Destination Wedding, but Reception at Home.

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Coleks33 Posts : 8 Registered: 4/14/10
Destination Wedding, but Reception at Home.
Posted: Jun 25, 2010 2:04 PM

My fiance and I would love to have a destination wedding in NC with 23 of our closest family members and friends. We would still like to have a reception at home for our whole family and friends. The problem we are having is how do we host this reception? Do we make it more of a party/celebration type event or do we do everything like we would normally do if we had the ceremony right beforehand? I know that we can really do whatever we want because it's our day, but just wondering what your thoughts might be. I'm trying to put myself in my guests shoes, and I am thinking the "normal" reception with the cake, dj, dinner, drinks, wedding gown, and tux is the way to go, but not positive. Thanks everyone!

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dogbride Posts : 41 Registered: 4/22/10
Re: Destination Wedding, but Reception at Home.
Posted: Jun 25, 2010 2:27 PM Go to message in response to: Coleks33

Last year, my friend got married and had the wedding on the beach with close family and friends. When they returrned from the honeymoon, her parents thru a Luau (with the pig and everything). It was more of a casual event-sundresses and shorts-she did not wear her wedding dress. Theyhad a DJ and did a first dance/cut the cake. But, it was mostly just a big BBQ with the people who didnt come to the ceremony. Good times. I guess it just depends on the style you are looking for.

Good luck!

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Destination Wedding, but Reception at Home.
Posted: Jun 25, 2010 7:37 PM Go to message in response to: Coleks33

Dear Coleks,

"and I am thinking the "normal" reception with the cake, dj, dinner, drinks, wedding gown, and tux is the way to go, but not positive"

I would do everything except the ceremonial white wedding gown and the men's formal wear.

Stop and think. If you have a dressed-up party, these days, most men will show up in suits and ties, most women will show up in nice party dresses.

When you have your delayed reception, you will by then be an "old" married couple. I suggest you plan on wearing regular party clothes (suit and tie / nice party dress), but also have the cake, dinner, dj, etc.

The ceremonial white wedding dress and tux for the man is really reserved for the actual wedding and/or a party that takes place the same day or the following day. By the time you return from a destination wedding and possibly the honeymoon, you are no longer a "blushing bride".

(There are exceptions, such as a couple who went to Grandma's nursing home a couple of weeks after the ceremony so Grandma could see them all dressed up in their wedding clothes.)

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2dBride Posts : 158 Registered: 3/16/09
Re: Destination Wedding, but Reception at Home.
Posted: Jul 7, 2010 3:07 AM Go to message in response to: Coleks33

I usually agree with auntofthebride, but I will differ a bit with her on this one. I believe you are permitted though not required to wear your dress/tux to the at-home reception. We wore our dresses there, because our "destination" wedding was involuntary. (At the time, none of the local jurisdictions had same-sex marriage.) We therefore showed a video of the ceremony, gave out programs, wore our dresses, used our chuppah (Jewish wedding canopy) to frame the cake table, and displayed our ketubah (Jewish wedding contract) at the reception. Our intent was to include our guests as much as possible in the ceremony, given that dragging them all to Massachusetts for a Tuesday ceremony was not practical. No one shrieked in horror at our wearing our wedding dresses after our wedding day. And on a practical level, they covered up some of our inexpert footwork during our first dance. ;-)

Edit: On further thought, maybe I'm not actually disagreeing with auntofthebride. Our situation may be like that of the couple getting dressed in their wedding clothes to visit Grandma in the nursing home.


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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Destination Wedding, but Reception at Home.
Posted: Jul 7, 2010 4:36 PM Go to message in response to: 2dBride

Dear 2nd,

"We wore our dresses there, because our "destination" wedding was involuntary. (At the time, none of the local jurisdictions had same-sex marriage.) "

Your situation was entirely different, and I do sympathize.

If your state had laws on the books ensuring full civil rights for everyone, then you would have had a genuine wedding ceremony, in your home city, with dresses, and all your friends there to witness. You do not have that options, sadly.

When a heterosexual couple actually has that option, and chooses a DW, they should wear regular party clothes to the back-home reception.

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BrideJamie2011 Posts : 1 Registered: 8/11/10
Re: Destination Wedding, but Reception at Home.
Posted: Aug 11, 2010 10:28 PM Go to message in response to: Coleks33

This is such a coincodence, I'm also from Ohio and were also considering NC for our August 2011 wedding and I'm running into the same problem you are...what to do about the reception!?!? I guess I'm just confused on how to do it, I don't know when we should have the reception and do I wear my wedding dress at the reception, there's soooo many things I'm not sure about! Have you bought your dress yet, b/c thats something I also need to start doing, lol...I don't want to be stressed planning my own wedding, but there is definitley a lot to consider! Hopefully we can exchange thoughts and see where it gets us...good luck to you!

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SarahSarah Posts : 93 Registered: 10/9/09
Re: Destination Wedding, but Reception at Home.
Posted: Aug 20, 2010 2:49 PM Go to message in response to: BrideJamie2011

I don't see why you couldn't wear a white dress and the boys wear tuxes...is that not party attire? But would you wear the destination dress again or buy another one? I would say a less formal white dress would work, one that is short. Or have the boys in suits.

But hey, parties are fun and getting dressed up is fun, so go for it!

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Destination Wedding, but Reception at Home.
Posted: Aug 20, 2010 2:58 PM Go to message in response to: SarahSarah

Dear Sarah,

"I don't see why you couldn't wear a white dress and the boys wear tuxes...is that not party attire?"

Sure, I have no problem with the newlywed wife wearing a white party dress at a delayed reception.

I would object to her wearing a ceremonial wedding gown, though. That's for actual wedding-day brides.

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NJ4Life Posts : 3,358 Registered: 8/10/07
Re: Destination Wedding, but Reception at Home.
Posted: Aug 20, 2010 3:01 PM Go to message in response to: Coleks33

Just a quick question. If you are already having 23 close friends and family members, why even bother with another party at all? I could see if it was like your 2 friends and you 2 and that was it...but you seem to already be having a good amount of people there to start with.

But you can do what you want. Maybe you can get a more informal white dress and he can wear a nice outfit and have a BBQ or some type of get together.

But another question. These 23 people are traveling to your wedding, right? So this isn't just a one day/afternoon ceremony? Are you have a little reception after that? Are these 23 people invited to the OTHER reception too?

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abbowie8629 Posts : 4 Registered: 11/29/09
Re: Destination Wedding, but Reception at Home.
Posted: Aug 28, 2010 11:06 PM Go to message in response to: Coleks33

We are doing the same thing - from SC and getting married in FL. I am wearing my wedding dress to both, because I figured if I spent the money on it - I want to show it off. :) I have told a bunch of people about this, and everyone thinks it is great idea. We are having the full-blown reception. We are treating it like we just left the ceremony to come there. The guys are wearing suits, not tuxes, in the ceremony, and are wearing them again for the reception. The girls are wearing their dresses, also. We will be having digital photo frames going on the guest book table to show pics of the ceremony. We are doing the dj, cake, traditional dances, etc. I really wanted to do our wedding on my friend's boat in Fl, but also have the big reception in SC with EVERYONE. This way, I can do both! And all I can say is this is your thing, so do it how you want.

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frantan Posts : 1 Registered: 5/26/11
Re: Destination Wedding, but Reception at Home.
Posted: May 26, 2011 2:05 AM Go to message in response to: abbowie8629

I'm also having a destination wedding with a delayed reception and don't get why you cant wear your wedding gown to both. For me, I really wanna get married on our anniversary, which falls in February, but can't dedicate the time I need to throw a reception while I'm in school. So a quick marriage getaway is perfect to us but we want all our friends and family to see us all dolled up and announce our new marriage. I also agree that I paid for this dress for a wedding and a reception. Just because they are not on the same day really shouldn't make a difference. We've also decided to take all of our pics the day of our reception so I'd have to wear the dress that day anyway. We are also going to have a nice wall of photos from the ceremony at the cocktail hour so guests can get the feel of seeing us getting married, as if it happened only earlier that day. But seriously, who are you worried about impressing? It's your wedding, reception, money and dream. Do what you wanna do and anyone that doesn't feel comfortable with it can send their regrets. But if they love you and support you, all the important people in your life won't care. Party on! (we all know the reception is the best part anyway) ;)

Edited by: frantan on May 26, 2011 2:05 AM

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DeniseRose Posts : 40 Registered: 5/10/11
Re: Destination Wedding, but Reception at Home.
Posted: May 26, 2011 2:39 AM Go to message in response to: frantan

I went to a post destination wedding reception and the bride did not wear her wedding gown. I was surprised and disapointed. I was looking forward to seeing her in her dress.

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Aunt Posts : 794 Registered: 12/31/10
Re: Destination Wedding, but Reception at Home.
Posted: May 26, 2011 12:00 PM Go to message in response to: frantan

Dear Fran,

"For me, I really wanna get married on our anniversary, which falls in February, but can't dedicate the time I need to throw a reception while I'm in school. "

Life is full of compromises.

I suggest you ditch the February anniversary idea and, instead, plan a wedding when most convenient. Then, invite your friends and family to witness your real wedding vows at your real wedding.

If you do that, you'll have TWO anniversaries to celebrate.

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RomanticBride2012 Posts : 7 Registered: 9/27/07
Re: Destination Wedding, but Reception at Home.
Posted: May 29, 2011 3:58 PM Go to message in response to: Aunt

We are getting married in Aruba with only the maid of honor and best man. When we get home after the honeymoon, we will have a dinner reception at a restaurant with our closest family and friends. Just about 50 people. I am sooooo wearing my dress again! lol I love it!

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