Jessica Nogaret
Beginner August 2020

Just Dinner.

Jessica Nogaret, on July 17, 2019 at 7:28 PM Posted in Wedding Reception 0 12
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Hello wedding wire world,

my fiancé and I are having a really, really small wedding. Like 35 to 40 people. We are also big foodies. So instead of the traditional huge party reception with DJ and all that fun stuff we wanted to make it a dinner experience instead.

Do we do a 5 course meal? A wine tasting? We don’t know!

So my question is has anyone done this before? The pros and cons and if there’s any creative ways to still keep the wedding vibe going through out the meal?

Thanks a bunch!


  • Mcellist
    Super March 2019
    Mcellist ·
    • Flag

    I originally wanted to do something like this. You DEFINITELY need a 3 course meal. 5, to me, seems a little bit much, but if you've got the funds!

    I say as long as the food is good, the drinks are free, and there's enough places for everyone to sit & be comfortable, go for it.

    As for the wedding vibe, you could always hire a professional musician to play throughout the dinner.

    • Reply
  • Emily
    Dedicated October 2019
    Emily ·
    • Flag
    We’re sort of doing this, we are renting a private room at a farm to table restaurant for our 40-ish guests to do a three course dinner reception. We are even calling it a dinner party on our invites and wedding website (my mother has been very concerned that we manage expectations that it won’t be a dancing and cake sort of wedding.) We are in a city that is known for its food and we struggled to find a restaurant that would offer a foodie experience and accommodate that large of a group. I think that a wine tasting or fine dining experience for just your nearest and dearest is a lovely way to do this. Most of our guests have to get on a plane to come to see us, so we really wanted to spend quality time and thank them for their love and support. Good luck!!
    • Reply
  • Melissa
    Devoted May 2021
    Melissa ·
    • Flag
    We are doing a DW with 40 people being invited and the package offers a reception dinner for 3 hours but we aren’t getting a dj. We are gonna rent a sound system so we can do the traditional 1st dance, parents dances and back ground music for dinner. We’ll go to the club at the resort later to dance.
    • Reply
  • 2d Bride
    Champion October 2009
    2d Bride ·
    • Flag

    We did a four-course lunch in the private dining room of a restaurant after our wedding. A dinner reception will be shorter than one with dancing, but it can be just as much fun. We started at 2:00 and figured it would go for a couple of hours. People had so much fun just catching up with each other that the restaurant more or less had to throw us out just before 5:00 so that they could set up for dinner.

    • Reply
  • Pirate & 60s Bride
    Champion March 2017
    Pirate & 60s Bride ·
    • Flag
    Yum!! Not to worry about losing the DJ/dancing. I think a 3 or 5 course meal paired with wine (just 1/2 glass pours but guests can ask for more of their favorites) would be a blast.

    I’d choose a place with speakers so they can play their music or your playlist. Background music helps so much!
    • Reply
  • Brooklyn
    Savvy September 2019
    Brooklyn ·
    • Flag
    I think a 3-5 course dinner and wine would be perfect! As for having the “wedding” feel- you could have a catered dinner at a vineyard or winery- they have small tasting rooms that you can rent out on it’s own and is perfect for a plated dinner
    • Reply
  • Amelia
    Dedicated May 2020
    Amelia ·
    • Flag

    I think it would be fun to have a sommelier do a wine tasting/pairing with the meal. Would make it feel elegant. To keep the wedding vibe, I would still do speeches in between courses. Maybe have a live musician for background music - acoustic guitar, keyboard etc would really set the special occasion mood. Have fun!

    • Reply
  • Courtney
    Super September 2019
    Courtney ·
    • Flag
    I think this sounds fun! I think you could keep the wedding feel by still having speeches. I went to a wedding like this but smaller and the speeches thanking everyone for being there to celebrate their marriage etc definitely made it feel like an occasion. That and semi-formal attire!
    • Reply
  • Tina
    Super August 2019
    Tina ·
    • Flag

    We are doing a Murder mystery during dinner. It runs for 2 hours. Very entertaining and takes the anxiety away from me from thinking ppl will be bored or need to be drinking all night. Since I have planned mine, the owner of my venue has told several other couples the same thing and lots more people are doing the same =)

    • Reply
  • Jessica Nogaret
    Beginner August 2020
    Jessica Nogaret ·
    • Flag
    This is all so so helpful! Thank you all so much 🙏❤️
    • Reply
  • M.W.
    VIP June 2019
    M.W. ·
    • Flag

    I would say a 3 course meal with some wine

    • Reply
  • Dayna
    Devoted March 2021
    Dayna ·
    • Flag

    My aunt and uncle had a really small ceremony (maybe 20 people) in a winery cellar. We sat at the reception tables for the ceremony since it was all in one room. Afterwards, they served a plated meal (3 courses I think, but maybe it was more). They actually did have a small dance floor, but no DJ, just a playlist. I think a live musician would be really nice if you can afford it and you could still do a first dance. You could definitely have a small fun activity like wine tasting, make-your-own wedding favor (such as everyone fills up a jar with candy), or a DIY photo booth with cute props where people take their own pics.

    • Reply

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