(Closed) no dinner… bad idea?

posted 6 years ago in Reception
  • poll: having a night time ceremony, and a dance to follow with no meal is...
    a great way to save money/ get right to the fun stuff : (40 votes)
    36 %
    cheap/tacky : (71 votes)
    64 %
  • Post # 3
    1177 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: June 2013

    I think you can’t start at 7 if you’re not serving a meal, or at least heavy appetizers. Maybe if you started around 8? 

    Post # 4
    9954 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: December 2012

    Despite what the “Wedding Industry” says there is certainly more than one way to get Married / Celebrate a Wedding

    Before I married the first time (circa 1980) I often fantasized about a Winter Night-time Wedding where the church was dimly lit, and the serice was by candlelight… much like Mass on Christmas Eve.

    Lol, of course “My Parents” got their way… and that idea was quickly shot down

    Still tho I think it would make for a very beautiful and romantic Ceremony

    That said… if you aren’t planning to serve a meal… then you want to aim for 8 PM… that clearly says that this is a Night-time affair and people should have ate dinner before hand.

    Then your Reception / RSVP Cards can be more closely to what my own read…

    Cocktails & Hors d’ouevres – Cake & Champagne – DJ & Dancing

    Hope this helps,

    And YES it is one way to keep costs down, and still have a very classy Evening Affair.  I say GO FOR IT !!


    Post # 5
    2999 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: April 2014

    I would enjoy any party I was invited to 🙂  If you put it on the invite that it is cocktails and apps only then I’m all good in the hood!

    Post # 6
    5885 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: October 2010

    As long as everyone knows and you have the wedding later, like 8pm. On the invites say Followed by Heavy H’ors and Dancing or Dessert and Dancing. But please keep in mind, you can;t skimp on the food. Make sure you have enough for everyone for the whole evening.

    Post # 7
    2295 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: April 2013

    It is fine as long as it is VERY clear, and I agree, the earliest you could start would be 7:30 but 8:00 is even clearer.

    The other thing I would says is that your guests should be primarily local for this model, not having to drive a few hours or travel in, left to find their own meal.

    Wedding food isn’t usually anything to write home about in my experience – I’d be glad to go to an evening dessert and apps event only, as long as it was very clear.

    Post # 8
    83 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: April 2014

    I didn’t vote because my answer isn’t quite there. I think this is a great idea – if the apps are plentiful and people know that’s all to expect! Two anecdotes:

    1. My friend went to a wedding this summer and there were only apps and an open bar. Expecting a full dinner, she went light on eating the apps, then was shocked and completely hammered when there was no dinner.

    2. When we were discussing wedding plans, another friend said that he wished we would do apps only so that way it would be more of a party atmosphere and he wouldn’t be chained to a table.


    Post # 9
    6256 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: March 2014

    I don’t think there is anything at all wrong with doing heavy apps or even cake and punch, as long as you’re very clear with everyone that that’s the situation so they don’t come with an empty stomach.

    Post # 10
    496 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: June 2013

    I personally have never been a fan of wedding dinners, but I think that is because I am a picky eater!

    We are having a 7pm ceremony, followed by desserts and dancing (which is what we wrote on the invitation). I am making tons of mini pies, cupcakes, squares etc. We are then having a chip truck come for our late night snack (fits in with our laid back carinval theme), so our guests will be well fed. Even though we are of course paying for the chip wagon food for the guests, we still will be saving a huge amount of money!

    We are doing our bridal party and family photos before the ceremony, and will be doing out first dance, cake cutting, and toasts right after. That way our older guests can leave if they are tired! 

    Post # 11
    6741 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: June 2014

    I would consider doing a cocktail/heavy apps/dessert only reception, but I would start it a bit later in the evening and I would definitely note it on the invite.  People will need food if they’re drinking, but should come having already eaten a meal.  I don’t think it’s cheap/tacky, as long as you let the guests know. 

    Post # 13
    9139 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

    @geekspice:  I agree, ceremony at 8.

    Post # 14
    8695 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: September 2013

    I wouldnt love it bc I am not used to it but I think if people knew in advance they should be okay. I do agree that starting a bit later may be good. If I were going to a wedding at 7 I would start getting ready at 4 or 5, the latest. I wouldnt have time to eat dinner and I might be starving at the reception!

    Post # 15
    6221 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: August 2013 - The Liberty House

    I second the pp who said start it at 8 and you’re fine,  any earlier and you’ll have cranky guests on your hands

    Post # 16
    496 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: June 2013

    @futuremrsk18:  Food Truck, Catering Truck, Snack Truck, Break Truck, etc.

    (We call them Chip trucks here!)

    OP – I agree that starting at 8 is a good option. For us, we want the daylight, and we would like to be done the evening earlier. Most of our guests have already made early dinner plans so we feel confident most will be fine. I think as long as everyone is aware, you will be fine with whatever you choose.

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