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Celebration party rather than reception

(17 Posts)
ParsleyCake Wed 15-Mar-17 23:01:35

I'm a way I am dreading getting married because I am just so inexperienced in planning things, and I don't really have much interest in those kinds of things usually.

We are having a very small wedding far from home (8 hours drive), inviting immediate family only. The ceremony is very relaxed and casual - though we are wearing a suit and a white dress, I've encouraged our family to not worry about trying to fit any particular theme but to dress smartish but comfortably. It's at a place special to the both of us, and we are paying for a quiet meal afterwards.

I hate being the centre of attention, which has a lot to do with why we are doing the ceremony this way.

When we return, we want to throw a similarly casual but smartish party to celebrate with everyone who we didn't invite. We're hiring a hall near our home. I don't want bouquet/garter toss, games, speeches, or similar, but I would like a buffet with entertainment, and to show the video and photos of our wedding on a big screen. It's less of a reception than a 'celebrate our wedding' party

entertainment includes the best man's band playing (don't worry, he's quite good) and apart from that, I was thinking about having a dj so we can have atmospheric lighting and not worry about the music.

Has anyone tried anything similar? I just want to get some ideas of how it would go - how to structure the evening. You can probably tell I'm quite shy and not really a party person, and so party planning is really not my forte.

ParsleyCake Wed 15-Mar-17 23:11:25

In case you are wondering why we are bothering with a party if I am so shy, it's because our friends and family who won't be coming to the wedding suggested it and now they are all quite excited at the idea. I tried floating the idea of them planning it (because I'm really worried I'll mess up) and while some brushed the idea off, others started planning eloborate and expensive evenings...I'm getting married on a very tight budget and need to be careful with money for the party too.

BackforGood Wed 15-Mar-17 23:41:44

I think that sounds lovely.
You don't need to 'structure' the evening really.
Get the best man - or whoever is 'in charge' in the band - to have a chat to the DJ to think about timings / if band want to play one slot or two / what time you want the buffet (not too early as people won't all come for the time you invite them, but not too late as people will be hungry).

ParsleyCake Wed 15-Mar-17 23:53:23

Thanks! I always seem to start off with the idea of having a very loose plan, but the more I research the more I over plan - I panic when I read about brides insisting that there be welcoming drinks, canapés, a string quartet...! I just want a nice night!

Lapinlapin Wed 15-Mar-17 23:59:23


Honestly, try not to stress too much. Ignore anyone who makes suggestions of expensive additions and stick to what you'd planned.

Most people I know enjoy the chance to catch up with friends and relatives and celebrate. Throw in some food, drink and music and everyone 's happy.

avamiah Thu 16-Mar-17 00:00:14

Sounds great,but I think a welcoming drink is always very nice.
What are the arrangements for drinks ?

avamiah Thu 16-Mar-17 00:02:36

Totally agree with you.
It doesn't have to be a lot , as a little will go down very well.

ParsleyCake Thu 16-Mar-17 00:03:23

I was going to hire a mobile bar and have the first couple of drinks free

ParsleyCake Thu 16-Mar-17 00:04:21

The mobile bar costs is £200 without factoring in paying for the first few drinks ...60 people are coming

BackforGood Thu 16-Mar-17 00:05:10

If I go to an evening party, I would never expect the drinks to be free. I assume - 'there's a bar, take your purse' smile

BackforGood Thu 16-Mar-17 00:07:04

Other alternative, if there isn't a bar in the hall, is to say
"There is no bar in the hall, please feel free to BYOB / cans / spirits / whatever you want to drink. Most people will be delighted to bring their own favourite tipple for a fraction of what they'd pay for the same drinks at a bar.

avamiah Thu 16-Mar-17 00:08:34

Add a little buffett with all the favourites and not forgetting the veggies and you've nailed it.
Nothing more to be said, you've nailed it.
Best Wishes.

ParsleyCake Thu 16-Mar-17 00:11:21

Thank you! I can't tell you how much this has set my mind at ease!

BillyButtfuck Thu 16-Mar-17 09:21:00

This is exact the wedding I'd want! Sounds great, congratulations

wrinkleseverywhere Thu 16-Mar-17 09:40:34

This is exactly what we did although we had it in a bar.
We just invited people from 7.30/8.00, food came out from 8.30, DH had done a range of playlists on his iPad so we had background music until 10ish & then it was more disco-y. We didn't plan on saying anything but, at about 10pm, did turn the music down, thanked everyone for coming & got a group photo. Everyone left about midnight.

Usernamewithnodigits Fri 17-Mar-17 19:37:27

We did this, OP.

We stipulated on the invite that it is a party with a 10min formal 'bit' in the middle. smile

The invites said Black tie was to be avoided and to wear whatever you felt comfortable in.

We had a magician and a TV character impressionist who both mingled with guests.

I typed up a speech & stuck it on the wall because I didn't want the attention smileI also didn't have a hen-do.

We also provided personalised little Post-It notes for people to write messages to us on & we have put those in our album.

Sparklers were great fun at the end!

No formal wedding cake - it was carrot, chocolate or fruit cake.

Vouchers were handed to guests as they entered entitling them to one complimentary drink.

You'll have the best day regardless as to how it goes & what you dosmile

Usernamewithnodigits Fri 17-Mar-17 19:38:13

Oh - we also asked for the RSVPs to be sent back with a song request each so that way I knew everyone would be happy for at least one song!!

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