church ceremony and NO RECEPTION. yes or no?
my fiancee and i have come to the conclusion that we will do the ceremony and NO reception. We were planning a small wedding in the 1st place about 60-70 guest we found a cheap reception hall $35 a plate open bar included and food! It was perfect but now we are thinking on just having the wedding and no reception. We save so much more money for honeymoon, and we just decorate the church and dont have to spend on decorating the place. My mother thinks its dumb! That nobody comes to the church, only family (which is true) she thinks i will regret it when only 15 ppl show up at the church and i only wear my dress for about 45mins. All i care for is wearing my dream dress, getting the blessing and having beautiful pictures. The reception is for the people not us.

What do you guys think? Will I be missing out?

Married: 09/24/2011
Posted On: Mar 12, 2011 at 5:07 PM • Vendors are allowed • Add to My WatchlistFlag As Inappropriate2 likes

21 Comments | Login or Signup to post a comment!

Married: 06/25/2011
Mar 12, 2011 at 5:14 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
You shouldn't feel like you have to have a reception just because others want you too. If you have a budget and a big reception doesn't fit into it, don't feel pressure. Personally, I'm looking forward to my reception, because it will give me a chance to interact with my guests and create memories etc. What if you were to compromise and have something really simple and small like cookies and lemonade for guests after the ceremony?

Married: 04/30/2011
Mar 12, 2011 at 5:16 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
Another alternative may be a small after-wedding gathering with just hor d'oeurves and coffee or tea. My aunt did this after hers. It was short, a little less than an hour, with limited seating. It was a way to thank guests for coming without the giant expense of a full reception. She held hers in the lobby of a fancy office building (after hours of course), but if your church has a gathering hall, that could work perfectly.

Hayley C™
Married: 2+ years ago
Reviews: 1
Mar 12, 2011 at 5:16 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
I think so... socializing, dancing, cake, music!

You don't have to do a dinner reception.. you can do a cocktail/appetizer one.... you can do a brunch one (costs less) you can have a late ceremony and just do a dessert reception.... the Party part is also fun. I agree... I was all about the photos too.... I had mine for 3 hrs before the ceremony and took pictures at the house getting ready and then in a park for the "first look" and then couple shots.

Maybe double think changing the "type" of reception.

Married: 09/24/2011
Mar 12, 2011 at 5:23 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
our budget is $10,000 with the place that we found the expense is only about $3000 for 60-70 ppl that we are having! Which is totally do-able. The rest of the money will be on photographer and flowers. My parents are paying for my dress and limo. But I dont know about the reception. Its available for us for 4 hours and those hours fly by.

Im just so confused about what i wanna do :(
its horrible.

Hayley C™
Married: 2+ years ago
Reviews: 1
Mar 12, 2011 at 5:34 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
ok.... so $3,000 on the hall, $2,000 on the photographer, $600 on the DJ, $1,000 on flowers... you don't need to go crazy decorating the hall. $200 for invites/stamps. Dress and Limo - free --- That puts you around $7,000.

You can still cut costs and budget shop to save more for your honeymoon. The brides on here have a lot of money saving tip ideas.

The dancing and music and socializing is the fun part.... if you take out the sit down dinner part you will have 4 hrs of Fun.... yes it goes by fast... but it makes for a lot of memories.

Good luck with whatever you pick. happy planning

Edited On: Mar 12, 2011 at 5:35 PM

Married: 09/24/2011
Mar 12, 2011 at 5:38 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
youre so right hayley. With no reception i have no wedding video and no memories just some photos. Which i might regret later down the road. My fiancee is going to think im crazy im so indecisive we even put money down on the place already. So if i was canceling just to have the ceremony, that was going to be another hassle.

Married: 10/07/2011
Reviews: 10
Mar 12, 2011 at 5:40 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
I wouldn't give up the party for anything. It is our time to celebrate our coming out as a married couple. I think the appetizaer idea is a good one. No one says you have to provide a ton of alcohol or spend 5 hours partying. The wedding itself will not last long at all. Enjoy your day!

MB's Mom
Married: 06/04/2011
Mar 12, 2011 at 5:42 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
I would have the reception. Yes, the people that come will enjoy the 'party'. But they also came to celebrate with you/new hubby. $3000 is reasonable for that size. (depending where you live). I have to say the my reception was the most fun party I've ever been to.... even 27 years later. Don't miss out.

Married: 2+ years ago
Reviews: 1
Mar 12, 2011 at 5:45 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
Personally, I wouldn't give up the reception ... I'm also looking forward to my reception and mingling with my family members and FS friends and having fun. I want a chance to create memories and kick back and relax.

I would at least do a simple coffee/cake/horsdeuvres reception for maybe 1-2 hours. You can buy the cake at the grocery store. And you or a family member or friend can make a simple two tiered cake so you guys have the cake cutting.

But it is your wedding, so whatever makes you happy. Go for it.

Married: 09/24/2011
Mar 12, 2011 at 5:45 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
yes im in new york city so its a pretty good price. Usually places here go for about $110 per person and you have to have a minimum of 100 guests.

Married: 06/03/2014
Mar 12, 2011 at 5:48 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
I was contemplating having only a ceremony as well.. to me, all that matters is being married through the church since that is the actual "marriage", the "wedding" part is just a party for others to go celebrate with you. In the end, we decided on doing the reception, but do whatever YOU want, don't please any one else other than you and your fiance on your wedding day.

Married: 2+ years ago
Mar 12, 2011 at 5:52 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
I think you will regret not having a reception. I know I want one so I can socialize and talk to my guests. You can have a wonderful wedding for $10,000 or less. The reception is to celebrate your marriage. It's can be simple and elegant.

Married: 08/22/2010
Reviews: 9
Mar 12, 2011 at 5:59 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
you can do whatever you want however i think you'll regret having the party, celebrating your union with family & friends... dancing the night away. you're mom is right, a lot of people don't go to the church, just party (free-loaders, lol). you can always do lots of apps or a breakfast prior to the ceremony. just because most of us brides want/loved our reception... do what you & FS want.

Married: 07/09/2011
Reviews: 6
Mar 12, 2011 at 6:58 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
I would suggest a minimal cake and punch reception. It would be short and sweet and inexpensive. A few years ago, that's all anybody had - sit down dinners were not heard of except for the very wealthy.
At a small informal reception, you can thank your guests for coming and that's it. Church social halls work great for this type of reception.
Or, if you really don't want a reception, I would limit guests to immediate family and closest friends only. Holding the ceremony in a home would also help keep it small and short and sweet and the extended list of guests would understand why they were not invited because a home generally will not have room to fit everyone.
Frankly, when I was first planning my wedding I wanted to have it at my MOH's home with only about 35 guests, but as I went through my "must be there" list, it grew beyond 35 pretty quickly.

Married: 08/20/2011
Reviews: 3
Mar 12, 2011 at 7:21 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
I personally think you would regret it. Everyone will expect some sort of reception. They don't want to get dressed up, drive to the church, watch a 15-20 minute wedding, then go home.

You should do some sort of reception. It doesn't need to be big. Cake and punch in the church's reception room. A small gathering at your home, or one of your parent's home with finger foods, a cake and guests who are the closest to you.

You can do something small and simple and not spend alot of money.

My Beloved, Inc.

My Beloved, Inc.
Mar 12, 2011 at 9:54 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
Yes, you would be missing out, but here are some questions, suggestions:

1. All the people that are important will be there to celebrate with you. Don't worry about who won't come.

2. That being said, does the church itself have a backyard or a large meeting room? If so, why don't you do a "coffee/tea" and soft drink bar and have a big, beautiful cake. This would be very little money as compared to a whole reception. Or,

3. Have your wedding as usual. Get some cards made up with a little favor (anything wedding related from a discount store would do or you can offer each guest a carnations (about 50 cents apiece). The card can say something like: "Thank you for your love and support on our wedding day. We will hold a reception in 2012 and dance the night away with you." Love, (your name and your groom's name).

This way your folks won't feel "jipped" and you can save for next year and enjoy your honeymooon without guilt. Good luck!

Married: 12/27/2012
Oct 05, 2012 at 9:35 AM • Flag As Inappropriate
Since my finace and I dont have much money we are also opting on the reception. I feel horrible, but the idea of a small snack afterward is a great suggestion :)

Married: 10/12/2014
Sep 20, 2013 at 9:49 AM • Flag As Inappropriate
I think yes. My fiancé and I will be doing the same BUT we will be having a lunch style thing afterward. Our ceremony is going to be at a garden and afterward at the same place we will be having catering platters from Our local grocery store of sandwiches, salad, and desserts as well as drinks (lemonade and water served in glass pitchers) and our wedding cake. We are doing it this way to keep things simple and sweet to save money and for less stress. We will then also be able to spend the money we want on our attire and have the ceremony at a beautiful place. :)

Wedding: 06/25/2016
Aug 09, 2015 at 11:18 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
For me the important part is the church ceremony! And I find it truly rude of guest to only show up at the reception! I plan to invite everyone to church and Only those who show up will then get the invite to the reception!!!

Wedding: 04/15/2016
Oct 16, 2015 at 1:54 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
I'm having a ceremony only with just some snacks and drinks for my 50 guest right after, just to have some time to take some pictures and all that. Afterwards I am having a dinner with only 20 of those guest which are my immediate family at a very nice restaurant. That way I can have something without the big expense of a reception, and at the same time being thoughtful with all my guest at the ceremony by providing some appies.
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