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Reception Ideas

Church Hall Cake/Punch Recption or Later Evening Dance?

Hello,

We are at a dilemma, Trying to decide which type of reception to go with.  Because of budget restrictions we are doing a finger food type meal, instead of a full meal. 

Which would you rather attend:

1) a 2:00 wedding with a reception immediately following in the church hall, sandwiches/cake/sweets/punch, but no alcohol or dancing allowed?

2) or a later wedding (say at 7), with a reception immediately following in a (very nice new) firehall, with sandwiches/sweets/cake, but with the addition of a bar (cash), and a dance?
"Learn to be what you are, and learn to resign, with good grace, all that you are not." - Henry Frederick Emile

Re: Church Hall Cake/Punch Recption or Later Evening Dance?

  • I chose the 2pm option because if I think most people would expect a full meal at a 7pm reception or at least a bar that they don't have to pay for themselves. 

    Think about your guest list though.  Are they the types that drink and would dance and party?  If not, stick with the 2pm option.  If they are the types that would enjoy an evening party with dancing, then pick that option.  Really internet strangers won't be much help to you.  You need to consider your own family and friends who will be the ones actually attending.
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  • I chose the 7pm option because that's the wedding I would have the most fun at. But the PP makes a really good point that you should think about your guests preferences.  Good luck! 
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  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    Either would be fine, but if you are going with the later option, you need to push it back to start at 8 or later.  At 7, people will expect to be fed.  If they get to the reception and discover there is no dinner, they will likely start leaving to go find it.

    You also need to skip the cash bar.  You don't need booze, and if you can't afford it, don't have it.  But don't charge your guests for anything at your wedding.  
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_reception-ideas_church-hall-cakepunch-recption-later-evening-dance?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:5Discussion:0890d577-de70-4cbf-a4fb-1b61ea49ac76Post:31dfb691-c128-4f52-b6a9-e09566f54e0b">Re: Church Hall Cake/Punch Recption or Later Evening Dance?</a>:
    [QUOTE]Either would be fine, but if you are going with the later option, you need to push it back to start at 8 or later.  At 7, people will expect to be fed.  If they get to the reception and discover there is no dinner, they will likely start leaving to go find it. You also need to skip the cash bar.  You don't need booze, and if you can't afford it, don't have it.  But don't charge your guests for anything at your wedding.  
    Posted by MyNameIsNot[/QUOTE]
    Ditto the others, especially this.  No cash bar, and figure out if you and your guests would have more fun at a daytime party or an evening one.
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  • I voted for the later wedding, but I misread and didn't see there would be a cash bar.  If you think your guests would prefer the later wedding and dancing reception, can you host beer and wine?  If the only option is the cash bar, I'd say have the earlier one.
  • At 7pm, I would expect a full meal but I'd choose that time because of dancing and bar, even if it's cash bar, I'd still get a drink or two....woo hoo !
  • I would advise against a cash bar. Also, PPs are right that starting later, like at 8pm would be better.
    In my opinion, the 7pm reception sounds like more fun, but as a guest I may be disappointed unless you were very clear that the reception was cake/punch/hors d'oeuvres. At that time in the evening, I would probably expect a bar (even if it were only beer and/or wine).
  • Thanks everyone for the input! I am thinking that a open bar must be done more in the states, as I have been to tons of weddigns here (I used to work for a wedding phtographer)....and they all were cash bars, I do not think that I have been to a wedding with an open bar before! 
    "Learn to be what you are, and learn to resign, with good grace, all that you are not." - Henry Frederick Emile
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_reception-ideas_church-hall-cakepunch-recption-later-evening-dance?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:5Discussion:0890d577-de70-4cbf-a4fb-1b61ea49ac76Post:904f5409-5fea-41f6-8fbb-290097749a56">Re: Church Hall Cake/Punch Recption or Later Evening Dance?</a>:
    [QUOTE]Thanks everyone for the input! I am thinking that a open bar must be done more in the states, as I have been to tons of weddigns here (I used to work for a wedding phtographer)....and they all were cash bars, I do not think that I have been to a wedding with an open bar before! 
    Posted by riverstarr[/QUOTE]

    It doesn't vary *that* much by region, but the basic idea is that the reception is for the guests and the guests shouldn't be expected to pay for it (even just drinks). Can you afford to host just beer and wine (and maybe a signature drink)? Then you're being a good host and sticking to a smaller budget.

    I agree with PP, 7pm is pretty close to meal time, but I do like dancing as well.

  • I chose the 7pm option. I'm really not a fan of the cash bar, but I'd be ok with the meal. A sandwich and some cake would be enough to fill me at 7pm.
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  • Option 2 if you push it back to 8pm, indicate on the invitation "cocktail reception to follow" or "light reception to follow" and provide open bar.  If you're allowed to bring the alcohol yourself and have a bartender to serve the alcohol from behind the bar, a keg and black box wine or some less expensive bottled beers and wines shouldn't run you all that much.

    Otherwise, option 1.
  • RebeccaB88RebeccaB88 Figment of Your Imagination member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I think a cash bar is rude no matter what part of the world you are in. 

    And, I'd be really disappointed (and hungry) if I went to a 6 or 7 pm wedding and all I got to eat was a tiny sandwich and a little cake.  I'd probably leave early to go get some dinner.  I also think that if you're serving alcohol you need to have pretty substantial food, to soak some of that up and keep people from driniking too much.

    To me, I think the afternoon idea is most appropriate, budget friendly, and sounds like it could be really nice.
  • Thanks everyone for their input! 

    This is what we have decided to do....everyone wants a dance and bar at our wedding!

    We have decided to go with a 7:00 cermony, and then a finger foods reception...with hot and cold hoderves, (more than just a sandwich and cake), and we will make this known on our invite.

    All our photos are going to be done before the cermony so our guest will not have to wait.

    With regards to the bar, the firehall is allowing us to bring in wine for the tables, so we will be hosting that, with the rest of the evening cash bar.

    Thanks again everyone!
    "Learn to be what you are, and learn to resign, with good grace, all that you are not." - Henry Frederick Emile
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