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
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
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
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
Related Articles and Advice:
25 Ways to Make Your Wedding Unique
50 helpful tips to help you plan and remember
everything for your big day
Alcohol Alternatives for the Reception
the Wedding Cake
to the Traditional Cake
Bride specified no alcohol during her
reception. Is this acceptable?
Brunch Reception Questions
Cake Decorating with Edible flowers
Can't get icing to turn red enough
open bar? which one is better?
an Entertainer for Your Reception
Choosing music for your reception
an Entertainer for Your Reception
Cocktail reception, Is three hours enough?
Creative Ways to Give Away The Wedding
Creative Reception Decoration Ideas
Can I have my ceremony and wedding reception at the same
Dinner Ideas vs Large Reception
Essential Shopping Tips about your wedding
about the Grooms
the Perfect Cake
of icing put on when frozen or thawed?
Foods Easy to transport
party lunch, wine only. Bar too?
Guidelines Pertaining to Alcohol
your Cake and Eating it too!
a wedding caterer
How to save money on your reception
can I save money on a wedding cake and still have an elegant wedding?
How do I determine
how many layers I'll need?
long will a madiera cake keep if used as a tier in a wedding cake
to stack cakes in an outdoor wedding
to Order a wedding cake
Interactive Games for All Guests to
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?
Breakdown for a Fully Stocked Bar
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?
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?
Reception, evening ceremony, lots of appetizers, and dancing to
follow. Is this appropriate?
for your 1st anniversary
that can be used to shower us
Reception Sites, How to Choose
Guidelines & Questions
Times and Suggestions
Tip - Kid Food
Tip - Honoring the Deceased
Tip - Place cards
Tip- Table for the Young
Sample Menus for Different Types of
wows after the vows - The Wedding Cake
Should we serve alcohol at the reception?
we not have our celebration because of the travel time for our guests?
Down Dinner vs Reception
time table for our reception
saving the top layer
for an outdoor, simple elegant cake?
The Complete Wedding Reception Guide
Wedding MC - More than just few jokes
for a successful wedding reception
Unique Table Numbers
type of wedding reception to have
Wedding Reception Information: How
Vows Little Things of Big Importance
Do's and Don'ts
Wedding Cakes in the 90's
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
Your Wedding Reception, What You
there a way to have a no host bar?
type of bar will you use?
Only, No bar
but be careful
Breakdown for a Fully Stocked
w/o Alcohol: A Dry Reception
we serve alcohol
Drink or not to Drink
Ask your banquet facility for references
for your wedding
a caterer for your wedding
Great Tips for stocking a bar
Hiring a Caterer
I save $ on the caterer without going overboard?
How to Hire a Caterer
liquor should I buy?
you should ask
consultants, caterers, and more..
to Ask your Caterer
to consider when Choosing a Caterer
of dollar dance? Who starts it?
5 Categories of Wedding Music
To Shop For Entertainment
DJ Selection Tips
Master of Ceremonies & Toasts
Entertainment: Wedding Reception Planner
How to Choose Music for your wedding ceremony
Wedding Song and Dance Suggestions
people expected to bring gifts
it proper etiquette to put "no gifts please"
"money tree" on the invites?
House Wedding Reception
will be paying for own Dinners