost a few people during my first wedding between the ceremony and the reception because people got lost. i think the issue about drinking during dinner and then having guests drive to "drinking and dancing" is something to consider as well.

just for convenience sake--for yours and the guests--it would be easier, i think, to try to do all reception activities in one venue, which might mean giving up dance floor size or doing a heavy hors d'oeuvres (sp?) buffet instead of the sit down. just my $.02.