(Closed) Is it tacky to not have a welcome "reception" for guests?

posted 5 years ago in Destination Weddings
Post # 3
Member
3887 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

I think if most folks are traveling, you are almost obligated to host some kind of welcome for them. It does not have to be at the location where they are staying but should at least be somewhere nearby (bonus points if it’s within walking distance).  

If you’re getting a big enough room block, sometimes (not always) the hotel will throw in a meeting room or small banquet area for free. The food and drink will not be free but they will waive the room rental fees. How big the block needs to be depends on how big the hotel is and how desparate they are for your business, but it is definitely worth discussing as you or your mom review hotel block options.  If they won’t throw in the room, they may work with you on pricing for a light drinks and appetizers gathering.

You should also look around for hotels that already do a free happy hour type reception for guests. There are a couple of chains that do this (Embassy Suites is one) and many independants/boutique hotels. You could invite your guests to meet up and mingle there, as it’s already paid for by way of the room rate, but you will not likely be able to block off space in advance (unless you have the hotel to yourself, it will be first come first served amongst all the guests) and you most likely won’t be able to bring in your own food or drink. In other words, it’s free but you’re stuck with whatever seats you can grab and whatever food and drink the hotel serves.

If that doesn’t work, I’d start calling local restaurants and bars as $200 will help cover the costs of a casual happy hour gathering. You could spend $200 on appetizers and at least offer that to your guests.

Post # 5
Member
1240 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

@KJFox:  I went to a DW (as a guest) in Europe that took over 22 hours flying for many of the guests and we did not have a welcome reception or drinks etc.  At the time I didnt really notice as it was the first DW I had been too, now I am organising my own and am planning to have welcome drinks.  However, I think you need to give direction to your Mum and find out what she is organising.  You could just have drinks at a bar and they may be able to organise happy hour drinks/nibbles etc, you dont have to pay for a room.  Or maybe paying for a room is cheaper and you could get drinks from a liqour store/food etc. 

Post # 6
Member
3887 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

Also you don’t have to get all fancy for your welcome reception; I’ve seen it done where the host organizes something at a local bar, paying the first $500 or whatever set amount of bar tab, and the guests pay cash after the tab is maxed out.  You’ll know your guests best as to whether they’d rather have free drinks or free food (although in an ideal world you’d provide both in unlimited quantity, money is not growing on trees last I checked…).

Post # 7
Member
10 posts
Newbee

Two of my cousins had DW, and they both invited OOT guests meet up in the hotel bar just to hang out. I don’t think they provided anything. We didn’t go because it was a nice time to catch up with our siblings/ cousins in hotel rooms and relax after travel, but a lot of their friends went. I didn’t hear anyone complain. They also gave us a list of restaurants, bars, etc in the area. 

Post # 9
Member
1240 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

@KJFox:  that sounds like fun, it is hard to know where to spend the money but basically I am trying to spend my money where it counts and save where I can.  ie I’m using only local flowers and taking my flowers from the chapel to the reception/resturant and not paying for extra decorations at reception.  I am spending quite a bit on my dress & photographer but not much on jewellary (even cheap stuff can look good) or shoes. Getting off the rack BM dresses etc. I am cutting costs with cupcakes and trying to get them made by a local store rather than resort wedding cake. I think providing welcome drinks and/or nibbles is good, plus instead of expensive welcome bags surely we could get away with local maps, a paper fan etc, I will not spend much on these.

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