I'm getting married on October 3rd at 3pm and reception to follow. I need the reception to be cheap. I want to know if it would be inappropriate to have cake, punch, coffee, and no food? Would that be a bad idea at that time of the day?
By angel eyes from Bryan, OH
Several people I know have been doing a sort of barter for their weddings/receptions. Contact several caterers in your area and ask if they would cater with some sort of food, even finger sandwiches in exchange for advertising at the reception.
I even saw one wedding on a TV show where the couple had absolutely everything donated in this way, from the dresses to the food! The donatees just had a card standing next to the items they donated and some business cards at the exit. You might be surprised at how many companies are willing to do this, I would start with smaller companies who might not be getting as much business as better known companies and could really use the advertising.
You might also consider swapping something with a personal chef. If you are good with kids maybe babysitting, dog care taking or grooming or house sitting when they want to leave town, etc. If you do something like this I would make some sort of small contract to make it legal. (09/01/2009)
We were married at 2 p.m. on a Saturday. We served cake, coffee, punch, nuts and mints. We celebrated our 43rd anniversary this summer. Must have been just the right amount of food. It was, and is, all about the love, not the amount of food or the big show. (We also did not send out invitations-just said in the engagement announcement in the newspaper that friends and family were invited, and they came!) Have a happy, stress free wedding! (09/02/2009)
I have done many receptions and this is one I pass on for those on a tight budget. You're getting married during Baseball season, so think baseball food. The groomsmen, fathers and all will love to grill hot dogs! You can even do them on a grill in a pan with some beer and onions. Plan 2 hot dogs per person, yet have some extras. At Sam's you can get 100 for under $20, bread stores for buns $1.45 for 12, look for a local chip company, usually 48 small assorted bags of chips for $8.
Also check with store managers to give you a discount since it is a wedding. Easy to decorate for, easy for jokes, songs, and all around fun. Use your imagination! Have a great wedding! (09/03/2009)
My friend (and me, too) have attended three wedding receptions in the past 3 months; one had traditional food, sit down, wine, alcohol, and desserts. The 2nd and 3rd did what I had never seen before, a pizza and salad buffet. Order large and small pizzas, all different kinds, not anything exotic, but the regular cheese, meats and toppings, and ones without meats for the many who are watching their diets. A big naked salad, with various dressings on the side. Served on wedding paper plate, larger than cake plates. Serve 'wedding punch' (your choice if alcohol or sans alcohol, mark it with a tag). The pizza was a hit. Have lots of napkins. You can get a deal from most pizza kitchens for multiple, delivered pizzas.
People loved the late afternoon dinner, no need to have dinner a few hours later. I believe I overheard the mom of the bride say that the bill came to about $300. That was for 60 people. Salads were made 'at home' the night before, with tomatoes, grated cheese and trimmings served on platters to choose from. The guests loved it, the kids loved it, and sat still for a while eating pizza. Have a wonderful future. Start off right, and it will never end. Let the kids take home the left over pizza if there is any left. (09/03/2009)
We were married (our second time around) on October 5th at 3 pm... a long time ago. We were absolutely cash-strapped then, and our relatives and close friends insisted they were each bringing a dish. It was warm for October, and ours was a no-frills backyard potluck BBQ, with a cake the groom baked himself (that turned out quite nicely, thanks!).
As someone else said here, it's YOUR day. The people you care enough about to be with you to celebrate should be there to do just that-wish you well. Don't go into debt if you can't afford it; it's an awful financial start for a marriage. Do what your heart and your pocketbook can afford. No matter what it is, it'll be right. (09/03/2009)
Your guests will know what time the wedding and reception is and they can feed themselves before and/or after accordingly! It's your day and you shouldn't feel obligated to feed anyone just because others think you should! Sharing your cake with punch and coffee only is perfectly fine, just be sure to mention cake and punch reception. ;-)
Congratulations and enjoy your day! (09/03/2009)
On the reception card or invitation specify cake and coffee reception. This is right as far as manners go, and will let guests know what to expect since the wedding is between meals. Have a wonderful day. (09/03/2009)
I had my invitations state "Champagne and Cake reception to follow." We had appetizers, dips, salsa and cream cheese with tortilla chips, pinwheels, deviled eggs, and things like that champagne, beer, coffee and soda and of course cake. It was wonderful happy and stress free. It is your day so you two enjoy it. And yes, that is fine. (09/03/2009)
First, good luck to you and spouse-to-be from an old married lady (40+ years).
A reception with cake, punch, coffee, and no food is your prerogative - but please, advise the guests in the invitation!
About 30 years ago, our kids were ring bearer and flower girl at the wedding of our neighbor (their babysitter). The day started early, with no time for more than some milk and toast for breakfast. Once we got the kids to the church, they were whisked away by the bride and bridesmaids for photos and training for their parts in the service, etc.
Unfortunately, the wedding ended up getting started a lot later than scheduled. By the time the service was over and we arrived for the reception, everyone was hungry.
At the reception there was a lot of socializing, but no food in sight, not even finger food! All of the other guests were hungry, too, and whispering amongst themselves about "When's dinner?"
Finally, after a very long wait, a table was set up with cake, punch, coffee, and that was it. The hungry crowd descended on the cake like locusts, as by now it was early evening! We gave the kids a few bites of cake and some punch because they were starting to feel queasy from hunger!
Then we approached the bride and excused ourselves "early" from the reception, much to her dismay. We left and went to the first open restaurant we found, had a decent meal, and headed home to bed.
My husband and I spent a fair amount of time later talking about the thoughtlessness of the bride in regard to her guests. No one was told this would be a cake and punch only reception, so they had been expecting some kind of dinner.
It was such poor manners not to inform the guests about the reception plans, so they could make their own plans accordingly for eating that day. Especially a 5 and 6 year old who shouldn't have been kept busy yet unfed most of the day. I'm sure the bride was excited and had no appetite, but she should never have put her guests (and flower girl and ring bearer!) in such a hungry situation!
So again, a cake and punch reception can be lovely and is perfectly acceptable, as long as your guests know ahead of time what to expect! My best to you! (09/06/2009)
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