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jmhein

At Home Reception... What to Do, What to Do...

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Hi everyone!

 

So we were married on February 12th in Jamaica, and we are throwing a reception on April 19th in our little city for all our friends who couldnt make it to our wedding. We want it to be fairly informal, more like a big PARTY then a "reception" per se... We've rented a hall, we've rented music equipment and a technician to play music for us all night long, and we will be having a "cold buffet", meaning crackers, cheese, meats, dessert squares. I am also having a chocolate fountain because... I LOVE CHOCOLATE! LOL!

I plan on wearing my dress again (why NOT!? Click the image to open in full size.), dh will wear his wedding ensemble and my bm's all volunteered to wear their dresses again. We're going to decorate with a beach/tropical theme. Plans are to have a photo slideshow of our wedding showing as people arrive, and at some point we will show the DVD of our wedding.

We've invited 120 people and I am expecting about 70 people to show up.

Anyway, just looking for pointers/advice on a timeline for how this all should go down.

We are asking people to arrive at 7 PM, and I think we will greet them as they arrive, perhaps handing them champagne or a Red Stripe as they come in (budget allowing!). Photos can be playing on a slide show on a screen as people arrive.

BUT - Then what? How do I make things flow well? Should we serve the food (cold buffet) shortly after everyone arrives and as people eat we will show the DVD? Do I wait and serve the food at midnight as more of a midnight lunch? At around 9 PM the music will start and we will just dance and have a great time for the rest of the night, but I am wondering when will be best to serve the food and how to time things well up until the music starts? Any suggestions are appreciated. Thanks!

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wow! you are doing the exact same thing as us. We rented a hall, will have IPOD music, and I totally want to wear my dress again. But, what we decided to do for food is have a caterer drop off some hot items to be passed around and hire a different company (it's cheaper!) to pass food around throughout the night on top of having a table full of platters and whatever munchies. our "party" goes from 8pm-12am and I want to have drinks passed to guest as they enter and then have the food follow right after. some time in the middle be want to do a slideshow or video. it is still pretty disorganized but I suppose we will have time to figure the finer details out. My whole thinking was like you can mingle, you can snack or you can dance, just party. I don't know if that helps but good luck!

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We are having an AHR 3 weeks after our wedding because we want to have it in the Fall here in Cincy. Our is going to be VERy casual (chili & wings for food, Ipod music, cornhole, volleyball, etc.) I still don't know how the timeline will go but I am thinking that we are still going to be "introduced" as the new Mr. and Mrs. and I will make my apperance in my wedding dress (per my mom and sister's orders!), but then will change into something a little more casual.

 

If I were you, since your food is cold anyway, I would just have the food out throughout the evening and let people eat as they want to. That will help make it more of a "party" rather than a reception. That is what we plan on doing. I think that you should show the video shortly after people get settled in...maybe 8:00? And just let people know they are free to get their food whenever they want to eat. Hope that helps a little!

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I think it would be nice to schedule in a couple of toasts maybe before the slide show/video? It will bring the crowd together. And they can share some funny or touching stories from your wedding day.

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I would not wait until midnight to serve food. If the invite says 7 people will expect to eat by 8 and if there is no food in sight for that many hours I think some peeps might bounce to find the nearest McDonalds! My FMIL threw us an engagement party back in the fall that she had catered and they had all the food out when people arrived, but she had a LONG program planned so people just had to look at the food for about 2 hours and it was really annoying. I tend to think that the food and drinks will either make or break a party... but that's just me.

 

Are you going to do any of the regular reception stuff- first dance, father-daughter dance, bouquet toss... even if you did it in Jamaica you could do it again- its your day again smile159.gif

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Thanks ladies, great suggestions! I think you're right, I'll set out the food fairly early, either as people arrive or at about 8 PM.

Twelve_piece - you're right, it might be fun to do a first dance and bouquet toss again, I'll have to think about this! Hmm... I only have 4 weeks!!! EEK! Oh well, not nearly as stressed about this as I was with planning the actual DW! wink.gif

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We are doing something very similiar but not as formal. A few weeks after our wedding we will have a short blessing ceremony outside at this hotel and then a small luncheon reception in a private dining area so our friends and family who could not travel with us will have the feeling that they are seeing something that resembles a wedding...no I Do's though. And I'm definitely wearing my dress again. Hey, 2 for 1 right : )

 

We're still a bit disorganized when it comes to the actual flow after the blessing but this is sort of what we were thinking:

- We have the outdoor patio for a while after the blessing so we were going to have people come around and take drink orders at that point in time.

- We'll have a short toast once everyone seems settled

- Before the meal there will be a couple of tables our guests can go to on their own and take a look at picture books that we were going to have made up by shutterfly after our real wedding. They ship the next day and are very reasonable!

- We are thinking about showing a video too either at this time or while everyone is eating cake...but we're not sure how that will work since we are taking the video ourselves. Not sure we'll have time to get it editted since we only have 2 weeks until our local celebration.

- Lunch will be served, 3 course meal + wedding cake

- More mingling and checking out the photos

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We are doing something very similiar but not as formal. A few weeks after our wedding we will have a short blessing ceremony outside at this hotel and then a small luncheon reception in a private dining area so our friends and family who could not travel with us will have the feeling that they are seeing something that resembles a wedding...no I Do's though. And I'm definitely wearing my dress again. Hey, 2 for 1 right : )

 

We're still a bit disorganized when it comes to the actual flow after the blessing but this is sort of what we were thinking:

- We have the outdoor patio for a while after the blessing so we were going to have people come around and take drink orders at that point in time.

- We'll have a short toast once everyone seems settled

- Before the meal there will be a couple of tables our guests can go to on their own and take a look at picture books that we were going to have made up by shutterfly after our real wedding. They ship the next day and are very reasonable!

- We are thinking about showing a video too either at this time or while everyone is eating cake...but we're not sure how that will work since we are taking the video ourselves. Not sure we'll have time to get it editted since we only have 2 weeks until our local celebration.

- Lunch will be served, 3 course meal + wedding cake

- More mingling and checking out the photos

 

And that's it, I'm also looking for ideas on fun ideas or ways to keep things flowing as well as what on earth to do with the home made video (really nervous about that)

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I think all of you ladies have some great ideas... I like keeping it semi-informal. It allows you to spend time with your guests! You know your crowd best, do what they will enjoy:) If you are nervous about the video you can always use your pictures and make a powerpoint or imovie. You can add sound too! Best of luck!

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Quote:
Originally Posted by thomastaci22 View Post
We are having an AHR 3 weeks after our wedding because we want to have it in the Fall here in Cincy. Our is going to be VERy casual (chili & wings for food, Ipod music, cornhole, volleyball, etc.) I still don't know how the timeline will go but I am thinking that we are still going to be "introduced" as the new Mr. and Mrs. and I will make my apperance in my wedding dress (per my mom and sister's orders!), but then will change into something a little more casual.

If I were you, since your food is cold anyway, I would just have the food out throughout the evening and let people eat as they want to. That will help make it more of a "party" rather than a reception. That is what we plan on doing. I think that you should show the video shortly after people get settled in...maybe 8:00? And just let people know they are free to get their food whenever they want to eat. Hope that helps a little!

Cornhole!! It must be an Ohio thing cause we are having that too...lol

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