Post # 1
So, I am an extreme budget bride! My Dad has offered very generously to pay for half of my wedding, and FI and I are paying for the other half. I’m still in school (and very much in student-loan debt!), FI works, but is paying off his own school loans/credit card. We’re using some money I have saved up for our half, so no more debt for the wedding, thanks goodness!
I was trying logistically to think of a way to have a traditional type wedding on my low key budget, but then i realized… why do I have to be traditional!?
My thought is this: Have the ceremony in the early evening around 4:00, then have a dinner catered in a restaurant for our immediate family only and bridal party, then host an after party starting around 7:30 serving light hors doeuvres and setting a tab at the bar and when it ran out it would become a cash bar.
I would of course detail information in the invitations, those who were invited to the catered dinner would have a separate card detailing when and where. The after party invite would say light hors doeuvres and something about how the bar tab was limited so people would bring cash too.
The three hour time gap really isn’t a big issue since all out of town guests (my immediate family) would be invited to the dinner, and everyone else lives rather close by. It would also give them time to have dinner if they choose.
I know weddings usually involve serving a dinner to all guests invited, but do I HAVE to do that? If I could run away and elope to save money I would, but that’s just not an option.
Post # 3
I think its perfectly ok to be non-traditional, but I wouldnt feed a full dinner to only 1/2 (or less) the guests at the ceremony. Unfortunately it sort of says “you are not important enough” to the other guests. They will find out about the other dinner, they always seem to.
How about doing a late morning ceremony and doing a lunch reception for everyone with hor deurves, crudite and nice sandwiches? Then everyone gets treated equally?
Alternatively, instead of doing a catered dinner at a restaurant, can you do it in a hall where you get even cheaper catering from a local Italian restaurant or deli buffet style?
Or a dessert and cordial reception and have a later ceremony after dinner?
Post # 4
Hummmm, personally I do think it would be odd for me to got to a ceremony, leave and do my own thing, and then go back out and meet up with everyone again. I don’t know, I’m kind of on the fence with this one….
Out of curiosity will the after party be at the same place you have the dinner? If so, that could be awkward if people show up early, or they might just go straight to the same restaurant to have dinner! That would be really awkward!
To offer a suggestion, would you be wiling to have a later ceremony & the light hors doeuvres after. If you get married at 6 or 7 and indicate “light hors doeuvres to follow” people will get the hint that they should eat something more substantial before the wedding.
Post # 5
We actually have a church hall to use for free if we choose to use it, the only problem is it’s practically in the middle of nowhere, and there are no restaurants or catering companies around for food. That’s why I was having such an issue.
I thought if we moved the whole thing downtown, food would be much easier to obtain. The after party is in the upstairs private party room of a bar downtown, and it wouldn’t be in the same place we would have dinner.
We could do the entire ceremony later, but I guess I just wanted to actually have a sit down meal with my family (esp my out of town family) after the ceremony.
I guess I thought if the dinner was immediate family only then the other guests (mainly friends and those who go to our church) would understand.
I’m so torn!
Post # 6
I went to a wedding where this was done, and it was awkward. It wasn’t that only family went to the dinner, it was that only church members and family went to the dinner. There were probably 300 people at the wedding, then about half went to dinner in another part of the church, and those of us who didn’t had almost 3 hours to kill. I lived really close by so we had a mini cook-out/drink fest at my house for our group of friends who also didn’t get a dinner invite, and then we all went to the reception where light hors doeuvres were served. At the reception there were about 400 people (they invited some people to the party who didn’t go to the wedding…IDK what that was about. The groom said they invited people they knew would dance, and a lot of the church people didn’t go to the reception. It was all kinds of confusing)
Post # 7
What about moving your ceremony up in the day, to say 2PM and then having a champagne and cake (or other light fare) reception afterward and then doing the sit down dinner with your family in the evening after the reception?
I agree that I think it’s excessive that it’s become common expectation that if you go to a wedding you get fed a whole dinner–is that really what it’s about? But at the same time, going and having dinner while the rest of your guests are killing time before your reception seems rude to me. I think you’d end up with a lot of people skipping your “after party” (this seems more like a reception than an after party to me).
Post # 8
Hmmm… could you serve all guests something more affordable- like mexican food or have a brunch wedding? Might be easier than having dinner for only half the guests…. I feel like the problem is that the guests aren’t being treated equally. I could see someone being miffed.
Post # 9
@ariel: Have you spoken to caterers or restaurants that cater about delivering there (church)? Many are willing to travel a pretty good distance to get business these days. Especially if there is a kitchen where they can heat/prep food at the church.
Post # 10
If you did the brunch wedding- you could have an awesome rehearsal dinner for your close family the day before….
Post # 11
@sapphirebride: i like that idea! I think it could work! Thanks!