Reception Ideas for an "At Home" Wedding

Does anyone have any ideas on how to make a nice reception for an at home wedding? We have a small budget and this is a second marriage. Would a BBQ be tacky? We are having a casual ceremony. Any food and decorating suggestions? I am not really creative. Thanks!


By Jessee Jayne from Fredonia, NY

May 28, 20090 found this helpful

My second marriage came when I was 43 and I wanted to keep it simple and not extravagant. I'm not very creative either. We got married close to Christmas and had a tree and candles, but I chose the same color candles throughout the house for continuity.

We didn't do wedding bell hangings or anythng like that; that's not for me. But everyone to their own taste. We had a small amount of people, so it was doable.

We had a small wedding cake on the table, with a pretty cream table cloth with a white lace table cloth over it. You can use plain table cloth, white or colored and top it with a lace tablecloth. Sprinkle rose petals on the table; glittering starts and moons and hearts like you can get at Target, Walmart, usually by the cards and gift wrapping. We served champagne, red and white wine, beer, but we're not big drinkers in our family.

A co worker suggested going to the dollar store and looking for plastic doilies. I found several shapes with gold or silver borders. I used them for the hot snacks because where regular paper doilies get greasy, these didn't and they looked great. My sister, hard to please, was impressed.

I went to Costo and bought delicious ready to heat frozen horderves (sp?), croissants, bakery goods, bagels, coffee cakes, etc for breakfast.

I cooked three kinds of baked chicken; one with oregano, basil, olive oil, garlic and onion powder, salt and pepper; one chicken enchilada recipe; one with bbq sauce. Plus salad, bread and I just set them out to eat when anyone was hungry. My trick to chicken is to cook it at 325 deg. F for several hours, but keep it basted.

I had cookies, etc. It was informal, simple, but nice. We didn't even have a lot of furniture, but we made due because of the happiness of the occasion. Most everyone slept on two sofas and I bought inflatable mattresses extra pillows and blankets and then stored them against the wall in our bedroom when not in use.

Buy some nice towels, they don't have to be expensive, and iron on decorative ribbon, roping, etc.

If your city has a flower market, buy flowers from there and make your own arrangements or enlist someone with the talen; I asked my sister. Keep flowers simple; one or two kinds with greenery and baby's breath spread all over the house looks classier, I think. I carried a simple, small bouquet of gardenias and my sister (insisted) I put a few flowers in my hair. I did my own makeup and hair.

Lots of snacks, simple; nuts, cheese and crackers. My mother always said: even if you serve hot dogs and beans, just make sure you have plenty of them.

I bought my dress from a resale shop and got a great deal. I had small flowers for lapels and pin on single flowers for the ladies. Very simple.

My guests came from out of town and some stayed only one or two nights and some stayed for Christmas. I'm not a big fan of BBQ's but if you want it, have it. It's your day for happiness so make yourself (and your groom of course) happy first and you'll see that everyone will share your joy. Congratulations and love to you both. Long life and good health.

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May 28, 20090 found this helpful

I once went to a lovely Western-themed wedding which had a BBQ - perhaps you can have a country theme or something similar, to bring in the BBQ & create the proper atmosphere - Just don't try to clash formal + the casual nature of the BBQ!

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May 28, 20090 found this helpful

Thank you

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May 28, 20090 found this helpful

I think for a casual at-home wedding a bar-b-q sounds great! It should be a happy day and I vote to do what makes YOU happy. Good luck!

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June 2, 20090 found this helpful

We got married on the beach (second marriage for both), and had a beach themed reception. I scoured the clearance racks at Target and a department store closing and came up with candle holders for cheap. Flowers came from my supermarket (I like color - gerber daisies, alstromeria, lilies). We had a very casual reception though we did rent a local hall.

I think a BBQ is a great, casual idea. You could do a country theme, or just an outdoor theme, perhaps potted plants on the tables, if you're having tables. What's really important is the celebration of your marriage, not all the frou-frou silliness of overpriced galas.

FOr fun, you could probably pick up plain aprons at a craft place like Michaels or A.C.Moore and decorate them "Bride" "Groom" "Bridesmaid" "Groomsmen" etc. for the reception. You don't have to be crafty - you could have fun evenings with friends designing things for the party, too. Good luck, and remember to have FUN!

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June 2, 20090 found this helpful

Since you mentioned you had a small budget, my first piece of advice is to NETWORK! Don't be afraid to ask people for help, most are more than happy to assist on such a happy occasion! My hubby and I had an outdoor wedding and reception 2 years ago, in his sister's backyard with a country theme. Our invitations were bought on clearance at Walmart and we did the printing ourselves with a note(printed on sunflower bordered paper) that explained it would be held outside in the heat and for the guests to feel free to come dressed in their denim and/or something cool.

Then I sat down and began to think of who I knew and what talents they could offer since we were on a very tight budget! The location was free, sister also had outdoor furniture that we bought paint for and her hubby put a fresh new coat of paint on for the occasion, sis also borrowed tables and fold up chairs from her church for free so we would have plenty of seating and eating area. Music was downloaded from internet and burned onto cd's for wedding march and afterward during the reception, we used our own cd player.

Food was heavy finger foods and was brought by several of the guests who were close friends, sandwiches, chips & dips, veggie trays, sausage balls, cookies, meatballs, veggie pizzas, orange blossoms, and more. Nothing cost us a dime except for the wedding cake which we had made by a lady who worked at a local grocery store bakery but did cakes at home for extra money. Even the groom's cake was baked and donated by a dear friend of mine! The only thing we did pay for were the drinks and ice.

The preacher was free since we were married by my brother-in-law, so that was a great savings. We didn't use any attendants, it was just us and the preacher. Decorations were made by me, fresh cut sunflowers were brought by a friend and used in country crocks, sitting around. I made fans out of card stock with a pic of bride and groom on them and they came in handy with the heat. Also had a galvanized washtub full of floating bride and groom rubber duckies for everyone to take home. I made my own bouquet and the boutineers for groom and preacher. Centerpieces were Mason jars filled half full with red stones and had votives nestled down inside. Red and white gingham tablecloths covered the tables.

We had a barn-like storage shed out in one corner of the yard and we stacked hay bales in front of it with antique churns, ceramic roosters and chickens, all kinds of country things placed around on the bales and made quite a cute backdrop for pictures to be made in front of. It really turned out to be a beautiful wedding! So it can be done for little of nothing, plan, prepare and ask for help! Best wishes for a beautiful wedding and a long, happy life together!

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March 5, 20140 found this helpful


The idea of decoration of wedding reception is exact like other unique styles of home designing and decoration. Decoration is not about to spend some time to rearrange furniture or other home items especially at the time of wedding, but it is the exercise to make your home compatible with your taste, trends and needs. I just can say thanks for giving such a best on wedding ceremony. No doubt it is the most important ceremony of any individual and I think when ever will someone look at your post Reception Ideas for an "At Home , he/she will sure pay thanks to you. Again thanks contributors.

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