Post # 1
As I read this board it seems the reception is a major source of stress. It’s expensive which usually limits the number of guests. That leads to lots of problems for the two sets of parents and those not invited. The biggest cost of the wedding is the dinner. My question is why do you do it? Is it so bad to do a cake, coffee and punch reception? Or a coctail party type reception with finger foods and drinks? Would a cocktail party include a DJ and dancing? Does most everyone do a full formal dinner? Or is it simply expected now?
Post # 3
I would say that whatever you and your FI wants is what you should have. We are having a reception under a tent in my parents backyard. I didn’t care if we had a buffet or sit-down dinner, but my FI was adamant that it be sit-down. So we cut costs in other areas. I’m making our “cake” (our flowers are sunflowers)
We are also having a semi-open bar (only beer, wine, & signature drink) and used a local restaurant for catering instead of the typical catering company. As a result we are getting better food (IMO) at a fantastic price.
Post # 4
I’m having a sit-down dinner because I love to eat! My family celebrates with food, so we will have lots of food at our reception. We also do it because we want to share our excitement about the marriage with those we love. So, we invited people to join in our excitement and share food with them.
I don’t want to say that a cake/coffee/punch reception is “bad.” In my family, it would not fly. It would be seen as rude. A good host should make sure his/her guests are well fed. This depends on your family and the time of day your wedding/reception is held.
Post # 5
I think it just comes down to what each couple wants. I have seen bees on here that are doing cocktail receptions or cake and punch receptions. But we personally want a sit down dinner. Sure it’s more expensive and probably more stressful, but it’s what we want for our wedding. I think that has to do with what @BlueChampagne: said though, in our families and social circle it’s just the norm to have a sit down dinner reception, so we wouldn’t have ours any other way. 🙂
Post # 6
We did a four pm ceremony with heavy apps and full open bar. It was just a cocktail party atmosphere and we didn’t have dancing. But everyone loved the fact that they could circulate freely, not confined to a table, waiting in lines for a buffet or stuck at the table waiting for dinner to be served. Also, there was no wait at all for drinks either-everyone had a drink in hand at all times and they were served instead of having to go to the bar.
But it was definitely more subdued without a d.j. and dancing. We did the cake and the reception was about 2 hours. Probably in hindsight, would have had a photo booth or something like that. But long as people have plenty of food and drinks, no matter what kind, people will be happy:)
I’m having an at home reception in a few months and thinking of doing it at 2ish with a similar menu. Keeps costs down and it’s still a celebration no matter what you serve.
Post # 7
I’m doing a dinner reception because we are having a DW. For me, it would be horrible to not treat our guests with dinner and drinks after they have travelled and booked hotels. And like pp, we celebrate with food too.
But a cocktail reception is a great idea too. I wouldn’t mind going to one, as long as there are munchies too.