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A.  I fully understand the limits of paying for your own wedding, and also your preferences in how that wedding will take place.

In a case like yours, you will need to decide what you can afford, as well as what you would most like to do, to determine what your specific options would be. In my experience, guests' reactions vary when it comes to being invited to a reception and not the wedding. You'll need
to decide if who and what you'd like to include in the evening reception will be worth doing-- and affordable-- or if there's some other more reasonable and practical arrangement to make.

There is no reason, even if the guests are invited to the wedding as well, that you need to provide a full dinner for your guests. If the timing is not right at a normal mealtime, you can easily get by with a "cake and punch" reception ("punch" referring to whatever beverage(s) you prefer, of course) or some sort of cocktail/hors d'oeuvres
refreshments.

By limiting the number of guests (the most important budget-saving strategy of all), and by limiting the variety of refreshments, you can certainly keep refreshment costs down. Limiting decorations/centerpieces will also keep you in budget.

There is also no reason, actually, that you *need* to have either a cake-cutting *or* a first dance. Many weddings don't-- and you need to think through if these traditions are that important to you to bring guests out to see them.

You'll also need to think about the costs/logistics associated with this--- location rental probably, some sort of decorated cake (although that could be fairly simple and inexpensive, depending on your tastes and expectations), and some sort of musical arrangements (which could be as simple as a portable cassette player, but might be more.)

I wish I knew a little more about why you are looking at the arrangement you mentioned, and what other values/expectations you have about your wedding. Do feel free to write me back with more about that if you
wish.

Because in some ways, it seems like it would be nicer and a
more-efficient use of your money to cut the guest list way down to immediate family plus closest friends (maybe only 20-30 people?) and then have this group attend both the ceremony and a more-intimate dinner celebration. Or, to wed privately and have this smaller number of guests at reception/dinner.

Certainly you would miss seeing the wider reception guests, but every couple has to decide to stop at *some* tier of family, friends, co-workers, church members, etc. It's a matter of really thinking through and prioritizing who you MOST want to share the day/celebration, how much you want/can spend hosting them-- and how best you can enjoy them and they can enjoy your wedding.

There are really no-end of other "non-traditional" ceremony/reception options. Without knowing you better, it's impossible to really suggest much intelligently, but I hope that these considerations help.

Whatever path your plans take, we wish you a wonderful wedding and lasting happiness in marriage.

For a truly unique centerpiece idea, create enchanted worlds of light as the softness of pastels and the glimmer of metal come together in candle sleeves and a runner of sheer metallic fabric. The little bags dress up votives, while the sleek glass cylinders filled with water hold floating candles. The runner makes a stunning backdrop for any celebratory centerpiece. Fill them with water and floating candles, then veil them with the gossamer colors of our Iridescent Sleeves.
 

Wedding Receptions Planning Q & A: What you need to know

Its our step by step guide to wedding to wedding receptions.  No matter the question, we've got an example or answer for you

The following information is articles, questions, and answers that have been submitted by ForeverWed readers.  Should these not answer your questions. Feel free to ask an expert
.

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Alcohol Alternatives for the Reception

About the Wedding Cake

Alternatives to the Traditional  Cake

Bride specified no alcohol during her reception.  Is this acceptable?

Brunch Reception Questions

Cake Decorating with Edible flowers

Cake Table Decorating

Can't get icing to turn red enough

Cash or open bar? which one is better?

Choosing an Entertainer for Your Reception

Choosing music for your reception

Choosing an Entertainer for Your Reception

Cocktail reception, Is three hours enough?

Creative Ways to Give Away The Wedding Centerpiece

Creative Reception Decoration Ideas

Can I have my ceremony and wedding reception at the same place?

Dinner Ideas vs Large Reception

Essential Shopping Tips about your wedding cake

Everything about the  Grooms Cake

Finding the Perfect Cake

Final layer of icing put on when frozen or thawed?

Foods Easy to transport

Garden party lunch, wine only. Bar too?

Guidelines Pertaining to Alcohol

Having your Cake and Eating it too!

Hiring a wedding caterer

How to save money on your reception

How can I save money on a wedding cake and still have an elegant wedding?

How do I determine how many layers I'll need?

How long will a madiera cake keep if used as a tier in a wedding cake

How to stack cakes in an outdoor wedding

How to Order a wedding cake

Inspiring Cake Tops

Interactive Games for All Guests to Enjoy

I want something cheap that all the guests that are left at the reception can shower upon us.  However, birdseed, rice, confetti, and dark colored rose petals are out

I am having a really hard time trying to find a reception hall for a low price.

Is three hours acceptable for a reception?

Liquor Breakdown for a Fully Stocked Bar

My partner's parents have both re married. What order do we seat them at the top table along with my two parents and the Best man?

Make your own wedding cake

Need Second Location Just for the Dance?

No Dancing,  Christian Reception Suggestions

Our guests may have to travel about 45-50 minutes from the ceremony to the reception & back home again.   Should we not have our celebration there because of the travel time for our guests?

Outside Cocktail Reception, evening ceremony, lots of appetizers, and dancing to follow.  Is this appropriate?

Preserving,  for your 1st anniversary

Products that can be used to shower us

Reception Styles

Reception Sites, How to Choose

Reception Guidelines & Questions

Reception Styles

Reception Times and Suggestions

Reception Tip - Kid Food

Reception Tip - Honoring the Deceased

Reception Tip - Place cards

Reception Tip- Table for the Young

Sample Menus for Different Types of Receptions

Serve wows after the vows - The Wedding Cake

Selecting your cake

Should we serve alcohol at the reception?

Should we not have our celebration because of the travel time for our guests?

Sit Down Dinner vs Reception

Suggested time table for our reception

Suggestions for saving the top layer

Suggestions for an outdoor, simple elegant cake?

The Complete Wedding Reception Guide

The Wedding MC - More than just few jokes

Tips for a successful wedding reception

Unique Table Numbers 

What type of wedding reception to have

Wedding Reception Information: How to

Wedding Vows Little Things of Big Importance

Wedding Cake Do's and Don'ts

Wedding Cakes in the 90's

Wedding Cake Faqs

Wedding Cakes Sweet Decisions

Wedding Cake Traditions

where I could purchase cake wrapping kits or foils for wrapping wedding cakes in individual pieces to serve to guests

Which is Best?

What percentage of my over all budget should my reception location be?

Wording for Dinner where guest pay their own way

Your Wedding Reception, What You Should Know

Alcohol:

Is there a way to have a no host bar?

Liquor Checklist

Non Alcoholic Reception

What type of bar will you use?

Wine Only, No bar

Champagne and Wineries

Drink but be careful

Liquor Breakdown for a Fully Stocked

Managing w/o Alcohol: A Dry Reception

Purchasing Alcohol

Should we serve alcohol

To Drink or not to Drink

Catering:

Ask your banquet facility for references

Catering for your wedding reception

Catering your reception

Choosing a caterer for your wedding

Choosing a Caterer

Great Tips for stocking a bar

Hiring a Caterer

How do I  save $ on the caterer without going overboard?

How to Hire a Caterer

How much liquor should I buy?

Low Cost Catering Ideas

Money Saving Tips

Questions you should ask

Selecting a Caterer

Society Weddings

wedding consultants, caterers, and more..

What to Ask your Caterer

What to consider when Choosing a Caterer

Etiquette of dollar dance?  Who starts it? 

Entertainment:

5 Categories of Wedding Music

How To Shop For Entertainment

DJ Selection Tips

The Master of Ceremonies & Toasts

Entertainment: Wedding Reception Planner Worksheet*

How to Choose Music for your wedding ceremony

Wedding Song and Dance Suggestions

Gifts:

Are people expected to bring gifts

Is it proper etiquette to put "no gifts please"

Invitations:

Place "money tree" on the invites?

Wording: Open House Wedding Reception

Wording: You will be paying for own Dinners

 

 


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