The 5 Main Types of Wedding Receptions

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Wedding Reception IdeasOne of the most difficult wedding decisions you will make relates to the kind of reception you will have.  There are quite a few options, all of which have various advantages and disadvantages.  Here’s a rundown of the 5 most common types.

Obviously the most common variety is the dinner reception.  This type of reception typically starts off with a cocktail hour, followed by the dinner (sit down or buffet style), dancing, and the normal activities like the wedding speeches and cutting the wedding cake.  Although this type tends to be the most expensive, it’s usually the most satisfying for your guests because it’s what they expect and it shows that you went “full bore.”

Another option is a brunch reception, which obviously requires that you get married in the morning.  The good thing about this type is that, compared to the more traditional type of reception, it’s relatively inexpensive.  The food tends to be cheaper, and your booze bill will be a fraction of what it would be at a dinner reception.  The downside is that your guests may not appreciate your efforts, especially if they are coming from out of town.

Of course another option is a lunch reception.  This type also requires that you get married in the morning, but compared to a brunch reception it allows you to serve some of the more traditional dinner foods as well.  Although this variety is cheaper than a traditional dinner affair, it won’t really seem like you’re going “all out” from your guests’ perspectives.  Plus the event will be smack in the middle of the day, which some people might not appreciate and will surely lead to a more subdued atmosphere.

The fourth main reception option is a cake and champagne event.  This is where everyone gathers after the ceremony (typically at the same locale) for some cake and the traditional toasts / speeches.  If you opt for this type, be sure to mention on the invitations that no meal will be provided.  The primary benefit of this type is that it’s cheap and quick, but on the downside some guests might be disappointed and you’ll need to forego some of the traditional elements of a formal reception.

The fifth primary option is a cocktail reception.  This type is advantageous because it will really feel like a fun, relaxed party to your guests.  But be careful – you might find that you’ll spend a boatload on booze!

In the final analysis, the choice of which type of wedding reception you will have is yours and yours alone.  If you can afford it and you want a big formal affair that you’ll always remember, go with a traditional dinner reception.  But if your wedding budget is a concern, or if you simply want to “get in and get out,” consider one of the aforementioned non-traditional formats.  Good luck!

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