Snarky Brides

Just desserts vs. evil irony

My BFF is a wedding planner who had a lux wedding funded by family. I found love late in life, so with 2 kids in tow (1each for me and FI), we are trying to plan our wedding. The idea was “just desserts” since we’re far past the appetizers (20’s) and main course (30’s) of life . Also, with having to buy a house for the kids, fund 3 college educations (FI is going back for his degree this Fall) and still funding our future retirement, we have to manage our priorities and budget. Anyway, the idea was to do just a short dessert reception after our evening church wedding 7 or 7:30 start time. Awesome coffee bar, fruits, tarts, pies, wine, wedding cake and a banana split bar (instead of grooms cake. It’s his FAVORITE). Convo w/ BFF goes like this: BFF: Nope, gotta feed the people food. Me: “Nope, can’t afford all that.” BFF: Then just elope. [omitting a few particularly thoughtless commentaries from her about my life] Me: I could do the full dinner thing if I kept it to just immediate parents, siblings and no friends. (I have a large family). Now here’s the kicker. She asked specifically to be a bridesmaid, which is what I WANT. But if I cut it to just my immediate family to satisfy “proper” hosting of guests, she not only doesn’t stand as an attendant, she wouldn’t be INVITED. So, I want to know how inappropriate is it to have a dessert-only reception (that is clear on the invitations), with a 1-hour ceremony starting at 7:30, then have dessert-only reception with cake cutting, first dance, toasts and that’s it? I don’t want to improperly host my guests, so honest feedback is welcome.
wajohnson09
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Re: Just desserts vs. evil irony

  • KeptInStitchesKeptInStitches the Northern Plains member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    I don't think that's over a mealtime, so you're properly hosting your wedding. Sounds lovely, actually! I want an invite - I love dessert.
    gen148
  • IrishPirate60IrishPirate60 Clare Island member
    Sixth Anniversary 250 Love Its 100 Comments Name Dropper
    I certainly wouldn't expect dinner if the ceremony began at 7! Your dessert menu sounds wonderful.
  • Hey, if anyone bails because they expected dinner, definitely let me know.  I would be there with bells on for a dessert reception!!  That sounds kick-ass. 
    gen148
  • climbingsingleclimbingsingle NYC 'burbs member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I would expect dinner if the ceremony started at 7:30, even with the ceremony was an hour long. To me, that's dinner time. 
    emmaaarajahmdd2vaCrazyCatLady3
  • wrigleyvillewrigleyville Chicago member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited July 2014
    I'd say it depends on your area and crowd. My family lives in a small town where 5:00-6:00 is the start time for dinner. H and I, however, live in Chicago, so 7:00-8:00 is dinner time for us. Personally, even in Chicago, if someone had a 7:30 ceremony, I would not expect dinner, especially if you said, "Dessert reception to follow," or something like that. I would likely eat before the ceremony and then enjoy your delicious banana split bar.
    gen148rachel&liv2015
  • So, follow-up question.  If you had a cousin or long-time friend (but not bestie) whose 7:30 wedding  invitation said "desert-only reception", would you decline attending because of the hassle of no-dinner?

    d2va
  • tammym1001tammym1001 Akron, Ohio member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    I would definitely attend and just make sure I had something to eat before I went. I read about app/dessert only receptions on here all the time and I wish that someone would invite me to one! They sound like fun.
  • KeptInStitchesKeptInStitches the Northern Plains member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    Never. Again, I love dessert.
  • beachyone15beachyone15 TEXAS (the home of my exes) member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary First Answer
    I would be happy to attend an event like that!
    I'd probably eat a salad beforehand so I could gorge on desserts...

  • If it's clear that it's a dessert reception, I'd be happy to attend! If you have a lot of OOT guests, and are doing a website, it might be nice to make some recommendations for good restaurants in the area. The locals will know where to go and what to do, but some people would appreciate suggested places to grab a bite that are convenient to the ceremony location and wouldn't be too expensive but also wouldn't be so casual that they feel out of place in wedding attire.

    It actually sounds like a great evening to me!
  • climbingsingleclimbingsingle NYC 'burbs member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited July 2014

    So, follow-up question.  If you had a cousin or long-time friend (but not bestie) whose 7:30 wedding  invitation said "desert-only reception", would you decline attending because of the hassle of no-dinner?

    No, I definitely wouldn't decline. I'd just make sure to eat dinner before I left. 
  • Awesome.  Now, just have to figure out how to get my perfect caterer to do a wedding!  This company does everything I want (chocolate fountains, cappucino stations, and dessert bars) but specifically told me they do corporate, not weddings.  sheesh!

  • slothiegalslothiegal The Sloth Farm member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer Name Dropper
    Mmmmm I wanna come!!
    Anniversary

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  • NYCMercedes -  That's priceless and just made my day.  This wedding/marriage stuff is SO emotional.  I don't really have major problems, but I really needed that laugh.
  • emmaaaemmaaa North Carolina mod
    Moderator 2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary
    I'm sorry but I would also expect a meal during that time. Why not do it during a non-mealtime and do desserts then? 

    You asked if I would decline if it was from a distant cousin and specified that it was dessert only? No I wouldn't because I love weddings and family. I would make arrangements before I came.

    However, I think it is important to host your guests at the proper time of day and to me 7:00 means supper.
    rajahmd
  • I think the time is pretty much fine, although maybe if you can, consider an 8 pm start time?  That might have things end late at night, but it would definitely be at a non-meal time.  

    Also, since you mentioned an hour long church ceremony, do you come from a faith-tradition where if there is communion you need to fast beforehand?  DH and I are Catholic and that was something we took into consideration with the timing of food.  We knew we wanted a substantial cocktail hour since we knew many guests would have started fasting an hour before our hour long, lunchtime ceremony.
  • MegEn1MegEn1 member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments Second Anniversary First Answer
    Just be clear about it. Some people here are saying 7:00pm is supper time, but you'll always find SOMEONE you're overlapping with. People who eat dinner at 9, people who eat dinner at 4:30. I think you're fine as long as you state it's a desert reception clearly. I also like the idea of recommending food in the area.

    Congratulations, and please send me some chocolate. Kthx. 

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  • I think your wedding and reception sounds lovely. My only this, as someone who loves to dance at weddings, is I would be sad you did a first dance but weren't going to have dancing for everyone. I think it comes off as a little AWish, but that just may be me. 

    I've written it several times here, I'm a little sick of the whole day marathon wedding that is so common (that's what I had) so I love your idea. 
  • rajahmdrajahmd Galifrey member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
    Add me to those that would want dinner after a ceremony starting at 7 or 7:30. You have to take into account getting ready and travel time. 

    If you're ceremony starts at 7:30, I'd probably aim to get there between 7 and 7:15. Let's say it's 15 minutes away from where I live- I'd have to leave by 6:45 or so. For a wedding, I'd want to be freshly showered, dressed nice, probably make up. That all takes time. Chances are I'd either have to eat dinner really early and risk being hungry by the time the ceremony ends, or grab some fast food on the way to the wedding and risk getting my clothes dirty or messing up my makeup.

    Can you push it back any further? Even starting at 8pm would give guests a little bit more time and make the day a bit more manageable.
  • ViczaesarViczaesar Central Coast, CA member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    I would expect dinner if the ceremony started at 7:30, even with the ceremony was an hour long. To me, that's dinner time. 
    This.  I think dessert-only receptions need to start no earlier than 8 pm. 
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    I would want dinner at that time b/c I would have been getting ready and driving to the wedding location during my regular dinner time. 
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
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  • I did this in 1976.  I worked retail, so my co-workers could come later at night with that timing.
  • Personally, I think a meal should always be served.  When you throw in people's getting ready and travel time you are looking at hours since they have last eaten.  Especially if they are used to wedding reception=meal and therefore figure they will eat at the reception.  

    With that being said, if the invite clearly indicated that it was a dessert reception I would not decline for that reason because then I would know that I had to work dinner into my schedule for the evening. So I think it's fine as long as you are clear that it is not a full dinner.   
  • JCbride2015JCbride2015 Dirty Jerz member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary First Answer
    A dessert reception is totally acceptable.  Personally I don't have a sweet tooth so I might also want some late-night snacks (popcorn is cheap and easy, a taco bar is fun) but I know I'm in the minority and I would find something to eat regardless.

    If the ceremony started at 7:30, I would expect enough food to constitute a meal.  That's dinnertime here (NYC).  I think 8:00 is the earliest you can start something like this.  But if you are having a really heavy dessert/snacks reception that would satisfy dinner anyway, you're good at any time.

    And I just have to say this because I am a former English teacher/ budding attorney and am a stickler for correct English usage.  The correct phrase is "just deserts" with one s, because it derives from the word deserve, not dessert.  It's like getting what you deserve-- getting your just deserts.  Weird but true.  You can make the choice to intentionally spell it "desserts" as a funny pun, just be aware it's a pun.
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    NYCMercedes
  • I think the time also depends on the day of the week! If you are looking at saving money and have it M-F, the 7 would probably need a meal. I wasn't able to take a day, or half day, off for my friend's wedding and had to drive across town. I left work at 5:00 and made it there at 6:15 for a 6:30 wedding, which started late. If the start time was 7:00, that would have given FI enough time to get home from work and change, me to pick him up, and us head over there - but not much time to even grab a quick bite to eat.

    If you're looking at Sat or Sun evening, I still think people would expect a meal for a 7:00 start time but if you made it known that it's dessert only, they can plan on eating at 5 or 9. If you're looking at going inexpensive, I recommend going with a 2/2:30 ceremony so serving light food is more appropriate.

  • Yes, it's a Catholic ceremony, but since he's Protestant, we are doing the Marriage Rite w/o a Mass.
  •  
    And I just have to say this because I am a former English teacher/ budding attorney and am a stickler for correct English usage.  The correct phrase is "just deserts" with one s, because it derives from the word deserve, not dessert.  It's like getting what you deserve-- getting your just deserts.  Weird but true.  You can make the choice to intentionally spell it "desserts" as a funny pun, just be aware it's a pun.

    I am well-aware of the pun and the proper meaning and history of the phrase "just deserts" (that's why I picked it).  I am actually torn with how to spell it in our materials because the idea is exactly that:  "just deserts" as in we are finally getting the the person that we deserve.  If I go with the dessert-only or elaborate dessert theme, I may go with the double-s and explain the tie-in. 

    I'll keep taking feedback.  Again, I wouldn't want to do anything inappropriate with regard to hosting our guests, but I would hope my bestie (who raised the concern in the first place) wouldn't think my exclusion of ALL non-relatives in order to provide an appropriate meal option was, well, "snarky."

  • Here, 6:30 is the usual cut off for required meal. If you go for 7:30 or later, dessert only would be fine to me. Could you add in some cheese and fruit or crackers or something not sweet for those who might need a break from sugar?

    Granted, dessert only and I'm showing up no matter the time. I'll figure out how to eat before.
  • LondonLisaLondonLisa London, UK member
    Eighth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited July 2014
    If the ceremony started anytime before 8 I would definitely expect dinner. I would love a dessert reception, but I would be starving. 7/7:30 is prime dinner time where I am from. I would suggest to move it to at least 8pm.
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