(Closed) Planning the “at home” reception… casual but still a RECEPTION vs just a party

posted 7 years ago in Reception
Post # 3
6 posts
  • Wedding: July 2011

im doing the same thing. we are having a reception the day after we get married at the courthouse. we rented a house and decided to just do a down home fun atmosphere. we are doing some bbq style foods and i got a white dress ( like a real pretty knee length summer/formal dress) with some pretty heels and we invited about 25-30 people but in the invites i put it was a marraige “celebration” bc we are just celebrating that we finally got married ( been togather 5 years ) and i put a cute poem about gifts . we didnt register just asked if anyone WANTED to give anything  they could put some cash into a honeymoon fund .. . as far a music im not sure about that myself. need help on that too cause there is no “dancefloor” just a regular empty house…

Post # 4
1285 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

I would talk to her and tell her that you missed some things on your wedding day that are very important to you and it would mean a lot to you if the party is a bit more traditional than what she has in mind and if you could to those things you missed.

Does it have to be her house or could you host the party at your home if she doesn’t understand and is not willing to let you decorate and do what you want to do?

Post # 5
1701 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

I agree with Usuki–let your friend know what you are thinking.  Also emphasize that you are not expecting her to do the extra decorating, etc.  If she is generous enough to offer her house, I’m sure she won’t have a problem with it.

If you want people to be dressier, you might want to put that on the invitations.

Mrs Smith cordially invites you to join her in celebrating the marriage of Miss X and Miss Z. Saturday, the x of Whenever.BLAHBLAHBLAH. Semi-formal attire requested.

If your friends are a little more savvy:

Mrs Smith cordially invites you to a wedding reception celebrating the marriage of MIss X and Miss Z…


Miss X and Miss Z cordially invite you to a wedding reception at the home of Mrs Smith

Music–perhaps you can find a DJ on Craigslist? It might not be the most sophisticated set up, but if you interview them and think they can manage the emcee stuff it might be a worthy investment.  An iPod reception is fine, but by the time you download, arrange, get the equipment, etc, you might be better off hiring someone.

Cake–have you ever decorated a cake before? If not, let’s talk

OK–can you tell I am sitting on my deck in 90 degrees drinking beer?  Sorry if this rambles.

Post # 7
1701 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

@MsInterpret: I think you should word your invitations as a “wedding reception”.  Most people should get the hint as far as dress is concerned.  Although I was at a wedding today where several people turned up in jeans and/or sneakers.  it wasn’t a very formal wedding, but still…Seriously do not know what they were thinking.

Love that you have so many musician friends.  I think it’s a great idea to have a jam session.  That would probably turn out way better than you could ever imagine.  Since your first dance is important, either put certain people in charge of playing that song or have a recorded version.  I would definitely have other recorded music as well, but certainly invite them to play.

Cake–My advice–buy it.  My mother is a pro, my sister and I are amateurs.  We still didn’t do my cake.  It is just too stressful and time consuming.  There is a quite a bit of engineering involved, not to mention transportation.  Does HEB do a good cake?  Publix here does and they are pretty delicious and reasonably priced as well.  At the very least, buy the tiers frosted white and decorate them yourself.

Post # 9
1701 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

@MsInterpret: I don’t want to be negative.  It’s just quite complicated.  Hopefully something works out for you.

Post # 10
84 posts
Worker bee

What’s your budget? That will make a difference. You can transform any space with enough money. If it’s limited, you might need to be more creative.

You should talk to your friend and make sure your idea for the reception is ok. Otherwise, it might be easier to pick another location, even if you need to pay for it. To get the right feel, maybe you could have a small ceremony somewhere else, and the reception afterwards. Maybe a park? 

For decor, you can do lots of flowers everywhere. They can be paper flowers. For lighting, maybe some paper lanterns. I’m not sure if candles would work because it could be a fire hazard with a lot of people in the house. You can spread a few pictures, some favors, and maybe a few small signs or banners if you can find the right theme. You can drape tulle or other inexpensive fabric in areas.

Does she have a backyard? Maybe you could put up a small tent and have some of your activities outdoors. 

You might want to hire some help, either as servers or for clean-up. Maybe students?

To put things up, you can use 3M removable hooks. They’re sticky but you can take them off and they don’t damage the wall. These are some random etsy things for ideas. Banner from WhenitRainsShop and poms from SweetandSavvyDesigns. You could make these.

Post # 13
3316 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

We did something similar, although it was only three days after the ceremony.  The reception after the ceremony was just a nice luncheon in the private dining room of a nearby restaurant.  The at-home reception was where we had an evening event with music, dancing (including first dance), heavy hors d’oeuvres, open bar, wedding cake, and even a DIY “photobooth.”

There really are two elements to your issue.  First, it would be absolutely permissible even for a straight wedding to have a small ceremony elsewhere, and have most of the “wedding” events at a larger at-home reception.  So this event can be as formal or informal a reception as you want.

Also, in the case of a same-sex wedding, I think there is general recognition of the fact that some allowances need to be made.  This was not a situation in which the two of you elected to run off and get married privately.  Instead, you were forced to travel far from your home state in order to have a legal wedding, and that meant you couldn’t celebrate with all your loved ones at the time of the ceremony.  Having a big reception with all your friends back home is one way of dealing with an issue that straight couples just don’t face.

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