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Reception Ideas

How far is too far?

So originally we were going to get married at a Catholic Church and then have the reception at a country club about 25 minutes away.
Unfortunately my dad who offered to pay for the reception is no longer extending that offer, so we have to pay ourselves. Which is fine, but now the country club, plus everything else (church, dj, photographer...) is a little too expensive. We're both 25 and I work part time while in school, and my fiancé literally just started a full time job last week.

I have a big family, so about 60-70 people would be attending. Since the country club is out of reach, and 6 months till the big day, I'm stressed on where to have the reception.
My fiancé wants to do it at a restaurant at one of the Disney World resorts that's buffet style and $35 a person because we're going to have our mini honeymoon at Disney World anyway and it's a place where his family takes him for his birthday dinner as a tradition.
Unfortunately, our wedding is on a Friday, and it's a straight shot there, but about an hour away from where we will be having our ceremony. I don't even want to think about the dreaded traffic. If you live in Orlando, you know the hell that is I-4 on a Friday evening.
I wanted a stereotypical wedding reception with dancing and drinks and toasts, and at a restaurant you can't really do that. We're running out of time to decide and book a place, and we need to crunch and save up now that there's a bigger income.
Out of tradition I want to have the wedding in the church. He has his heart set on the restaurant, but I'm on the fence because it IS kinda far on a busy night, it's not a private place (they have a private room but our party will be too big for it) and we won't have a first dance, and such.

I can't think of any other options anymore, and it would be about $2500 for the dinner, his parents will pay for the cake (which has to be through Disney) and then we will pay for a champagne toast and photographer.

Like I said, it wasn't what I dreamed of in terms of my dream reception, and I know I've brought up the idea to some of my family members and they feel it's inconvenient.

Is driving an hour during rush hour a lot to ask? Is this a good idea? Does anyone have any suggestions?

Re: How far is too far?

  • Is there any way you can reschedule? It sounds like you've scheduled your ceremony, but not your reception venue(?) - can you push the ceremony back and have a longer engagement so you can save up for the wedding you want. Or, could you cut your guest list and have a smaller, more intimate wedding within your budget? 

    If not, I think the Disney venue is definitely too far. I deal with NYC area traffic, and if someone asked me to drive ~60 miles on a Friday evening between a ceremony and a reception, I would be driving home instead. It sounds like the most torturous gap I could imagine.
    PupatellaInLoveInQueensSTARMOON44MairePoppy
  • You mentioned that you are having your ceremony in a church. Does the church have a community room that you can rent, and have your reception there right after your ceremony?

    I agree that a 1 hour drive on a Friday evening to get to the reception doesn't sound fun for you or your guests.

    STARMOON44MairePoppy
  • ViczaesarViczaesar Central Coast, CA member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    So originally we were going to get married at a Catholic Church and then have the reception at a country club about 25 minutes away. Unfortunately my dad who offered to pay for the reception is no longer extending that offer, so we have to pay ourselves. Which is fine, but now the country club, plus everything else (church, dj, photographer...) is a little too expensive. We're both 25 and I work part time while in school, and my fiancé literally just started a full time job last week. I have a big family, so about 60-70 people would be attending. Since the country club is out of reach, and 6 months till the big day, I'm stressed on where to have the reception. My fiancé wants to do it at a restaurant at one of the Disney World resorts that's buffet style and $35 a person because we're going to have our mini honeymoon at Disney World anyway and it's a place where his family takes him for his birthday dinner as a tradition. Unfortunately, our wedding is on a Friday, and it's a straight shot there, but about an hour away from where we will be having our ceremony. I don't even want to think about the dreaded traffic. If you live in Orlando, you know the hell that is I-4 on a Friday evening. I wanted a stereotypical wedding reception with dancing and drinks and toasts, and at a restaurant you can't really do that. We're running out of time to decide and book a place, and we need to crunch and save up now that there's a bigger income. Out of tradition I want to have the wedding in the church. He has his heart set on the restaurant, but I'm on the fence because it IS kinda far on a busy night, it's not a private place (they have a private room but our party will be too big for it) and we won't have a first dance, and such. I can't think of any other options anymore, and it would be about $2500 for the dinner, his parents will pay for the cake (which has to be through Disney) and then we will pay for a champagne toast and photographer. Like I said, it wasn't what I dreamed of in terms of my dream reception, and I know I've brought up the idea to some of my family members and they feel it's inconvenient. Is driving an hour during rush hour a lot to ask? Is this a good idea? Does anyone have any suggestions?
    An hour (or longer with traffic) is too long.  Travel time between ceremony and reception should be maximum 30 minutes, including traffic.  You're going to need to move either your ceremony or your reception.  You can't think of any other restaurants you can have your reception at?

    I'm not clear on the logistics of the dinner anyway - you say you're paying for the dinner plus champagne toast and photographer.  What about other beverages, alcoholic and/or nonalcoholic?  Are they included in the $35?  70 people at $35/each is going to be more than $2500; that comes out to $2450, not including tax and tip.  Calculating about 25% to cover the tax and tip it would be more like $3100. 



  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    An hour travel time, especially on a Friday night in a very congested area is a big no.\

    Why aren't you looking locally to where your church is?  I would start with what is near the church.  Or if money is tight I would suggest postponing until you save up to have the wedding that you want.

    InLoveInQueensSTARMOON44[Deleted User]
  • definitely too far, an hour with no traffic would annoy me but let alone rush hour traffic. Not to mention timing the meal so that everyone has ample time to get there and some aren't sitting for an extra hour waiting to eat while other are even more stuck in traffic.
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    That's definitely too long of a drive. Is there nothing at all close to your church? Or can you pick another church? 

  • I agree that the hour drive would be too much.  Is that before or after factoring in I-4's traffic?

    Have you looked at the local board for suggestions on places closer to the church?  Or churches closer to the restaurant?  Does the church have a hall you can host a dinner?

    On a side note, you may want to contact the restaurant directly.  I know you have to have the exact number when you book your reservation, which you will need to do 6 months to the day with that large of a party, since the buffet meals book up quickly.  Were you trying to do Chef Mickey's?  At the very least find out what their cancellation policy would be/ adjusting the numbers, and if they will actually seat a party that large.  It's quite possible that they won't be able to accommodate you based on the size of the party, time etc.
  • I-4 on a Friday is awful. Definitely not. If you think you will regret the restaurant venue later, don't do it. Find a new venue, or postpone. Orlando has a lot going on, I think you'll be able to find something good. What about a hotel ballroom? Have you double checked the CC's prices? If your date is flexible, you might be able to get a deal booking not-so-far in advance. At this point for most venues, booking a wedding at a discount is still better than booking nothing. You are in a good place to negotiate prices down.
    image
  • I had my entire reception at a restaurant that included dinner, drinks, toasts, dancing- everything a "stereotypical wedding reception" would have. I wouldn't rule a restaurant out, if it were me.
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  • If you want food, dinner, and drinks on the cheap, renting a hall is usually the best option. Food can be cheap catered food (pizza!) and you can either bring in your own drinks if possible, or have to pay for the bar there. You can use an iPod and some speakers for the music. It doesn't have to be a big fancy extravagant affair.


    [Deleted User]
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