Etiquette

Lackluster Short Wedding Reception For A DW Dilemma

We're having a DW in Las Vegas with a guest count of 18 people not including us. Our ceremony would be at 11:30AM and we will be having a 2-hour brunch reception at 12:30PM at a hotel buffet (Wicked Spoon). That's literally 3 hours and I feel horrible, because who want to go to a DW for that short amount of time? Not to mention that it is a DW, but we are actually pretty nontraditional when it comes to reception activities as well since we're not doing any dancing and no toasts. We just wanted to at least give our guests a meal that they could choose whatever food they wanted to eat and how much they wanted to eat with the hotel buffet. Not to mention, Wicked Spoon is actually one of the top buffets in Las Vegas so it's not too shabby. 

After reception, he and I are going on a 2 hour photo shoot tour on the Las Vegas Strip. I didn't want our guests waiting forever while we got our personal photo shoot done especially if they had to get up early for our wedding.

We're planning having an optional 'after-party' that would start at 5:30PM for all of guests to make up for our short reception. We would be taking them to a pizza joint (Flour & Barley) on the Linq Promenade for a 2-hour group reservation (we are paying) and then we would take them on 3.5 hour Vegas Strip tour via limo coach to see and explore some of the light shows like the Bellagio Fountains light show, the Fremont experience, and the Las Vegas sign. We would actually be able to get out and check out the places during the tour.

I guess what I'm trying to get to is that I know this doesn't actually follow proper etiquette for a wedding timeline, but would this be a bad add on for a lackluster short reception since it doesn't have the usual reception activities?

There's a couple of things I wanted to address: time and food/beverage.

1) TIME.

There will be a 3 hour gap between reception and the after party. I will be including 'Things To Do' ideas for timeframe if they didn't wish to go back to their hotels to freshen up, relax, and maybe get ready for the night. Wicked Spoon is at The Cosmopolitan and The Bellagio is next to it (15 min walk). They can hit up the casino at The Bellagio and the Flour & Barley is in the Linq promenade that has the Linq and Flamingo close by, where there are casinos there in both hotels. The Linq promenade is a shopping area with the High Roller and bowling as attractions.

2) FOOD/BEVERAGES
We can only afford to do the minimum food and beverage package (which means no alcohol, but they'll get unlimited non-alcoholic beverages) for both the Wicked Spoon and Flour & Barley if all 20 of us happen to attend. There are 2-hour bottomless beverage that we will let people know about if they wish to drink, but we don't mind that there is much alcohol involved. We will be having champagne in the limo tour though.

Feedback and input would be nice. Thanks! :)     

Re: Lackluster Short Wedding Reception For A DW Dilemma

  • Your plans sound fine to me - you never know, you could check on a group rate at some of the smaller venue shows on the strip in Vegas (Kevin is one of the performers who I'm thinking of that's not too over the top for a group of the ones I know) if you're wanting to "add" but IMO your plan sounds fine.  The reason being something like that instead of the limo ride that'd keep people together in an activity as a group.  

    I wouldn't apologize, you're plans sound fine to me other than the covering alcohol unless you're having a dry event.  
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  • Do you have a separate room or area at the buffet? That's the only kind of odd thing to me. It's really not a reception as much as a group lunch with a bunch of people from the public there too. 

    You don't need alcohol to be proper but I would try to swing it for either the lunch or the pizza dinner. The tour thing at night sounds awesome!
    charlotte989875ahoywedding
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
    10000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    member
    We're having a DW in Las Vegas with a guest count of 18 people not including us. Our ceremony would be at 11:30AM and we will be having a 2-hour brunch reception at 12:30PM at a hotel buffet (Wicked Spoon). That's literally 3 hours and I feel horrible, because who want to go to a DW for that short amount of time? Not to mention that it is a DW, but we are actually pretty nontraditional when it comes to reception activities as well since we're not doing any dancing and no toasts. We just wanted to at least give our guests a meal that they could choose whatever food they wanted to eat and how much they wanted to eat with the hotel buffet. Not to mention, Wicked Spoon is actually one of the top buffets in Las Vegas so it's not too shabby. 

    After reception, he and I are going on a 2 hour photo shoot tour on the Las Vegas Strip. I didn't want our guests waiting forever while we got our personal photo shoot done especially if they had to get up early for our wedding.

    We're planning having an optional 'after-party' that would start at 5:30PM for all of guests to make up for our short reception. We would be taking them to a pizza joint (Flour & Barley) on the Linq Promenade for a 2-hour group reservation (we are paying) and then we would take them on 3.5 hour Vegas Strip tour via limo coach to see and explore some of the light shows like the Bellagio Fountains light show, the Fremont experience, and the Las Vegas sign. We would actually be able to get out and check out the places during the tour.

    I guess what I'm trying to get to is that I know this doesn't actually follow proper etiquette for a wedding timeline, but would this be a bad add on for a lackluster short reception since it doesn't have the usual reception activities?

    There's a couple of things I wanted to address: time and food/beverage.

    1) TIME.

    There will be a 3 hour gap between reception and the after party. I will be including 'Things To Do' ideas for timeframe if they didn't wish to go back to their hotels to freshen up, relax, and maybe get ready for the night. Wicked Spoon is at The Cosmopolitan and The Bellagio is next to it (15 min walk). They can hit up the casino at The Bellagio and the Flour & Barley is in the Linq promenade that has the Linq and Flamingo close by, where there are casinos there in both hotels. The Linq promenade is a shopping area with the High Roller and bowling as attractions.

    2) FOOD/BEVERAGES
    We can only afford to do the minimum food and beverage package (which means no alcohol, but they'll get unlimited non-alcoholic beverages) for both the Wicked Spoon and Flour & Barley if all 20 of us happen to attend. There are 2-hour bottomless beverage that we will let people know about if they wish to drink, but we don't mind that there is much alcohol involved. We will be having champagne in the limo tour though.

    Feedback and input would be nice. Thanks! :)     
    Please invite me! j/k

    Seriously, your plans sound awesome! Best wishes and congratulations!
    ahoywedding
  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut
    Moderator Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    mod
    edited January 15
    Sounds like a fun wedding. I see nothing wrong with your plan. You're having ceremony with reception immediately following - thank you for not putting your 2 hour photo shoot between the ceremony and reception. I would have no problems entertaining myself in Vegas for three hours. Your after  party sounds amazing.

    The one thing is that you shouldn't mention the 2 hour cocktails if you aren't paying for them. If your guests go to the bar, which they probably will, you should pretend not to notice. 
                
    InLoveInQueens
  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut
    Moderator Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    mod
    levioosa said:
    Sounds like a fun wedding. I see nothing wrong with your plan. You're having ceremony with reception immediately following - thank you for not putting your 2 hour photo shoot between the ceremony and reception. I would have no problems entertaining myself in Vegas for three hours. Your after  party sounds amazing.

    The one thing is that you shouldn't mention the 2 hour cocktails if you aren't paying for them. If your guests go to the bar, which they probably will, you should pretend not to notice. 
    I'm sure they will be well advertised at the front of the bar. Really though, the bottomless package is $15/person. I would find some way to pony up $300 so all of my guests could have drinks at the reception. That's a really reasonable price, especially for Vegas. 
    Wow, I had no idea. Fifteen dollars, plus tips, per person for what is essentially open bar is a great deal. You're right, there must be a way to cut out something that the guests won't notice, in favor of hosting the drinks.
                
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  • levioosa said:
    So I think this actually sounds pretty good! The only thing is though that people shouldn’t have to pay for their own drinks. It’s fine to have a dry wedding, but not to make alcohol available if they want to pay. I might change some of the after party stuff around so you can afford to cover drinks at the reception.  
    I agree with this, however I'm guessing that the buffet is going to be open to the general public as well as this time, so it will be impossible to restrict alcohol. This really isn't all that different from venues that refuse to take down their liquor. The B&G are essentially hosting a dry event, however the venue is still offering alcohol and there's not much they can do about that.

    I agree though, if it's possible to shuffle some of the budget around, providing alcohol for at least the reception would be a good idea. We've always said that B&Gs aren't required to provide alcohol/pay for after parties, so the fact that they are covering a portion of it is generous. 

    Sounds like a fun night, OP! 
    I tend to lean towards the side of if you aren’t paying for alcohol, you shouldn’t use a venue that is going to be trying to sell it to your guests. I don’t think it’s all that terrible to do so if you have to, but if they can shift things around and make it work I think it’s worth trying. 
    charlotte989875PrettyGirlLostahoywedding
  • I think the structure and timing of the plans sound great and it sounds like a really fun wedding. 

    However I do think the paying for drinks sounds like a cash bar situation. Maybe I’m reading the plans wrong (if so I apologize) but if sounds like you’re going to have the options to drink available, then to properly host people you should pay for these, or arrange it so they are not available. There is nothing wrong with a dry reception, but if that’s the case then it shouldn’t be available for the guests. It just seems like partial hosting to me. 
    STARMOON44PrettyGirlLostahoywedding
  • I think it sounds good! I agree with PPs, I would find a way to host the alcohol with brunch, but I don't think you need to worry about the afterparty!
  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut
    Moderator Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    mod
    I think it sounds good! I agree with PPs, I would find a way to host the alcohol with brunch, but I don't think you need to worry about the afterparty!
    No, she's not required to have that after party, but it sounds like so much fun.

                
  • I think it sounds good! I agree with PPs, I would find a way to host the alcohol with brunch, but I don't think you need to worry about the afterparty!
    No, she's not required to have that after party, but it sounds like so much fun.


    No I know, to clarify, I don't think she needs to host alcohol at the after party. 
    MairePoppyCMGragainahoywedding
  • I'd host a dry brunch reception, and then add the "meal enhancement" to add alcohol to the after party. Everyone agrees a dry reception is totally fine. And the way you're planning the day, people might start drinking at brunch, then get drunker in the 3-hour gap (or go back to the hotel and pass out), and then not stay for your planned after party (or not make it at all). Based on your timeline, even though it's not part of the reception, you are hosting a party in the evening (at the pizza place, then the tour), and it would be nice to provide alcohol for the evening event more so than the afternoon event. 

    Basically, I just think it's a bit odd to offer your guests drinks at noon, and then expect them all to party with you at 5pm with no drinks. 
    InLoveInQueens
  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut
    Moderator Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    mod
    edited January 16
    MandyMost said:

    Basically, I just think it's a bit odd to offer your guests drinks at noon, and then expect them all to party with you at 5pm with no drinks. 
    Mimosas and Bloody Mary's are standard brunch offerings. I would indulge in a few mimosas during brunch, gamble for three hours and join up with the after party with no problems at all. 

    OP is providing champagne for the limo, which is a nice extra touch.

                
    charlotte989875sparklepants41ahoywedding
  • MandyMost said:

    Basically, I just think it's a bit odd to offer your guests drinks at noon, and then expect them all to party with you at 5pm with no drinks. 
    Mimosas and Bloody Mary's are standard brunch offerings. I would indulge in a few mimosas during brunch, gamble for three hours and join up with the after party with no problems at all. 

    OP is providing champagne for the limo, which is a nice extra touch.

    Totally agree. I guess I'm just saying that if it was one OR the other, I would rather be provided booze at the dinner rather than the brunch. I would also drink a couple mimosas as brunch, go gamble for a few hours, and then have some wine or beer with dinner and on the tour, with no issues. It sounds like a blast. 
  • The wedding cake is not a big deal, and it isn't even necessary.  It is fine that you are having it at your after party!  Enjoy your special day.
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  • OP, I think your plans sound amazing and like so much fun!  I'm sure you, your FI, and your guests are going to have a great time.

    I agree with your reasoning on having the cake later, for the after party.  Many desserts to chose from at the buffet...and then wedding cake later that night...yee-haw!

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