small wedding budget
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Q: My fiancé and I are on a limited budget. The economy has been rough on both of us as well as our families. We both just want a small ceremony. Then, instead of a traditional big, blow-out reception, we thought about inviting those who came to the ceremony to a local restaurant for a meal. H... read more

Q: My fiancé and I are on a limited budget. The economy has been rough on both of us as well as our families. We both just want a small ceremony. Then, instead of a traditional big, blow-out reception, we thought about inviting those who came to the ceremony to a local restaurant for a meal. Has this been done or would no reception be tacky?

A: Congratulations on your upcoming wedding. You are not obligated to have a reception. However, if you have guests coming from out of town, you should provide at least a little something. Surprisingly, you have a good number of low cost options. They all can be done tastefully provided you pay attention to the details.

A. Cake and champagne reception at the same site as the wedding.
B. Backyard BBQ (which can be catered or not) – works well with an outdoor wedding
C. Private room at a favorite restaurant
D. For a very small wedding (15 or fewer guests) a table in a restaurant
E. A conference room at a local hotel with brunch or a buffet
F. Heavy hors d’oeuvres at your home

Just be sure that no matter where you hold you reception, that you handle the bill.

Jodi R. R. Smith is a nationally known etiquette expert and author. She is the president of Mannersmith Etiquette Consulting. You are invited to email her your etiquette emergencies at Salem@Mannersmith.com

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