Post # 1
So, my FI and I are thinking of changing the plated dinner reception we had planned to a dessert reception. Our ceremony would be at 6:30 or 7 PM, and our reception would start at 8. Our reception card in the invite would be worded like this:
Please join us immediately following the ceremony for cocktails, dessert and dancing at (reception site.)
As a guest, how would you feel about this type of reception? I’m worried that people will be stressed out about eating dinner before the ceremony, or offended we’re not offering the typical full meal (especially in the case of our out-of-town guests).
What do you think, bees??
Post # 3
Are most of your guests from in-town? In that case, I wouldn’t worry; let them eat before they come to the ceremony! Obviously you’re going to get some people coming that won’t approve, but too bad for them. =)
I’m in a similar situation, except that most of my wedding guests are from out-of-town (like, at least 75% of them). Therefore, we’re having a "split" reception: dinner before, then the ceremony, then the dessert & dancing! I’m really excited about this, because it lets me have the picnic reception I want and no one will be starving during the ceremony. We’re having a local cafe cater "build your own" sandwiches, hot soup, and hors d’ouvres, and we’re bringing in pop, coolers/beer, and adult-punch. Maybe some boxed wine (gasp! tacky!).
I might suggest writing down the ceremony start time as being 1/2-1hr early in your invites, and provide hors d’ouvres outside the hall/church for hungry guests. Could be a nice touch. =)
If it’s a cost-cutting thing, then I would suggest the hors d’ouvres (if you want) and dessert afterwards. If you actually want to have a seated dinner, I’d suggest a split reception.
My post about it is here: http://boards.weddingbee.com/topic/split-reception-how-to-hide-the-dress. I really like samimosam‘s point about how it’s important to have a definitive timeline for dinner, though. Otherwise your ceremony will be starting late.
Post # 4
As a wedding Guest I wouldn’t mind a Dessert/cocktail reception. If I was a local guest I would know to eat dinner ahead of time. For your OOT guests (if you have any) I would recommend to include some local restaurant info for them, so they will have some option of places to get food before the wedding. Maybe restaurants near/or in a hotel (the hotel they are staying at – if you have a room block).
Post # 5
I personally LOVE dessert so I would not mind at all. As long as you put that info all over the place (website, invitation, etc.) so that people know ahead of time you should be fine. 8pm would be much too late to serve dinner anyway. IMO. I also like the idea of including some nice restaurants as suggestions for guests.
Post # 6
i think that would be great if you wanted to do that but maybe you could do a cocktail hour with appetizers? or maybe make it an appetizer/dessert reception that way its just all light nibbles.
if you were to do the only dessert reception, just remember that everyone should be told ahead of time and remind them before the big day because someone will always say they didnt know, nobody told them, i have issues/problems with not eating substantial food, etc.
maybe for the oot guests, you could have some sort of pre-ceremony/reception dinner for them at a rest. or somewhere else, just something catered for them. i just think since they are traveling to come to your wedding and then youre not feeding them at the reception, you should at least have a meal for them before the ceremony.
Post # 7
- Wedding: May 2010 - The Pierre Hotel
That sounds awesome! I’ve never been to a dessert reception before, but I’d love to be invited to one, lol. I agree with the other bees, as long as you make sure everyone’s clear that dinner won’t be served, I think it’s fine. I’m sure they would also appreciate some restaurant suggestions from you as well.
Post # 8
I would love to go to a dessert reception! If I was an OOT guest I would appreciate restaurant suggestions.
Post # 9
I think its fine and since its a bit later in the evening, should be appropriate. I agree with pp though, maybe you could add a crudite spread, cheese and crackers or a few other savory munchies just to balance out the sweetness.
Post # 10
Maybe I just love dessert or it could be the fact that I would be able to live on sweets for the rest of my life, but I love this idea!!!!
If your guests were like me, they wouldn’t mind doing something different for one night and skipping dinner to fill up of dessert and cocktails! The thing about this is, make sure that you serve plenty of desserts and offer lots of drinks, even non alcohol ones.
It is around dinner time, so I’m sure people who are not dessert freaks, like me, would be hungry for real food!
Post # 11
As long as guests know and your area has some options for dinner for OOT guests, I think it’s a wonderful idea.
A relative of mine did this for his wedding but did an early ceremony then the reception started at like 7:30, all the guests had to find a place to eat by themselves and there weren’t a lot of options in the area. It was bad, but the time frame you have it set up sounds perfect!
Post # 12
The only issue I see is that people will need to be at the ceremony around 6:15 or 6:45, so when are they supposed to eat? In Boston rush hour traffic I’m assuming travel time is pretty lengthy?All the dessert receptions I’ve been to either end before 7 or don’t start until 8pm at the earliest. If I was invited to a ceremony at 6:30 or 7, I would be expecting some type of meal to replace dinner. That’s kind of normal eating time for most people. Maybe do heavy apps and dessert? That would keep costs down while still providing food that will take the place of dinner.
Post # 13
There are some good sugesstions here. But I have to agree with KateMW. YOu might find 8pm to be late for dinner. But your ceremony is starting at prime time dinner hours. Also, it’s difficult for people to rush to grab dinner, just before. They’re trying to get ready and get out the door, without spilling stuff on their clothes. So they’d probably have to eat even earlier.
Although, I’m probably in the camp with MsHymanRoth, that I could totally make desserts my dinner for one evening. But if you add appetizers, that would be great. Or could you have a preceremony cocktail hour with apps?
Post # 14
Oooooooooooooooo! I know if was one of your guests, I would be thrilled!
Our wedding is at 7 pm and our invitations state light refreshments immediately following the ceremony. We are having a huge fruit and cheese display, hot crab dip, deli pinwheels, punch, a coffee bar and of course wedding cake!
Post # 15
I second the thought that the ceremony might be a bit early for people to eat beforehand–I know that I personally would be slightly annoyed if I had to eat that early. My biggest fear would be people might not stay very long because they’d be hungry, if they forgot to eat, or groups of people might make plans to eat together "after" the wedding.
But I LOVE the idea of a dessert only reception! Could you make the ceremony start at 7 or 7:30 instead? Just that difference in time marks "evening" for me, and people wouldn’t be rushed, ready to hit your reception with their dancing shoes on. Have fun–sounds tasty!