(Closed) Is anyone else having an informal reception?

posted 5 years ago in Reception
Post # 2
9118 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

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
101 posts
Blushing bee

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
8483 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2014

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 # 6
103 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

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
185 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

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
3210 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

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
2156 posts
Buzzing bee

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
1 posts

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
1231 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

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
9181 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • 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 # 14
79 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

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
1619 posts
Bumble bee
  • 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. 

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