Wedding Etiquette Forum

Small Wedding Reception In Our Apartment?

Hi everyone! My FH and I are planning a small wedding (16 people) at San Francisco city hall for November 2021. The wedding location is good to go but I am having one heck of a time trying to plan a reception due to Covid as many restaurants we were interested in for the reception have permanently closed or are not booking receptions (even for the end of next year) as of right now. I also feel that renting a big hall would be a waste of money because there would hardly be anyone to fill it and we are not wanting a big dance or anything like that. I have been considering moving our sofas and other furniture to our garage and setting up tables in our living room (we don’t have a back yard) to have the reception at our house. Would that be tacky? 

Also, soups are one of our favorite things (especially in Fall) and I really want to serve it at our little reception. I would love to have a soup bar and offer like 3 or 4 different kinds of soup, and was thinking that salads and some little sandwiches would be good to along with it. There would also be cake and drinks. Our reception would start at 2 pm. 

Has anyone seen soup at a reception before? What are your thoughts on this idea?

Re: Small Wedding Reception In Our Apartment?

  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    As long as there is adequate parking/transportation, bathrooms and seating, 16 people in an apartment could work fine. If you live in a complex with a club house, you could check into that. I know they vary wildly, but I rented a friend's last year for her shower and it was only about $150 and came with folding chairs. 

    I've not seen soup at a reception, but we've done it for a family gathering before. (20ish people) We did a couple of crock pots with different soups and fresh bread. Are you thinking of making this yourself or getting it catered? If the former, I'd also have some concerns about temp and keeping everything safe. One other thing I would be mindful of is that soup is not something you can eat while standing chatting. You need a chair and a table. Are you going to have the space to set up tables and chairs for everyone? 
  • Our apartment doesn’t have a club house. Yes, there would be table and chairs. Our living room is actually pretty big and four long tables can easily fit in our living room with enough space left over that people wouldn’t feel crammed in. If we decide to do soup then we would be making them homemade. I know 2 pm isn’t really a “typical” meal time and a lot of folks will have a “cake and punch reception” around this time this but I wanted to offer a little something more for guests to eat. I just don’t want people to feel like we’re to cheap to give them a full meal or something, lol. Since it’s going to be in the fall I just thought it might be cute to have some warm, homey comfort food. It doesn’t have soup though, we can have it catered and have something completely different if need be. We’re really still throwing ideas around at this point. 
  • I think this sounds lovely and not tacky at all!! As long as you can comfortably fit 16 people (seated) in your apartment and there is adequate parking or transportation for everyone.  We did a soup bar for a baptism with ~20 people earlier this year and it worked out very well because we had plenty of room for people to sit and eat comfortably.  We also served small sandwiches and had a big salad!
  • As long as you all can comfortably accommodate 16 people coming to your all's apartment for the reception, I think what you all have planned foodwise (including the soups) sounds great.

    For a 2PM wedding/reception, as a guest, I would only be expecting a cake and punch reception  So to have some finger sandwiches/salads/soups in addition to that sounds like an extra yummy treat.

    San Francisco!  Mmmm...visions of clam chowder in sourdough bowls.  Not that you all have to do that, lol.
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  • I think this sounds lovely and not at all tacky! If you’ve got the room I think 16 is a reasonable number of people to host; like a super fancy dinner party. 

    I might be biased but I love soup + bread/crackers and think it sounds like a really great late fall option! 
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    edited August 4
    I think what you have planned sounds very nice. Soup with bread or crackers, finger foods, and cake and punch all sound like an excellent afternoon offering for a reception of 16 people at 2pm.
  • MesmrEweMesmrEwe member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited August 4
    As long as your apartment complex has adequate parking for your guests, go for it!  

    ETA - I can understand restaurants not putting reservations in for next year's November and maybe wait until you're closer to your wedding date.  With a group of 16 it's relatively easy to find a venue even on short notice for that size of group then let everyone know when it's closer.  The restaurant industry right now needs all the help they can get because the shutdowns have hit them adversely hard!
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  • This sounds like a great idea! And yes, you can do soup for 16. Serve it in cute mugs or something like that. You will also want to have several types of sweets, as that is a sugary time of day.
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