Destination Weddings Discussions

Lost... what are you girls doing for a reception? (kind of long)

Hi ladies!
When my FI and I started planning our DW we had estimated our budget and what we would need to save each month in order to make it happen. Unfortunately, as time has passed some things have come up that required less money put into savings. I had my heart set on having a semi-traditional reception at our DW - father daughter dance, first dance with my new husband, cake cutting... looking at costs of the place we're going to book, it looks as though only having a dinner reception in their restaurant (no music or dancing) is what we can afford. What are you ladies doing for your guests after your ceremony? I know a lot of girls are at an all inclusive location. We're not so I was hoping to get some opinions on if a fancy dinner "reception" would be adequate for a DW?

Also, some guests who are invited but unable to come (they let me know after they got their save-the-dates) are asking/suggesting we do an AHR. Can you give me advice as to what's acceptable for AHRs? I've read too many times on other boards that these are just bad etiquette and I worry that some people won't appreciate celebrating with us at home.
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Re: Lost... what are you girls doing for a reception? (kind of long)

  • Hi!
    One the pluses for us doing a destination wedding was to do a nontraditional reception.  We are getting married at the hotel we are staying at and then doing a dinner there as well.  It's not AI, so the cost is extra, but still pretty cost effictive.  We will probably have some appetizers available after the ceremony while we are doing pictures, then we are doing a 3 course dinner.  We're not into dancing and such, so we'll just have an ipod with music playing in the background.  Now, our group is on the smaller side (~30) and fairly tame, so no one would really miss the dancing and such.  We figure if people want to, the younger crowd can do into town one night to go dancing on our own.

    As for an AHR, I'm torn too.  I want the chance to celebrate with everyone, but don't want that to blow the budget.  I don't care about the gift part of it since we're already set up in our house (and I think that seems to be what some people have a problem with).  We're strugging with how to do it, be casual, but make it worth people's time to come out and have fun.

    Good luck!
  • Julyet06Julyet06 member
    1000 Comments Third Anniversary 5 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited November 2012
    We are definitely having a sit down dinner with an open bar (even at an all-inclusive this is an extra cost per person if you want a private dinner).  Any extras we can or cannot afford is dependent on the number of people actually attending.  If we can't afford a DJ we will bring along an ipod doc and upload specific songs for the first dances and some dancing music.  I think we are going to make every effort to swing the DJ.  We also would like to host a welcome party off the resort the day before the wedding.

    With an AHR, it can be anything you want.  We are not having one but they can be casual/laid back.  No need for first dances or for dressing in your wedding attire.  You can provide food, drink and music and maybe play a slide show of your wedding album/wedding video for all guests to see.
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  • We are getting married at an AI resort, and are having dinner following the ceremony at one of their restaurants.  We have to pay for the wedding package, and an additional price per person over 10, but it really isn't that bad.  We aren't having the whole reception in the Bahamas though, just dinner.  We are a really casual couple though, and the traditional thing has never been something either of us have wanted. 

    We are planning to have a casual AHR.  We aren't concerned about gifts, we just want to be able to celebrate with all our friends and family.  We are planning to have a dj, serve burgers and grilled chicken, and play yard games and visit with our friends!  I am not going to wear my dress and it won't be a traditional reception, just more of a big celebration!

  • The reason the etiquette police dislike some AHRs is because some people try to treat it as a second wedding, with the big white dress, "first dance", bouquet toss, etc. It is kind of silly to do all of that after you have already been married for a while. But a party at home is a nice way to celebrate with your loved ones who aren't able to make it to your ceremony. As for the actual DW, we are only having dinner after the ceremony, although I think we will end up dancing in the disco at our resort, it just win't be a private party.
  • We are also getting married at AI. We will be doing a semi private dinner in one of the restaurants, no charge than probably goto the dance club at the resort. We decided to do an AHR because we had a lot of people sad they could not go to the wedding and agreed it was nice to come back, have a party show pics and video of the wedding for all to see :) We are also doing casual. No wedding dress or tux. We are serving pulled pork, chicken wings, potatoes, chips, veggies and fruit! Supplying the alcohol and a Dj to just have a great time and celebrate with everyone we love and brag about our awesome wedding :) although we did rent a reception hall we plan, weather permitting to have a game of bags set up outside the door and cards at each table, maybe some beer pong and give people something a lil fun to do!!
  • In Response to <a href="">Re: Lost... what are you girls doing for a reception? (kind of long)</a>:
    [QUOTE]The reason the etiquette police dislike some AHRs is because some people try to treat it as a second wedding, with the big white dress, "first dance", bouquet toss, etc. It is kind of silly to do all of that after you have already been married for a while. But a party at home is a nice way to celebrate with your loved ones who aren't able to make it to your ceremony.  
    Posted by JennyR01[/QUOTE]

    <div>This. Having a full blown second reception after your already married is sort of having your cake and eating it too, to use a terrible cliche.</div><div>
    </div><div>However, remember, these are just internet strangers. I love to lurk on the etiquette boards, and they generally give correct, if somewhat blunt advice. If you need to bend, stretch, or just break etiquette, to fit your situation, it's not the end of the world. </div><div>
    </div><div>As far as the wedding reception, we're doing an AI, but several girls have mentioned different options. Just a sit down dinner would be a perfectly lovely reception, but if you really want music, perhaps you can bring an ipod and speakers (or you might be able to rent speakers, but not a DJ to save $$). I'm not sure where your location is, but if you have a small guest list, maybe just going into town and going dancing somewhere would be a fun alternative. </div>
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  • The most affordable option for us was to have our reception at a public restaurant. There is a club we're going to attend after the dinner for dancing and what not. Maybe this could be an option for you?

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  • Thanks, ladies!
    This is really helpful. Nicholsjm brought up a good point that I hadn't considered - the guests that we know are coming aren't really the dancing type so I doubt anyone would miss that aspect. Going out on the town after dinner, or even another night, could definitely be an option too.

    Our AHR would be super casual - a BBQ, music (but not for dancing), casual attire. The place I'm booking even has a playground for the kids and fields for lawn games. 

    I feel much better. Thank you!!
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  • TerriHuggTerriHugg member
    Fifth Anniversary 500 Comments 100 Love Its First Answer
    edited November 2012
    I am having the wedding and reception at our all-inclusive resort. Even at the AI  there is a fee per person for the prive reception, plus an open bar. 

    Also I am a big fan of the casual AHR. On of my cousins did that last year. They rented out space in the park, had it catered and had a few tables. It was laid back and casual. I am a big dancer and I honestly think it was the best way to do the wedding. I still wish we had done it that way.
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  • We are having a big party a few months after we get married.  We want to wait until the winter passes and we will have the event catered and hire a bartender and all that.  We have a pretty big house so we are using it as our venue. We will have pics rolling but I will not wear my dress, it will truely be a party.  We are getting married in two weeks but we are going at it alone, no parents, friends or close family. 
  • We are having our DW at a restaurant on the beach, but we are keeping it short. The entire event will only be about 4 hours and afterwards I figured we'd invite anyone still awake to go out with us. We kept it short because of the money issues. It'll be an hour of ceremony/pictures/cocktail hour, an hour for dinner, and two hours of dancing. Maybe you could keep it short if you think it's an important part of your reception. Though, really, in your follow-up you don't seem to mind too much skipping that part. I'm sure you'll have a great time either way and your guests will be happy to celebrate with you no matter how you organize your reception.
    "There is always some madness in love. But there is also always some reason in madness." -Friedrich Nietzsche, "On Reading and Writing"
  • We had a private dinner and  open bar at our AI. No dancing, no cake cutting and I don't think it was missed. We had great conversation and much laughter, which was perfect for us. 12 people including ourselves.

    For our AHR reception next Sat., we are sitting at 84 people. Everyone but two couples are coming. Grilled chicken and the fixins' with lots of cake. =) It is at the dive bar where we met. Pool tables and dart boards and whatever music we play on the juke box.

    If you want an AHR and can swing it, then go for it.

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