what a mess

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christleleary Posts : 2 Registered: 2/7/10
what a mess
Posted: Feb 7, 2010 1:09 PM

Well, here it goes. I have a wedding planned for Oct 12, 2010. We are strapped for money because we both work minimum wage jobs. When we asked his pastor to marry us, we automatically assumed we would be using her hall as well as her church because of money issues. All was fine. we got the paperwork in the mail and I automatically looked at the prices first. well within our budget. Well, he told his father about it. We were expecting to pay for everything ourselves. both of our families are suffering in this economy. Well, before I even had time to look over the paperwork completely, we find out that his father has already paid for the church and fellowship hall. We were flattered. Then I looked at the paperwork and discovered that the church grounds are a smoke free, alcohol free environment. Its okay for us but we know our families have both smokers and drinkers who won't agree. Now we're stuck between a rock and a hard place. we can't afford to move the reception and we don't want to be rude to his father after he paid for it. But that's not all. The hall might be a little cramped upon further thought and the amount he paid for only gives us the church and the fellowship hall for 3 hours a piece. We can pay $75 per extra hour if we have to, but without smoking or drinking, will the reception even survive? What a mess we've gotten ourselves into....


April2010Bride Posts : 134 Registered: 4/26/09
Re: what a mess
Posted: Feb 7, 2010 1:41 PM Go to message in response to: christleleary

I go to weddings to witness the union of marriage between friends and/or family - not to get sloshed out of my mind and smoke a carton of Marlboro's. The space issue could be a genuine concern, along with the time span (even though you have an inexpensive solution for that readily available), but the absence of booze and tobacco for a few hours shouldn't be ANY kind of issue...especially if you're working on a strict budget! If $75, per extra hour, for the fellowship hall seems pricey, wait until you price the beer and liquor!

Do you what makes you happy, and stay within your means. Those that must get trashed can visit a bar, afterwards.

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TheNewMrsJ Posts : 754 Registered: 1/6/08
Re: what a mess
Posted: Feb 7, 2010 3:56 PM Go to message in response to: christleleary

Like others have said, when people come to a wedding they come to witness your special day, not get got completely drunk out of their minds. If there's no alcohol, there's no alcohol, no big deal, people will live, most probably won't even notice and the ones that do will probably forget soon after the reception gets underway. If it's in a church, people usually understand that means no alcohol and aren't expecting it.

As for smoking, around here it's been against the law to smoke inside public places or within 20 feet of any exit/entrance for a few years now (although they just recently changed it so if you are of Native American heritage you can get away with smoking indoors, as for some reason it's part of a traditional ritual or something...?).

If you're only having a 3-5hour wedding most people can manage and they can always chew on the gum or apply the patch - my aunt actually did that for her wedding years ago, as she was an avid smoker but there was no smoking at the church or reception venue, and being that it was her wedding day, of course she was all aflutter and stressed and wanted a smoke (she eventually did have one in the morning, but she's the bride so she got she wanted, lol...) the rest of the time she chewed on the gum while getting ready and had the patch on during the ceremony and reception. If people can't go without smoking for a few hours to witness your special day and celebrate with you, do you really want them at your wedding? It sounds like they'd be putting their bad habit ahead of your friendship, especially when they can take preventative measures to keep their withdraws under control for the few hours... if you want, as a courtesy, you could buy a few packs of the gum and have them on hand for anyone that might have a real problem...?

I wouldn't let those 2 things be dealbreakers though when it comes to your venues, especially if you're getting a great deal on em!

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: what a mess
Posted: Feb 7, 2010 5:08 PM Go to message in response to: christleleary

Dear Christle,

Not a mess at all!!!

I would absolutely love to attend a wedding where there was not smoking nor drinking alcohol permitted. I detest smoking and I never drink alcohol.

I encourage you to go ahead with the wedding and reception right there as planned. Invite the people you want to invite. Let word get out through The Grapevine that the church does not permit tobacco nor alcohol. Then people can accept or decline as they see fit, just as they would accept or decline any other invitation.

See if you can come up with non-alcoholic cocktails. Do you know anyone who can tend bar and mix interesting fruity drinks?

I'd sure accept! Sounds wonderful!


JerseyGirlVA Posts : 311 Registered: 9/17/09
Re: what a mess
Posted: Feb 7, 2010 5:35 PM Go to message in response to: christleleary

I think that it's a great idea to host the cermeony & reception at the church! This will make it more accomodating for guests who are not familiar with the area as well as make your use of time most efficient. Photos can be taken quickly after the ceremony & then you can walk right into your reception because it's all in the same site!

I wouldn't worry too much about your guests not being able to drink alcohol or smoke ciggarettes. As the PPs mentioned, there are plenty of states that have banned smoking indoors. This is not abnormal. So guests need to wait 3 hours for their next fix, they'll survive. Alcohol is not served at all wedding celebrations so don't worry. If you're having a daytime wedding, maybe not having alcohol service wouldn't standout as much as you think.

You're ceremony & reception has been paid for by your FFIL, which is a very kind gesture. Accept it & thank him graciously. You & your FH can start making decisions based on your budget now without worrying about the ceremonial fee or venue rental fee!

"Fill my heart with gladness, take away all my sadness, Ease my troubles, that's what you do." -Rod Stewart


christleleary Posts : 2 Registered: 2/7/10
Re: what a mess
Posted: Mar 3, 2010 8:58 PM Go to message in response to: christleleary

Thank you all for the advice. I'm glad to know it doesn't sound like a hopeless situation. I did think about the luncheon idea. That would take care of the alcohol concern and would shorten the reception a great deal, plus easier food situation.

Yes, I do live in Florida which is one of the states that was mentioned that bans indoor smoking, but I was talking about indoor and outdoors. Nowhere on church grounds. However, I suppose if they really had to smoke, they could run over to my fiance's house down the street and puff one really quick. or sufficate themselves in their cars.

I personally don't care about these things, but I would like people to stay for my reception. however, its true if they don't stay its up to them. I know my close friends will stay either way. And if people don't come at all because of it, well I just solved my space problem. lol.

Well, again, thank you for you help and advice. It's nice to know I have people who will answer my questions even though you all don't know me. Sometimes you just need to talk to other people.


SarahSarah Posts : 93 Registered: 10/9/09
Re: what a mess
Posted: Mar 4, 2010 10:13 AM Go to message in response to: christleleary

I think a brunch or lunch reception would be adorable! And you could do sangrias or iced teas/lemonades w/fruit kebabs in them...little umbrellas, etc...it would be cute.

I would feel wierd drinking alcohol at a church hall anyways! If people feel in the spirit after the reception is over, you could all go for cocktails before the night is up...


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