Wedding stuff

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PinotGris
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Wedding stuff

Post by PinotGris » Fri Aug 23, 2019 11:15 am

We are giving a dinner the night before the wedding of my son. It is not a rehearsal dinner as there is no rehearsal. Many of our guests will come from out of town and we will be seeing our relatives and friends after a long time so this is a meet and mingle event with a banquet thrown in. Everyone attending the wedding is invited.

So we have the venue, the caterer. I am looking for ideas to make it place look festive with minimum cost and 'stuff". It is the "stuff" that I find stressful We will be from out of town as well and will not be taking back any left over candles, flowers etc.
So I am thinking a bunch of votive candles, like say 3, as center piece and a bunch of colorful Hershey kisses on the table for color. I can bulk order them in different colors but I will go with a single color. I am worried if this will look too sparse and not joyful enough.

We will have a PA system so I am thinking some speeches. I have corralled my daughter into being the emcee. This also I plan to keep simple. A small welcome speech that she can give, thanking everyone for coming, celebrate the couple, and dinner will be served shortly, enjoy yourself. And another break as dinner is coming to close - the two families (close family, parents, siblings, grands) gather and give a few short speeches. Or just one big one and combine the tw into one longer one, as people usually are ready to leave right after dinner. Also it will be an early night 9 PM. There will be speeches and readings at the wedding so I want to keep this simple as well.

I am ordering plastic (recommended by my caterer) products for dishes, silverware, table toppers. The venue provides furniture but nothing else. We also will be getting out wine, soda, seltzer, and water for the bar.

Please share your ideas if you went in for something similar. Tasteful, joyful, and simple is what I am aiming for.
Thanks

boogiehead
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Re: Wedding stuff

Post by boogiehead » Fri Aug 23, 2019 11:22 am

Been to a few of these just make sure you have enough alcohol and everything will work itself out :sharebeer

fru-gal
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Re: Wedding stuff

Post by fru-gal » Fri Aug 23, 2019 11:28 am

Please buy/rent as little plastic as possible. There are environmentally sound alternatives to plastic dishes and flatware. I had to look up what a table topper is, why do you need those?

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dm200
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Re: Wedding stuff

Post by dm200 » Fri Aug 23, 2019 11:52 am

PinotGris wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 11:15 am
We are giving a dinner the night before the wedding of my son. It is not a rehearsal dinner as there is no rehearsal. Many of our guests will come from out of town and we will be seeing our relatives and friends after a long time so this is a meet and mingle event with a banquet thrown in. Everyone attending the wedding is invited.
So we have the venue, the caterer. I am looking for ideas to make it place look festive with minimum cost and 'stuff". It is the "stuff" that I find stressful We will be from out of town as well and will not be taking back any left over candles, flowers etc.
So I am thinking a bunch of votive candles, like say 3, as center piece and a bunch of colorful Hershey kisses on the table for color. I can bulk order them in different colors but I will go with a single color. I am worried if this will look too sparse and not joyful enough.
We will have a PA system so I am thinking some speeches. I have corralled my daughter into being the emcee. This also I plan to keep simple. A small welcome speech that she can give, thanking everyone for coming, celebrate the couple, and dinner will be served shortly, enjoy yourself. And another break as dinner is coming to close - the two families (close family, parents, siblings, grands) gather and give a few short speeches. Or just one big one and combine the tw into one longer one, as people usually are ready to leave right after dinner. Also it will be an early night 9 PM. There will be speeches and readings at the wedding so I want to keep this simple as well.
I am ordering plastic (recommended by my caterer) products for dishes, silverware, table toppers. The venue provides furniture but nothing else. We also will be getting out wine, soda, seltzer, and water for the bar.
Please share your ideas if you went in for something similar. Tasteful, joyful, and simple is what I am aiming for.
Thanks
These gatherings can be very nice. many decades ago - we (my wife to be the next day) and I hosted a combination rehearsal dinner and gathering of folks from out of town and several special local guests and significant others (including the church pastor who conducted the wedding the next day. We found a local Chinese restaurant that had a nice, separate room for the group and everyone had a good time - and, for us, the cost was very moderate - compared to almost any other type of wedding related dinner. Last year, our son was married and they hosted a moderate number of folks at a dinner near where they were to be married the next day. They (son and daughter-in-law) made it clear that, with a few exceptions, folks would pay for their dinner. I "intervened" and told our son that I would pay for the whole group of relatives from his side of the family that came some distance to attend. We all sat at one large table - and I made it clear, at the appropriate point, that I was paying the bill for the whole table. We had not seen many of these relatives, in person, for some time - and my relatives and not seen my wife's relatives at all or, in one case, since our wedding 40 years ago. Doing this was very affordable for me and everyone seemed to have a good time. Win-win.

In your case, I would not like a lot of "speeches", etc. but rather keep things moving and rather casual. Try, as best you can, to have folks meet everyone they do not know, as well as being able to chat with folks they know. I would not duplicate anything from the wedding the next day.

Perhaps have a variety of food choices - to please as many folks as possible - from Vegan to Vegetarian to Gluten free to Fruititarian to Flexitarian to Pescatarian.

For me - I don't care about matching colors and specific decorations. I would focus on everyone feeling welcome and "involved" - as well as making sure that nobody has any reason the be "upset" - such as that any guest's significant other (or similar) is invited/welcomed as well.

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dm200
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Re: Wedding stuff

Post by dm200 » Fri Aug 23, 2019 11:53 am

boogiehead wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 11:22 am
Been to a few of these just make sure you have enough alcohol and everything will work itself out :sharebeer
Actually - in my opinion, this is much like "Goldilocks" - not too little alcohol, not too much alcohol - but just the right amount :)

Topic Author
PinotGris
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Re: Wedding stuff

Post by PinotGris » Fri Aug 23, 2019 12:12 pm

fru-gal wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 11:28 am
Please buy/rent as little plastic as possible. There are environmentally sound alternatives to plastic dishes and flatware. I had to look up what a table topper is, why do you need those?

It is a large banquet hall, we will have 8 or 10 tables. I need something to break up the expanse tables and chairs, give some color. I want people to feel welcomed, that we put some thought into it.

HomeStretch
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Re: Wedding stuff

Post by HomeStretch » Fri Aug 23, 2019 12:23 pm

Simple is good. I like the votive candles and scattered Hershey kisses idea. You can order customized kisses (color, words, photos).

Best wishes for a great celebration!

wilked
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Re: Wedding stuff

Post by wilked » Fri Aug 23, 2019 1:25 pm

PinotGris wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 12:12 pm
fru-gal wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 11:28 am
Please buy/rent as little plastic as possible. There are environmentally sound alternatives to plastic dishes and flatware. I had to look up what a table topper is, why do you need those?

It is a large banquet hall, we will have 8 or 10 tables. I need something to break up the expanse tables and chairs, give some color. I want people to feel welcomed, that we put some thought into it.
Something personal will go a long way... As mentioned above, don't buy a lot of cheap plastic that gets thrown away

Some ideas:
-Print off a bunch of memorable 5x7 photos (cheap at Walgreens) of you and your spouse, and write on the back a memory of each. The tables will enjoy passing the photos around, commenting on them, and sparking their own memories / conversations.
-Paper and crayons at each table. Ask the guests to draw a memory of the couple with a few words below it. The following day at the wedding reception have a board posted with all of the items.

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Raymond
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Re: Wedding stuff

Post by Raymond » Fri Aug 23, 2019 1:30 pm

Sounds good, but as mentioned above, please save the speeches for the wedding reception.

Just because you have a PA system doesn't mean you have to use it (aside from the welcoming remarks).

Those "short speeches" have a tendency to drag on and on :wink:
"Ritter, Tod und Teufel"

megabad
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Re: Wedding stuff

Post by megabad » Fri Aug 23, 2019 2:06 pm

PinotGris wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 11:15 am
Please share your ideas if you went in for something similar. Tasteful, joyful, and simple is what I am aiming for.
Thanks
I am assuming this is in addition to the reception (just like a rehearsal dinner)? If so I don't see any reason to go hog wild on it. I am no expert but I think your ideas are fine. Last wedding rehearsal I went to, they just had giant gift baskets as the centerpieces. They were the expensive premade stuff but the bride's family gave them away to the tables at the end of the night so there was zero "stuff" left over. Basically, they just ordered a few gift baskets and that's it. Other than that, they just hung a bunch of paper lantern things (it was outside in a big yard on Long Island). I thought it was pretty cool and simple (for a rehearsal dinner), but I am not very up on the in-style things. The one I went to was wine/beer only. The bride's family was not keen on people celebrating too hard before the wedding. There was plenty of time for that at the reception (which was much larger and more expensive and professionally decorated).

HereToLearn
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Re: Wedding stuff

Post by HereToLearn » Fri Aug 23, 2019 2:22 pm

What time of year? Will any flowering plant still be in season? Primroses, in small pots with brightly colored paper wrapping the plastic pots, sell for $1.50 in grocery stores.

For the rehearsal dinner for a family wedding, I cut peonies from my garden and arranged them in three inch tall clear glass vases that cost $1 each. Two tight arrangements on each table provided a pop of color. If you could have the vases shipped ahead, you could buy spray roses from the grocery store and cut those down.

Congrats!

mrc
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Re: Wedding stuff

Post by mrc » Fri Aug 23, 2019 2:30 pm

PinotGris wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 12:12 pm
fru-gal wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 11:28 am
Please buy/rent as little plastic as possible. There are environmentally sound alternatives to plastic dishes and flatware. I had to look up what a table topper is, why do you need those?

It is a large banquet hall, we will have 8 or 10 tables. I need something to break up the expanse tables and chairs, give some color. I want people to feel welcomed, that we put some thought into it.
On a small center table, a picture of the bride/groom, the wedding announcement, a small bouquet of flowers, and perhaps a guest book. They are the center of the gathering. Understated elegance.
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PinotGris
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Re: Wedding stuff

Post by PinotGris » Sat Aug 24, 2019 5:23 pm

mrc wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 2:30 pm
On a small center table, a picture of the bride/groom, the wedding announcement, a small bouquet of flowers, and perhaps a guest book. They are the center of the gathering. Understated elegance.
Sounds lovely. I will leave out the guest book because everyone attending will also be at the wedding where I am sure there will be one. Nobody needs two guest books.

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PinotGris
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Re: Wedding stuff

Post by PinotGris » Sat Aug 24, 2019 5:27 pm

HereToLearn wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 2:22 pm
What time of year? Will any flowering plant still be in season? Primroses, in small pots with brightly colored paper wrapping the plastic pots, sell for $1.50 in grocery stores.

For the rehearsal dinner for a family wedding, I cut peonies from my garden and arranged them in three inch tall clear glass vases that cost $1 each. Two tight arrangements on each table provided a pop of color. If you could have the vases shipped ahead, you could buy spray roses from the grocery store and cut those down.

Congrats!
It is middle of September in northern Virginia. What will be in bloom at the time? We will be from out of town (makes everything so much more complicated to arrange from a distance) and I would like to get a potted flowering plant for the center table as suggested by mrc above.

HereToLearn
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Re: Wedding stuff

Post by HereToLearn » Sat Aug 24, 2019 10:53 pm

PinotGris wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 5:27 pm
HereToLearn wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 2:22 pm
What time of year? Will any flowering plant still be in season? Primroses, in small pots with brightly colored paper wrapping the plastic pots, sell for $1.50 in grocery stores.

For the rehearsal dinner for a family wedding, I cut peonies from my garden and arranged them in three inch tall clear glass vases that cost $1 each. Two tight arrangements on each table provided a pop of color. If you could have the vases shipped ahead, you could buy spray roses from the grocery store and cut those down.

Congrats!
It is middle of September in northern Virginia. What will be in bloom at the time? We will be from out of town (makes everything so much more complicated to arrange from a distance) and I would like to get a potted flowering plant for the center table as suggested by mrc above.
Is there anyone local who can help you? Whole Foods sells great cut flowers fairly inexpensively. You could buy whatever they have in stock and cut down low to fit in short, clear vases. Pruning shears would help, which is why I asked if there is anyone local who could help.

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celia
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Re: Wedding stuff

Post by celia » Sun Aug 25, 2019 1:04 am

You can also get cut flowers (or potted plants) at Home Depot. Most dollar stores have skinny vases for a dollar. To make the table look a little "filled out", get some paper confetti of a different color than the table/tablecloth but keep near the center of the table, rather than where the plates and silverware will be.

Instead of leaving photos on the table where they will get wet, bent, and disappear, if you are allowed to tape something on the wall, tape a long stretch of twine or yarn (whatever you have) to create a "clothesline". Use clothes pins to pin the photos to the twine and spread out the photos so the people don't get bunched up standing next to each other. You could have pens and post-its and ask people to make funny titles / sayings for the photos. Have the photos printed in various sizes for some variety.

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PalmQueen
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Re: Wedding stuff

Post by PalmQueen » Mon Aug 26, 2019 10:46 am

If your preference is potted plants, Chrysanthemums will likely be in season and readily available in NoVa in mid September. For fun, you could choose a way to send one home with someone at each table. I'd probably use a post-it to put a number on the bottom of each pot and have guests guess a number from a range, then whoever is closest, wins the plant. You may come up with other schemes. From other events I've attended, works best to have someone at each table "win" the table's centerpiece.

surfstar
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Re: Wedding stuff

Post by surfstar » Mon Aug 26, 2019 10:55 am

fru-gal wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 11:28 am
Please buy/rent as little plastic as possible. There are environmentally sound alternatives to plastic dishes and flatware.
I second this. Its also quite trendy with the younger crowd, so its a win-win.


and it seems like you're having a pre-reception. That's a lot of work and expense - just have enough drinks and a little bit of food and people will enjoy themselves.

Most guests will never remember what the decor looked like or what the food actually was, post-wedding, given any amount of time passage. They'll remember having a good time with friends and family.

cherijoh
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Re: Wedding stuff

Post by cherijoh » Mon Aug 26, 2019 11:57 am

PinotGris wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 11:15 am
We are giving a dinner the night before the wedding of my son. It is not a rehearsal dinner as there is no rehearsal. Many of our guests will come from out of town and we will be seeing our relatives and friends after a long time so this is a meet and mingle event with a banquet thrown in. Everyone attending the wedding is invited.

So we have the venue, the caterer. I am looking for ideas to make it place look festive with minimum cost and 'stuff". It is the "stuff" that I find stressful We will be from out of town as well and will not be taking back any left over candles, flowers etc.
So I am thinking a bunch of votive candles, like say 3, as center piece and a bunch of colorful Hershey kisses on the table for color. I can bulk order them in different colors but I will go with a single color. I am worried if this will look too sparse and not joyful enough.

We will have a PA system so I am thinking some speeches. I have corralled my daughter into being the emcee. This also I plan to keep simple. A small welcome speech that she can give, thanking everyone for coming, celebrate the couple, and dinner will be served shortly, enjoy yourself. And another break as dinner is coming to close - the two families (close family, parents, siblings, grands) gather and give a few short speeches. Or just one big one and combine the tw into one longer one, as people usually are ready to leave right after dinner. Also it will be an early night 9 PM. There will be speeches and readings at the wedding so I want to keep this simple as well.

I am ordering plastic (recommended by my caterer) products for dishes, silverware, table toppers. The venue provides furniture but nothing else. We also will be getting out wine, soda, seltzer, and water for the bar.

Please share your ideas if you went in for something similar. Tasteful, joyful, and simple is what I am aiming for.
Thanks
I attended a wedding where they had a slide show of photos of the bride and groom from babies up to recent photos with a sound track of appropriate songs. It was quite enjoyable while we were waiting for the wedding party to finish up the photographs. I think this could easily be adapted for your party. Your venue can probably rent you a portable projector that will hook up to a laptop computer.

I have also been to weddings where each table had disposable cameras, for guests to take photos of the reception. They were quite popular.

What about paper decorations like honeycomb wedding bells or collapsible paper lanterns on the table as centerpieces? They ship flat, are light weight, and require minimal assembly. They are typical used for bridal showers.

Another idea to borrow from the bridal shower is a "wishes and advice" card left at each place setting. Here are some choices available on Amazon. And of course, this makes a nice keepsake for the bride and groom. :happy

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dm200
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Re: Wedding stuff

Post by dm200 » Mon Aug 26, 2019 12:59 pm

Those big banner type displays - from a photo are nice as well.

Have a blowup of a relevant photo - and have folks sign it.

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