Reception Ideas

never been to a real reception

I'm set to get married in June 2016. It will be a casual outdoor affair (with a tent and backup plan in case of rain). I'm young and have almost no experience with weddings. I know that I actually want to enjoy my reception. My fiance and I are free spirits and love to have fun with our inner children. Everyone that I have personally spoken to has been supportive of my alternative wedding ideas, such as lawn games and a bounce house instead of dancing (which many of our prospective guests will likely not enjoy). I need legitimate help with my reception ideas. I do not need anyone to be rude or condescending toward my ideas, but I would like some legitimate input. Please and thank you! 

Re: never been to a real reception

  • I think you can do whatever activities you like at your reception, as long as your guests are also well-hosted.  This means acceptable food (ie a full meal during a lunch or dinner hour, or at the very least appetizers/munchies during non-meal hours).  The food needn't be fancy, I just did catered buffet BBQ at mine.  You also need to make sure there's a seat for every butt, so if you're inviting 100 people, you need 100 chairs etc.  You don't have to serve alcohol but at least make sure there are plenty of drinks... water, lemonade, etc.  

    Other than that, you can do whatever your heart desires.  
    Married 9.12.15
    image
    PrettyGirlLost[Deleted User]
  • Thank you! I'm going to have tables/chairs and put out baskets of picnic blankets for the younger people in attendance. It's going to be a Sunday afternoon (1-5ish), so I was going to put out picnic-y/snack foods and drinks. The venue does not allow alcohol, so that eliminates that need. 
  • In this case age does not matter. if you are old enough to get married and make that kind of HUGE life changing commitment you are old enough to put your guest's needs ahead of your wants.

    Nothing you have said so far seems to be out of line so far. Just never lose site of the basics of being a good host.
    1. Feeding people a meal if your wedding overlaps with a meal time.
    2. Host everyone the same, no special drinks/food/treatment for you and/or the wedding party.
    3. Nobody should open their wallets for anything at your wedding. You are inviting them to a party, you do not invite people to your house and have them pay you for the wine they drink.
    4. Chair for every butt at both the ceremony and reception.
    5. Plan B if you are having an outdoor wedding in case of rain or too hot/cold temps.
    6. No gaps from ceremony to reception.

    Focus on those things first, the rest of the things will fall in place.

    Alternative ideas are great, as long as everyone is hosted properly. Heck having pie or cookies or ice cream instead of a cake is a-ok. Having someone draw pics of the guests instead of a photo booth...cool. Delete flowers and replace them with other items, awesome. These things help reflect your personality but do not mess with the ultimate comfort of your guests.

    As far as the bounce house and no dancing goes I guess this is a know your crowd type of thing. However, for me I would not like it. I always wear a dress or at least slacks and a very nice top to weddings. Not anything I would ever climb into a bounce house while wearing. The only way I am getting in those would be to be in shorts and a T-shirt. Add to that anyone over 40 might not partake. My FI is only 35 and has a very bad back. So even some younger people just might not be into things like that. Once again however this might just be a know your family thing.

    The ladies on this site will give great advice. None of it is meant to be rude or condescending, just to give everyone different views on how some of your guests might see things. Good luck!
    MesmrEwePrettyGirlLost
  • spockforprezspockforprez Virginia
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Third Anniversary Name Dropper
    member
    I might still expect lunch if it's 1pm. Maybe push the ceremony back to 2pm? I think your wedding sounds fun. I'm too large to bounce in a bounce house, but I'd play lawn games, hang with my SO or family, eat, and enjoy myself. 

    The picnic blankets sound sweet as long as they're optional. I'm in my 20's but have the back of an 85-year-old lady, haha. So have enough chairs for your guests but the blankets available as well.

    You'll need a tent or a plan B... which is the crappiest part of wedding planning so far for me (outdoor bride). There's a small window, maybe 65-78 degrees, where it's not too warm or too chilly, and there's always the possibility of rain. We'll have our reception under a tent, and if it rains we'll have the ceremony there as well. That will suck, and it's not my "vision" but it's better than my guests getting soaked. That might be hard to hear if your venue is outdoors - it was for me - but it's absolutely necessary.

    Have fun planning! 
    Daisypath Anniversary tickers
    [Deleted User]
  • Thank you! I'm going to have tables/chairs and put out baskets of picnic blankets for the younger people in attendance. It's going to be a Sunday afternoon (1-5ish), so I was going to put out picnic-y/snack foods and drinks. The venue does not allow alcohol, so that eliminates that need. 
    Please have actual tables and chairs for everyone and include the picnic blankets as an option. I don't think judging by age is good. My FI is only 26 and has a really bad back and could not sit on a picnic blanket. While my back is fine I'd obviously want to sit next to him in a chair at a table.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    MesmrEwePrettyGirlLostInLoveInQueens
  • I'm fine with it as long as you're serving actual lunch and have a chair for anyone who wants one- picnic blankets are fun to provide but there should still be a chair option for everyone.
    MesmrEweInLoveInQueens
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs
    10000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    member
    I'd totally get down in a bounce house. Just make sure I also have a chair and a table to sit at. And if you're having your reception during a meal time, you need to serve a full meal, not just appetizers. 
    Make sure the invite matches the formality of the event. If I'm playing lawn games and whatnot, I don't want to show up in a cocktail dress and heels. 

    lc07
  • You say that you're going to put out picnic food and snack. Please make sure everything is heated/cooled properly- might be best to leave to a small catering company or bbq restaurant.


  • I'm set to get married in June 2016. It will be a casual outdoor affair (with a tent and backup plan in case of rain). I'm young and have almost no experience with weddings. I know that I actually want to enjoy my reception. My fiance and I are free spirits and love to have fun with our inner children. Everyone that I have personally spoken to has been supportive of my alternative wedding ideas, such as lawn games and a bounce house instead of dancing (which many of our prospective guests will likely not enjoy). I need legitimate help with my reception ideas. I do not need anyone to be rude or condescending toward my ideas, but I would like some legitimate input. Please and thank you! 


  • PrettyGirlLostPrettyGirlLost A Land Filled with Unicorns and Cat Hair
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    member
    aliwis000 said:
    Just never lose site of the basics of being a good host.
    1. Feeding people a meal if your wedding overlaps with a meal time.
    2. Host everyone the same, no special drinks/food/treatment for you and/or the wedding party.
    3. Nobody should open their wallets for anything at your wedding. You are inviting them to a party, you do not invite people to your house and have them pay you for the wine they drink.
    4. Chair for every butt at both the ceremony and reception.
    5. Plan B if you are having an outdoor wedding in case of rain or too hot/cold temps.
    6. No gaps from ceremony to reception.

    This is a very good list, refer back to it often!

    If you are having a 1pm reception, then that falls during lunch so you'll need to provide a full meal for your guests.  If you wanted to have more of a "cake and punch" and apps style afternoon wedding I suggest you push your reception time back to 2pm or 3pm.  That would allow guests an opportunity to eat lunch prior to your ceremony.

    I'm also going to agree with PP's that you should plan for a physical seat and table space for every guest, and leave the picnic blankets as a bonus option.  I personally would not want to try and sit and eat a meal on the ground while dressed for a wedding.  Plus, I also have a bad back.

    "Love is the one thing we're capable of perceiving that transcends time and space."


  • JoanE2012JoanE2012 Exit 21 (Jersey!)
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    member
    You need to serve a full meal, not snacks.  And make sure there are tables and chairs.  Otherwise, games and a bounce house are your choice.  I'd skip it, especially the bounce house....reminds me of a kid's bday party, not a wedding....but as long as your guests are hosted properly, that's all that really matters.
    PrettyGirlLostInLoveInQueens
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    member

    Everyone needs a seat on a chair or a bench.  Don't rely on picnic blankets alone-some people, especially ones with bad backs or other physical issues, won't be able to sit on them well.

    Not having dancing is fine, and if you want to offer games and a bounce house, that's up to you (it wouldn't appeal to me, but different strokes for different folks), but if you're only going to serve appetizers and desserts, you need to schedule your reception for the right time of the day. If you schedule it for meal time, you need to serve a full meal.

This discussion has been closed.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards