Post # 1
My Fiancé and I have chosen to have an intimate wedding ceremony in Key West Florida next April. We will then be hosting a huge Dessert and Champagne reception when we return to Atlanta. This was to allow us to spend time with close family and friends during our 3 day stay in Key West and then just have a massive party in Atlanta when we get back with all of our friends and extended family. My family is more private than the Future In-Laws and my family doesn’t drink. We figure this is how we mix my two lives together…the country girl relaxed private ceremony and the big city corporate finance goddess huge dessert and champagne reception.
Am I allowed to have bridal showers and an engagement party with all the guest that are invited to the Atlanta reception-even if they aren’t invited to the ceremony?
Proper etiquette has me so confused. We want to do a huge pig roast engagement party and I wanted a bridal shower with the entire guest list that we are inviting them to the reception but not to the ceremony.
We thought we could show a few clips of the ceremony before we are introduced at the reception. I am not having a huge bridal party and the bridal party will not be introduced at the Atlanta Reception.
Is this whole idea tacky?
Post # 3
I struggled with this situation as well (we’re having a Destination Wedding in Florida, too).
Ultimately, we decided against any engagement party or my bridal shower. Our family wanted to throw us each of one, but we didn’t want to have guests come and bring a gift (as customary at these events) and not invite them to the actual wedding. Sure a reception is great, but it’s just not the same as going to the actual wedding.
We are also having an at home reception and we don’t expect anyone to bring gifts, after all they weren’t invited to the wedding…we just want to have a big party to celebrate with our family and friends that weren’t invited. The engagement party might be fine…but I think having a bridal shower, which typically elicits gifts, might a little weird! JMO!
Post # 4
My daughter had a destination wedding in Key West (cruise stop), and had a dessert reception 6 weeks later. No engagement party but she did have a bridal shower. At the reception we played the wedding video, along with pictures from the wedding trip and their honeymoon (which they took a month after the wedding WITHOUT all of us family) on the BIG screen with sound turned down. We tied all of the “wedding” locations into the desserts: Miami Beach cake, Key Lime pies, Vanilla and chocolate rum cakes (Jamiaca), and strawberry margarita, mudslide, and pina colada cupcakes (for Cozumel that were fantastic and adorable!), as well as a wedding cake decorated beach style and iced palm tree sugar cookies. We had the usual punch, tea, coffee, and my fav, carafes of milk sitting in a medium sized galvanized oval washtub.
As long as you invite close family and friends, no one will mind being invited to the bridal shower but not the small, private destination wedding.
I really, really recommend Colleen and Gary for your intimate wedding. They were wonderful to work with and specialize in small weddings (ours was one of their biggest at 56). She is the wedding officiant and he is the photographer. I am a little picky because I do wedding photography (and had my big camera with me) but he did far better than I could have done!! They took care of the flowers as well, and they were beautiful.
Have fun! We sure did!! One of my daughter’s co-workers told me that she said it was the BEST week of her life! She isn’t one to say much or get overly excited and gushy so that statement was huge for her. Made everything so worth it!! Working on daughter #2’s wedding – which sounds like your reception. Guest list is over 400, outdoor wedding, HUGE tent reception, building dance floor, lighting paper lanterns, etc. etc. etc. Quite the opposite of our Key West wedding but should be just as wonderful as long as it isnt’ storming!! LOL
Post # 5
Post # 6
Well certainly this idea is not tacky! Heck no…in fact, I’m an ATL bride, getting married possibly in Key West and having a reception afterward in ATL for the family and friends!
Have you checked out any of the No GA wineries? Great spots for a rustic yet elegant reception.
What I’m doing is having my stationer create a wedding “announcement” saying we will be married at our destination and then inviting them to the reception. We’re doing an elegant dinner at one of our fave restaurants but will be doing a few things traditionally such as cutting the cake with our relatives and having our minister bless our union (similar to vows but not really wedding vows).
It’s our plan to also have our pics and a video ready to go for the evening, kicking things off by having guests see our wedding first and then we’ll come in!
We had to change our original wedding as I was very very worried about the oil spill in the Gulf and were originally slated to have a Pensacola FL wedding and reception.
By the way, those key west destination wedding pics are great! Is that Smathers Beach?
Post # 7
And I think it’s perfectly fine to have a shower and engagement party as long as the guests coming to those parties are also invited to the reception too.
Post # 8
We are doing the same- Destination Wedding in Bahamas & reception in Maine. We are not having an engagement party but thats just us. We wouldnt have had one even if we were planning a “normal” wedding. My mom is throwing me a shower tho.
I don’t think there is anything wrong with what you’re doing as long as the two of you are happy! I’m a firm believer in doing what makes the couple happy not the fam & friends (unless you are majorly unconvincing guests)
Post # 9
Thanks everyone for your support. I actually wrote Brides.com too. This was their response–“since the ceremony is very intimate, its perfectly
appropriate to invite these guests to the reception and other parties. It
might be a good idea to get the word out that your ceremony is on the small
side, that way guests aren’t wondering where their invite is.”
I’ve booked Happily Ever After as my day of planner (happilyeverafterkeywest.com)
and we have booked the Old Town Manor B&B for 3 nights for all of our bonding activities.
Thanks everyone for their tips.
@Septmob- that was a lovely wedding.
@Bellenga – I’ll be sure to look up wineries. Who are you using for Stationary?
Post # 10
I think it’s fine…and to my understanding it is perfectly acceptable to invite people to the shower even if they are not attending your ceremony as long as they are aware they are invited to the reception prior to the invite for the shower…. So basically don’t let them think they are welcome to buy presents but not included in your wedding. You’ll be just fine! We’re doing something very similar. My desti only has 20 guests including us and our bridal party but we are still having a big bridal shower bash.
Post # 11
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Post # 12
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