Wedding Dinners

Are you trying to keep your wedding small, but not sure how? We have seen a new trend popping up with a few of our brides – the wedding dinner. The idea is that you create a small, intimate, and classy dinner of around 150 guests. Inviting only your family and closest friends. Here are some of the advantages:


  1. You save on the venue! By choosing a wedding dinner, your numbers will not be as large as a reception, opening up many more venue options that can house smaller numbers. This translates into a cost reduction. Especially if you describe it as a wedding dinner, the venue will usually only charge you what they do for a wedding luncheon or brunch. This could potentially save you thousands, like it did our bride Abigail!
  2. You save on decorations! When you have smaller venue, it is much easier to decorate. You will have less table center pieces, which means you will have less flowers, which are one of the most expensive parts of a wedding.
  3. Much more intimate! We have heard horror stories from our brides of standing in a receiving line for almost the entirety of their reception. With a wedding dinner, you will absolutely know everyone there. And they will be people who truly love you, and hold an integral place in your life.
  4. Save money without a grooms dinner! Not having your grooms dinner, or luncheon, you can take the money you would have spent, and put it towards your reception. This is another $1000 or so.
  5. You save your guests so much time! Abigail said that she had an overwhelmingly positive response from her guests by doing a dinner. They were able to do the ceremony later in the day, and only have an hour or so in between before the wedding dinner. The whole event really ended up being about 4 hours for the guests. A huge comparison from the traditionally all day event.

If you do decide to have a wedding dinner, here are our tips to making it all work  –

  1. With such a small guest list and such limited seating, having a seating chart and place cards can really make a difference. If you have 100 guests and 100 chairs, space is tight. Seating charts help avoid the problem of having random empty chairs throughout your tables.
  2. RSVP’s are SO IMPORTANT. Stress this to your guests. Because if someone can’t come, then you can sneak in someone else.
  3. Let your bridal shower guests know that there will not be a traditional reception. Many people say, “I didn’t know you weren’t having a reception, or else I would have come to the bridal shower!” Put it on your bridal shower invitation in small lettering.
  4. Send out wedding announcements – not wedding invitations. People still want to see you in your dress and the man you marry. Send out wedding announcements the week after your wedding to let people know.
  5. People will ask when your wedding is, and anticipate an invitation. Kindly let them know you are not having a traditional wedding reception, but that you will be keeping things very small. Almost everyone will be so impressed with the idea, and won’t mind at all!

Below are a few pictures from Abbie’s wedding dinner. Perfect example to show that your wedding dinner can be the wedding of your dreams!

IMG_0588-2 IMG_0531-2 IMG_0566-2 IMG_0573-2

Photography via Ashlee Anne Photography

See more of Abigail’s wedding here.


1 Comment

  1. Carrie

    So glad my daughter chose a wedding dinner over a reception. So much more intimate. We got rave reviews from all our guests and the Bride and Groom were able to really enjoy the event.


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