Post # 1
Hi! I’m new around here and super stressed out. I’m having a wedding in California, where my fiancé and I will be living, but I’m from the east coast. So most of our wedding guests are my fiancé’s, and his parents insisted on inviting more people than my family was comfortable with. I tried to work with it, but ultimately conceded because I don’t want to get started with tons of strife, and we’ll be living not far from them. On the budget, though, I was finding it next to impossible to serve dinner to all these people. I tried to come up with different idea – appetizers only, late night dessert bar, etc., but they are paying for the bar and refused to pay if we didn’t serve dinner. Yes, I know, this is controlling and petty, but there are only so many things I can fight them on before it turns into a battle not worth having!
Well, I found the perfect solution in having a brunch reception. Costs on spaces are less, food is less expensive, and the more I thought about it, the more I loved it. I really wanted to have a beautiful garden party feel, and I think that goes SO much better with a daytime wedding. It’s going to be very elegant and formal, very royal wedding-esque! I’m thrilled and found a perfect venue, but now everyone is starting to doubt my decisions! My fiancé and I aren’t all about the dancing, so for daytime, I thought some pretty instrumental music and no dance floor was lovely. We COULD rent a dance floor, but it would take up space that we may need, and I thought it was more awkward having a dance floor that no one uses! The reception is outside on a large lawn, but there is some tile flooring at the bottom of the staircase where we will be doing our first dance and other traditional dances. If a few people really want to dance, there’s a place for it! But now everyone, from my future in-laws to my own family, is telling me that they’ve never been to a wedding with no dancing and can’t picture it. Even my fiancé is a bit worried because he thinks people will just leave. We’re not having a terribly long day because we have to be out by 3, so total post-ceremony time is 4 hours, and we’re having cocktails for an hour and a half. Food will start around 12:30, and we’re out by 3.
We really can’t afford to do dinner and still have the pretty venue I want. This was the compromise I had to make, but now everyone is making me so paranoid that it will be boring and lame! I know I need to stand up for myself and my decisions, but I’m just getting panicked that my big day will flop! I’m going to do some fun signature cocktails like mimosas and mint juleps and probably have some live instrumental type music, but does anyone else have ideas for making brunch still enjoyable and fun without having the crazy dance party? Has anyone else done this?
Post # 3
- Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort
I’d spring for a real dancefloor and a DJ, personally.
Post # 4
What about some lawn games? Like bocce, horse shoes, or corn hole? If there will be kids, maybe have some frisbees or some other kid games for them to play?
Post # 5
You definitely need some form of entertainment, but it doesn’t have to be dancing! You could set out lawn games (like croquet), or something like that!
Post # 6
I have been to two brunch receptions and neither of them had dancing. People love to socialize with people they don’t see all of the time.
If you want to have games like croquet and bocce, they would be perfect for a brunch wedding.
I am quite sure that after the wedding, the same people who are raising concerns now will be telling you that yours was one of the nicest weddings they have attended.
Post # 7
You seem to be getting such an unfair end of the deal, I’m sorry you’re going through this. If they want dinner and a dance floor, they should invite less people so you can afford those things. Id invest in a DJ not a separate dance floor. The DJ can really set the tone of the party/keep it fun and if people feel like dancing, the DJ can switch up the music to accommodate.
Post # 8
We had an 11am ceremony, followed immediately by an outdoor lunch reception. No DJ/dance floor (we had an iPod with separate playlists for cocktails, lunch, and “dancing”), no hard liquor (just wine and beer), and no other entertainment set up except for some bubbles for the kids and an ice cream cart.
Everybody had a wonderful time, stayed the whole time (enjoyed chatting after lunch, waiting for ice cream etc), and the kids got to run around and climb trees and blow bubbles. Particularly with your shorter time span, I think it’ll be fine!
Post # 9
Sorry, I’m on the “YOU DON’T NEED ENTERTAINMENT, IT IS A WEDDING” side of the fence.
We had a wedding ceremony, 1 hour cocktail period, and 2-3 hours of dinner. And then people left. It was perfect, everyone enjoyed themselves, and no one danced. Actually, there was a little bit of dancing at the end, but we didn’t plan for it.
People are coming to celebrate your marriage, not be entertained. Feeding them and providing a beautiful ceremony will be perfect.
Post # 10
just tell those people you are going with a traditional english wedding – good enough for will and kate good enough for me!
Post # 11
Feeding your guests is good since they’re traveling to see you and will get hungry, but most of them will be adults. They do not need constant entertainment. They can live without dancing. And if they want to leave after they’ve eaten..that’s OK! You shouldn’t feel bad about it!
I believe weddings are about the ceremony. Anything else is just extra frosting on the cake. 🙂 So do what feels right to you and your fiance. For what it’s worth, I personally think a brunch wedding with no dancing sounds lovely and I’d probably stay longer than at dancing weddings (I hate dancing).
Post # 12
We had a brunch wedding, and we did have dancing. Honestly, I think you could do without it. It isn’t like you are having the typical night time wedding where dancing would be expected- brunch weddings have an entirely different feel and sometimes dancing during the day can feel very awkward. At my wedding, only a handful of people danced (all of our young friends) and it didn’t last very long. If you would like to provide activities, the bocce or croquet that other posters suggested would be fun! But I’m sure everyone would have a lovely time just socializing 🙂
Post # 13
First, it sounds like your wedding is going to be beautiful! Ignore all the naysayers. They are just having a hard time thinking outside the box. It’s unusual to brunch wedding, and that’s good. The most memorable weddings (memorable in a good way) are those that are a bit different.
I don’t think you need dancing. Who wants to dance in broad daylight? Certainly not me, unless I’ve had more to drink than is acceptable at a fancy party. I also don’t think you need any other form of entertainment. It’s a party for (mostly) adults. There will be food and drink and good conversation — just like at almost any other party. At every wedding I’ve ever been to, I’m always so excited to see people I haven’t seen in a while, I couldn’t care less about entertainment.
Post # 14
I absolutely love the idea of a brunch reception! I really wanted to do this. I would definitely add some sort of entertainment though. If there’s no dancing, you can always set up lawn games, or a game table with scrabble, and other board games. That would go perfectly with your garden-themed wedding in my opinion. Hope everything turns out okay!
Post # 15
I was going to suggest lawn games, but I’ve been beaten to it! FWIW, I think your plan sounds beautiful, and the tiled area is totally OK as a dance floor.
Post # 16
I think your idea sounds really amazing! I love it! At the end of the day, it’s your and your fiance’s wedding, and you would hope that his family could just be happy for you two.
I think the ideas others suggested of doing games as entertainment sounds really good. And if they’re not happy, tough. Maybe they will never be happy. As long as your happy, that’s all that matters!