Wedding Reception

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JenaRamos Posts: 2
Hello there, I'm wondering if someone can help me with my dilemma. My idea for my wedding reception is actually somewhat strange. Here's the thing, I'm thinking of having wedding canapes and tea for all my guests after the church wedding. There are about 120 guests for the church wedding (Yes! I want all my guests to be at the ceremony) However, I can only afford a proper sit-down dinner for around 60 guests. So the question is do you think I should have both the canape and the sit-down dinner in one venue? Or should I have separate venues for each since half of my guests are supposed to leave after the tea. ;o( Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! :hyper:
DivineGranny Posts: 28
Hi Jena! Do you know which church you want to get married at yet? If so, you could see if there is a venue suitable for the canapes for 120 people nearby. And then decide on your dinner for 60 venue afterwards, which could maybe be a bit further away? The first venue would probably have to be quite close to the church though; the wedding day does be so busy and hectic that it would be a bit stressful to travel from the church to the first venue, then have to travel again a couple of hours later. The day really really does go by in a blink, so I'd worry about the extra traveling taking away from it. Having it both in the same venue would be loads easier, the only problem with it would be if some guests got a bit funny or annoyed that they had to leave while others still stayed. Weddings can bring out the worst in people :p I'd say the hardest part will be how to word it in the invitations. For the earlier guests you could maybe word it in a way where it specifies that they are invited to the ceremony and to join you for afternoon canapes. I don't know whether you would have to give an end time so that people understand completely that it isn't the full day though. It does sound like a brilliant idea, I hope you can figure out how to make it all work well for you :)
JJ100 Posts: 43
Have to disagree with last comment - I actually don't really think it's a great idea and could lead to some fall out with guests. Would you consider still inviting everyone to the entire day but rather than having a sit down meal for 60, keep it more casual with a buffet/BBQ style for everyone? I know our venue offered something like this and it was about €30 cheaper per head than our package so if you got a deal then 120 people could still fit your budget possibly. If you do decide to go ahead with your plan then I would recommend two different venues as it could be quite awkward when you get to the point in the day when you want all of the 'canape only' guests to leave because dinner is being served for the remaining guests. At least if everyone was leaving for a different venue, it might be slightly less awkward. Also you would have to be very careful on invitation wording and I would make sure that everyone is aware of the plan for the day as the last thing you want is for a guest that was only invited for canapes to wonder why everyone else is all of a sudden leaving for dinner and they're not. Best of luck with whatever you decide to do.
esla2016 Posts: 214
I believe this is quite common in American weddings? I have to say tho if I had to travel or take a day off, and was only invited to the ceremony & canapes, I'd seriously consider declining.
allsún Posts: 253
I agree with the previous posters, I think it's a bad idea to expect half of your guests to go home. You could really offend or annoy people.I would either have a smaller wedding, or do as someone else suggested and consider a different type of reception such as a buffet. There are loads of alternatives to the traditional sit down meal.
Rainchie Posts: 58
Also feel I agree with recent posters. It would be awkward and strange as a guest of the earlier part to have ceremony and canapés and then home for the evening. I would also suggest a more casual style of reception or even could you do a 60 person full day event and then have 120 the next day for a bbq and drinks? I really don't want to come across as overly negative as it is your day but weddings are a funny beast and you could make a lot of hassle for yourself with this plan. Good luck with the planning though as it really is a lot of fun
NinjaDonDon Posts: 300
Another thing you could do is invite your 60 guests all day and give your other 60 evening invites which wouldn't be strange to do in Ireland. Some people rather turning up for a drink and a dance then going to the mass (even though we all know that's the important bit!) With the way you are suggesting, if I were a guest invited to a similar style wedding for afternoon tea only, my first thought would be 'They are only looking for a present from me and don't genuinely want me to share in their day!" Another thing is, you and your husband will be expected to mingle with all your afternoon guests before dinner and your other guests at your second venue - when do you hope to slip off for photos? Wanting everyone there to Ooo and Agghh at you walking down the aisle is a lovely idea in theory, but I'm afraid you might be disappointed with your RSVP rate if you do what you are thinking of doing. But in saying that, if all plans and concepts are worked out really well and in advance, and people are properly informed instead of dancing around the subject, then there is no reason not to go ahead. Best of luck with whatever you decide to do! =]
MrsSparkle2B Posts: 1689
[quote="JenaRamos":1d1ixrup] So the question is do you think I should have both the canape and the sit-down dinner in one venue? Or should I have separate venues for each since half of my guests are supposed to leave after the tea. ;o( Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! :hyper:[/quote:1d1ixrup] In answer to the question - I think you should have them in a separate venue as I think it would be so awkward for the guests heading home after a few canapés while the rest get to stay for dinner (& dancing)? However, logistically I don't know how this would work - there's photo time, travel time & time mingling with guests to take into account.
LadyLizzie Posts: 1724
Hmm I'm not sure that would work in Ireland, it's not the done thing here. To answer the question yes separate venues would be the most tactful way, if tricky in a logistical sense for your timing on the day for photos, mingling etc. And guests staying all day going to 2 different venues, they can't drink in the 1st one if driving, there goes the drinks on arrival etc. How would you manage to get half the guests to bugger off after the canapés? How would the invitation wording get it across that they have to leave, while they watch other folk drifting off to have a sit down meal? It could cause major offence, if I was a canapé-only guest I would be offended. I know that is not your intention at all, and you would like everyone to share the ceremony part, but honestly I would re-think the plan. Agree with other posters about revising the budget, changing to a cheaper venue or inviting guests to afters instead.
JenaRamos Posts: 2
Thank you everyone for the suggestions! I'm actually currently overwhelmed right now. It's my first time ever posting here and I'm amazed how helpful everyone is :) I really need to rethink about whether I should still go ahead with this idea or not. It was actually suggested by my brother who lives in Sydney so it may not actually work here in Ireland :p. I still have two years before the wedding anyway :)