A Second/Hometown Celebration

posted 3 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
88 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

@Moraz:  I’m planning something similar, though mine is in reverse. We’re getting married in my hometown, and then having another event where I live now. I don’t think its tacky, most people I’ve talked to have been very understanding about how not everyone can fly across the country to come to the wedding, but they still want to celebrate with us.

What we decided to do is have more of an “open-house” type feel to it. So mid-afternoon on a weekend, reserve a room at the church, invite people to stop by, eat goodies, meet my FI (he lives in yet another state), and keep it really low key.

I haven’t figured out the wording yet, but I’m planning on making some simple postcards with something along the lines of “Celebrate with Us!” and leave out any mention of the wedding itself to avoid hard feelings.

I did have a friend who did a mini-reception after her wedding in her husband’s hometown. They had a full sit down dinner, she wore her wedding dress so the family could see it, but the rest of it was less formal than a traditional reception. They had square dancing and just let the family enjoy being together. So that could be a mid-range option as well!

Let me know what you come up with. I’m curious about what other people have to say on this!

Post # 4
42089 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Second receptions, or hometown celebrations are not uncommon as people move around the country and/or have destination weddings. The key  to the wording is to ensure that it is clear that the wedding has already taken place.

Some examples I found:


  • Formal Wording
    Barbara and Michael Swank
    request the pleasure of your company at a celebration
    to honor the recent marriage of
    Elizabeth Justine
    Sean Joseph Mack
    the Tenth of July, 2010
    at six o’clock
    The Harvard Club
    Boston, MA

  • Informal Wording
    Please join us
    to celebrate the recent marriage
    Elizabeth Swank
    Sean Mack
    July 10, 2010
    6 p.m.
    The Harvard Club
    Boston, MA

  • Casual Wording
    On April 15, 2010
    In a sunset ceremony on St. John
    Sean Mack and Elizabeth Swank
    became husband and wife
    Please join them in celebration
    July 10, 2010
    6 p.m.
    The Harvard Club
    Boston, MA

Post # 5
1644 posts
Bumble bee

@Moraz:  Offering people hospitality is a social virtue. It is not “tacky”; it’s generous. I have never been able to understand the insistance of forum posters (on what I call the various “Not Etiquette” boards) that there is something wrong with inviting people to a party. Of course, it is wrong to bore your guests or to hoard the “spotlight” or to honour yourself or to solicit gifts or to charge your ‘guests’ for attending — but those things are rude whether you are having only one reception at the same time as your ceremony, or multiple receptions, or a later at-home reception.

And, while we are at it, let us clear up the meaning of the term “reception”: it means any party at which a hostess “receives” her guests, usually to the exclusion of any other significant entertainment. There are all manner of receptions that are not part of a wedding, both following ceremonial events like art-gallery showings or bar-mitzvahs, and as stand-alone events. Receptions are normally afternoon events, with most evening events being better described as “Dinner” or a “Dinner-dance”. Reception-like evening events where dinner is not served are often called a “Salon”. It used to be traditional for a bride to have an “At Home” reception or salon soon after her return from her honeymoon, to kick-start her entertaining duties as a new wife and newly established “lady of the house”.

So: you may certainly have a second reception. I heartily hope you will have many receptions over the coming years: I enjoy receiving hospitality as much as I enjoy offering hospitality, and the early twenty-first century seems to be suffering from an excess of “cocooning” and a dearth of hospitality. For truly formal receptions, salons, dinners and dinner-dances the invitation should be stated in the third person as “Mr and Mrs Mountain View / request the pleasure of the company of / / to Dinner / on Saturday the thirty-first of April / at eight o’clock“. If you are not serving dinner, you simply leave that line out. If you are having dancing, you write “Dancing” in the lower right corner of the invitation.

For informal receptions, salons, dinners, lunches, brunches and teas the invitation should be stated in natural language, along the lines of “Dear _____ / John and I will be having some people over for lunch on Saturday the thirtieth of February at one o’clock, and hope that you will be able to join us/ love / Moraz


Post # 6
403 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

@Moraz:  We are doing something similar.  My fiance is from Puerto Rico, which is where we will be honeymooning.  Several family members there cannot make it to the wedding, so we are setting aside one day to either take them to dinner, or have a casual get together at his mother or father’s house.  Or a hotel.  We want them to know that we care about them, plus it will give me a chance to get to know some members I have yet to meet!

Post # 7
11379 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2012

having a second reception is quite common for long distance guests who could not attend. 

wording should reflect the “celebration of your marriage” and no indication of a “wedding celebration”.  it is nice to mention the date and place of your wedding almost as an announcement and then lead into the invitation of the celebration.

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