Post # 1
Our wedding is going to be small and simple and on a Sunday afternoon. We hate dancing and people staring at us-we are really private and shy people. We probably won’t even be able to have music at our venue, so what we decided to do was an hors d’oeuvres lunch instead. We are on a really tight budget so hors d’oeuvres seemed the obvious way to go. So it’s pretty much going to be just our short, simple ceremony with light food and drinks afterwards. This is perfect for my Fiance and I-it’s laid back and will just be us socializing with our friends and family after the ceremony.
However, I’m becoming more and more self conscious of the fact that there will be no dancing, music, speeches, or pretty much anything that constitutes a traditional wedding reception. I don’t want to change what we’re doing because it really is us, but I guess I’m wondering how I can let guests know this won’t be a traditional reception. I was wondering if putting “Followed by an hors d’oeuvres lunch” might get the point across on the invitation. The reception will be at 3:30, so I don’t know if I can get away with calling it a lunch. I just don’t want anyone to be disappointed when they get there, especially as it’s an hour and a half drive for most of our friends and family. Any advice?
Post # 3
hors d’oeuvres and cake reception? I think that definitiely says that there will be no formal meal. Are you having a cake? I would think that is a traditional element that wouldn’t be too awkward (im not a big fan of being the center of attentiono either)
Post # 4
I think people won’t be expecting music + dancing with a 3:30 reception, especially if you say something like “followed by an hors d’oeuvres reception” (I wouldn’t call it lunch).
Post # 5
I think the time of the reception will give your guests most of the information they need. I doubt that many would expect dancing at 3:30 in the afternoon.
I agree with pp’s . Don’t use the word “lunch”.
Post # 6
1. Your time already helps. People will see 3:30 and not expect dancing or a full meal.
2. Definitely word it as something like “followed by an afternoon tea”. It’s probably too late for “lunch”, and that leads people to expect more of a meal.
3. Make your invitations look something other than very formal. (I’m guessing you are doing this already.)
4. Put more details on your wedsite, if you have one. “After the ceremony, we’ll be serving hors d’oeuvres, tea, and punch at <venue>. We’ll also be playing Scrabble (or whatever you are offering for entertainment), so come join the fun!”
Post # 7
Thanks for the advice. I think you guys are right about “lunch”-I was pretty hesitant to use the word, but I wanted guests to know that this would not be your usual reception. I do hope the time says it all.
@Jinxstar: I like the idea of putting it on my wedding website too!
Post # 8
@mcklough: We are having cupcakes with a small cake for a traditional cutting.
Post # 9
It’s all in the invitation.
Make it mirror the fact that this is indeed NOT a typical reception. I think we used the words, light afternoon tea to follow….
if you say lunch, guests will for sure be coming super hungry O.O
People and free food tend to go together and are a horrible sight unless you’ve planned to have a lot there.
Even WITH that wording we had the food tables cleared by the end of the evening.
Do somethung non-traditional with your invites though, and don’t do traditional wording. Hope it helps!
Post # 10
I hear you on the wanting to be the center of attention we are having yard games and other things to distract people so they don’t look at me.
I would include something on your website for sure, and maybe have a wording say “with a light hor d’oeuvres to follow”
to let people know that there will be food but don’t come too hungry, if you don’t want it to be a meal then I would probably try to put emphasis on that it is a time to gather and give your best wishes to the couple, and jus happen to also have cake and punch…
Post # 11
You say join us later for a cocktail reception.
Post # 12
i have heard of using the term ‘light refreshments to follow at…’ that way i guess they know not to expect a full meal.
Post # 13
@vmec: That’s good if there will be alcohol, but I couldn’t tell if there will be…
Post # 14
I am doing the same thing reception-wise (punch, cake, and light hors d’oeuvres after the ceremony), and I am advertising that on my wedding website. My wedding is also on a Sunday afternoon–at one pm. My invites are also somewhat “informal.” I think that when people see the day of the week and time, that should clue them in to what type of celebration they can expect. We will be having some romantic love songs playing in the background (my venue has an ipod setup), so that people will be encouraged to chat and mingle but can also have something to listen to in the meantime. I don’t think it will be odd if you don’t have music, because everyone will be up talking and having a good time. I don’t think people will be “disappointed” as long as you let them know what to expect (even though I don’t think you should worry about people coming away disappointed regardless–you thought those people were important enough to share in your big day, and they should see that as an honor). I think your casual, afternoon affair of love will be timeless and memorable. 🙂 Best wishes!
Post # 15
@redheadem: We haven’t decided yet. We originally said no because we just didn’t have the money for it, we and our immediate families don’t drink, plus his stepmom is against alcohol for religious reasons, so at first we thought we would leave it out. But I think we are thinking of at least providing beer or wine since I’m already really nervous that people will think this day is boring. Personally, I would rather it be there, I guess we just need to see how his stepmom will react.
Post # 16
leave out anything you want but background music does help conversation flow better and makes people more comfortable (think piano music or soft music without lyrics at least) that way noone with feel the need to get up and boogie but the room is not just dead air. no need for anything but an ipod and some small speakers