(Closed) How to let guests know my reception isn’t “typical”?

posted 7 years ago in Reception
Post # 3
701 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

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
4518 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

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
46613 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

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
196 posts
Blushing bee

Some suggestions:

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 # 9
2261 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

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
1844 posts
Buzzing bee

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
4755 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

You say join us later for a cocktail reception.

Post # 12
111 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: March 2012

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
3624 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

@vmec:   That’s good if there will be alcohol, but I couldn’t tell if there will be…

Post # 14
540 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

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 # 16
460 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

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

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