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

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Hi Courtney,

 

I think you've got a great plan, budget, etc. set up! I even remember reading about some of your AHP details before and thinking the same thing. I actually wish I could have an event more similar to yours than mine... lol But I won't complain. I'm thankful to be able to do anything "extra" beyond our DW at all.

 


 

Originally Posted by clgriffi7 View Post

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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Mine are, which I find interesting because they're not paying for anything. However, I am sure it's because in my case, no one is going to the DW, so they don't care what it looks like. For the AHR, they all need to showcase a grand reception.

 

My gf (who is also getting married this year) said it best: Weddings aren't for you. You think they're for you, but they're not. They're really for everyone else.
 

Originally Posted by deannamarie85 View Post

I am loving all of you AHR ideas ladies! Is anyone finding that the MOB and MOG want so much more say in the AHR then the DW? Mine are driving me nuts! LOL



 

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1. Budget: I would prefer around $4000

2. Type: informal

3. When: within 4 weeks of our return

4. Food: ideally, bbq buffet..am looking for somewhere to host this though

5. Dress: the dress may make it out again

6. Invitations: casual invitations will be sent out

7. Photography: maybe, we have a friend who does wedding photography

8. Cake: YES!

9. Decorations: I suppose we will need something...

10. DW wedding photos: possibly in a slideshow..

 

I am pretty focused on the DW, this is really the least of my problems, but I would like to have it all booked and have invites go out together, no biggie though.

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I am thinking of pushing the reception date a little ways back from the wedding date.  As we are getting married in early February, we want everyone who can make it to be there.  With this winter being the way it has been, I want to make certain that the weather will not be a factor as far as blizzards go!  I think April is the earliest we will have it.  I need to start doing some research on the cost of renting the hall and liquor and food.  Ugh.  So many things to do!

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Thanks for the support - it is good to hear that someone likes your idea.  I guess I am lucky that MOB and MOG aren't trying to have much of an opinion on anything.  I think it is because my fiance and I are a bit older (he is 37 and I am coming up on 31) that they aren't getting too involved.  We got the idea for ours based on a low key event our friends had after their out of state wedding last year.  They just reserved an area of a bar and prepaid a tab for drinks.  They had an album of pictures out and did a sheet cake before which they just said a few words - simple and inexpensive.  We started out with the same idea, but just kept adding more - oh well....

 

I am a bit jealous of the ladies that are having a full reception at home because I would love to wear my dress again.  But I know a big dress with a train (even bustled) would be a disaster at the kind of event we are planning.

 

Originally Posted by Vettiebean View Post

Hi Courtney,

 

I think you've got a great plan, budget, etc. set up! I even remember reading about some of your AHP details before and thinking the same thing. I actually wish I could have an event more similar to yours than mine... lol But I won't complain. I'm thankful to be able to do anything "extra" beyond our DW at all.

 



 

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I would love to wear my wedding dress again, however, I don't think the setting is appropriate as we will have it more low key.  But I don't want to buy yet something else to add to the budget.  Ugh.

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Originally Posted by Vettiebean View Post

 

Mine are, which I find interesting because they're not paying for anything. However, I am sure it's because in my case, no one is going to the DW, so they don't care what it looks like. For the AHR, they all need to showcase a grand reception.

 

My gf (who is also getting married this year) said it best: Weddings aren't for you. You think they're for you, but they're not. They're really for everyone else.

 

 

 

 

Looks like we are both in the same boat! That is the same reason my family is so involved as well! Glad to see that I am not alone!!!

 

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Originally Posted by clgriffi7 View Post

 

Thanks for the support - it is good to hear that someone likes your idea.  I guess I am lucky that MOB and MOG aren't trying to have much of an opinion on anything.  I think it is because my fiance and I are a bit older (he is 37 and I am coming up on 31) that they aren't getting too involved.  We got the idea for ours based on a low key event our friends had after their out of state wedding last year.  They just reserved an area of a bar and prepaid a tab for drinks.  They had an album of pictures out and did a sheet cake before which they just said a few words - simple and inexpensive.  We started out with the same idea, but just kept adding more - oh well....

 

I am a bit jealous of the ladies that are having a full reception at home because I would love to wear my dress again.  But I know a big dress with a train (even bustled) would be a disaster at the kind of event we are planning.

 

 

 

 

 

 I am thinking that the reason my mom and FMIL want such a big say is because we are both the babies of the family and this is their last chance to plan a wedding. Somehow they forgot that it is my wedding to plan! LOL

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Thank you girls for sharing all of your AHR plans.  They all sound so exciting!!!

I am going to try and lock in my AHR venue in the next few months.  My wedding is March 2012 (in Mexico) and I would like to have my AHR at the beginning of April 2012.  How far in advance did all of you lock in your venues?

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