(Closed) No reception!

posted 6 years ago in Reception
Post # 3
2775 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

A reception is a must, though it doesn’t have to be expensive or elaborate. 

The express purpose of a reception is to receive your guests following the ceremony.  Your hospitality obligations include thanking your guests for coming out to witness your vows and providing appropriate refreshments.  Cupcakes (DIY) and coffee or punch would be inexpensive, and sufficient for an off-mealtime wedding.

It would not be polite to invite people to a ceremony that takes place around dinnertime and then expect them to pay for their own meals afterward.

Post # 4
341 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

You can absolutely pull this off without the kind of reception that will put you into debt.  Why not have the intimate ceremony you have in mind, either at your house or in the backyard of someone’s home or in a church followed by some refreshments either in at the house you get married in, or even the fellowship hall of the church?  I mean, it’s easy to go crazy with the “I gotta have this” items…but really…all you want to do is get married.  So do it.  And serve punch, soda and cake afterwards.  Simple and affordable.

Post # 5
9029 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

I think you should have some sort of food or refreshments afterwards, even if its just a cocktail reception.

Post # 6
452 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

One of my close friends had a very intimate wedding.  She was married in a park.  The wedding was at 5:30, we ate a catered meal at 6:20 at the park using picnic tables, conversed, wished the couple the best luck, and everyone went home.  They had around 50 guests.  It was a beautiful wedding, and absolutely perfect for their personalities/budget.  Another friend I know strongly dislikes being in the spot light.  They had a wedding with around $150 people (big families), and served a meal in the church basement.  You certainly don’t have to rent out a whole new place, and much less have a dance. Although I don’t think you need the whole big shabang that most brides have, I have to admit I would be incredibly off-put if I was invited to a wedding and only served cake, or was told I could join the couple at a restaurant where I would have to pay for my own food.  Keep in mind most people spend minimum $20-50 on a wedding gift – I think they at least deserve to be fed, even if it is just ‘graduation food’ (ex: sandwich, chips, punch, cake) for lack of a better word to label that sort of food. I know a bride who is considering serving walking tacos at her very laid back outdoor wedding, personally, I love me a walking taco and have no objections to this. 

ETA the bride I mentioned who was married in a park had one of their close mutual friends ordained (some website, I think they actually have a Friends episode joking about it, and on One Tree Hill they have one of the main characters do this), which although I understand isn’t for everyone, but it does avoid the whole JOP thing.  We’re close to our Priest, so I’m glad we were married by him, but if we weren’t I think I would have rather had a friend of ours marry us than some random guy – but that’s just me. 

Post # 7
5075 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2012

I have a friend who’s getting married at the JOP and then having a very small dinner gathering at a restaurant that evening.

She is wearing a “regular” wedding dress that she bought at a bridal salon.

Post # 8
4485 posts
Honey bee

A reception is a must. You really can’t get much cheaper than a grocery store cake with sherbet punch.

Post # 9
452 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2009


I’m presuming all of the guests meals were paid for by the married couple?  I think (or at least it sounds like it to me) that op wants her guests to pay for their own meal. 

Post # 10
2281 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

My best friend’s wedding, one of my favorite weddings I ever went to, had a potluck reception. It was fantastic. They were broke and probably wouldn’t be in a strong financial situation for years to come, and we were all thrilled to chip in (and people went all-out, making some really lovely dishes – not just your usual casserole fare). It was at a Unitarian church that charged them $100 for the entire evening. They got a grocery store cake. The music was from the groom’s ipod. I don’t think I’ve ever had that much fun, or seen her so happy.

Post # 11
444 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

My bro got married without a reception, we did what you’re planning and no one complained, they were just glad to share the day 🙂


However I’m totally down with the potluck idea too, I was at a wedding that did that with a bbq in the backyard, it was so close knit and friendly, it felt very relaxed and happy.  Weddings are very personal, anyone that would complain about something that you do for it really shouldn’t be going anyway, since it’s about the two of you and joining your lives together.  Everything else is just extra, you don’t have to follow what society says you ‘should’ do 🙂

Post # 12
726 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

While I think that you should have SOMETHING for your guests, when we were talking about our wedding and reception before we decided to have a Destination Wedding, everyone I knew said “well, why do you need a reception? It’s just a big party, just have the ceremony.” so I think it may be based on who you know/where you live because people brought this idea up to me, I didn’t bring it up to them. Try to find out what some of your guests think

If you decide you need a reception, everyone has offered great suggestions!

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