You know how your wedding day is the best day of your life, but also the longest day? From the minute you wake up on your wedding day until the moment you crash in the honeymoon suite of your hotel, the day is pretty much non-stop. And although its a non-stop day full of love and laughter, it can easily become difficult to really step back, reflect, and soak it all in. Add in having a huge family and you got yourself a wedding day that flies right by, with your first meal as newlyweds, hardly ever touched. But what if I told you there's a loop hole to taking a mini breather for the full day event? Well, I have a secret tip for you!
I'm going to tell you how to escape the Wedding Day Fuss during the Wedding Day Fuss! If you're anything like me, I'm half introverted and half extroverted. I'm a social butterfly, but also need to crawl back into my cocoon to recollect my energy so that I can flutter around for the rest of the fun-filled day, if you get my drift! I suppose you can consider the dinner portion of your reception as a way to wind down from the excitement. But keep in mind, (and this is for anyone who has a gigantic guest list) huge family equals lots of photos! Lots of photos equals tired smiles and nobody wants that! My husband and I also have slight space cadet syndrome, that I knew we wouldn't be able to get ourselves to eat with so much going on around us.
Our goal was to have time just the two of us, but also use the time to recharge ourselves! Enter our PRIVATE WEDDING DAY DINNER during COCKTAIL HOUR! While our guests mingled in the ballroom's foyer, scarfing down hors d'oeuvres, and guzzling down all the alcohol they can manage (or not manage for some...hey I'm not naming names over here!), Jan and I were on the rooftop having a very romantic and intimate dinner. We had our videographer and photographer present, however they were very respectful to refrain from capturing too many photos, just so that we can enjoy our first meal as husband and wife.
We had a few of our guests ask where we went off to, and when we told them, they figured the private dinner was something our venue or coordinators offered as a service. But the great thing about it, is that you can have this for any kind of wedding at any venue with any coordinator! JUST ASK!
It's an odd request, so if you happen to just flat out ask your coordinator, "hey can you set up a private dinner for my husband and I?" you might possibly get a very confused look. Instead, you have to approach the request with an explanation. Explaining that you'd like a private dinner so that you can take a breather from all the wedding day fuss is something they will highly respect. Once you explain your intensions for requesting this, they'll honestly be very pleased and happily be on board with making this work into your jam-packed day.
Now, beggers can't be choosers, so your coordinator and venue will do the best they can to find private space for you. But just know that compromise is key if you happen to not be so thrilled about the location they can offer you. Just focus on the fact that it'll be your one-on-one time together, no matter where they set up your private dinner.
We were very fortunate that our team wanted to set ours up very romantically and even mimic the table designs for our reception into a mini sweethearts table. We initially just asked for a booth in the hotel's restaurant. They honestly could've placed us in our venue's kitchen for all we cared. Just as long as we were together, eating, and drinking. But they really went the extra mile for us. And we can't thank The Westgate Hotel and Lavish Weddings enough for really pulling through!
I know you're probably wondering: if you already ate your dinner then what do you do during the dinner portion of your reception?! And the answer is, we MINGLE and we get the evening of events started!
Since we already ate our dinner, we really had no need for a sweethearts table at our reception. Instead, we opted for a VIP seating area. It gave our guests the opportunity to sit with us and hang out, and also became very inviting for the little ones, too. The rental furniture was provided by With Love Event Decor and the beautiful draping was provided by Concepts Event Design. And don't think that the hand-lettered laser-cut sign was by me, because that beauty was designed by Letters To You. It takes a team! And with this team there was no need for it be on a riser since everything they put together created a huge statement piece in the ballroom.
So there you have it. I won't claim that the Private Dinner was an original idea. I know a few newlyweds who have done this way before Jan and I were planning a wedding. But the idea is great for anyone who needs that breather, newlyweds who want to make sure they eat, and let's keep it real, anyone avoiding their camera-happy relative! #sorrynotsorry
We opted for this because as a military couple, Jan and I actually planned our wedding living apart; him on the East Coast, and me on the West Coast, so this intimate dinner was a chance for us to soak in our wedding plans together. ...Okay fine and also, I had an extremely camera-happy Auntie at my bridal shower a few months before, but that's a different story to tell! So with that said, I HIGHLY encourage you to add this into your big day! And if you do, TAG ME! I'd love to see your own version!