Post # 1
I apologize in advance for a potentially long post… My fiance and I have been happily together for 7 years before we got engaged. We gave ourselves 16 months to plan our wedding, scheduled for Sept 2009. Now we’re at the halfway point. The major elements of the wedding have been secured (i.e. deposits have been paid): marriage preparation (Church), reception location, dress, invitations, bridesmaids and flower girl dresses, bakery, photographer, and florist (for ceremony flowers). There’s still plenty to do. We expect to pay around $12K for approx 120 guests after it’s all said and done. We have about half of that amount already saved and still saving the rest so we won’t have to use credit.
Lately, though, I’ve been feeling as though I don’t really want all these things. Perhaps 10 years ago I would’ve felt differently, but I’m now 32 and all I want is to start our marriage and just be together. I guess part of how I feel comes from some tension in my family. I feel like most of the things we’re doing for the wedding stems from a need to make everyone happy. For instance, my fiance and I would really like to NOT have the bouquet tossing, garter thing, chicken dance, etc during the reception. We just want a ceremony, then perhaps a nice dinner with our closest family and friends (approx 70-80) to celebrate with. Besides, we could definitely use the money for something more worthwhile, such as paying off debt and starting our married life on the right financial track.
I know this is our wedding and we should do whatever makes us happy. I’m just worried that changing our plans will cost us more since we could potentially lose some of our deposit money. We still would like to get married in church, so we can keep the date, and the invitations are already made. The ceremony is on a Saturday at 2pm. We initially planned for a cocktail hour starting at 5pm, then dinner shortly afterwards. I would like to keep these details but perhaps do a simple dinner, then just have a simple cake-cutting and a toast, and leave it at that and not have dancing etc. We could set the mood by playing some nice jazz music during dinner. Would this be okay to do? Guests are probably expecting dancing and all that, but we really just want a simple dinner now.
I would appreciate some feedback or suggestions. Thanks for bearing with me
Post # 3
If I’m understanding your post correctly, you’d like to have the reception be cocktail hour, simple dinner, and cake – cutting out dancing (and perhaps multiple courses at dinner or more expensive options?). You didn’t say whether you had already gotten the band/DJ.
So it sounds to me like you’ve already figured out what you want – and that it doesn’t actually require you to lose any deposits. Go for it!
PS – if your post was actually asking whether it’s okay to have a reception without dancing, then the answer is "YES!" I think your idea of playing jazz in the background would be great, and you don’t really need to have the garter toss, etc (even if you DO have dancing)… but to be fair – this is exactly what we did at our wedding. We had a jazz trio play through cocktail hour and dinner. Then everyone enjoyed dessert and left. We didn’t have dancing, bouquet toss, etc. Everyone had a good time just talking and eating 😉
Post # 4
Do your reception the way you want. People just want to say hello and congratulate you. Lots of families aren’t the dancing type anyway. I think it sounds like a lovely reception.
Post # 5
I agree with everyone above. I’m not having many of things that are typical in most wedding (including a bridal party) although I do love to dance. Just because it’s traditionally done, doesn’t mean that you have to do it. It will still be a lovely wedding.
Post # 6
- Wedding: September 2009 - Harbison Chapel & The Maple Lane Farm
I also agree with everyone. If you want dinner and cake then go for it! It sounds like you won’t lose out on any deposits. Dancing doesn’t make the wedding, half of the folks at weddings don’t dance anyway, so if you want to cut that part out it’s completely fine!
Post # 7
Sounds like you know what you want, and it sounds like a lovely wedding to me. The best thing to do is to physically write down what deposits you might lose and how much money that would be. If you might lose a 20% deposit on your DJ, but you’re actually saving the additional 80% that you haven’t paid yet, it might be worthwhile. And it seems like you’re able to adjust most of your other reservations to fit your new idea, so you shouldn’t lose too much.
Post # 8
Are you looking to keep the reception hall? Or is that one of the things you want to change to reduce costs? I think you could do all the things you want without cancelling the hall. If you do want to change ahlls, just do some amth to figure out if it’s saving you money to go with a cheaper place after you subtract the amount you’ll lose for the deposit.
It doesn’t sound like changing your plans at this point would be too hard.
Post # 9
I think what you have described is perfect. It is actually similar to what we are trying to plan.
I am trying to plan a simple wedding, followed by a short cocktail hour and concluding with dinner. Dinner to include a nice meal and drinks, with a simple cake. I want us to have our first dance, but that is it. I think we will try to have a cello (or something similar) at the ceremony and then follow us over to the reception.
Any ideas on how to have a meal for 20-30 people that is reasonably priced? It seems like when you mention wedding, then places have a minimum, charges, and sub-charges …
I think you are on the right track. No matter what, do what the two of you want.
Post # 10
OK I’m going to be honest with you. Unless I was your family or your best friend I would be expecting some music to dance to, a reception. I’m not trying to discourage you I’m just being honest like you asked. I would have to say if this is what you really want go for it just make sure you invite the most closest to you and that it is explained on the invitation that this is what you are doing. Then again if you were only inviting family and close friends then you would be able to tell them yourselves. What you want sounds very intimate and to the point, wonderful idea.
Post # 11
I say GO FOR IT! I am also 32 and we have dated for 4/5 years. We also plan to marry in September and for at least a few months I found myself influenced by all of the "traditional" things that I did not really want. For example, I have a niece who would be the perfect age for a flower girl. Before I know it, my sister suggested that her daughter be a part of the wedding. Guess what? I don’t want a flower girl. I am not sure why, but I don’t. I know that it isn’t that big a deal and I could easy say, well that would be fine, no big deal. RIGHT? WRONG. I totally stopped wedding planning for a few weeks because I was at the point where I couldn’t tell if it was what I wanted anymore, or if it was what I was willing to do because "that is how it has always been done."
I know that some people "expect" certain things because xyz. However, I am now at the point where if I don’t want it – AND I MEAN REALLY WANT IT – it is not going to happen. Period. That being said, stop, think about what you want, and even if it means a little headache and heartache to change – change it. I feel so much more free now and I swear, it is only because I started thinking about what I wanted the most wonderful day of my life to look like. Give yourself permission to change your mind no matter how invested you feel in the choices that you have already made.
Post # 12
Thanks for the input, y’all.
Caliwed – I totally agree with you. I guess at first I was envisioning a really intimate celebration, and it started snowballing into an actual "WEDDING" with all the usual elements.
We do want to keep the reception venue because it is a small place and will probably be perfect whether we stick to our original plan or change it to be simpler. Another thing is that our invitations already say where and when the reception will be. I guess I’m just really not into the dancing stuff where a DJ will play the usual wedding stuff like electric slide and all that.