Does this sound like a good plan to you?

Hello all,

I'm getting myself a bit worked up about wedding planning and would really appreciate some advice! At the moment I'm bouncing between feeling really positive about it and worrying that everyone's going to be bored and not have a nice time...

We are hoping to have a nice wedding on a small budget (£5,000 max). We initially hoped to do this by keeping the numbers small but a combination of out of town guests (his) and a large family (mine) has meant that we have ended up increasing the total of day guests to 55 - the maximum our chosen reception venue will hold. However, this still doesn't include any of my cousins and their children or a lot of our good friends. So, we are thinking of moving in the evening to a pub that's a 20 minute walk (or a short taxi ride) away where more family can join for a buffet and hopefully dancing. However, I'm a little concerned that having the wedding take part in essentially three different venues will be a bit weird. Additionally, we are going to have an earlier ceremony as the lunch menu is much cheaper than the evening menu at our reception venue (we're just doing private dining in a smart hotel). Would anybody be willing to cast an eye over my rough plan for the day and let me know what they think? I would be very grateful as it's got to the point where H2B and I can't see the wood for the trees! We're thinking something like this:

11.00am Registry office ceremony

11.30am bus arrives (we're hiring a vintage bus) to take us to the reception venue

12.00pm arrive at hotel, drinks (no canapes, they're too expensive!)

1pm wedding breakfast - three course lunch half bottle of wine each, coffee and petit fours. no speeches other than brief 'hello and thank you' from H2B and I

3-5pm ish people mingling, walking round beautiful hotel gardens (one of main attractions)

5pm cake cutting and glass of fizz. More chatting.

7pm ish walk to local pub, where about twenty more family and friends will join for evening buffet and dancing.

I guess my question is would you be happy with this kind of day as a guest? I'm worried that it's a bit fragmented, and also that on account of having to start proceedings early because the hotel only serves lunch until 1.30pm (last order time, not service time), the afternoon is going to feel very long. Hoping that will be mitigated by lovely grounds and hopefully nice weather (it will be in June). Also worried that unfortunately as our budget is very small, we can only afford 1 arrival drink, half bottle of wine with dinner and one drink with cake for everybody. This sounds like a lot but as it will be spread over several hours, I worry it's going to look very stingy...

Any advice greatly appreciated! 😊


  • cs2thecoxcs2thecox Posts: 260 New bride
    I don't see any problem with multiple venues if that means you can have all the people you want!
    However, the 4 hours from the end of lunch to heading to the pub feels like a rather long time with just the cake cutting in there.
    Could the pub maybe accommodate you at 6ish, so you could bring the cake cutting forward a bit and reduce that gap in the day?
  • OmRumOmRum Posts: 693 New bride
    I don't think the venues are a problem, but I do agree with cs2thecox that 3-7 part may feel long. The cake cutting will only take a few minutes, and however lovely the gardens are they probably wouldn't provide that amount of entertainment, even if you did have the resources to provide drinks and canapés. Will photos also be done during this time? That would cover half an hour or so, depending on how many you do.

    I think the day as a whole looks lovely, but that afternoon section does rely on the guests chatting and entertaining themselves, and the last thing you want is to be worrying that people look bored or have pulled out their phones for entertainment.

    We had people arriving at our reception at 4:30pm and didn't serve dinner till 6pm, and that was pushing it for an amount of time to entertain themselves, even with a bar to buy drinks from. Our dinner was originally planned for 6:30pm but fortunately the caterers were ready to go early!

    Will there be a bar at the hotel? Can the guests buy themselves drinks so that it's a bit like a drinks reception on the lawn? Could you provide outdoor games for people to enjoy? (Maybe the hotel already has some you can use, or you can see if you can get any good deals on Ebay - perhaps something like throwing hoops or croquet?)
  • I agree with the ladies above. The different venues wouldn't bother me since you're providing travel for the first venue move and the second isn't far away. What is more worrying is that gap between lunch and going to the pub. If you could somehow push the morning and lunch slightly later and move the pub earlier, I think you'd be better off.

    I know you said last order time for lunch is at 1:30, could you not give your day guests a menu and gather their menu choices ahead of time in order to push the lunch back by half an hour which means you can push the morning stuff later too (although I fear it maybe too late to change the registry office?)

    Otherwise, I think there needs to be some form of entertainment between 3-7pm because cake cutting won't take long at all and you run the risk of people either leaving early for the pub anyway or getting very drunk and lary at the hotel. Garden games are a good suggestion as are some group photos. Maybe have a guestbook out and advice cards for the new Mr & Mrs for people to be filling in? Or perhaps some form of game/quiz (I'm thinking like the Mr&Mrs tv show) where you see which of your guests know you as a couple best. 
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