Weddingflilter: how to plan a low-key ceremony?
November 21, 2010 6:33 AM   Subscribe

Weddingflilter: how to plan a low-key ceremony?

My partner and I are getting married very soon in the UK. As we are moving to my country, this was envisaged as something we'd do just to get his visa papers sorted, and once we are there, plan for a larger and more lavish ceremony.

What we are doing now is just a civil wedding at the town hall, then head to the local pub. We'll get married in the morning, at about 10.30 and the whole thing will be finished by about 11.15ish. We were planning initially to go to the pub, have some drinks and lunch, which would last for a couple of hours.

Thing is, this is also a kind of leaving party as we are moving away, so we wanted to make it simple, but special. We didn't want the whole thing to finish at 3pm and people to just go home. We wanted to do something to break the drinking for a bit, a group activity of some sort, followed by a gig at the pub later on (which we would organise) or a dinner.

We are a bit confused as to what we should organise for that activity in between. We don't want to do something that requires a lot of travel as we wouldn't be able to get people back to the pub for the gig later on and some wouldn;t want the hassle anyway. There is a room close to the pub that we could hire for a couple of hours, but what could we do then? We thought of a movie screening, but that would just disrupt the socialising. It needs to be something that would be appropriate for most people (group of just over 20 people).

The problem is really to stay in the pub from 11am until later in the evening - people would be falling over by then. Of course, we could go somewhere else after the actual wedding ceremony, despite the fact that the pub seems the only option of place to go after because it is an awkward time of the day. I wonder what we could do? Maybe a different plan altogether? Any ideas appreciated - particularly from people who had a fuss-free wedding!
posted by heartofglass to Society & Culture (3 answers total)
Hm, the timing is slightly awkward -- I wonder if you could go to the hired room right after and then to the pub for a LATE lunch? I think what people would probably want to do/see is the cake-and-toasts-and-reminiscing part of the wedding. Could you have cake and champagne in the rented room, nothing fancy, and have people do toasts and you guys say something to your friends, and then just let everyone chatter away about the good times?

Another option would be to do this as the luncheon -- lunch, cake, champagne, toasting and reminiscing, and then off to the pubs later in the afternoon. One of the most charming weddings I ever went to, the couple had everyone back to their totally unfurnished apartment and we all sat on the floor and ate $5 pizzas and drank cheap beer and toasted the couple and told embarrassing stories about their exploits in college. Everyone had a FANTASTIC time and it didn't cost the couple more than $200. So it doesn't have to be a fancy lunch if you decide to "do" a lunch.

Something people sometimes do is going through the city to get pictures of the bride and groom at various landmarks, while the entourage of friends poses with them, makes silly faces, and raises a hullabaloo to draw attention to the bride and groom. This could fit in your pub-activity-pub plan as the activity in the middle, where everyone would be involved and you'd get lots of pictures and memories from it ... also a nice "going away" with pictures at important or memorable places in the town you're leaving. I suppose you don't have to raise a ton of fuss and draw attention, but I think it's funner that way ... it also helps if you're rather obviously dressed as a bride and groom. It also spreads some joy, people (especially tourists and children) love seeing happy brides, especially in incongruous places. I always thought I'd be embarrassed by this sort of thing but I was in the wedding of a friend who did it, and I can't tell you how much we enjoyed all the passing pedestrians shouting good wishes and the motorists honking and the little kids gawking at the bride and the tourists stopping to take pictures of her taking pictures ... it was just great fun. But that may involve more travel-hassle than you're willing to take on.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:09 AM on November 21, 2010

Are these people all coming to your wedding? Or is that private? If they're not coming, can you just plan the get together in the pub to celebrate for later in the evening? Have your own romantic private lunch, then meet up with them later.

If the friends are coming to the wedding, I think you are asking a lot of them by basically asking them to give up about 12 hours of their weekend to you.

Or can you change the wedding to late afternoon (having worked for a judge at one time, I'm guessing this isn't an option)? If so, do the wedding later in the day, then go to the pub for dinner.
posted by amro at 7:46 AM on November 21, 2010

We played Badminton in a local park.
posted by ovvl at 10:22 AM on November 21, 2010

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