Post # 1
I am having a destination wedding and the ceremony is at 12 noon. I am anticipating about 20 guests. Do you think I should have a private reception? I can’t decided considering it is only 20 people, and the ceremony is at noon. If I am correct, I can’t start the reception until 6pm. I was thinking of doing an hour coctail reception at the ceremony location, but I am not sure it is enough. I feel I owe the guests more for coming all that way, but at the same time, I am not sure we have enough people for a private reception. I asked if we could just have a private dinner on the beach, the hotel said no, unless it was a 50 person minimum. Any ideas of suggestions, Bees?
Post # 3
I have no idea what the costs may be, but perhaps you could have both a cocktail reception to mingle and meet with everyone, then move on to the dinner in a restaurant, so that you may feel you have provided “enough” as a hostess. Otherwise, I suppose if you are set on the noon wedding time, the cocktail hour sounds like your best option to spend time with all your guests.
On a more personal note, I know if it were my laid-back family and friends, I’d go for the regular dinner; that’s just how we normally do things. But I understand it may not seem “special” enough for such an important day.
Post # 4
If the ceremony must be at noon, then I would suggest a cocktail hour immediately following the ceremony, AND a dinner reception later in the day.
I wouldn’t feel comfortable having people just disperse after the ceremony, with no refreshments or social hour provided.
As there are 20 guests, you could decide with the venue of it was possible to have a separate room, or perhaps a large table set up at one end of the restaurant.
I don’t know anything about your venue, but many all-inclusives have several restauarants that are not open every night, so it might be possible to use one of those rooms.
Post # 5
I think something in the evening would be lovely, however low key. Sorry….the options are split equally which doesn’t help you!
Post # 6
The cocktail hour is $15 per person and the reception is $50 per person. The private reception gives us a private area, sit down dinner and 4 hour open bar. The only think I am thinking, is what are 20 people going to do in a room for 4 hours! The hotel is all inclusive to begin with, and the dj is $900 per hour. I asked if they had an ipod hookup and they said yes, for $500. They did say if there is less than 30 people we can all be seated in a regular restaurant at the resort for dinner. And I really wish I could have a later ceremony, but 12noon was the only time they had available! 🙁
Post # 7
@Tropicalbride: I know 20 friends and family of mine could find a way to spend 4 hours together if there’s an open bar. 🙂
Look at this as a hosted party instead of a wedding reception. Do you think the people coming could get along and catch up/meet new people for 4 hours? Smaller weddings I’ve been to have been the most social because it didn’t feel like there was as much of a formal timeline to follow. I voted for the dinner only, but now that I’ve read the prices you were quoted, I’d be more tempted to do that.
If you don’t like the iPod fee or DJ fee, what kind of entertainment were you planning on? Actual dancing or just background music? If you’re just thinking background music, you might be able to find a real musician who can come in cheaper than either quote for the DJ or iPod hook up.
Post # 8
I know that if we were your guests I would be happy to spend a few hours at the beach or pool, then have a shower and get dressed for dinner. I wouldn’t worry about guests being in their room after the ceremony.