Is wedding reception important?

I live in Melbourne, Australia and my husband got a job in Austin, Texas last year. We had a court marriage this July in Austin. He is coming back home during Christmas for a month. I am so conflicted about whether I should plan a small wedding reception for all the friends and family here? I want some pictures to show our future kids but also don't want to spend too much. I was also thinking of hiring wedding dresses and a photographer but then friends and family won't be present in the pictures. I am so confused and if I do decide to have a small wedding reception, I will have to start planning now. Suggestions please.