I have a question about wedding receptions. My fiance and I want to get married next Spring. Unfortunately, I am a student and unemployed. My fiance has a very good job, and we live comfortably, but we simply cannot afford a lavish event. Any plans we have tried to make have spiraled out of control into a huge, expensive ordeal that we simply cannot afford.
The ceremony itself is going to be small and intimate, with 30 people, just family. Originally we had decided to have a big outdoor BBQ/family reunion style reception, but were essentially shouted down as it would be “tacky”. Our budget is less than three thousand dollars. I am not one to care for large parties, and this day should be about our love and commitment to each other, not about spending the down payment on a house for a party with people we don’t talk to.
My question is this: Would it be considered a faux-pas if we just don’t have a reception? I would be happy with our small ceremony and then maybe going out for drinks later, but no dinner or dancing. Our wedding is at noon, and everyone who is invited is over 40 with families and would probably be grateful for an early night, but there will be some people coming in from out-of-town and out-of-province, and I am wondering if it would be “worth it” I guess if there was no reception. 0725-13
Reception Meal Is A Must….Particularly For A Noon Wedding
If you invite people to come witness a wedding, particularly one scheduled right at lunch time, you are obligated to feed them. There are no caveats to this whatsoever. You are choosing the nuclear option of not having any reception when faced with opposition to your reception meal plans.
First, grow a polite spine. If what you can afford is a casual BBQ, that is what your reception will be and no guest should have the audacity to complain that it is not acceptable. You simply don’t tell them what the menu will be unless asked by people with known food allergies. People actually like casual receptions and BBQs are often some of the best receptions. If someone has a hissy fit over your BBQ reception plans, simply say, “I’m so sorry you won’t be eating BBQ with us. We’ll miss you during lunch but there are several local restaurants that might meet your approval. Just be sure to come before we cut the cake!”
Check out this wedding on the site: http://weddinghellsbells.com/?p=43. The entire wedding was done in the backyard for 110 guests. Total cost was $3,000.00 for *everything*. This wedding was a blast and people danced on the lawn well into the evening.
My own daughter’s wedding cost $5,500.00 for 104 guests for everything (dress, flowers, decor, etc.) and we served a catered dinner of pork BBQ, fried chicken, cole slaw, fruit salad, candied yams, green beans, rolls, sweet tea, lemonade and various pies for dessert. It was a lovely casual wedding that guests enjoyed. I should get around to posting photos of that wedding. There was no dancing but I had alerted guests weeks earlier that if they wanted the newlyweds to kiss during the reception, they needed to sing a song with either the words “love” or “kiss” in the lyrics. Guests outdid themselves with creative interpretations of songs and funny renditions. Lots of newlywed kissing during that reception!
It is quite doable for you to have a lovely wedding for 30 people on a $3,000.00 budget.
Btw, OP, you were not referring to a “potluck” type of family reunion BBQ, were you? If so, it is no mystery why your guests think this is tacky.