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 @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.