Post # 1
I know it’s SOOO annoying for waiting bees to pre-plan their wedding (guilty!) but last night my SO and I are tossing around the idea (for the hundredth time) of a DW but we are not sure how to go about it since we know that 90% of our guests will not be able to afford it or be willing to pay for such an expensive trip (we are in Australia and want to be married in the US).
Here are the options we are thinking of at the moment:
1. Invite everyone to both the DW and let them know on the invitation (in a polite way) that if they can’t make it we will also be having a reception in our hometown once we get back
2. Invite everyone to a huge engagement party before we leave AND to the wedding but let them know we won’t be offended if they can’t make it to the wedding
3. Invite only our immediate family and very best friends to the DW and then invite everyone to a Reception at home (would this offend you if you weren’t one of the people invited to DW?)
Which sounds like a better option? We’re leaning towards option 1 but I’m not sure if people would think it’s pointless to come to a reception if we have already been married for a few months by the time we have it.
Post # 3
Etiquette Snob here… lol
“Technically” you aren’t the Hosts for your own Engagement Party… someone throws it for you in your honor
In my mind it would be best to go with Inviting One and All to your Destination Wedding… as a sign of being inclusive.
Then having a Back Home Reception Party when you return, so folks who cannot make it have an event where they can attend and celebrate with you.
Back Home Reception Parties can be whatever you wish them to be… Wedding-like or not. Full on Vow Renewals or just a Party. Formal / Informal, Big / Small, etc. The choice is yours.
Hope this helps,
— — —
Looks like you made an EDIT since I first read your post.
YES you can most certainly make your Destination Wedding a smaller intimate (family & best friends only affair) and then have a more inclusive Back Home Reception afterwards.
As you say that might make more sense in that the Wedding is on another Continent
Post # 4
@This Time Round: Thank you for your reply, in my circle of friends and family who are engaged & married all of them aside from one couple threw their own engagement party which is why I put that option in there but your point does make sense if it were our parents who were going to throw the party for us 🙂 Thanks again!
ETA: The option of only inviting certain people does seem a lot less stressful planning wise but I worry about only inviting close family and friends because I don’t want to offend the people who weren’t invited to “the main event”
Post # 5
Only inviting close family could go two ways. 1) They’re offended that they’re not invited or 2) they’re relieved they won’t have to shell out the cash for travel. Personally, I would be relieved as a guest, but you know your friends and family best.
Post # 6
@Brickette: Unless you are a best friend or close family member, I’d prefer not to be invited to a desination wedding. An afterward home reception is perfect.
Post # 7
@Ellyson: makes a good point (one I often stress in my Etiquette posts)
The choice is yours… as only YOU know your Guests best. You weigh the Rule of Etiquette for the Risks & Consequences (and accepted local customs etc) and make a decision based on that
As stated you can truly do this however you see fit… invite everyone, or just call it a “Small Intimate Destination Wedding” and invited just your nearest & dearest. And then send out seperate Back Home Reception Invites.
If anyone asks what your plans are… be honest. We are having a “Small Intimate Destination Wedding in America… and a Reception Party for Family & Friends when we return from our Honeymoon”
Here’s a thought… thinking outside the box…
Print up your Invites with 3 parts to them…
Destination Wedding Invite – Back Home Reception Invite – RSVP card that includes options:
YES / NO… We will be attending the Destination Wedding on May 23, 2015
YES / NO… We will be attending the Back Home Reception on June 27, 2015
You can even print the two Invites so they look coordinated, but not identical… giving a clue that they aren’t for the same event overall.
Putting everything together in one mail-out, means that EVERYONE gets invited to it all. They can make up their minds on what they want to do… and no one will feel offended by being left out of anything.
Post # 8
@This Time Round: Thank you! I love your idea about the individual RSVP cards! I will tell my SO about that.. it seems like the perfect solution 🙂
Post # 10
It would be my preference as a guest to only be invited to the reception. In your shoes, I would invite only family and very close friends to both.
I would not shell out the cash to attend a DW for anyone other than an immediate family member or best friend. I don’t think it is rude at all to not extend the invite to everyone. Where I live, most people just get an invite to the at-home reception following a DW.
Post # 11
We are doing option 3 for ourselves…only my parents and brother will end up attending (FI’s parents and sister won’t be coming) to our DW. We will be inviting extended family and friends to our home reception once we get back.
Post # 12
2 is out b/c an engagement party is not guaranteed since other people throw it for you.
I like option 1: using plenty of inserts, I would like to know that I am invited to the DW and a timely after party back in the home country. The RSVP should reflect all wedding related celenrations.
Post # 13
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
@Brickette: I would be fine with only being invited to the at-home reception since the DW is in another country. PP made a good point about the enegagement party; those invitations are for the host to decide.
Post # 14
I think you invite family and friends to DW and have a larger celebration reception at home is the way to go. I think that’s they way I want to do it at least.
Post # 15
I’d invite everyone to your destination wedding, to be inclusive. Obviously those who can’t afford it won’t attend. Find a way to word it to say that you understand that not everyone will be able to make it, and that it’s okay. Then invite everyone to the “back home” reception.
I would be a little insulted if I was only invited to the reception back home, and not to the DW. Leave it in their hands, I say.