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mountain wedding-sorry kinda long

Posted by songcatcher (My Page) on
Fri, Oct 6, 06 at 6:57

My step daughter is going to be getting married in TN next April, and I have been asked to help her with some ideas. One dilema that we have is how to word something on the invitations. There will be about 25 to 30 people going to TN for this wedding, many from ohio and then her Dad and I from Michigan. She wants to get married in a chapel and then get pictures on top of Mount Lookout, following that her ideas are as follows: everyone changes and goes to eat at a restuarant that would be similar in comparison to Cracker Barrel or Country Buffett, only difference being it is served family style, then later on in the evening everyone meet at whoever has the largest cabin for cake and drinks. The question is: dinner will cost about 15-20 dollars a head and she doesn't want to have to pay for all this. At this rate she might as well have a full-fledge reception for its going to run around 700 or more. Is there someway we can word this to people without them being offended that they would pay for their own meal?
This is such a mixed up deal I am not sure how to handle all this. Her Mom, well we have no clue what she is doing. Her Dad and I are paying for the wedding itself which is costing around 400 dollars for they have a package deal, and we just feel this really isn't necessary since we are all meeting for cake later. Plus you have to keep in mind traveling and lodging for each party.
Our daughter has lived with soon to be son in law for 2 years and have a daughter that will be 2 1/2 at time of wedding, we realize her desire to have a nice wedding and all but this is as expensive as if she would just get married at home in ohio and have a reception. Plus they are leaving the day after for Jamacia, so there is money there also.
i know this may sound messed up but any ideas and suggestions on this reception idea of hers would be helpful. She is having someone in ohio make the cake and they are transporting this down there along with flowers and everything else! Its just crazy!!
Any thought would help!!

Thank you so much--a crazed step mom of the bride


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: mountain wedding-sorry kinda long

Unfortunatly, I don't think there is a polite way to tell people what resturant to go to and that they must pay for their own dinner. So, lets look for some options.

Do you suppose that at the people who are invited will decide to go? From Cleveland to Chattanooga is 600 miles. That is a heafty trip. If the actual turnout would likely be less, you might be able to afford it.

Tell us more about the "largest cabin for cake and drinks." Would you be able to cook in this cabin or at least heat up stuff? Cooking for 30 wouldn't be too much of a chore if part or most of it was pre-made either at home or at at local grocery/deli. The cost would be a fraction of $20 a head.

Is there some type of picnic shelter you can reserve at Mount Lookout? If so, you could all go up there for pictures and picnic. Again a fraction of the cost and only 3 stops for the day rather than 4.

Duckie


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RE: mountain wedding-sorry kinda long

I agree with Duckie - there's no polite way to do what you're suggesting. If wedding celebrations include a meal, the hosts pay.

I think I'd see whether the church has some space to host a cake and punch reception immediately after the wedding, and have that be the end of the official wedding. (Is the hike something that you would expect everyone to do, even the old and infirm? If so, you could have the cake and punch reception there, maybe with a picnic, as Duckie suggested.)

Then, you could put the word out that the bride and groom and their parents are going for dinner at such-and-such a place at such-and-such time, and that anyone who wants to come is welcome. I'd do it informally, not writing anything in the invitation or announcing it at the wedding, or I think people will naturally assume you're paying.

I wouldn't wait until the evening to serve the cake unless you're 100% sure that everyone coming to the wedding is staying over for the night.

Good luck!


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RE: mountain wedding-sorry kinda long

Asking guests to pay for their own reception dinner is definitely a No-No. You should not mention it at all in the invitation. If your step daughter has limited funds or just doesn't want to pay, she can either reduce her guest list to make it affordable for her or have just wedding cake/desserts and drinks at the chapel as was suggested in previous post. I think that there is to much going here and there also. To the chapel, hike up the mountain, change your clothes, go to dinner, later go to cabin. Any way your step daughter can lessen all the traveling for her guests? I get tired just thinking about it! lol NancyLouise


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RE: mountain wedding-sorry kinda long

Lookout Mountain is beautiful, but . . .

Do you have a line on the cabins? There are some houses that are for rent by the week, or is the plan just getting cabins for a weekend? Does she have the name of a restaurant that serves family style or is this something she wants to find?

I went to the Smokey Mtns. with MIL and a small child, not even the event you are talking about. But, grocery store are there and you can get very nice picnic foods. We often set off with what could be considered heavy hor'devoures and with a good deli and a decent kitchen in your cabin, you could set up a nice reception.

I would try to do a small reception and the cake at the church (if able) or at the larger cabin immediately following the ceremony. Then after the hike and any other activities, someone could say, "I'm hungry, there is a great family style resturant. Do we want to meet there after cleaning up? Or, do you want to go your seperate ways for dinner?"

Susan


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RE: mountain wedding-sorry kinda long

I agree that there's not a polite way to ask people to pay for their own dinner at a wedding. I'm a believer in giving the party you can afford and leaving it at that. I would be way happier at a reception with cake only than at a reception where I'm expected to pay my own bill for dinner.

I like joann's idea of simply serving cake immediately after the ceremony, with that being the end of the actual wedding. Then spread the word about where people are gathering for dinner later that evening, informally as joann suggested.

Of course this somewhat depends on the time of the wedding. It would probably need to be early afternoon, maybe 1:00 or so. Then everyone comes to the wedding, eats some cake, and is ready for dinner at 7 pm. The wedding party has plenty of time to do photos on the mountain between the cake reception and dinner. And no one is obligated to attend the dinner. Those who wish to can, and those wish to go their separate way can. Just make sure that everyone is informed about the dinner location so that there are no hurt feelings later on since you're doing this by word of mouth.


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RE: mountain wedding-sorry kinda long

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!! you all solidified my thoughts to me!! now its just a matter of getting her to understand that the way she once this is not only mind-boggling crazy but not financially sound either.
i am going to send her some ideas and we'll see what happens but in the meantime i thought i would tell you that since this announcement-my own daughter has announced her engagement and one year later almost to the day-they chose the day without even realizeing the first daughters day!!!! can you believe this!!! wish me luck!! thank you all again!!!


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RE: mountain wedding-sorry kinda long

Just a few other thoughts from someone who lives in the North Georgia Mountains (fairly near Chattanooga).

April can still be bitterly cold, especially on top of a mountain. No kidding, you could have problems with snow or more likely ice. The less driving your guests have to do, the better. If the roads to lookout mountain are gravel, they can scare the dickens out of flat-landers even in the best of conditions.

I own a cabin rental company so if the plan is to go to the largest cabin for cake and champagne, you will need to get an o.k. from the cabin management company. That, most likely would be considered a "house party" and could be forbidden. It would not be something she would want to sneak by the management company or the cabin owners. We have a way of finding out about these things ;~)).

Is there a lodge at Lookout Mountain where the wedding can be performed and then heavy hors d'ourvres with cake and champagne afterwards? Or possibly could the wedding be scheduled for very late May?

Just a few additional thoughts.

jerri


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