We are planning an AHR 3 weeks after we return from Mexico. Our location is a private events room at a newer Mexican restaurant to the area. It has an old world Mexican feel to the room with lots of window and a beautiful chandelier. We chose this place because of the cool atmosphere, easy ample heated parking next to the restaurant and the minimum food & beverage is $2,500 (which includes the free room reservation, 3-4 servers for our event & no extra fees) compared to $6,000 + fees at all the other places we looked at. We are hoping to keep the cost at $5,000 - so far we are on track!
The plan is for eveyone to arrive at 6:30pm (adults-only). Everyone will be welcomed at the door with a drink from the 3-4 servers that will be providing tapas & drinks butler style. We are hosting wine, beer, sangaria's and margaritas (with a cap at $1,500-$1,800 or so, then turning to cash bar) At 7:00 we will have a celebratory toast and do a slideshow of wedding photos for about 5 minutes.
After the slideshow on a huge projector screen the projector screen will go up and we will have hundreds of wedding photos playing on a flat screen TV to on the side wall for the rest of the evening. Also after the Celebratory toast we will have a taco bar open to everyone as well as additional passed tapas & drinks.
We found center pieces at TJMaxx/Homegoods and are having a friend's company do red up-lighting and a gobo with our names and wedding date. Those were our two splurges. We plan to have tres leches cake from a local bakery. To keep the cost down we are buying a bunch of regular sized cakes and then having the pieces butler passed around 8:00 that evening (rather than buying a special wedding cake which can get expensive). One round cake with our cake topper from the Mexico celebration and an elaborate cake stand will be displayed at a table with flowers & candles and a little sign that says "Cake will be enjoyed at 8:00" - or something like that so people will know that dessert is coming later in the evening I plan to have a little table with "to-go" cake available after the inital serving of the cake, if there are left overs.
I'm also thinking of having little programs welcoming everyone that tells an approximate timeline of events for the evening - just so people know what to expect. In general people are kind of used to a full sit-down reception with chicken and mashed potatoes, so I don't want people to think they will not be fed when they walk into our cocktail-style reception with no place settings.
Everything is pretty much figured out. Now all we have to do is wait for the RSVP's to come in so we know how to set up the tables.
Oh, we sent save the date magnets 4 months before the reception. The magnets came in a holder that announces that we will be married in Mexico and are excited to celebrate with them at our Mexican Fiesta, it also has our wedding website and asks people to visit the website to RSVP. The holder also said that we will send an RSVP email reminder 1 month before the reception. We do not plan to send out additional invitations - we would if it was more formal, but it's a Cocktail Fiesta, so I'm okay with just an email reminder to RSVP. - plus we only invited our close family and friends, so they do not mind the "informal" RSVP reminder and they all LOVE the magnet. - actully lots of people have already RSVP's "Yes".
We are SO excited to throw a party celebrating our wedding! Sometimes I forget that we GET to go to Mexico & get married before the AHR!
Hope that helps anyone who is thinking of a cocktail style Mexican Fiesta.