WHy not just have a dinner with your immediate families after the ceremony
That's what we did - celebration dinner with family. We also had a high tea reception which was very short but without the typical speeches, dances, etc for the guests to have a bite to eat and a drink. I dont see why you cant just have a waiter serve some sort of canapes/coctail style/just nibblies anything realy. we were at first not going to have a reception at all and just have the cake cutting out in the garden with some drinks served for the toast. But we ended up thinking about it more and decided to have the high tea as we had ppl travelling to be there and thought it would be rude to not serve them some sort of food and have them sit down and relax after the ceremony. We were also working on a budget so I know what you are trying to achieve. All the best with it, but just remember, do what makes you and fh happy! dont worry about what others might think.
I noticed that you are from the GC, we found a nice venue at southport (courthouse hotel) it has a very nice/modern look.
It only costs $22 per person for a cocktail menu so we are going to do that. That way it will only cost us between $2000 & $2500 for food. We may supply just toasting champagne on the tab and leave it at that.
I think we will continue with our reception there are just have it informal without traditions, that way we are still doing something and we don't have to pay for cake, wedding decorators, bar tab etc.