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2013 At Home Receptions (AHR's)


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#1 EVKnowsitall

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    Posted 15 October 2012 - 06:47 PM

    Hello Forum Friends,

     

    I know there are some At Home Reception (AHR) threads out there but I didn't spot anything recent. I wanted to know what 2013 brides were doing for their AHR's and use this space to ask questions about proper AHR etiquette and share pics and ideas.

     

    I always wanted an AHR but my fiance fought me tooth and nail, saying the point of a destination wedding was to save money. He rationalized- if we can afford an AHR why not just have that be our wedding?

     

    My reasoning was that I would compromise heavily for an AHR knowing it wasn't truly my wedding. I'd accept a brunch option, a smaller or non-traditional venue (like a restaurant), a smaller guest count, less decor- things I would not be willing to compromise for a full wedding. When we were planning our Stateside wedding- we locked a contract with a DJ and paid a $1500 non-refundable deposit. So I have a DJ I paid half for- and no use for him- why not make him work?

     

    So here are my questions:

     

    1) Is it tacky to just have a wine and beer option (which is significantly cheaper) as opposed to an open bar?

     

    2) What do ladies think about holding an AHR on a non-traditional day (Sunday as opposed to Saturday)

     

    3) Do you think guests expect the same thing at an AHR that they expect at a full blown wedding reception? How do you clarify to people that it is not the same as a full blown wedding- but maybe close to it in terms of dress etc.?

     

    4) Are any 2013 brides planning to have an AHR that includes a ceremony? Which would really mean you're having two weddings (if you want to get technical)... I think that's pushing it but many venues include the ceremony space free of charge on-site. Would you use it if it were included?

     

    I might win this AHR argument with the fiance because my MOH and mother were splitting the cost of the venue for my bridal shower. I don't want a bridal shower. I suggested an AHR would be a better use of funds- especially because they would cost about the same. All the venues they were considering for my bridal showers are places I would host an AHR. And of course I wouldn't let them pay for it alone!

     

    Some of my close friends say to forego an AHR and go for broke in DR instead (think hire fire-dancers, a cake upgrade, a welcome reception or extra extravagances to make the wedding more memorable)

     

    Sorry for the long post! I am genuinely curious to hear other brides' thoughts, feedback and ideas. So ladies...

     

    To AHR or not?- that is the question.


    Happily married to the love of my life- since July 5, 2013

    #2 Houstonnlh

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      Posted 16 October 2012 - 07:54 AM

      Hi EV! I am a 2013 bride who does NOT want to have an AHR. However, my Mom actually really wants to have one. So, to compromise, I am letting her plan this one :) The reason I don't want one is like you said, I want to just go all out for the wedding and not have to plan anything after that.

       

      My issue is this: I would like to have AHR where I can invite coworkers and people that I'm not inviting to the wedding so we can all celebrate together, but apparently that is not Kosher. I think if you invite them to the wedding, you invite them to the AHR, and if you don't invite them to the wedding, you aren't supposed to invite them to the AHR? See? So confusing and alot of hassle in my opinion :)

       

      So, to answer some of your questions... we are probably going to have it on a Sunday (cheaper) and do beer and wine and "brunch/lunch". We won't do a ceremony and I'm not wearing the dress. It will be more of a celebration/party than a wedding. We may try to do a slideshow/guestbook and cake or something like that. Interested to hear what everyone else is doing!



      #3 EVKnowsitall

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        Posted 16 October 2012 - 10:57 AM

        Originally Posted by Houstonnlh 

        Hi EV! I am a 2013 bride who does NOT want to have an AHR. However, my Mom actually really wants to have one. So, to compromise, I am letting her plan this one :) The reason I don't want one is like you said, I want to just go all out for the wedding and not have to plan anything after that.

         

        My issue is this: I would like to have AHR where I can invite coworkers and people that I'm not inviting to the wedding so we can all celebrate together, but apparently that is not Kosher. I think if you invite them to the wedding, you invite them to the AHR, and if you don't invite them to the wedding, you aren't supposed to invite them to the AHR? See? So confusing and alot of hassle in my opinion :)

         

        So, to answer some of your questions... we are probably going to have it on a Sunday (cheaper) and do beer and wine and "brunch/lunch". We won't do a ceremony and I'm not wearing the dress. It will be more of a celebration/party than a wedding. We may try to do a slideshow/guestbook and cake or something like that. Interested to hear what everyone else is doing!

         

        I really want an AHR and so does my mother. My fiance and his mother don't want one. But my fiance is more concerned with budget and feels if I can cut corners and find the money elsewhere- he is open to the idea. I want to wear my dress again- why not it cost way too much haha. But I doubt I'll do a second ceremony. That seems silly but I was curious to see if other brides do it. In some multicultural weddings they have more than one wedding. My Muslim Yugoslavian friends just married her Muslim Bangladeshi husband and their wedding took place over the course of 4 days. She had her Yugoslavian party one day, his bangladeshi party another day, their muslim religious ceremony, and then a reception where she wore a white wedding dress. 

         

        I definitely can't afford that and we are the same religion and he's Dominican and I'm Puerto Rican so not much variance there. But I wanted to celebrate with some coworkers and family who can't make it to our DW in DR.


        Happily married to the love of my life- since July 5, 2013

        #4 Kay6356

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        Posted 17 October 2012 - 09:43 AM

        Hey! We are having at AHR mainly because my FI grandparents can't make it the destination and other family members. A few tips for you are: 1: look into community centres such as arenas, leisure centres, ect. - they usually have a nice sized 'banquet type room' you can rent that has a bar setup and a kitchen to use. We found one for around $100/hour any day of the week. Going this root allows you to do whatever you would like for the bar, food and decore. 2: hire a bar tender at $100/night (around 7 hours) they will also get tips! Stock your own bar with whatever you feel fits you. We budgeted our bar at $1,000 3: for food you can do a simple BBQ which would be cheapest root or find an affordable caterer online is the best place to search. Ask golf course F&B managers if they would be interested in a side job or if you know of anyone that works in this field. 4: as for decore keep it to a min. We are just doing centre pieces, table cloths and chair covers. And you already have your dj all setup :) hope some of this helps! Best of luck xo Kay

        #5 AshleyRORbride

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          Posted 25 October 2012 - 09:03 AM

          Hey 2013 Brides!

           

          My FI and I are having an AHR in my parents back yard.  We rented a tent and are going all out.  We have 200+ people on our guest list and are getting the event catered.  My parents want to help pay so they are looking after this part. 

           

          As for the bar, TOONIE bar all the way!  This way we can offer top shelf booze to everyone. 

           

          We are having a traditional wedding reception with lots of food, dancing and booze.  I am def wearing my dress again. I LOVE it too much not too.

           

          My uncle is going to play traditional Jamacian music during the pre drinks and dinner. (Wedding present) Then his full band is playing for the dancing part.

           

          I am doing A LOT of diy for the reception.  I got all of the centrepieces (already) for $300! I picked up vases at yard sales all summer and made flower balls in our colours (orange). I also made the bridesmaids bouquets for under $20. (Paper flowers)

           

          Good luck to everyone! Happy Planning.



          #6 EVKnowsitall

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            Posted 25 October 2012 - 09:48 AM

            Originally Posted by AshleyRORbride 

            Hey 2013 Brides!

             

            My FI and I are having an AHR in my parents back yard.  We rented a tent and are going all out.  We have 200+ people on our guest list and are getting the event catered.  My parents want to help pay so they are looking after this part. 

             

            As for the bar, TOONIE bar all the way!  This way we can offer top shelf booze to everyone. 

             

            We are having a traditional wedding reception with lots of food, dancing and booze.  I am def wearing my dress again. I LOVE it too much not too.

             

            My uncle is going to play traditional Jamacian music during the pre drinks and dinner. (Wedding present) Then his full band is playing for the dancing part.

             

            I am doing A LOT of diy for the reception.  I got all of the centrepieces (already) for $300! I picked up vases at yard sales all summer and made flower balls in our colours (orange). I also made the bridesmaids bouquets for under $20. (Paper flowers)

             

            Good luck to everyone! Happy Planning.

             

            Sounds awesome! Wish we had a yard to host. I went to a friends wedding in a backyard. She wanted to do a destination wedding but everyone told her she was being selfish. She ended up just going to Jamaica for her honeymoon and having the wedding in a family friend's yard. Her sister in laws mother owns a Colombian restaurant so she had the food catered from there and her husband is Jamaican so it was a wonderful mix of latin food and Jamaican. She bought alcohol, they played music from an ipod, rented tables, chairs and linens and a friend made a cupcake tower. I loved it. Intimate, fun, delicious food. They are so much fun! Enjoy yours!


            Happily married to the love of my life- since July 5, 2013

            #7 Mufin1785

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              Posted 25 October 2012 - 11:04 AM

              We are having an At Home Reception, it will be a brunch noon 3o'clock when we return from the Dominican Republic, below are my answers and thought on your dilemma

               

              1) Is it tacky to just have a wine and beer option (which is significantly cheaper) as opposed to an open bar? No it is not Tacky, I am having beer, wine and champagne only.  We are actually using the Bridal shower package the venue has for the AHR saves a ton of money :)

               

              2) What do ladies think about holding an AHR on a non-traditional day (Sunday as opposed to Saturday) there are no rules for the day and time our AHR is on a Saturday but during the day

               

              3) Do you think guests expect the same thing at an AHR that they expect at a full blown wedding reception? How do you clarify to people that it is not the same as a full blown wedding- but maybe close to it in terms of dress etc.? Our invitations did not say At home Wedding reception it said Champagne Brunch to Welcome Home the Newlyweds I think this sets the tone that it will not be a typical reception.  I am wearing my dress! :)  We will have wedding cake and a photographer.  Ipod DJ.  We will first dance and father daughter dance. 

               

              4) Are any 2013 brides planning to have an AHR that includes a ceremony?  No having a ceremony at the AHR I didn't want to take away from the significance  our our destination wedding  Which would really mean you're having two weddings (if you want to get technical)... I think that's pushing it but many venues include the ceremony space free of charge on-site. Would you use it if it were included? We are showing a video of our ceremony at the AHR.

               

                3 months before our destination wedding we are sending out wedding invitations (no travel information included)  with AHR inserts so, so everyone invited to AHR is also invited to the wedding, so we do not offend anyone.  The Save the Dates with travel information went out only to people we truly wanted at the wedding.   

               

              DW and AHR have no rules you get to be creative!!  Do whatever makes you happy.



              #8 Peach

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                Posted 25 October 2012 - 06:48 PM

                We are having an AHR. Some of my family is for it, but my mom is actually against it. I am doing it for my grandma though, who I am very close with. FI and I will both be the first grandkids to get married on all sides, and so there was a lot of drama about the DW in general; I wanted to do it for my relatives, but really I would do the whole thing just to have my grandma be included in some way. 

                 

                I am wearing my dress; it is simple and pretty beachy, so that will not be a problem. I would have loved to do it at my parents' farm, but that was not an option, so I am renting my hometown's community centre (the only option there... small town!). I will probably hire the Elks or something like that for bar staff. Decor is minimal and all DIY. Centrepieces are glass jars my FMIL and I have been collecting, with paper in our colours and raffia wrapped around, and I will have candles and bunches of an inexpensive flower with them (like white carnations or baby's breath). Everything is DIY except I am looking for a few catered dishes, buffet style. Something basic anyway. I will be having a dessert table, and I am making all the desserts from family recipes (as well as cake stands for the dishes). We are going to have an iPod dock hooked up, and my brother, who is in a band, has offered to play as well for free (not a big fan of bands, but hey, it's free and it's my brother). We will probably have about 150 guests I think. 

                 

                As for the bar, like I said, I will stock the bar and hire bartenders. We were only going to have beer and wine, which is a very economical option I think. But since we can stock it with whatever, we will. We are actually thinking about bringing a keg in from the brewery in FI's hometown. And we will be having a toonie bar, which is actually pretty normal around here. I think I have only ever been to one completely open bar wedding.

                 

                We will play the wedding video and have a slideshow playing. We will have tables and sort of a seating arrangement (assigned to tables, not specific seats). That is just to help with numbers. 

                 

                I WILL be inviting everyone I would invite if I were getting married locally, even if they are not invited to the DW. I am not doing the AHR in the city in which we currently live, so I doubt my coworkers would come, though I will likely invite them (we all get along pretty well!). Most of the AHR attendees will be from my hometown, and I did not invite a single person from there... cousins or anyone... other than immediate family, at their request. So I will be inviting everyone who was invited to the DW as well as anyone else I want to. 

                 

                I will not be doing a ceremony at the same time. I personally do not like that idea, but to each his (or her) own.

                 

                I think you can hold it on whatever day you want! Honestly if it was near home, I would hold it on a Friday or something, but we also need travel time to get there and back. I do not work during the summer, when it is, but FI does and so travel time necessitates it be Saturday.

                 

                I do not know what people are going to expect. No one my family knows closely has done a DW and AHR... they know OF people who have, but have never experienced one, so I am pretty sure they have no idea what to expect. I think it is important to try to get the mood of the event out by the style of invitations and information available... spread the word, and people will usually get the hint. 

                 

                Sorry for the long post! Hope that helps!

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                #9 MissBubbles205

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                  Posted 29 October 2012 - 07:38 AM

                  YAY.. I can finally post again!!!  Now if only I could respond to my huge pile of PM's. :o(

                  Okay... So here's my take on things..

                   

                  I def want an at home reception. I know many of our family and friends wont be able to attend our destination wedding so I think it's a perfect excuse to get our two families together and all of our friends together to meet each other and have fun. And of course celebrate us as newlyweds. :o)

                   

                  I love the Champagne and Brunch idea to welcome the Newlyweds. LOVE!  As far as days to hold the event, I would have preferred a Friday night to lower costs but my family lives in AL, Fiance's in GA and the reception is to be held in GA. So, we have to do a Saturday in order for my family and friends from home to travel. Max of 2 hour trip to my venue options from my home town. and 30 min drive or so for the Ga locals.

                   

                  I am looking into two venues.. Both of which include all the basic set ups and I plan to just add chair sashes that I will also be using at our DW for a splash of color. The catering prices vary, but also offer their own caterer and no outside caterers are allowed. I was thinking of heavy hor'dourves but some prices I've seen it's actually cheaper to go with a plated dinner. One of my venues offers a plated grilled chicken and veggies for $15pp. And we plan to do a wine and beer if possible because it is soo much cheaper than a full bar. Many of our guests don't drink and I don't want anyone to get sloppy and who doesn't like wine? One of my venues even offers an bar that once you reach your set budget of say $500 of drinks they then turn it into a cash bar. (Maybe this could be an option for you also.)

                   

                  We plan to have pictures from the wedding out and maybe even a slideshow and our wedding video possibly. With of course me wearing my dress, dancing, and wedding cake.



                  #10 ChocoTaco7568

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                    Posted 29 October 2012 - 09:06 AM

                    We initially weren’t going to have an AHR for the same reasons why we chose to have a destination wedding – those that we care most about live in a different state than we do. But my Fi has a large family back home in Montana, and we are going back for his 20-year high school reunion, so his mom suggested having something during this time (2 months post destination wedding). I personally didn’t care, and quite frankly plan on expending my energy into planning the wedding, that I don’t really want to plan and AHR. But this is where his mom steps in.  She’s taking complete ownership of the AHR, and I’m totally okay with it since, his parents will be paying for it. We renting out an area in a park at 2:00pm and having a catered BBQ (keeping it simple and easy) But to answer comes of your specific questions, see my notes below

                     

                    Is it tacky to just have a wine and beer option (which is significantly cheaper) as opposed to an open bar? 

                    We are not serving any alcohol during our AHR.  Unfortunately many member of my Fi’s family have been through AA and considering the number of under age children that will be in attendance, we decided that alcohol wasn’t necessary. We actually thought it would be tacky of us to have it around.

                     

                    2) What do ladies think about holding an AHR on a non-traditional day (Sunday as opposed to Saturday)

                    I don’t think it matters, what day you have it on.  I would just consider your guests schedules i.e. if many of your friends and family regulary attend church, then Sunday may not be the best option.

                     

                    3) Do you think guests expect the same thing at an AHR that they expect at a full blown wedding reception? How do you clarify to people that it is not the same as a full blown wedding- but maybe close to it in terms of dress etc.?

                     No, I think the idea of a destination wedding is still new to many people, and therefore the AHR is not standard practice that many have been involved in.  I think for those invited there are more questions as to what it will be than a standard of expectation. So I think you’re free to plan and AHR that you’re comfortable with and will make you and you Fi happy.

                     

                    4) Are any 2013 brides planning to have an AHR that includes a ceremony? Which would really mean you're having two weddings (if you want to get technical)... I think that's pushing it but many venues include the ceremony space free of charge on-site. Would you use it if it were included?

                    No ceremony for us, we don’t see the point.  We will do a wedding slideshow and I will have another guestbook alternate for my AHR guest. Most of the AHR guest aren’t invited to the DW.  The other reason for the DW wedding was to keep cost down and have it be an intimate occasion. Our DW guestlist consist of our parents, siblings, nieces/nephews and best friends, that’s it (+/- 25 people).  The AHR is open to the DW guestlist and everyone else that you would typically invite to a wedding – aunts, uncles, cousins co-workers etc. 






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