(Closed) No Meal Reception? Please help!!!

posted 9 years ago in Reception
Post # 3
4485 posts
Honey bee

People get married without serving a full meal all the time. Dinners at the reception are actually a fairly new thing since all weddings everywhere used to be just cake and punch. There’s nothing “cheap” about them unless your guests are nitpicky superficial people. They should understand that you are doing what you can afford, especially during a recession. Desserts themselves are not always cheap either, depending on what you decide to serve. If plan to have alcohol of any kind, then you must have “real” food.

You need to sit down and discuss between the two of you which is more important, given your finances: a big guestlist or a full meal. In the case of the latter, you’ll have to cut some people from your list unless you have the money to pay for them all.

As far as inexpensive full meal options, talk to your favorite local restaurants since they are generally much cheaper than a regular wedding caterer and you would already know what the quality of food is like. Boston Market if there is one in your area also offers full service catering but it’s a buffet-only setup, if that is an issue for you at all.


Post # 5
4485 posts
Honey bee

In that case, I would probably shop around for inexpensive catering from a restaurant that you guys love. Cut out anything elsewhere that isn’t important to you and that you don’t want to include at all. Also, cutting back wherever you can with everyday living expenses will help too.

Post # 6
426 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

I really think that the answers to your questions depend on you, your Fiance and your family.  If you want to do something other than a formal dinner, it’s your choice!  Your wedding, do what you want! 

Personally, I know that my family would think I was strange if I didn’t have a formal wedding/reception and all that jazz.  I do think that if you are not serving dinner that you should let your guests know.  hungry guests are unhappy guests 🙁

Recently, I went to a more informal wedding, that was still very lovely, at a park.  It was during the summer and they went with a “cookout” theme.  It was fun and the venue matched their theme perfectly.  Plus, pictures were great!

Post # 7
385 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2010

What about hamburgers and hot dogs?  Make it a cookout/barbeque/picnic theme.  Serve it buffet style.  It’s still a meal and will be yummy but a lot cheaper.  You could even those cute red and white checked table cloths.  Or just do a cocktails and appetizer or cocktails and dessert bar type reception.  There a lot of options.  This day in age, anything goes really.

Oh and my friend almost went with an Italian style buffet meal.  You choose from several different pastas and sauces catered by an Italian restaurant.  I was looking forward to that unitl she changed her mind :^)

Post # 8
883 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2009

Cake and punch receptions are just fine as long as its not at meal time and the guests know whats coming.

Post # 9
674 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

We just recently decided that there’s no way we can afford catering so we’re going to have our reception between lunch and dinner and just serve finger foods and desserts. I’ve been to two finger food receptions and it’s been fine. I personally prefer cheese and crackers to some gourmet dish thats filled with crap I would never eat.

Just don’t do it at a meal time like mdarrah said and you’ll be fine.

Post # 10
10218 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2010

i agree with all of the pp, is dancing important to you? if not, you can definitely maybe reserve a banquet room in your favorite hotel and serve a meal there and have great centerpieces and a more family style atmosphere which could be really fun and intimate especially if you’re very close to family.

Post # 12
2271 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

We had an early evening wedding, followed by light refreshments directly afterwards. Then we had a big, casual pig roast the next day. Everyone who has commented on the festivities have used words like “classy”, “relaxed”, and “fun”. Everything came under 5K. You can visit our web site if you want a look at how it turned out –


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