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Brenners

At Home Reception (AHR) Do's and Don'ts

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Thank you so much ladies for sharing, this thread has been at most helpful, cos until recently we didn't think we will have AHR at all!!! lol :D

Hope every ones wedding days go well and you will have tones of fun! :))x

 

xoxo

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Did not book AHR yet however, we're not spending more than $3,500. Looking at Banquet hall's that are flexible and allow us to customize the reception.

 

1) Cocktail reception w/signature drink to continue our caribbean theme

2) Planning the event a month after we return

3) Heavy hors d'ouerves cold and hot stations

4) Dessert station

5) Wearing a white reception dress

6) Include RSVP card with destination info and AHR info.

7) family friend taking red carpet pics of guest and us

8) Small cake

9) minimal decor (centerpieces and menu selection)

10)Display slide show of destination wedding pics on big screen

11) have guest book on gift table.

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1.  Budget.  What amount are you looking to spend since you will have just spent quite a bit of money on your DW?  Did you include this in your overall wedding budget?

Two separate budgets. Keeping both on the lower end, if possible... or trying to, but hard with a huge family with huge culture and huge expectations. We are paying for everything ourselves. I am trying to be VERY creative about keeping down costs.

 

2.  Type.  What kind of AHR are you planning?  Is it formal or informal?  How long will it last?  Will you also have a dance after the reception?

Very formal. Funny enough, I seem to be backwards of most people on the forum. For most, the DW is fancy and very elegant and the AHR is much more laid back (backyard bbq, lunch, etc). I actually was going to go this route initially, but for a plethora of reasons, we're doing it backwards. The DW, while still nice and romantic... will be very small, intimate, much more casual, and just... fun. Relaxed. No stress. On the flip side, I come from a traditional Vietnamese family and they demand LARGE WEDDINGS. So.... 9 course meal, formal gowns, etc. Will have sit down formal meal, dancing to follow. Probably lasting 4-5 hours. I have 100+ people on the guest line for FAMILY alone... oy... FI wanted a DJ, I said just go with speakers, ipod, and have a few friends at the mic--it's less expensive that way.

 

3.  When.  How long after your DW are you planning the AHR? We initially wanted it right after the DW because we wanted to still feel like the bride and groom... not the already married couple. But because I've confirmed that my sister can attend after all (wasn't sure when she'd be able to attend anything), we've decided on a date 10 weeks after our wedding. In a way, that's a good thing because 1) my sister can go and 2) it gives people attending both the DW and AHR a break between traveling and vacation time, etc. 3) gives us a financial break between events, too.

 

4.  Food.  Are you having a buffet or a formal sit down dinner?

Formal 9 course sit down dinner. Vietnamese cuisine.

 

5.  Clothes.  What are you wearing to your AHR?  Your wedding day attire or something else entirely?

My wedding dress for the beach ceremony is more on the casual side. Beachy, flowy, breezy.... not fancy by any means. And, FI has a grey suit for the beach wedding. So, for the formal reception, we're doing black suit plus whatever tie or something FI wants. I'm wearing a formal wedding dress (different from beach one entirely), then changing into a traditional vietnamese dress, then changing into a party dress.

 

6.  Invitations.  Formal or informal invitations?  We are thinking about having it in the small town where I grew up and many people just put an announcement in the local paper for people to attend but then it is difficult to determine the amount of food you need.

Formal invitations and announcements. I would recommend looking at Vista Print for freebies and low cost invites. We'll probably order ours from there. Another option is to do a e-vite type thing so that it's free but still allows you to have a head count and keep track of guests. I'd freak out if I didn't have a proper head count to know how much food to have. lol

 

7.  Photographer.  Are you hiring a professional photographer for the day?

Not that I originally planned or wanted it this way, but it appears my AHR is going to be a bigger/fancier/pricier/blahhh event than my DW. lol, None of my family or Fi's family will be at DW, so yes. Photographer all the way over here. But, the photographer is just starting out, so his prices are much more reasonable than others I've seen. You should consider student photogs (with portfolios and experience) or new/just starting photogs (also with portfolios) because they are usually so much less expensive. Also, consider which is more important to you. My photos from the DW are going to be so incredibly important to me. To me, that's my wedding. That's when I married my husband, and those are the memories I need to have captured as best as possible. The AHR is also important, but (this prob sounds horrible) they don't mean as much to me as the DW photographs.

 

8.  Cake.  Are you having a traditional wedding cake for the AHR?

We're having a traditional cake at the DW (complimentary package, whatever comes with it!). I don't need a second one. Neither of us actually like cake that much (unless it's a baskin robbins ice cream cake! lol), so we're probably going to do a dessert table with a tower of some sort to give the appearance of the cake. The restaurant is also serving creme brulee for dessert, so ehhh no cake for me. Thinking cheesecake bites, key lime pie bites, mini cupcakes, dipped strawberries. It will actually save us money rather than doing a huge cake.

 

9.  Decorations.  What kinds of decorations are you having for your AHR?

Nooo clue. Maybe some name placecards and center pieces. But, those Asian ballrooms are usually so decked out, that much more and your eyes will go crazy! lol Good thing for me, the less we buy, the better! :)

 

10.  DW Photos.  Are you going to have these on display and if so, how?

Definitely want to display it somehow... either video or slideshow or something... haven't quite figured that out, yet. But like I said, they are going to mean sooo much to me. I want to show the world. :) I'm even considering holding off showing any photographs (except for a few teasers) until post reception so that everyone gets the full effect. No FB! :)

 

Not that I wanted it to be this way initially, but my AHR is going to be far more formal than my beach wedding. Don't get me wrong, I am not complaining about it, it's just not what I had in mind when I began planning my wedding. To me, the beach wedding is what FI and I want for our dream day. It's our moment with just our few friends... no drama, no hassle... just casual fun. All of that is for us. Love it. For the AHR, it's more for our families, namely our parents. Neither sets of parents have been able to be "insert" of the bride/groom before. They really have their hearts set on a formal, traditional affair. My dad's never gonna get this chance again. And FI is the youngest of 3 brothers, but first to marry.

 

Hope this helps. Ultimately, no two weddings will be alike. So many different budgets and ideas for AHRs. Just do what works best for your budget and keeps you guys sane/comfortable.

 

Good luck!

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VERY good point about not putting pictures on facebook until the AHR. i never even considered that before, but now i totally want to wait!  gonna be sooooo hard though because i will have 3 and a half months in between!!  maybe my photographer will be on the slow side i am now actually hoping!

Originally Posted by Vettiebean View Post

 

10.  DW Photos.  Are you going to have these on display and if so, how?

Definitely want to display it somehow... either video or slideshow or something... haven't quite figured that out, yet. But like I said, they are going to mean sooo much to me. I want to show the world. :) I'm even considering holding off showing any photographs (except for a few teasers) until post reception so that everyone gets the full effect. No FB! :)



 

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1.  Budget.-  My mom and in-laws are covering the AHR because we are paying for the majority of the DW. Also because the AHR has turned into something so much larger than I wanted/imagined it to be. Originally it was going to be this casual BBQ like thing. Now it's so much more like a formal reception.....just in the park. 

 

2.  Type.- See above. But again, it wasn't really my choice and I'm really ok with that. It will still be fairly casual but with catered food and a band in the park. 

 

3.  When.  3 weeks after we get back. 

 

4.  Food.  brunch buffet. We loooove brunch

 

5.  Clothes.  My wedding dress is too formal for me to want to wear it around the park so I'm going to wear a white cocktail dress and a headpiece. 

 

6.  Invitations.  formal invitations

 

7.  Photographer.  Nope. I'd have to pay for it myself and we are out of money. 

 

8.  Cake.  We're doing cupcakes

 

9.  Decorations.  We're renting tables so there will be tablecloths on the tables and my mom is buying flowers to put on the tables. The caterers will also decorate their table with something. And we're doing a candy bar and I'll make that look nice. 

 

10.  DW Photos.  I don't think I'll have them in time so I'll try and get some from guests that will have been there. 

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Yeah, will be really hard for me, too. We have a lot of time in between wedding and reception as well. But, I'm going to try my best. These photos are my prized possessions (aside from a hubby of course), and I want them to have their own moment in the spotlight and "wow" the guests all at once. 
 

Originally Posted by PurpleUnicorn View Post


VERY good point about not putting pictures on facebook until the AHR. i never even considered that before, but now i totally want to wait!  gonna be sooooo hard though because i will have 3 and a half months in between!!  maybe my photographer will be on the slow side i am now actually hoping!



 



 

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Great idea about no FB postings for the photos!  Still trying to figure out what to do with the AHR and need to start with that budget!  ARRGGGHHH!  Thanks for all the ideas ladies!  Keep them coming!

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Thanks! I just feel it makes the most sense to me. I mean, I'm sure I can't stop all the pics from posting because I'll have friends with cameras there and all. But for the professional photos, I'd like to give them the center of attention for a few minutes. I will maybe toss out a teaser photo or two, but that's it. (and if even that!) Definitely no TTD photos or anything.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Brenners View Post

Great idea about no FB postings for the photos!  Still trying to figure out what to do with the AHR and need to start with that budget!  ARRGGGHHH!  Thanks for all the ideas ladies!  Keep them coming!



 

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Oh man I haven't even started to think about my AHR, but I suppose I should, since it's only a few weeks after our DW, which keeps getting closer and closer! Thanks for forcing me to think about these questions!!!

 

 

1.  Budget: My FFIL is footing the bill (venue, food, bar, band). My FI and I have set aside $3000 for decor/flowers/invitations. This is not included in our overall wedding budget.

 

2.  Type: Our AHR is going to be a fun, whimsical, casual affair. It is taking place at the reception hall of my FFIL's church. I think it's starting around 5pm, and there will be dancing into the wee hours of the night (my FI is Ukrainian, so it's  going to be a BIG party!).

 

3.  When: Our AHR is 3 weeks after our wedding (one week after we get back from our honeymoon).

 

4.  Food: As stated above, it's a Ukrainian fiesta, so there will be tons of food, buffet-style.

 

5.  Clothes: I was actually surprised how many brides HAVE decided to wear their wedding gown to their AHR! Of course, I don't blame you, who wouldn't want to wear it again?! I, on the other hand, will NOT be wearing my dress. I truly want the DW to be a special day, and that's a huge reason why my FI are getting legally married in Mexico (bloodwork and all!); and following suit, I don't feel right putting my dress on again, because it's just a party, NOT a wedding. I plan on picking up a cute white cocktail dress for the AHR. Not sure what my FI is planning on wearing!

 

6.  Invitations: I've actually just decided on invites! A awesome design company we found on ETSY is doing a custom illustration of us in our wedding attire, on the beach, and printing them out on 5x7 cards. We aren't doing formal rsvps, just phone/email.

 

7.  Photographer: Nope. I have a pretty awesome camera, and will delegate the duty to one of my BM's, like I did for our very formal engagement party a few months ago (hosted by my parents).

 

8.  Cake: Nope. Not a wedding, no cake! We're trying to have a real homestyle, down country feel, so we're doing a homemade pie/dessert table.

 

9.  Decorations: We're keeping it casual. Low vases/mason jars on long tables with flowers, burlap table runners, etc.

 

10.  DW Photos: YES! Our amazing, AMAZING team from Floataway Studios is cutting a 5 minute video of our DW so we can show it to our guests. I'm SUPER-excited about this part :)

 

Ok, it's a work in progress! But it was great to get it all down on paper!!!

 

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1.  Budget. 

Our AHP (at home PARTY) will cost about $3500.  We set aside $3K to $4K.  (approx costs = $750 for the hall rental, $450 for DJ, $250 for wine, $500 for beer, $250 for cupcakes, $700 for other food, $200 for photographer, $300 for tablecloths/decor, $500 just in case)

 

2.  Type. 

We are having a big party.  Since we are having a reception in Mexico, we didn't want to have a repeat.  Our party will be at a reception hall (not a fancy one) on a Friday night (MUCH cheaper) that allows you to bring your own alcohol in.  We will also have a DJ - we want a big sing-along and dancing party.

 

3.  When. 

Our wedding is on a Saturday (Nov 5th) and we are staying in Mexico through the next Thursday morning (Nov 10th).  Our AHP will be a week and a day later on Friday the 18th from 8pm to midnight.

 

4.  Food. 

We intentionally are having the party starting at 8pm so we don't have to serve dinner.  We will have lots of hors d'oeuvres to help soak up the beer and wine.

 

5.  Clothes.

Since we are having a dancing party I don't want to wear my formal dress again.  Instead I will have a 2nd dress that I will wear first for our legal wedding (at home before the DW) and then again for the AHP.  I haven't found this dress yet, but I would love a tea length dress.

 

6.  Invitations. 

About 1 or 2 months out we will send out a postcard invitation (think cheap on Vistaprint) and request an RSVP to a wedding email address we set up.  We will request the RSVP before we leave for Mexico (so I can send out follow up emails).

 

7.  Photographer.

We have a local photographer that did our engagement pictures that we decided to take to Mexico with us.  I am thinking of asking him if he will accept $200-$300 to cover the party as well.  I don't know if my fiance will approve, so I may have to sneak around and use my money instead of our wedding money.

 

8.  Cake. 

In order to keep costs down (think cake cutting fees) we will be doing cupcakes for the AHP.  The local "caterer" (not your traditional wedding caterer, think downtown shop that has lunch and baked goods that provides catering for corporate functions) does cupcakes a lot more cheaply than a wedding cake baker.

 

9.  Decorations.

Decorations will be VERY minimal.  I think we will likely use pictures in frames for centerpieces.  We might also bring something back from Mexico (not sure what at this point though).  Big thing is that I don't want to spend too much money decorating - luckily the reception hall is painted red and has some brick, so the place itself isn't "plain".  I will bring back my table runners from the wedding to add some color.

 

10.  DW Photos.

A local store closed and sold everything cheap - including the plastic stands that hold sale tags.  So we bought quite a few 5x7 stands to put DW pictures in.  Also, we will be adding pictures of the rehearsal, wedding day, TTD, and rest of the trip to our slideshow.  I love the idea that traditional weddings can only have baby through engagement pictures, but ours can include wedding pictures!

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