(Closed) Help! Destination wedding with no reception dinner. Is it ok?

posted 7 years ago in Destination Weddings
Post # 17
159 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

@kthy956:  We went to a destination wedding in Vegas…  here’s what they did. 
They blocked off rooms at the Bellagio, but I got a better rate with booking a hotel/flight package straight from Bellagio’s website.  They bussed everyone (maybe 40 people) from Bellagio to the Little Chapel of the West (i think??)…  very cute place.  Since everyone always eats at In and Out Burger when in Vegas, their reception was at In and Out Burger…  we got to order whatever we wanted from the menu and the bride and groom picked up the tab..  Total about $300.  We stood in line with other customers.  Very fun, and noone cared that it was at a burger joint, we all thought it was awesome.  After we ate, bus then took everyone back to Bellagio where we had wedding cake waiting for us at the hotel bar/club and then went to the Bank and gamble to end the night………. 

Post # 18
207 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

Agreeing with PPs… the least you can do is feed them one meal when they are covering all other expenses – meals, accomodations, flights, wedding gift… I just don’t see how you could tastefully do it any other way to be honest!

Post # 19
1132 posts
Bumble bee

How about a restaurant with a set menu option for your table? I also think it is rude not to feed your guests, regardless if they travelled or not.

Post # 20
1755 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

You cannot ask people to go to a destination wedding and not feed them.  Other posters have had great ideas with the notion of a brunch.  If you can’t afford that, then I’d suggest eloping with just the two of you or have a small wedding at home with cake and punch.  It’s unreasonable to expect people to travel and not provide them with at least one meal.

Post # 21
11265 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2012

you need to take care of your guests, especially when they are travelling for your wedding. 

you have a couple options:

have your wedding in the morning followed by a brunch or light lunch


invite fewer people


Post # 22
662 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

Uh, no. Not okay. You’re essentially saying you want to host a party without any accommodations for your guests, AND you want them to travel a long distance to attend said party. Why not elope and have a drinks and apps reception when you get home? Otherwise, you should be very clear with your guests that you’re only inviting them to watch your ceremony and that there will be no provisions for them. If I travelled to a destination wedding and only found out upon arrival that the host wanted me to pay out of pocket to finance their wedding reception, I’d be friendship-ending pissed.


Post # 23
523 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

Destination wedding? Yes. You have to feed them. Period.

Post # 24
6255 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: March 2014

If someone throwing a Destination Wedding decided it would be”way too expensive to feed me”, I would decide it was way too expensive to go.

If you can’t afford to feed them, then just elope. If you obligate those closest to you to come to this wedding and don’t even host them correctly, they will not be happy regardless of whether they voice it out loud or not.

Why not just have the wedding back home, and use the money you would have spent on travel to feed your guests?

Post # 25
9948 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

Hi @kthy956:  first & foremost, I see this is your DEBUT post on WBee… so a BIG Welcome to “the Hive”

I am a bit of an Etiquette Snob here… lol around WBee (only because I know all the rules)

Good post by

View original reply
@julies1949:  (Reply # 4)

Having a Dinner after a Wedding is for many Couples “the norm”… but it is not a requirement

In so much as your Wedding doesn’t happen close to a time when a Meal would be expected

What is a requirement is you find a way to socialize / thank your Guests for coming, and that typically includes “refreshments”

Those refreshments can be as simple as Coffee / Tea & Cake (or Punch / Champagne) or as complex as a full on sit down meal

But the thinking is you should offer your Guests something (and pay for it)

So if you envision you all heading out to a Club for Drinks, it should be on you (not them)

Honestly, if it comes down to cost, the least expensive route may be going exactly as I say the very old-fashioned route, of having Cake and something to wash it down with.

So if money is an issue, then schedule your Wedding for a time when a Meal would not be the norm… ie 2 PM Wedding, with Cake at 3 PM… 8 PM Wedding with Cake at 9 PM

You could do this at the site of the Ceremony… be that the Church Hall, the lawn outfront, or if you are marrying at a Hotel, then a seperate Conference Room etc.

Cake, Toasts, mingle for a bit.  And then do bid your goodbyes (do some sort of farewell if you wish)

But you need to give the impression to your Guests that the “official” events are concluding

If you afterwards wish to “meet up” at a particular time, at a particular bar (there should be a time gap) for an after party, then that is acceptable.

In which case people should assume it will be on their own dime

Hope this helps,

PS… NOTE I edited this a bit from when I first posted it.


Post # 26
3208 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

@kthy956:  think about it this way: your guests are spending money and taking the time to honour your and your FH with their presence at your wedding (ceremony). In turn, what will you be doing for them? 

If the answer is nothing, then that’s NOT OKAY. 

Are you covering their accomodations? Will there be excursions prior/after the ceremony that you will be paying for? If you want a super casual no fuss wedding, that’s great — but how will you be THANKING your guests for coming? The easiest and most traditional way is with a post-nuptuals dinner.


Post # 27
105 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

Most definitely not acceptable to have guests travel to your wedding, attend your ceremony, accept gifts from them and provide nothing in return.  I think some of the suggestions provided are great.  It doesn’t have to be a fancy meal but you need to get creative and figure this out, or, invite less people.


Post # 28
2490 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2018

I’ve been a few Vegas weddings where the couple has offered food in their hotel suite, just catered from the grocery store. Then gone out partying. Is something like that an option?

Post # 29
942 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

I’m having a Destination Wedding in Vegas at the Wynn with a few people but we’re going to Maggiano’s for dinner afterwards and Fiance and I are paying for everything. I think you should feed them, even if you have appertizers/cake in your room – just as a courtesy.

Post # 30
273 posts
Helper bee

I would not attend this wedding. I would be shocked that any of my friends would be inconsiderate enough to ask me to spend money on flights, a hotel and various other wedding related expenses, yet they considered it “too expensive” to give me a meal in return.

I like to party and drink, but I would be beyond pissed if I went all the way to Vegas for your wedding and your suggestion for the evening was to go partying on the strip (assuming you’re not paying for their drinks and admissions).

I hope you make it clear to your guests before they book flights and hotels that they’re having to pay for absolutely everything themselves.

Post # 31
474 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

Please feed them something.  Even (heavy) hors d’oeuvres in a hotel suite would be fine!

I know you said you can’t afford a sit-down meal, and that made me think that you meant catering.  So if you can, maybe you could reserve a table for 30 at a mid-priced restaurant and not tell the staff it’s for a wedding…?

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