(Closed) Private Family Dinner, Open Ceremony, Open Late Night Cocktail Party?

posted 6 years ago in Reception
Post # 3
822 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

I would be offended if I knew you had a private dinner with your family.  But if  didn’t know, I would just think your wedding timeline was odd for a ceremony at 8:30 p.m. followed by a 9:30 reception.  I would probably assume you planned it for later to cut costs of serving guests dinner. 

You say that it’s not an attempt to save money but I feel it is because I don’t see how it would cost the same for your option. the no host welcome party will cost you nothing versus several hundred dollars for a tradition rehearsal dinner. private dinner at a restaurant will cost less than a wedding dinner at a venue.

it’s fine if you want to save money.  times are tough and weddings are expensive.  go with your plan if you think your group of family and friends will be fine with it.  you might want to bounce the idea off someone you trust will give you an honest opinion.

the hour and half time of getting ready is adequate if you don’t have complicated hair, makeup or dress and if each of your bridesmaids will be responsible for their own hair and makeup. 


Post # 4
2775 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

I see no problem with this.  An 8/8:30 PM ceremony with a cocktail reception immediately to follow satisfies your obligations as a hostess.  You are inviting everybody who witnesses your ceremony to join you afterward for food, drinks, and entertainment.  As the wedding does not span a mealtime, you are not obligated to provide a full meal.

People have weddings like this all the time.  When a wedding starts after the dinner hour, presumably the bride and groom aren’t just going to skip dinner that day and will be eating dinner at some point before the wedding.  I think it’s fine that you’ll be eating with your families.

… If the dinner included more people than just family, it would be iffy.  If the order of operations were different and you wanted to do ceremony, then family dinner (while everyone else had to fend for themselves for dinner), then cocktail party, it would not be okay.

But I think your plan is just fine. 

Post # 5
53 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I think that’s a fine plan. The only potential source of awkwardness would be if all 3 are in the same place and a guest shows up way early for the ceremony, but it doesn’t sound like that’s your plan. No one would be able to fault you for doing something with just your family. 

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