I've been struggling with trying to plan my reception for a long time now, but I think I finally have an idea that will work with my priorities and stay in my budget. However, my mum is worried that it will look cheap and thus embarrassing. I'd like to get some other opinions to see what people think before I make a decision.
I'm thinking of having a 2pm ceremony in August at church and a reception at a golf course shortly afterwards. I don't think there will need to be an entire cocktail hour as I only plan to get the pictures at the church done at this time--the rest can happen after the reception. However, I will have veggies and punch available to guests.
The reception is where it starts to get different. Instead of having a full meal, I'm thinking of having a dessert buffet including: cakes, cheese cakes, pastries, cookies, mousses, brownies, pies and fruits with dip. It will be a dry wedding, but there will be soft drink bar as my potential venue calls it. I don't think I'll bother with a wedding cake since there's already enough cake on the buffet table. I'm not planning to have a dance either since neither FI or I enjoy it. The banquet hall itself is pretty plan, but the mandatory decor package really transforms it and goes far beyond what I would have normally considered since decor isn't really important to me (I'd rather put my money towards something other than chair covers with coloured bows or rhinestones at the back, but the venue is making me pay for them anyway. FTR I like this venue because I can have a Saturday and a reception prior to 5pm. No other venue gave me both while still being affordable). Centerpieces are not included and I'm not planning to spend a lot of money on them. I'm thinking single roses in cheap dollar store variety vases, maybe with a touch of ribbon if I end up with some spare money somehow.
I know it will be short (which is fine) and people might not come (which is livable), but I don't want my mum to be embarrassed. My cousin had her wedding at a castle last summer and since then my mum has become very concerned about my wedding meeting people's expectations. Initially I was going to have lunch, but I couldn't afford it at that venue. Changing to dessert cut the cost of my reception by 25%. If we had a larger yard I'd make it a backyard reception, but I don't think that will cut it either. Plus, our backyard is really small.
So if you went to an afternoon reception that served desserts instead of a meal would you think of the couple (and by extension bride's parents who paid for half) as being cheap? Is this side eye or snark worthy? I don't want to spend that much money to be gossiped about having a crappy wedding. Half the reason I'm even holding the thing is to make my mum happy.
If anyone has any ideas on how to best spread word that there will not be a meal I'd love to hear them. Right now I'm planning to write "Please join us for refreshments after the ceremony." on the invitations, but I don't want people to think the punch and veggies are all there is going to be. I'm also planning to put in an extra piece of paper with a map of how to get from the church to the golf course and the address of my wedding website. I figure I can better explain on the website, but there's no guarantee people will look at it.
One last thing, do you think it would still be okay to have speeches at this reception? My mum thinks not, but I still feel like FI and I should say a few words to thank people for coming and recognize those who helped us. Plus, speeches are my favourite part of a wedding so I'd like to at least have my parents and the best man give speeches.
Thanks for reading!