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how to have a classy reception

Listening to my fiance talk about previous weddings he's been to sort of terrifies me.  His family and friends are apparently not fond of classy weddings that show any kind of etiquette knowledge - they use them as an excuse to get drunk and act stupid.  They also like traditions that I find awful, like drunk toasts, the dollar dance, smashing cake, and removing the garter with your teeth - as well as showing up in jeans and death metal t-shirts.  Yes, that actually happened.  I've put my foot down on most of this stuff and my fiance agrees with me on the garter and cake issues, but the rest is out of our control.  How to we make sure the reception is the classy affair that we want?  Any tips to keep people acting like it's a frat party or backyard bbq? 

FYI, we're only hosting beer and wine - if people want liquor, our reception is in an upscale hotel and we're sure they can find a bar.  I mention this so it's clear we're not making it easy for people to get trashed.

Re: how to have a classy reception

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    what makes you think people won't get drunk on beer or wine? i really don't understand that logic.
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_reception-ideas_classy-reception?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:5Discussion:3eb0950d-ae6d-4626-bf82-c6f68b2744b6Post:3981fa89-2118-45b6-b04e-3f3384552d18">how to have a classy reception</a>:
    [QUOTE]Listening to my fiance talk about previous weddings he's been to sort of terrifies me.  His family and friends are apparently not fond of classy weddings that show any kind of etiquette knowledge - they use them as an excuse to get drunk and act stupid.  They also like traditions that I find awful, like drunk toasts, the dollar dance, smashing cake, and removing the garter with your teeth - as well as showing up in jeans and death metal t-shirts.  Yes, that actually happened.  I've put my foot down on most of this stuff and my fiance agrees with me on the garter and cake issues, but the rest is out of our control.  How to we make sure the reception is the classy affair that we want?  Any tips to keep people acting like it's a frat party or backyard bbq?  FYI, we're only hosting beer and wine - if people want liquor, our reception is in an upscale hotel and we're sure they can find a bar.  I mention this so it's clear we're not making it easy for people to get trashed.
    Posted by april20064[/QUOTE]

    Well, first of all, what makes you think that people can't get trashed on beer or wine?  If people want to get trashed, they'll get trashed.  I don't think there's anything wrong at all with having a beer/wine bar, but please don't delude yourself that it will keep people from getting drunk.

    You can't control what people wear to your reception.  If they show up in jeans and tee shirts, it reflects badly on them, not on you.  Since you can't control it, let it go.  You can spend a lot of time worrying about it, and accomplish nothing but worrying. 

    You can try to spread the word about attire, but again, you can't dictate the attire of anyone with the possible exception of your WP, where you do get to choose the dress.

    Tell your dj that you are NOT doing a dollar dance, and that under no circumstances is anyone to take the mic and announce one.  You can tell him that if any announcements and/or toasts are made without clearing it with you first, he will not be paid.

    Put the safeguards in that you can, but remember that in the end:  you can't control what other people do.  You can only control how you respond to their actions.

    If people do things that are stupid, you can remain gracious and remember that at the end of the party, you're married to the man you love.

    GL
    "Trix, it's what they/our parents wanted. Why so judgemental? And why is your wedding date over a year and a half ago? And why do you not have a groom's name? And why have you posted over 12,000 posts? And why do you always say mean things to brides?" palegirl146
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    It sounds like what you need is a dry wedding.
    I am REALLY not a fan, but if you are hyperventilating this much already, you probably just need to cut out the catalyst.
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    *Sigh*

    I personally am not attached to a reception.  I wanted to "elope" and simply have a very small religious ceremony here in town, but his family flipped out at the idea.  So if I have to have a reception, I want a nice one like the weddings I'v been to, not just cake and punch.

    But hearing his stories, and reading online about all the tasteless things people do at weddings just puts a bad taste in my mouth about the whole thing. And I need to to figure out a solution before my parents sign the contract in a few days.  Am I seriously the only person who thinks people intentionally doing rude things are not funny?
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    1) Many people can successfully become inebriated from beer or wine in the time equivalent to a typical wedding reception.  Not having liquor won't stop them, although it's fine to offer only beer and wine if it's a budget issue.  Just clarify with the bartenders that they are cutting off those who are visibly intoxicated, which they should technically be doing anyhow.

    2) Tell the DJ who will be making toasts and not to take requests for extra toasts or dollar dances.

    3) If the venue has a dress code, it's fine to spread the word about the venue dress code.  Otherwise, your guests get to wear what they want.

    4) Enjoy the day.  Don't worry about whether Unce Joe thinks he's at a frat party instead of a wedding.
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    [QUOTE]*Sigh* I personally am not attached to a reception.  I wanted to "elope" and simply have a very small religious ceremony here in town, but his family flipped out at the idea.  So if I have to have a reception, I want a nice one like the weddings I'v been to, not just cake and punch. But hearing his stories, and reading online about all the tasteless things people do at weddings just puts a bad taste in my mouth about the whole thing. And I need to to figure out a solution before my parents sign the contract in a few days.  Am I seriously the only person who thinks people intentionally doing rude things are not funny?
    Posted by april20064[/QUOTE]
    It's not a matter of whether it's funny, but you really just can't control your guests' actions.  As Meaghan said, your best bet might be a dry reception if it's that big of an issue for you.

    Since you're not big on the idea in the first place, you could do a small wedding.  Maybe immediate family and aunts/uncles only.  It can be very nice but still low key.  Or have a destination wedding with immediate family so that his family can be included and extended family won't feel quite as excluded as they might if the wedding were occurring right down the street.  Don't be pressured into having a wedding you're not happy with.

    You can have a dry wedding, but to do so successfully you'd need to switch venues so that it's not at a location with a bar on site.  Maybe just have wine on the tables or served with dinner so that people can have 1-2 drinks and you don't have to call it a dry reception if asked.  Or have a brunch/lunch wedding and people are less likely to expect the alcohol to be flowing freely.
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    You're not going to notice about 90% of what actually goes on at your reception. My wedding was only a week ago and I can't tell you most of what was going on, since the day went by in a quick, hazy blur (and I was drinking Pepsi, so it's not like I was drunk or anything).

    If people show up in t-shirts, that's not a reflection on you. It's a reflection on THEM. And that's if anyone even notices. Your college friends won't spend the whole party whispering, "Ew, how did Bride allow her Uncle Pete to show up dressed like that?" Your guests will know that you have zero control over how people dress and act.

    The guests are going to take their cues from how you and FI act that day. If you are smiling, having fun and being gracious to your guests, they will follow your lead and do the same. If you are obviously upset at Uncle Pete's t-shirt and spend the whole night staring at him with a scowl on your face, they are going to take notice of Uncle Pete's t-shirt all night as well. And don't forget that you're going to have a lot of cameras and videos on you for the day, so they will pick up on your moods and facial expressions as well ... so it's in your best interest to smile and enjoy yourself, instead of worrying about things that are out of your control.

    The only person you can control is yourself. You have no power over anyone else, so it does you no good to worry about them. All it will do is make you feel sick and miserable, and it'll put a damper on everyone who's listening to you worry about it ... worrying over Uncle Pete's t-shirt will not make it magically transform into a nice suit, so why bother? Roll with the punches and enjoy yourself. If things REALLY get bad, you can have a troublemaker escorted out, but that almost never happens. Yes, people might get drunk and silly, but those make for the best photos and the best stories!
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    petitedancerpetitedancer member
    First Comment
    edited April 2010
    I understand where you are coming from, OP.  You sure are stuck between a rock and a hard place.  I realize you're not asking for a fancy ball style wedding, but want something, as you put it, "classy" that you and your guests will enjoy, since you really ought to have something if many guests are arriving out of town. 
    I know it would put a big damper on my wedding if half the guests showed up and acted like what you're describing.  It is YOUR day after all, and they should really at least attempt to meet your requests. 
    I also see where your logic is coming from regarding the type of alcohol that will be served.  If they prefer hard liquor, then hopefully  they will be less inclined to drink beer and wine, but that doesn't provide a full solution.
    My suggestion would be to have a short reception, and to clue in on invitations that it is a more formal affair so perhaps most of them will clean up for the occasion. 
    It is true though that you can only do so much, and they will ultimately do what they want, but as long as you look beautiful and focus on the aspects that you will enjoy the most, I'm sure you will still enjoy your day.  Good luck!
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_reception-ideas_classy-reception?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:5Discussion:3eb0950d-ae6d-4626-bf82-c6f68b2744b6Post:22d0b87a-e6c9-4071-8ac8-1b12935a84ee">Re: how to have a classy reception</a>:
    [QUOTE]I understand where you are coming from, OP.  You sure are stuck between a rock and a hard place.  I realize you're not asking for a fancy ball style wedding, but want something, as you put it, "classy" that you and your guests will enjoy, since you really ought to have something if many guests are arriving out of town.  I know it would put a big damper on my wedding if half the guests showed up and acted like what you're describing.  It is YOUR day after all, and they should really at least attempt to meet your requests.  I also see where your logic is coming from regarding the type of alcohol that will be served.  If they prefer hard liquor, then hopefully  they will be less inclined to drink beer and wine, but that doesn't provide a full solution. My suggestion would be to have a short reception, and to<strong> clue in on invitations that it is a more formal affair so perhaps most of them will clean up for the occasion. </strong> It is true though that you can only do so much, and they will ultimately do what they want, but as long as you look beautiful and focus on the aspects that you will enjoy the most, I'm sure you will still enjoy your day.  Good luck!
    Posted by petitedancer[/QUOTE]

    Unless you are having a full out black tie affair, it is inappropriate to suggest to your guests how to dress. Expecting people to commit an etiquette faux pas is an etiqutte breach in itself.
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    Well, if you invite people to your wedding, you have to have some sort of reception.

    Just... don't worry about things that are out of your control. Gater toss, cake and dollar dance are within your control. Everything else is not.
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    xoxobxoxob member
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_reception-ideas_classy-reception?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:5Discussion:3eb0950d-ae6d-4626-bf82-c6f68b2744b6Post:b50e4a78-47f5-485f-8b5f-3d518945dd7f">Re: how to have a classy reception</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: how to have a classy reception : Unless you are having a full out black tie affair, it is inappropriate to suggest to your guests how to dress. Expecting people to commit an etiquette faux pas is an etiqutte breach in itself.
    Posted by MeaghanandMichael[/QUOTE]


    Which is what I meant by you would be considered a judgmental priss, I didn't say you were being one now.

    I can bet his family doesn't even know they are being rude or not giving your something nice. They're just having their idea of fun.
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