Gathering? please help!!!

posted 3 years ago in Elopement
Post # 3
10219 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

Hi @JS1103:  First off… CONGRATULATIONS… Antigua is a FABULOUS Destination.  I am sure you’ll LOVE it there.

I am an Encore Bride… and this is exactly the type of Wedding that Mr TTR & I had last year over Christmas

Just the two of us Eloping to a Destination Wedding…

Now being Older & Encores, we KNEW all along we didn’t want to do the Traditional BIG White Pouffy Family Wedding… having both done that before.

Our Family & Friends got pouty about it too… we even had a few couples tell us they’d come along to crash (uh, no… had to put our foot down on that one)

Our Wedding was AWESOME… (mind you we had 5 weeks off, and made it a trip of a lifetime… combining Christmas – PreWedding Trip – Wedding – and Honeymoon into one)

We married in The Florida Keys… at a favourite resort of ours, on the Beach.  Just the 2 of us, the Officiant & the Photographer.  It was perfect, and very much us / private.  No Regrets.

It was some work to figure it out from afar but it all worked out.

We married just before sunset.  Had Photos on the Beach at Sunset.  Had a Celebration Drink in the Hotel Bar.  Then a Romantic Dinner at a favourite Ocean Front Restaurant.  Followed by a Nightcap back at the Bar… and then moved the party up to our FANTASTIC Honeymoon Suite that was right on the beach.  We had a shower (8 lbs of hairspray) and changed into the Fluffy Robes… broke open the Bubbly… and made phone calls to Family & Friends.  Finished up the night sitting on our Balcony over the Ocean… staring at the million stars, and moonlight dancing on the ocean, sipping our Champagne.  It was a AWESOME Day.  Everything I wished for and more !!

Next day we had late check out.  Drove up to Miami and an Airport Hotel for a day of R&R (Rest, Relaxation, Lunch Poolside, and a Nice Dinner).  Early to bed, as we had an early flight out the next morning to San Juan, PR.

Spent 2 wonderful days in SJ, before boarding our Caribbean Cruise Ship… then another 7 Days at Sea…. Unpack once and the world comes to you, Great Food & Wine, Entertainment & Pampering.  We visited 5 Islands in 7 Days.  It was fantastic.

LOVED Antigua !!

When we came home… we put the final touches on organizing our Back Home Reception Party.  We had a travel theme… so we mailed out our Invites while we were away over Christmas.  All the big stuff had been done before we left (Booked the Hall – Caterer – Liquor Service – Bartender & Serving Staff – DJ etc).  The big thing was just getting the DIY items finished etc.

I was smart in one way in that we didn’t hold the Party immediately when we got back… we had a gap of a few weeks.  So that there was some time to pause, recoup, and finish up the DIY.

Mind you the downside was that EVERYONE wanted to hear about the Wedding & Trip, and we were saving some of that to Reveal at the Reception.

Our Reception Party was 5 Hours… and Evening Affair.  Cocktails & Hors d’Ouevres – Cake & Champagne / Sparkling – DJ & Dancing.  It was a TON of fun.

With a Back Home Reception you can make it as Wedding like as you choose.  We brought in only a few elements… Card Box with Best Wishes Postcards (that also formed our Guest Book) – Wedding Cake – Toast to the B&G – and a First Dance.

I liked the fact that a Back Home Reception was fun, but also gave us a party, and a lot of control over how much we spent etc.  Not super cheap by any means (about $ 100 a head for us)… but a lot less than a regular Reception with full meal.

When all was said & done.  It was a Wedding – Honeymoon – and Reception that worked for us.  The bulk of our funds were most certainly spent ON US versus our Guests.  As Encores, I don’t feel bad about that at all.  We found a way to make THIS Wedding significant to us one of the greatest challenges for Encores.

No Regrets.

Hope this helps,


Post # 5
10219 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

We invited about 100 People… but it also happened in the midst of a snowstorm (you can plan a lot of things in life… but not always for Mother Nature)

So our turn-out was a tad lower than what had RSVP’ed YES… but it wasn’t a huge deal, because our event was far more casual than a sit-down Dinner would have been.

It was an awesome party all the same.

I honestly don’t think it matters what size a Back Home Reception is… it is all about those that are there to support / love you… CELEBRATE with you more than anything else.

Cause if you do some research you’ll discover that when it comes to things like Back Home Receptions / Belated Receptions and even Vow Renewals… that a lot of the stuffy old rules of Etiquette that once surrounded them (ONLY one Wedding / Reception for every Bride) have pretty much flown the coop.

If you find yourself in need of more info… or have specific Questions in regards to details (Invitation Wording for example) you could always post again, or send me a PM.

Hope this helps,


Post # 6
234 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

We may have a little gathering (casual drop in type thing)  Some finger foods and drinks and we will show our video.  Will probably be held at a family members home.


It can be whatever you would like it to be.  It could be a big reception or something low key 🙂  Your elopement sounds amazing 🙂


Post # 7
371 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2000

Just to make sure you’re prepared, in Antigua, there will need to be two witnesses there. (Sorry if you already know this and purely meant no friends or family when you said ‘just us two at the wedding’. Just making sure you have all the information).

We didn’t have any sort of gathering. We just flew out, enjoyed Antigua, got hitched by the most bad a** wedding officer on the planet, and flew back. No drama. That being said, we didn’t spill our plans beforehand. I think it’s a bit like baby names. People are a lot more willing to moan and stick their oars in if it’s before the fact. After that name’s on the birth certificate, people are less likely to open their mounths. Same here. Show up with it already done and dusted? Well, the worst we dealt with was a bit of surprise.

If it’s truly right for you and your partner, go for it!

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