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Looking for alternatives for weddings without a reception? We’ve got you! When you are trying to plan a wedding, you want it to be perfect and unforgettable. But sometimes, for whatever reason, the reception isn’t possible. That doesn’t mean you can’t have a memorable event. There are many ways you can make your big day special. Just keep reading and I’ll prove it to you!

Weddings Without Reception

groom and bride riding a bike after weddings without reception

It is not necessary to plan a reception to enjoy your intimate wedding day with your guests. 

There are so many other ideas to make this special day memorable without going over your budget. 

You can plan a small dinner at your favorite restaurant or arrange backyard parties with little food.  After all, it is your and your partner’s special day, and you should do whatever you want. 

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If you want to save money for the honeymoon instead of a fancy reception, then that is the plan!

How to Make a Wedding With No Reception More Memorable

You don’t need an expensive venue or high-class meals to enjoy your wedding day to the utmost. You can keep some parts from a traditional reception, like first dance as a married couple, cake-cutting, or toasts.

Everyone knows that the best memories come from small things. You can still incorporate traditional wedding details that will stay with you as the best moments for the rest of your life.

Having the first dance as a newly wedded couple is so special for both of you. So there is no reason to skip it just because you are not having a reception.

The same is for toasts for the couple or cutting the wedding cake. Expensive events are not something that people remember. It’s the heartfelt moments that stay with you a long time.

Alternatives for Wedding Receptions

There are so many alternative wedding reception ideas you can come up with. Many couples are finding it more interesting to have something other than a traditional dinner and DJ.

If your guest list is small, then having a gigantic reception is not required at all. And given the current situation with Covid-19, having a micro wedding ceremony with your close ones is the best choice.

You can still enjoy this special day of your life with a low-key reception instead of spending lots of money on a fancy dinner. The options for partying after the wedding ceremony are countless.

You can arrange a small picnic with your wedding guests and family, have a wedding party at a club, or even plan an outdoor movie time with snacks. These are only a few ideas that are already exciting.

#1 Backyard Wedding Reception

simple backyard wedding

If you have a beautiful backyard (or know someone who has one), gather a few of your closest friends and family for a super-casual after-party. 

There are a lot of DIY ideas that can be helpful for a backyard party, and you don’t need much to make it special. A little food, some drinks, music, and maybe a few decorations. 

Your friends and family can help you with the arrangements and DIY projects necessary for the party. It will be another interesting memory to remember as years go by. 

Celebrating your wedding with your closest people will be the most cherished part of this day, no matter the location. You can have so much fun on your wedding day, even if it is in your backyard. 

#2 Restaurant Parties

bride and groom having a restaurant party with friends

If you are looking to cut out your costs, planning a small party at a restaurant can be very reasonable, especially when you don’t have a large guest list.

Having a small dinner at your favorite restaurant will prevent you from spending too much money on expensive venues. You can make it even more romantic and choose the place you had your first date. 

Bars can also be a great relaxed alternative to your wedding without a reception, especially if you choose one that plays live music. 

Many hotels also have great restaurants and bars. If you have family coming in from out of town and you’re already putting them up in one, you may even be able to get some sort of discount on meals and drinks. It doesn’t hurt to ask. 

Instead of having a typical and traditional reception, you will have a completely different experience with your friends and family. 

#3 Outdoor Movie Night

guests having an outdoor movie night after wedding without reception

An entirely original approach to your wedding reception can be a movie night with snacks and drinks. What can be a better combination of food, a classic rom-com, and your close friends?

You will only need to arrange the food, drinks, and projector & screen for the movie. Pizza, popcorn, beer, wine, anything you are comfortable with while watching your favorite movie.

With this option, you will also save some money, but it will give you so many great memories. It can be a great idea to consider if you and your friends are into a fun, quirky, and creative approach to a wedding.

Is it Rude Not to Have a Reception at Your Wedding?

Absolutely not. Plan your wedding however you are comfortable with. No reception does not mean no celebration at all, so you can be as creative with your dinner menu as you want.

Also, having no reception might mean that you are going for a small guest list, which is practically a perfect decision as there will be only your closest friends and family. 

A small party after the wedding ceremony would be very lovely, considering that your guests have also been preparing for this day and they will bring touching wedding gifts too. 

Just let your guests know about your meal arrangement ahead of time, so when they come to your wedding, they know what to expect. If you are having only a wedding cake and champagne for celebration, go for it, it’s perfect!

Final Thoughts

If you want to cut the costs of your big day, no reception is a good choice. The idea of having a great time is not behind the lavish dinner and expensive venues. 

You are going to remember your day throughout your entire marriage, even if you forgo tradition. 

So be creative, and get the most of this special day with your partner even without reception.

a bride and groom holding a big heart

What do you think of weddings without reception? Do you have other alternatives? Share with us below!

Lusine Masuryan
Lusine Masuryan

Hi there, I am Lusine! A young enthusiast who loves to write about beauty, pets, food, and so many other things. When I am not writing, I am most presumably hanging out with my dog Benji or watching Netflix. I am also into cooking and yoga. Probably the best two things to do when I need some self-time.

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