Reception Ideas

no reception?

This may sound horrible, but I don't want a wedding. I'm very excited about starting a new life with my fiance, but I don't want all that is with a wedding. Reception or ceremony.
If anyone read my other posts, you know that my fiances family is not happy about our engagement. Though that doesn't have much to do with my decision about not wanting a wedding, a little part of me does feel badly for my fiance. My family is very close and tight knit, and as the only girl to get married, my grandmother,aunts, and mother, are all extremely excited about a wedding. Plus as the first to get married, my extended family is also. Because of all the excitement on my side, I feel a little bad that my fiance isn't getting that. Again, its a tiny part of why I don't want a wedding.
The main issue is I'm not an all about me type of person. I would be so uncomfortable having everyone focus on me and my fiance on that day. He also doesn't mind not having a big thing, but feels that since my family is so excited for it that maybe we should do something.
Originally I wanted to do a destination wedding. It would be limited since most people wouldn't be able to come cause of cost or time, and I was ok with that. I know it sounds horrible especially since they've all been there for me, but I just want it to be about us, not whos there. I would be happy just going to city hall with no one but us there!
I'm not sure what to do since this whole thing has made me crazy. My mother said it doesn't have to be a big thing, we could do a small intimate brunch. But even then she wants the traditional first dance and father daughter dance, cake cutting. But I don't want any of that. I don't want the attention to be on us, even though obviously it should be. I know I should be grateful I have so many people who love and support me, but I can't get over how I'll feel.
Any suggestions?

Re: no reception?

  • Well, if you invite anyone to witness the part that makes you legally husband and wife, you need to feed them afterward.  So the only way to skip the reception entirely is to elope.

    But it doesn't have to be a huge dog-and-pony show.  We just treated ours like a standard cocktail party.  If neither you nor your FI want all the traditional spotlight moments at the reception, you can skip them.  It's perfectly fine to do so, as long as you're both on the same page.

    Who's paying for all of this?  If it's your mother, then yes, she gets a say on how it's run and how her money is spent.  But if you're paying for it yourself and you're old enough to be getting married, you're old enough to tell Mommy, "Sorry that it's not what you envisioned, but this is how we want to do it."
    This is a neglected planning bio.
    This is a belated married bio, with no reviews yet because I'm lazy.

    image
    Sometimes I feel like people think that brides are delicate little flower princesses who get all dressed up and pretty for one special moment of their dreams, when really they're just normal people who just happen to be getting married. Things shouldn't have to be sugar-coated for grown-ass women. -mstar284
  • edited November 2010
    Originally we were going to pay for the destination. But since everyone on my side complained about cost and location, and how much they wanted to be there I decided I would try to do something here. My parents said they would pay for it, and I said that I'll give in and let them do what they want. But I keep going back and forth. I know I should suck it up and make everyone happy, but its making me miserable!
    Honestly, I would rather elope. But at the same time I know many people will be upset.
  • Why exactly do you not want to have a reception? Maybe if you identify the reasons, you could work something out so that you don't need to deal with them!
    Anniversary
  • How much are you willing to compromise?  Would a nice dinner for 10-20 poeple at your favorite restaurant plus a cake cutting (but no dancing) work for all parties? 

    It is really up to you how you want to celebrate, but it sounds like you are risking hurting your mother's feelings.  Have a frank discussion with her about both of your wants and needs. 
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • I agree with the above, I would do a quiet intimate dinner after a courthouse wedding for just immediate fiends or family and skip the big to-do.  Do what YOU want, it is your day, people will just have to get over it and honestly, if you try to plan something to please everyone, you never will- so don't even try!  Good luck with your decision! 
  • In Response to Re: no reception?:
    I know I should suck it up and make everyone happy
    Posted by smilygrl17
    Good luck with that, cause you'll never make everyone happy :) But seriously, you parents do have much more of a say if they pay for it. If I felt like you did, I would just have a simple courthouse ceremony with immediate family only and then take them out for lunch.
  • "Mom, if you'd prefer to use that money to host a family reunion, you're more than welcome to do so, but that's simply not what FI and I have in mind for our wedding."

    Step 1) Find backbone
    Step 2) Use it
    This is a neglected planning bio.
    This is a belated married bio, with no reviews yet because I'm lazy.

    image
    Sometimes I feel like people think that brides are delicate little flower princesses who get all dressed up and pretty for one special moment of their dreams, when really they're just normal people who just happen to be getting married. Things shouldn't have to be sugar-coated for grown-ass women. -mstar284
  • In Response to Re: no reception?:
    Originally we were going to pay for the destination. But since everyone on my side complained about cost and location, and how much they wanted to be there I decided I would try to do something here. My parents said they would pay for it, and I said that I'll give in and let them do what they want. But I keep going back and forth. I know I should suck it up and make everyone happy, but its making me miserable! Honestly, I would rather elope. But at the same time I know many people will be upset.
    Posted by smilygrl17
    Smilygrl,
    If you haven't already seen it, I'd rent: "Sex in the City: The Movie." (first one)
    After watching this, I realized how much I had allowed my first wedding be about what was expected of me and what other people wanted.

    When you see Big and Carrie at the courthouse, and then at a simple NY diner with their friends afterwards, you realize that you are happiest when you follow your heart and not someone else's rules.

    My brother-in-law became an ordained minister through an online church community and married some friends of his over dinner at a restaraunt.  He had no idea they were getting married until they pushed the marriage license over to him and asked him to sign it.  They didn't want a big wedding, but it meant something to them to have him be the one to make it official.

    The person you should have the next discussion with is your finace.  What is it that you two want to commemorate this extremley happy, exciting milestone?  Is is parachuting out of a plane, jumping over a broom (celtic tradition) or simple words you say to each other in front of a judge?
  • Thanks for the comments. After I got engaged, my mother was so excited, and in a month we had gone to four bridal expos. As the only girl I just feel like I'm letting everyone down, but at the same time not doing what I want. Since there was this conflict we decided we were gonna take a break from anything wedding. This past weekend however, with all my family (immediate and extended, my mothers side is very very close)  the topic came up because everyone is so excited, its the first wedding, and for my grandmother and aunts the only wedding. So all the talk came back. My fiance and I would be very happy just eloping, but at the same time feel a little badly that my family will be hurt by that.
    I know that a few of you mentioned a small dinner or something to that extent, and that was also an option that was presented, which I guess seems to be a good solution.
    Its not that I don't have a backbone, there are plenty of times that I stand up to my parents. Just I don't want to hurt anyone and this would really crush my mother. I'm her only daughter, the only girl on my side, so everyone, especially my mother is so excited about it. But at the same time I'm not enjoying it.
    Thank you for the help!
  • YOU are getting married so YOU get to decide the type of party (or none) that oyu have. Stop trying to make everyone happy-you CANT. it's IMPOSSIBLe.

    I get the bit about the family being excited-most families are when members get married-nothing new or special really. we all have the same pressures. believe me-as the first of the grandkids to get married for my grandma and, since i 'm my mother's only child (not the first of a few) they were over the moon. you see what I mean about this being a common thing.

    if you want to do something-have a small ceremony and then host a dinner at a local restaurant after for close family only.

    and if you don't want to do anything-then don't. they'll have to accept it.

     

  • and i forgot to add

    "But even then she wants the traditional first dance and father daughter dance, cake cutting. But I don't want any of that."
    that's too bad isn't it? you've got to back her off. tell her if she continues to stress you out over what SHE wants for YOUR wedding then you'll h ave nothing and she can thank herself.

     

  • In Response to Re: no reception?:
    Well, if you invite anyone to witness the part that makes you legally husband and wife, you need to feed them afterward.  So the only way to skip the reception entirely is to elope. But it doesn't have to be a huge dog-and-pony show.  We just treated ours like a standard cocktail party.  If neither you nor your FI want all the traditional spotlight moments at the reception, you can skip them.  It's perfectly fine to do so, as long as you're both on the same page. Who's paying for all of this?  If it's your mother, then yes, she gets a say on how it's run and how her money is spent.  But if you're paying for it yourself and you're old enough to be getting married, you're old enough to tell Mommy, "Sorry that it's not what you envisioned, but this is how we want to do it."
    Posted by aerinpegadrak
    No you don't.  If you go to a courthouse and invite a few witnesses it doesn't mean you're obligated to feed them.  What happened to the punch and cake weddings in the church community center?  You make it sound like anyone who watches you get married is entitled to a full sitdown meal.

    Any money you may or may not get from anyone to pay for your wedding should be a gift.  You should not allow those with deep pockets to coerce you into having a wedding you don't want.  Don't take money with strings attached if you don't want to do the things they're asking.

    You don't have to have any of the traditional elements others have in their wedding if you and your FI don't want them.  People won't see your marriage as less legitimate if you skip having a cake or skip the first dance.  You as a couple need to figure out TOGETHER what you want.  Ignore what others are asking of you until you and FI are on the same page.
  • megk8ozmegk8oz
    2500 Comments
    member
    edited November 2010
    In Response to Re: no reception?:
    In Response to Re: no reception? : No you don't.  If you go to a courthouse and invite a few witnesses it doesn't mean you're obligated to feed them.  What happened to the punch and cake weddings in the church community center?  You make it sound like anyone who watches you get married is entitled to a full sitdown meal. Posted by bdriley

    Not to put words in Aerin's mouth, but I'm very familiar with her views on this stuff, and considering she had a cocktail style reception herself (Not a "full sit down meal"),  I'm pretty sure "cake and punch" would fall under her definition of "feeding people". I really don't think she meant to imply "attending ceremony = feed people prime rib and top shelf liquor or you're the rudest person ever!". If you had actually read all of what she posted instead of just flying off the handle after only the first couple of sentences, you would have seen that.

    Anyway, she is right, you do need to provide some type of hospitality for anybody that takes the time to come see you get married, even if it is just having some cake/cookies and punch or something.

    If you fire a WP member, you're against America.
    image

    "Meg cracks me up on the regular. Now she gets to do it in two different forums. Yay!!" ~mkrupar
  • You can put words in my mouth any time, Meg.  :D
    This is a neglected planning bio.
    This is a belated married bio, with no reviews yet because I'm lazy.

    image
    Sometimes I feel like people think that brides are delicate little flower princesses who get all dressed up and pretty for one special moment of their dreams, when really they're just normal people who just happen to be getting married. Things shouldn't have to be sugar-coated for grown-ass women. -mstar284
  • megk8ozmegk8oz
    2500 Comments
    member
    edited November 2010
    In Response to Re: no reception?:
    You can put words in my mouth any time, Meg.  :D
    Posted by aerinpegadrak

    Aw, shucks, you're making me blush Embarassed

    If you fire a WP member, you're against America.
    image

    "Meg cracks me up on the regular. Now she gets to do it in two different forums. Yay!!" ~mkrupar
  • Could you not go to the courthouse with your immediate families (parents, siblings, grandparents)?  Then a nice dinner, no cake or dancing if you don't want it.  I know that if my brother or sister got married without me there, I would be a little upset.  If it was a friend though, I would understand that they only wanted a family wedding.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • I'm in the same boat.  My finacee has a ton of family all local to us, whereas my family is small and far away - they all have to travel to be here.  I just wanted to elope and here I am planning a full-on wedding.  My fiancee couldn't imagine not having his family and friends there.  So what started out as  - oh we'll just do something small has turned into a 30K wedding.  I have to be honest tho - the more planning I do, the more excited I'm getting to see how it will all fall into place.  The way I see it, since my family doesn't get the change to get together very often, it will be a lot of fun to have us all together to party!  It's definitely been a compromise.
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