My fi and I estimate we will have close to 100 people (based on tentative talk from guests so far) at our embarkation day wedding on the Carnival Paradise in Tampa. (many cruising, some not).
We really like the idea of having a welcome party since half of our guests will be travelling over 1000 miles, just to get to Tampa, before we even cruise. Also, we know the reception will be a whirlwind and we think it's important to spend time with our non-sailing guests. I also want to use this time to distribute the OOT bags for the cruisers...and some sort of favor for the non-cruisers which of course includes an itinerary for the next day (I am so afraid people are going to be late!)
The ever present concern is budget. We were thinking of doing something at the hotel where we'll have a block of rooms. The wedding is on a Monday, so we were thinking late Sunday afternoon. Possibly having an unofficial "pool party" and bringing in munchies like chips and dips and non-alcoholic beverages, or maybe tapas or possibly even getting a couple giant party subs or pizza, so people could have something more substantial. We want it to be very relaxed and low-key, not dressy, not formal, just fun mingling!
1) I have no idea how early people will plan on arriving at the hotel the day before the wedding...i.e. is it dangerous to plan an afternoon event? Or is it something where, we plan it and put it in the invites and people can choose if they want to arrange their travel early enough to make it
2) Will we look cheapo if we don't do a full on dinner and drinks?
3) Has anyone ever heard of hotels allowing something like this? I haven't booked our block of rooms yet...but I'm looking at the embassy suites since they provide free hot breakfast...
Other thoughts you guys have would be greatly appreciated as we are in the early planning stages!