Post # 1
I am getting married in the spring and cannot wait! However the planning process has been one heck of a rollercoaster ride. I was planning an evening wedding with a night reception with a DJ, Dance, etc. But due to my FH and I having to do some remodeling to his house to accomodate me and my little one moving in, planning on building a house soon after, and of course planning the honeymoon of our dreams, I have basically been told I can’t have my cake and eat it too on our budget. I had my hissy fit and then came back to reality after he offered to cut our honeymoon short to give me the wedding of my dreams. I realized then that I was being a class A bridezilla and had become obsessed with putting on a show and a party and had completely strayed away from what our wedding day is all about.
That all being said… I have in turn decided that maybe an early afternoon ceremony followed by a church reception may be the best option. We would save on the venue we had originally arranged, food expenses, DJ, as well as the rental package that I had booked. My concern is that people will consider a church wedding reception to be a bit lame. One side of my family are heavy drinkers and looking forward to the “party” ( I was one of them), while the other side of my family as well as his do not drink. But I feel now, that investing more in our lives together and our future and our honeymoon are more important than having a party in which i feed everyone, get them drunk, and go broke in the process.
I think by the changes we are considering making, it would make it more of a sweet intimate occasion rather than a party. But most of the weddings we have attended have been an open bar and oh my goodness did I take advantage. So I almost feel like I owe it to those couples to let them “get me back”. I’m worried that people will talk about how boring it is that there is no dancing, just basically everyone mingling and partaking in a small celebration with us.
I am also concerned about the garter toss. Would that be allowed in a church fellowship hall? What kind of send offs can you have in the afternoon that are still fun?
I just have so many concerns, but am really leaning towards this option. I think I just need validation from an outside unbiased source.
Help me 🙁
Post # 2
I think your reception will still be lovely! I’m sure it stinks to have to change your plans but I’m sure people will still enjoy themselves, and you’ll have more money for more important things like your honeymoon and house. I think the garter toss will be fine at a church, I doubt anyone would come in during the middle of it and tell you to stop. Of course, I don’t know how strict your church is but I think it should be fine. I’m having an afternoon wedding and reception and we’re doing a bubble send off. You could also do the traditional rice throwing send off or I’ve seen some neat sparkle, confetti send off pictures. Sure you’re reception will have a different feel to it, but I’m sure it will still be lovely and you’ll be surrounded by all your loved ones.
Post # 3
I attended a wedding last fall where the reception was in the church fellowship hall. It was pretty nice–any issues with the wedding was due to caterer disorganization than the actual location.
They did serve liquor, so maybe it’s denomination-specific as to whether or not alcohol is allowed?
Post # 4
I think it will work out fine. I don’t see any issues with the garter toss. I’ve been to a couple of wedding receptions at churches where alcohol was served. The denominations were Episcopal and Methodist. It totally depends on the denomination. It would be an absolute no at a Southern Baptist church.
Post # 5
My first wedding was an afternoon affair followed by a reception with non-alcoholic punch, tea coffee, sandwiches and cake.
Our reasons for choosing that type of reception were different than yours, but the end result was the same. My parents were both alcoholics, and there was no way I wanted to be part of what would surely happen at an open-bar evening reception.
We had a wonderful time and our guests thoroughly enjoyed our reception. We left for our honeymoon and the reception ended about 4:30 pm.
People went to dinner in groups of their own choice- my FI’s non drinking family, our younger friends, and my parents and their friends. The drinkers in the crowd got together at my parents’ house after dinner and had a full on party from what I’ve heard.
I wouldn’t worry too much. People can have a good time in the afternoon too.
Post # 6
Hi! I was actually searching this board for opinions on church wedding receptions, too. (My fiance and I are getting married in a conservative church and having our reception in the fellowship hall where no alcohol is allowed, it’s way too small to have a dance in, etc.) I’ve also been worried that people will think it’s lame. But the more I think about it, my parents had their reception in a fellowship hall too, and from what I’ve seen, it was absolutely lovely. The people that are there obviously care about you as a couple and will enjoy just being there for your special day. If they don’t, they’re not really worth paying the time of day to. 🙂 Church receptions can be lovely–and they’re classic. I say do whatever makes you happy!
Post # 7
Congratulations! I was really worried at first when I began to think this is the route to go, but I kind of like the idea of keeping it simple and sweet and about us.
Post # 8
Thanks for the comments. They really put my mind at ease.