Post # 1
We are having a giant second reception in a different state for all of FI’s family and friends and I’m really weirded out about how to go about this. I’ve never been to a second reception and the idea seems really awkward! If anyone has any experience with this, or can offer their opinion on any of the questions I have, that would be awesome. P.S. “giant” in number of guests, not in quality – it’s actually going to be in a not fancy place, with okay food, and just a fun DJ and dancing.
1. Do I really show up in my wedding dress? That seems so bizarre to me when there’s obviously no ceremony happening. On the other hand, I don’t really have it in the budget to buy a different dress…
2. Is there all the same bells and whistles of the first wedding? Grand entry announcing the couple? First dance? Daughter son dance?
3. Should there be a garter and bouquet toss?
4. Is a seating chart weird to do? The FI wants one because he doesn’t like the awkwardness of people not knowing where to sit. A seating chart just seems a little formal to me…
5. Should there be toasts?
6. Does there need to be a cake?
Basically, I don’t want his whole family to feel like they completely missed out on the wedding and got the ghetto end of the stick…but I don’t really know how to make it special either without it being kind of…acted out?
Post # 3
You can really do whatever you want with this second reception. How formal is the venue? That might give you clues on dress and seating, etc.
Post # 4
@LittleAnn: Honestly, it’s really up to you. It can be as formal or as informal as you like. You can wear a wedding dress or you can wear something else. If you feel like it is awkward and weird to have first dances and toasts, there’s nothing that says you have to do it. I’ve known couples who had three separate weddings with different parts of the family with multiple wedding dresses, and couples who just had a casual party with people who couldn’t make it after the fact. Just depends on what you want and possibly on the culture of the area/family.
Given it’s an increasingly international world and people are spread out all over the place, I think it’s going to get more and more common to have secondary parties in different parts of the country/world. I certainly know a lot of people who have done it that way.
Post # 5
Terrible quality photo, but anyway it’s not fancy at all…it’s in this place that has all these false front buildings. Old timey and fun I guess.
Post # 6
I think you are correct that you don’t want his family to feel slighted. You can do all the traditional stuff so they get photo ops and it gives you a chance to party all over again. Yes it might feel like reception redo but remember its the first time for those guests. I think venue two is quite cute. You might really like the photos with a totally different vibe. I get a carnival-ish feel from that photo. Fun!
Post # 7
I’ve never been to a second reception, but here are my thoughts…
I would just wear a nice dress, not your wedding dress. I would probably not do all the specials dances, garter toss, bouquet, seating chart, etc. I would however, do a toast from you guys to thank them for coming and the if others wanted to do one, they can. I would definitely have a fun cake of some sort
Post # 8
You make a good point, thank you 🙂
And I agree – our STDs for that one were “carnivally.”
Post # 9
Thanks for the toast idea, I honestly wasn’t even thinking about that! :/
Post # 10
i was just thinking that would be a good way to allow others to do one if they’d like to without it being awkward or something, maybe?
Post # 11
I’m in the same boat…Fiance’s family is huge and out of town so we’re just inviting his aunts/uncles/step siblings/grandparents/and whatever family is down her to the wedding down here and we’re doing a “Celebratory Dinner” a week after.
I saw one really cute idea: Instead of wearing your wedding dress, go on craigslist/ebay and find a nice dress form/mannequin (like one you see on “say yes to the dress” when they feature the dress) and put your wedding dress on display at the second reception.
For me, everyone knows you already had a wedding so I’m not tip-toeing around it as much as asking people to join us in celebration…without presents.
We’re going to try to re-use the centerpieces (sans flowers) and definitely have a guestbook. If you can afford it, a photographer would be nice.
I suggest having the niceties of a reception without the formality.
Post # 12
Hi, I am having a second reception as our main wedding is abroad and only close family and friends are coming. We have 40 guests at our destination wedding and have invited 170 to our second reception.
We are treating it as a ‘party’ rather than a second wedding. I am wearing my wedding dress again though as lots of people who aren’t coming to the destination wedding would like to see me in it. Also, who wouldn’t want to wear their wedding dress again – you’ll probably never have another reason to wear it!
We are having our wedding cake at the party, just because at our destination wedding there aren’t really enough guests to justify having a big cake, plus the hotel we’re having our wedding at has a ‘fake cake’ that we can pose with for photos etc.
Apart from that its going to be informal. We are having a buffet, a DJ and I’m hoping to book a band, but its just being held in a funtion room at a parish centre (not sure if you have them in the US). I won’t be having a bouquet, toasts or speeches, first dances, seating charts etc.