(Closed) Anybody not having a reception?

posted 5 years ago in Reception
Post # 3
2055 posts
Buzzing bee

@bouncybee:  That sounds like a fabulous reception to me. You’ll be eating great food, surrounded by your loved ones…I don’t think anyone will (or should) complain 🙂


ETA: We usually do this for our graduations/special occassions, and we send out invitations so that evryone has the logistics and details on-hand (but I don’t think your invitations need to be very formal). Renting out a private party room is a great way to ensure there is space for everyone and that your group gets pinpointed service, too. Plus, restaurants typically have specially meal package rates that can help keep costs down.

Post # 4
776 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

I think that sounds lovely. I think asking guests to pay for drinks is fine, spesh for such a chilled out reception.

Perhaps you could look and see if the restaurant you go to can do a set meal package for you to keep costs in check. I should think most places would. You might even be able to get a first drink included as well.

Post # 5
30 posts

Hi bouncybee.

Your wedding sounds lovely! To make things easier, I’d see if you could hire out a room in the restaurant for your party or ask whether there is any possibility of doing a set menu (maybe with a couple of options). That might save you some money (particularly if the room hire is free or you go at an unpopular time of day – i.e. not lunch/dinnertime).

It’s very kind of you to pay for a meal for your guests. If your budget allowed, you could provide your guests with an initial drink – perhaps a soft drink or, as I guess there’s about 4-5 glasses of wine per bottle, you could buy 6 bottles to start the celebration. You might be able to get a good deal on cava/prosecco/bucks fizz/sparkling wine/champers.

I would send formal invites but they need not be expensive or fancy – even an e-mailed one would do. I think it’s nice for people to have everything written down so they know where to be and when. In this instance, you might want to also say, ‘A meal will be provided and there is a cash bar at the venue.’

Post # 6
7561 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: January 2013

I think that’s a great idea. I would try to be clear with your guests about what you’re “hosting” (aka paying for” and what you’re not. For example – 

Please join us for the ceremony and dinner. If you would like to come to the afterparty it will be at x bar. 

This way it’s clear that you’re paying for the restaurant and they’re paying for whatever they get at the bar.

Post # 7
837 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

@bouncybee:  This is actually exactly what we were going to do when we first got engaged. The restaurant part. Except that we were going to have five people (us, the officiant and two witnesses) and actually sign the papers at the restaurant. So, to me, what you’re planning sounds absolutely perfect. We didn’t end up going that route (we went with 20 people at our home), but if we could go back and do it over, that’s exactly what we would do. We don’t regret the memories we made that night, but we did realize that to be truest to ourselves, we should have gone with the restaurant eat-and-wed plan.


It sounds incredible. Congratulations to you both, and good luck!

Post # 8
1589 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

I’m not shy and this is what I wanted. Great idea!

Post # 9
7992 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2013 - UK

Sounds very nice to me. In fact, I sort of wish we’d done something similar, because we could then have got our religious ceremony without the fuss.

Post # 11
8042 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2013

@bouncybee:  This sounds like a great idea to me!! I like your buffet at home idea.. that way people aren’t all ordering the most expensive item on the menu. Also, you could control the booze as well (or get people to bring their own without worrying it’ll sound awkward).

Post # 12
2490 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2018

We’re planning on having a semi-elopement destination wedding and we just want to go for dinner afterwards. No dancing but after the dinner we’re hoping to hit a bar and have fun.

I think your plans sound lovely!

Post # 14
8042 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2013

@bouncybee:  Damn right it’s your day. You don’t owe people anything.

If you can’t convince your Fiance to do the buffet thing, I would suggest paring the dinner down a bit. 40 people is a LOT to pay for at a restaurant. 

I don’t have any good ideas on how to tell them it’s buy their own booze, but I would not shell out for anything you can’t afford.

We’re eloping (just us two), not having any kind of reception, and going on a nice honeymoon. We don’t feel bad about it 😉

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