Post # 1
It feels like everyone here on the Bee is having a reception in a venue with catering, professional DJ/live music, and seating arrangements.
I, on the other hand, was never able to get into all of that. Our reception will be a simple cake-and-champagne type of deal, hosted by some friends (in their backyard). After the cake and champagne reception, everyone will be invited back that evening for a bonfire/pizza/drunken shenanigans party. Everyone I’ve talked to says it sounds great, but I can’t help but wonder if people will be looking down on me (and FI) for doing things our way. It’s what we’re comfortable with, and we know everyone who attends will have a great time.
Blah. I guess I don’t really know what I’m posting this for. Logically, if someone has a problem with our wedding and reception, they don’t need to show up. To be clear, I have nothing against big catered receptions and do enjoy them when I have the opportunity to attend. It’s just not for us.
Is anyone in the same boat? I’d love some feedback and/or support!
Thanks in advance, Bees.
Post # 2
We had a pretty laid back wedding and reception. No dress code, no seating plans, buffet. We didn’t have floral centerpieces, we did have a DJ but no fancy dance floor or uplighting or cocktail parties. It wasn’t exactly catered (Long time family friends own a chinese place, they made the food for us dirt cheap), we didn’t have alcohol (for very many reasons) and everyone had a smashing time. Originally I wanted to do a potluck reception but 90% of our guests were traveling and it just wasn’t possible.<br /><br />It was very comfortable, everybody was treated like & felt like family. We all mingled, sat around eating good food, sharing stories, laughing, and generally celebrating one giant, [mostly] happy family we all became.
Post # 3
Well my reception will be in a barn I think or hoping so, we’re doing buffet, I don’t think I’m doing a cocktail hour, alcohol wise there will be kegs and some punches but other than that, will be cash bar. I think I’m doing a DJ but thats just because I don’t like the ipod thing. I don’t see anything wrong with your reception at all though, it sounds super fun!
Post # 4
We have a pretty venue, but its going to be pretty simple. No seating chart, no dress code. We will have a DJ, but no uplighting or anything fancy. No grand entrance. No cocktail hour or horderves, and our food is pretty simple.
Post # 5
Hyperventilate: countrygirl91: allyfally: Thanks for the input! The more I think about it, the less worried I am. Heck, the people who would generally make judgments about these things aren’t invited anyway!
Post # 6
I didn’t stumble upon the Bee until after my wedding, but I did notice the same thing as you and there’ve been times where I wondered if maybe I didn’t put enough effort into planning my reception. Mine had none of the bells and whistles–no grand entrance, no DJ, no plated meal, no father/daughter dance, no bouquet toss. Basically, we had a buffet and guests could sit anywhere they wanted, and we had a beer/wine/bourbon bar. The music was supplied by iPod playlists that my Darling Husband labored over for weeks (and to my surprise, it actually worked out awesomely). The only traditional reception ‘thing’ we did was the first dance because Darling Husband and his musician friends had planned a surprise song. The rest of the time, everybody just drank and mingled and danced. Our venue was kinda fancy so I was worried that maybe people would be expecting something more impressive, but apparently it was a hit and everyone said it was the coolest reception they’d ever been to because it felt like they were just at a party at someone’s house. I bet your guests will say the same thing. Weddings aren’t one-size-fits-all. The most important thing is to celebrate the way YOU want, because you’re the one getting married. I think if you let people know what the plan is so they can bring appropriate shoes or whatever, you’ll be totally fine. It sounds like a blast to me!
Post # 7
A non-formal reception is my favorite! We had a very relaxed outdoor wedding with a small reception after (no seating charts, no alcohol, no grand entrance) All of our guests seemed to enjoy it.
It’s your day, do what’s most important to you 🙂
Post # 8
danibelle: I would LOVE to attend that type of reception! I don’t know why more people don’t do it. As long as it’s not BYO-everything like a high school party, I’d be very happy to attend a casual reception.
Post # 9
danibelle: Our reception won’t be as laid back as yours, but it will be pretty laid back in terms of traditional wedding receptions. That being said, I think you’re reception sounds great!
We’re having ours at a facility at one of the local metroparks. It has a kitchen, bathrooms, and is actually very nice and updated. It has big sliding barn doors that open up on each side of the hall to cobblestone patios.
We’re having catered BBQ for dinner (it was easier to cater than to try to make it ourselves), we’re providing the bar, we’ll have a rock-a-billy band playing instead of a DJ. We’re also skipping cake and having a dessert bar. No bouquet toss, no garter toss, no entrance dance or whatever.
We basically just want to have a big party!
Post # 10
My wedding is called Classy Que….the ceremony will be fancy, but the reception is being held at an alternate location and is a BBQ! I’m supplying all the drinks and meat and family will bring their own dish for sides. This cut my catering bill significantly! Do your own thing. Those that really care about you just want to be there for you and probably don’t really care about all the rest.
Post # 11
It really depends- I’ve been to informal weddings that looked like they were just thrown together because the bride didn’t care (no decorations of any kind, not enough seating, not enough food and not very good food). And I’ve gone to informal backyard weddings that were elegant, intimate, and simple (homemade cake and snacks, homemade decorations, lots of seating groups in the shade). So informal can go both ways, it all depends on how you plan it.
Post # 12
- Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA
danibelle: Yup we did. All outside under a few big tents, a great band playing up on a trailer, lots of dancing in the grass, yummy but casual catering, kegs and bottles of wine, a bonfire for the late night partiers, people camping out under the stars, my new husband and me running around barefoot in the grass all night. It was awesome! We don’t have any stuffy friends or family who would expect a high-brow event, and nearly everyone there has told us at one point or another that it was the most fun wedding they’ve been to.
Do what feels right to you! But also make sure that causal doesn’t equal disorganized… you still want your guests to feel like they’re being taken care of.
lolot's festive colorful outdoor wedding recap! (pro pic heavy)
Post # 13
Wow, I didn’t expect so many replies! I definitely feel better after reading all of your replies =)
We’re having a private ceremony, with only immediate family present (our compromise between eloping and having a big, traditional wedding). We’ll invite our extended families to the cake and champagne reception, but none of them are likely to come if they’re not invited to the ceremony. Which is fine because we didn’t want anyone at the ceremony to begin with, lol. All of our friends (plus our family who attended the ceremony) are welcome for the cake reception. My parents and FI’s parents do not live near us (3-4 hours away), so they’ll probably not stick around for the bonfire.
All of the people expected to show up to the bonfire party are our close friends, maybe 25-30 total. We’ve booked a canopy tent, a “deluxe” porta-potty, and have plans to string up lights all over our friends’ yard. Along with the pizza, we’ll also do “gourmet” s’mores at the bonfire. I’m trying to think of a special drink for the night, but it definitely will not be BYOB, haha.
I think it’ll be a lot of fun. Our wedding is about us getting married and sharing the day with the people we think are pretty nifty. We don’t need a lot of money or stress to do that =)
If this post seems scatterbrained, please bear with me. I just got off of a 16-hour shift at work >.<
Post # 14
danibelle: Do what you want to do!!! We’re doing a mix – renting out a rec center, having outdoor games possibly, BBQ buffet for dinner, and a friend is DJing. We’ll probably do some of the dance stuff, but this day should be about what’s important to both of YOU and celebrating your relationship.
Post # 15
- Wedding: October 2014 - Cape May
We’re doing an informal reception and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Lunch reception for just family and very close friends held at an old historic inn with a private ceremony right before. I wanted to elope, he wanted town hall and his mother was adamant on a huge expensive wedding we can’t afford ( were paying for everything) so this was our compromise.