Let’s be honest. Not everyone that loves you will want to sit in a church and watch you exchange vows, and some of your church-going guests might not be interested in attending a reception with an open bar. I think it is completely acceptable to acknowledge this on your RSVP cards. Along with asking what meal option your guest might prefer, give them the option of letting you know they will only be attending one aspect of your special day, or are more than happy to celebrate with you for the entire day.
I recommend compiling a guest list well before you start looking at venues and vendors for your wedding day. This allows you to properly budget for food, table arrangements, and will give you a better idea of what type of reception you might want to have on your special day. Once you get an idea of how many guests will be attending the ceremony, you can save money by not over-compensating on things like programs and bubbles. This also allows you to present any gifts or get photographs with those that might not be attending the reception.
Knowing your reception guests and their celebration tendencies is very important to a successful reception, but this shouldn’t hinder how you want to celebrate. Some couples choose to skip the traditional wedding dances because they just don’t dance. In some cases, many of the guests might not be up for dancing, even if the wedding party is ready to live up to its name.
Renting a large hall with a dance floor you don’t intend to use to the fullest extent is a waste of money. If you can get a great deal on a big place, then by all means, take it! However, if that huge dance floor isn’t going to be filled to capacity, you should consider other options to fill that space.
Photo booths (like the one offered by Adriane Dean Photography), caricature artists, belly dancers, and any other possible form of live entertainment are a great investment for a fun reception with guests who might not utilize the dance floor. I once worked in a venue large enough to host Cirque du Soleil, and the only people that danced out of the 100+ guests were the four members of the wedding party and the bride and groom. For the amount of money spent on the reception hall alone, they could have scaled down the size of the venue and invested in another form of entertainment for their guests while the wedding party enjoyed themselves. Instead, a wedding that was supposed to last until Midnight ended at 9pm because the guests were bored.
It is your wedding day, and however you choose to plan your wedding is entirely up to you. However, keeping your expenses in check early in the planning process will help make the process a little less stressful. The Wedding Advocates can assist you in analyzing your guest list to ensure that your wedding day is the type of fun you want for you and your guests!