So, fiance and I have decided to do just a ceremony. (I think).
We are paying for the entire wedding by ourselves, with zero help. We started to plan and budget everything and now I think we are way in over our heads.
BUT, I already have my dress and the bridesmaids dresses. So here it goes.......
I have decided to pay for half of the bridesmaids dresses because I am not have a "reception" per say.. I am having a ceremony only, with a small casual (not dressy) get together for close family and friends after the church at a relatives house with catered finger foods, drinks, cake, etc.... No d.j, no photographer, no formal reception. We simply do not have the money for it. (and are fine with not having a formal reception at a hall or somewhere similar). I decided to have a photographer for 4 hours. (Bridal preps, ceremony, and after photos). I am also still getting a limo to/from the ceremony for myself and the bridal party.
Is this ok? do we still do small favors? (I don't expect gifts at all, but don't knowif people still will, so...) please help me with your thoughts and such (please be nice!) :) thanks!
@melissa_angelina: I suspect that people will still bring gifts.
"with a small casual (not dressy) get together for close family and friends after the church at a relatives house with catered finger foods, drinks, cake, etc...."
that is a reception. You don't need a DJ or a Photographer (which you do have) to have a reception. I think it is fine as long as everyone invited to the ceremony is invited to the "small casual get together". So just make sure only close family and friends are invited to the ceremony.
There are no rules! Its whatever makes you happy! I think this is perfectly okay, you are still celebrating the fact that you're getting married. It doesn't matter if its a 300 person reception or a backyard bbq. What its really about is the love and it sounds like you will have plenty of that!
A reception is how you thank your guests for attending your ceremony. The only way it is ok to skip the entire reception is to elope. You don't have to rent out an entire building and hire a band and serve a four course sit down meal, but you should host something after- even if it's finger foods at a relative's house :)
It is proper etitquette to invite to the reception everyone who is invited to the wedding (the exception is if the church congregation comes to the ceremony without being formally invited, since churches are typically public places)
As long as the small informal gathering you're planning includes everyone who will be formally invited to the wedding, you should be ok.
If the budget is super, duper tight, I'd skip the limo since it falls under the "nice to have" category and not the "must have" category.
Best of luck!
@asscherlover: Exactly this!
I'm confused... it sounds like you are having a reception. An appetizers/cake/drinks reception is fairly common. You don't have to do favors, but you do have to invite everyone from the ceremony, otherwise it would be rude to pick and choose which friends you're going to feed and celebrate with and which ones are only good enough to invite to the ceremony.
What you are describing is a low-key reception. As previous posters have said, that's totally fine. The only thing is that you should only invite those people to your ceremony that are also invited to the reception. It's rude otherwise.
I am inviting everyone from the church to my relatives house for finger food, drinks and cake... (Our guest list is only 70 people to begin with)
And I guess what I was trying saying was is it ok with this many people (which is only close family), to have such a low-key "reception", with none of the frills and fancy things. just a time to get together and hang out and talk and celebrate casually after the ceremony.....
(sometimes I have a difficut time explaining myself)
Is it ok? Absolutely! What you describe was the norm in the US until about 25 years ago when weddings became so huge and expensive.
You can do whatever you want, with however many people you want. There is no expected ratio of formality to guest list size!
@asscherlover: I agree!
My brother just had a nice dinner after his wedding. No photographers, music, dancing etc. Just a meal with some wine and cake. You are having the perfect reception for you!
@melissa_angelina: Do you know anyone that has a decent camera and could be designated as "photographer" for your low key reception? The package I bought for my beach wedding only included photography for the ceremony. We had a good friend offer to photograph our reception as a gift to us and I'm so glad he did. He was able to get great pictures of all my friends and family and get us cutting the cake, first dance, bouquet toss,etc. I love those pictures and would have been sad not to have them. We also did a very low-key reception under a covered pavillion on the beach. Had catered food(affordable though, (like $750 for 30 people) and cake and bought an assortment of alcohol for our guests. Ipod dj(which turned out fine). Everyone had a great time and we were pleased with how it turned out.
Good luck with planning and I say what you have planned sounds fine. Maybe you can see how much more it would be to add on an extra hour so that a photographer could get a few shots at your reception or find a friend to take some pictures. You don't really need posed, professional pics from your reception, but I would think you would want some photos of it to enjoy later on.
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