Is it normal to change our minds this much?

So we are in the very early stages of planning our wedding. 

Initially when we started planned we LOVED (and still do love) the idea of a Nintendo themed wedding. My Foster dad has offered us £10k for our wedding and this sounded great, but since then our landlord as announced they want to sell our rented house, so we are instead using the money towards our deposit to buy the house. 

My partner has been quite firm in saying he wants a church wedding, he feels it is important to us as a couple, I never saw myself in a church but it is something I am willing to do for us (it's our wedding not just my wedding after all). 

We had everything semi planned out so that we could work towards a budget and how much we need to save, we both agree we want this to be a budget wedding as the house has eaten our savings and we had agreed on the local church In Cambrigeshire and then we were still in discussions about either an "I DO BBQ" at home or a reception in the small hotel over the road from the church (still walking distance from home). HOWEVER he has now altered it again and wants to get married in Grimsby where he was brought up in the church where his parents got married, he wants to do this and invite all his family including many I have never met and then have a reception in Grimsby/Cleethorpes & still have the I DO BBQ in Cambridgeshire...possibly the day after? 

In all honesty I don't mind where we get married as long as we do, but I thought it was meant to be the brides going all Bridezilla and changing their mind lol? I'm a bit concerned that some people will want to come to both receptions and that this won't be as low cost as we had planned... 

Is it acceptable after a church wedding with family to invite them to a hotel and just offer them afternoon tea and a couple drinks for toasts? It will only be for a couple of hours max, and then we will probably head home to Cambridgeshire. Is this enough? We have a few friends from Cambridgeshire who will want to see the actual ceremony too... is this a bit naff and will it be a big let down? 

Oh another thing... is a 17 minute drive between the church and the hotel to much? There is a closer hotel but in all honesty I quite like the idea of having afternoon tea in a Cleethorpes hotel which is on the 'sea' front and then we have the opportunity to have photos on the beach too... I just don't know though... I knew weddings were complicated to organised but I feel like this is all getting too complicated. 

Sorry for babbling, it seems to be all I am thinking about lately and its stressing me out lol. 


  • Kate186Kate186 Posts: 92

    Change your mind as many times as you like in the planning stages! That's the glory of planning - it's one day and it won't be repeated.

    1) One of the ideas we had was to do a family day one day and then a friends day the next day - I still don't see that there would be a problem with this as friends and family don't usually mix; however when you get down to friends who are in the wedding party and friends wanting to see the ceremony you have problems - this is why we didn't go for it (we even considered having a just us + BM and MOH ceremony)!

    2) You're right to consider that it might raise the costs; if you're going down the DIY route one of your largest costs (probably) is going to be the venue - and you would have 2! You can also be a little flexible and creative about how many guests you feed a whole meal if you have just 1 reception. 

    3) I would have loved to have ceremony followed by a few hours of food (another thing we considered) my Dad was worried that we were asking people to make too long round trips (in his head 4 hours is too long) for something that was only going to last a  few hours. I think this is true as far as our family goes as we don't meet up that much; however we would so do this for my OH's family and actually frequently do so I think it depends on your relationships in your family.

    4) We have a 17 minute drive between our reception and our ceremony, I don't think this is too much - there was a little bit of a debate (I think on here) a few months back and most people were saying they thought 20-25 minutes was the upper limit of acceptable.


    'is this a bit naff and will it be a big let down?' Sadly I think this is a lot of brides thoughts on the lead up to their big day and I'm not sure I will ever stop asking myself the same question however I think afternoon tea on the sea front sounds beautiful!

    If I were you I would have everyone there who really means something to *both of* you then you can all go down to the beach after and have a bit more of a day of it - just get everyone to buy themselves fish and chips? If your hotel packaging most hotel packages include the bridal suite anyway. Then if you really must you could have a big drinks only party with all your friends the next day (at yours?) this also answers the horrible question of what to do the day after the wedding as well!

    I hope this has helped I feel I've left an equally rambling response.


  • Kitten2014Kitten2014 Posts: 1,489

    It is certainly the stereotype that the female member of the couple dominates the wedding conversations and is the mind-changer...but this is certainly not always the case.  My sister is getting married this summer, and her OH is DEFINITELY more particular and bothered by all of the details than she is, down to the orientation of the main graphic on their invites (major debate: vertical or horizontal??!)  

    Just be sure, as you said early in your post, that the planning really does remain an "our wedding" affair. I may be wrong, but it seems a little like you are the one doing more of the bending on the planning: don't bend until you break. Make sure your preferences are known and acknowledged too, and if you both can't agree, then toss the idea and start brainstorming a new one. You both need to be happy with the choices made, especially the big ones.

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with having a ceremony, followed by a small reception of some sort, and then calling it a day. LOTS of people do similar. Weddings are an anything-goes affair in 2016, and as long as you alert your guests to what they are in for (in the form of an invite), they can make the decision as to whether this is something that they would like to attend - or not.

    Incidentally, 17 minutes is not a large travel between church and reception.  In my area, a lot of the wedding services are performed in the big, old churches in the city, and then the receptions in the rural areas (or suburbs). A half an hour (sometimes more) is a pretty common commute between the two. If you go beyond a half an hour, providing transport is a nice gesture if you can afford it, but this isn't even an issue for you (at least as of now!)

    I do agree with the post above, that having essentially two reception sites will make things more complicated and more costly.  It will require more explanation on your invite materials, more negotiating between who gets what kind of invite, more food/alcohol costs if people show up to both events, possibly higher food/alcohol costs even if people don't because you may not be able to buy everything from one source and get discounted pricing, a lot more coordination on your parts, possibly two venue fees and/or two food/beverage minimum spends, possibly more than one outfit for you and/or other wedding party members, likely more than one set of decor (what works in one space may not work or even be allowed in another), etc.  All just things to consider.  If you can work it out to have just one post-nuptial party, of whatever sort you decide, life will probably be less complicated and less costly.

    It is common to go through a lot of gyrations until you get it exactly right, and that goes for ALL aspects of wedding planning, from dress to venue to honeymoon locations, the whole lot!  There's no hurry though, so take your time and have fun with it!  Approach it as looking at all the possibilities instead of a forced-march through the bogs ;)



  • Thank you so much for your replies :) 

    At the moment it does seem like I am allowing Mark to get his own way with everything, but that will probably change once we start looking for flowers, wedding dress and 'theme'. I love my garden and gardening as well as flowers so as things stand I want to buy mostly plants rather than cut flowers as these will be re-used in my garden and can also be given as gifts as something that has been involved in our wedding.. My grandad is also an esteemed horticulturalist with a large green house so I imagine we will love being involved in growing some flowers for our events, he also has contacts if he can't do it and get 'mates rates'. 

    As things stand at the moment we are thinking: 

    1) We travel to Grimsby the night before and I'll meet my foster dad in a hotel which we will stay in for the night (probably the same hotel we will have the 'First Reception' in). Whilst there we will probably DIY our flowers as entertainment for the evening. 

    2) Church Wedding - My biological family won't be invited and Marks family are quite religious so I'm quite happy for him & them to do what they want with this (within reason) as long as I get my own way further down the line (details to come). 

    3) We will then meet everyone at the hotel for a Afternoon tea reception for a few hours. We are unsure which venue yet, but are leaning towards a hotel on Cleethorpes sea front which has a lovely room available with Afternoon tea available for just £9 per person + drinks. With it being on the sea front if the weather is good we have the opportunity for some nice beach photos too...

    4) Head back to Cambridgeshire

    5) New day - Have an I DO BBQ at home in our garden. We were thinking/planning on maybe having a rota for the BBQ with a designated Apron? I don't mind making the coleslaws and potato salads, cooking is something I love and my foster dad will enjoy helping too, we also have some local friends who I'm sure will pop over for an hour on the morning to help if need be (or make and bring with them).An aspect of this outdoor garden reception is the weather could harm us... but we have a sizable garage we were thinking about decorating with draping which i have found on ebay for around £100... the garage has a large window on one side and on the opposite side we have the entrance (double long garage not wide) so the plan would be to leave the garage door open to allow in more natural light. (this could all be prepared before the wedding so no rushing about) 

    Another option for the Cambridgeshire reception is to do it at a hotel, but this will incur more costs for room hire, drinks, food etc etc... 

    6) I am wiccan and I would LOVE to have a hand fasting ceremony in our garden, this way I feel our friends will witness an aspect of our marriage even if they have missed the Grimsby ceremony.  I've sent a few emails regarding this but am still waiting for a reply. 

    We have tried to price this all up and at the moment with quite a few DIY elements we are looking at £3000 - not including any gifts or financial help family may give us. This started at £12k so I think I've done quite well so far lol. 

  • Kate186Kate186 Posts: 92

    That sounds like a perfect idea and £9 a head is a bargain!!! Just make sure you both compromise.

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