The anti-reception experiment.
I woke up the morning of my wedding a little early. I was way too excited to sleep and could not even wait for the day to be over, so I could finally be married to the girl of my dreams. Everything was planned. There was no more planning to do, just seeing it all work out. The plan for the day was as follows: get married, take pictures, go to the luncheon/open house, then leave for the honeymoon. No reception. I know this sounds crazy to some people, but my wife and I had heard horror stories of people who had to get up early to get married, had pictures after that, then a luncheon, then a short break, then stood in a line at a reception for hours on end, and didn’t leave for their honeymoon until late that night. This idea of a wedding day made us exhausted just thinking about it. We wanted our wedding day to be a day we looked back on and could remember enjoying. Not one that we remembered as being torturously long. We didn’t want to think about how tired we were standing in a line at the reception or how tired we were when we finally got to the hotel that night. So, we opted out of the day-of reception and it was the best wedding decision we made!
When we told our parents that we were going to make the luncheon double as an open house they thought that it was a bad idea. Everybody has a reception the night of their wedding. But, we stuck with our decision and told them this is what we wanted. I am from St. George, my wife is from northern California, and we were getting married in American Fork. Many of our family members who live in northern Utah wouldn’t have been able to make it to a reception in either of our home cities. So, we decided to make it as easy on everyone as we could. We had a luncheon after the wedding that was open to anyone and everyone that lived close by. We did have a reception in both of our home towns, but we did them the week and the month after.
This was one of our best decisions because we avoided a huge wedding day stressor! We were able to be on the road to our honeymoon by 4pm. Most people still have hours ahead of them at that point on their wedding day. We were truly able to enjoy our wedding day and now we look back on it with fond memories. The one downside to not having your big reception the day of the wedding is possibly a smaller turnout. People want to see you while it’s still magical and they may be less likely to come after you’ve been married a week or a month. But, the important people will still make it work. It was a very relaxed day that we got to spend mostly with close friends and family. If you are thinking about doing a reception on a day other than your wedding day, then you have my support 100%. Your wedding day should be a day that you enjoy, not one that is so long you suffer through it.
Good luck planning your wedding
Comment below about your wedding day experiences!
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Zak and Janelle are newlyweds living in the Provo, Utah area. They decided to do something to make a difference, helping engaged couples spend less on their big day.