(Closed) 2nd Reception Quandries

posted 12 years ago in Reception
Post # 3
55 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

Hi Leisuregirl,

I am going through the same thing.  I hope this helps a little. 

We are having a ceremony and reception in Australia and a reception in Arizona.  The reception is 6 months after the wedding.  We are not wearing our wedding clothes to the AZ reception.  I bought a dress that matches the "theme" of the wedding to wear to the reception.

We sent Australia STD cards, now we are sending AZ STD cards when the Australia invites go out.  I am also sending an AZ STD/invite to the people that are attending the wedding.

Post # 4
55 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2011
Post # 5
2292 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2008

On the subject of the wedding dress and honeymoon, I think you should do whatever you want.  Although if it was me, I wouldn’t put the dress back on for the second reception – maybe just have some photos from the wedding available for guests to look through.  I would maybe get a nice tea length white dress to wear – something distinctive but something that doesn’t scream "I just came from the church!!"

On the subject of the invites – which you posted about earlier – I wouldn’t "mention" the wedding and first reception to anybody.  Either invite them or don’t invite them.  If you invite them only the second reception, you shouldn’t be trying to hide that you had a previous one – but you also shouldn’t be pointing out to them that you didn’t invite them to that event.  It’s just fine to have a reception immediately following the wedding at your destination location, and invite only those people you actually invited to the wedding.  It’s also just fine to have a second reception at another location, for those guests who couldn’t travel to the wedding.  It’s not fine to invite people to the destination wedding but not the destination reception.

Post # 6
508 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

Invitation lists are very complicated, but it seems more and more common to have a large reception after the initial wedding/reception for destination weddings.  Our wedding is somewhat local, but *very* small (under 60).  Given FI’s large number of family, we’re not going to be able to invite a lot of our friends to the formal wedding.  To be more inclusive we’re hosting an informal reception a little while after we return from the honeymoon.

I hadn’t thought about what to wear yet, but I wasn’t planning on wearing the wedding dress.  Something simple to be sure to match the more informal feel of the second reception. 

On the invitation front, invite who you want to your Napa Valley ceremony.  Create the guest list for the reception separately, but it would be good to invite those who were able to share your day with you in Napa as well, especially if they are fairly local to the second reception site.

Good luck! 

Post # 7
72 posts
Worker bee

I think once you stop thinking of the Midwest party as a reception, the planning becomes easier.  Your wedding ceremony and reception are being held in Napa, and you are inviting whoever you chose.  Your in-laws are then hosting a party in your honor in the Midwest.  They will be issuing the invitations (consulting with you of course about who you’d like to have attend).

You might not want to wear your wedding gown to the midwest party.  You might want to send announcements to those who are invited to the Midwest party, but not to the wedding and reception.


Post # 8
1061 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2008

My Future Mother-In-Law wanted to have a second reception also, because she didn’t get to invite everyone who she wanted. I was in FITS about this until, like weddingmuse said, I stopped thinking of it as a second reception (I kept thinking that she wanted to show me up, that she wanted people to come to hers instead of the real one, that she wanted to take over the wedding, that it was a huge hassle bc we were already married!…). It’s a party to celebrate your wedding, which was in Napa weeks before, followed by a reception.

That being said, honeymoon when you want (we’re doing it immediately after the wedding). Wear the dress you want (I’m not wearing it again. If they didn’t get an invite to the wedding, they don’t get to see the dress.). As far as the invites go, it’s my Future Mother-In-Law, so the only "double invites" will be my FI’s aunts and uncles and that sort of thing. I didn’t want people to feel obligated to travel for the wedding, and then have to come to another party to keep celebrating. So we’re doing separate invites, but you should do whatever works for you and your family.

Sorry, this has just been a touchy subject for me! I still can’t get over the fact that I don’t think people have realized that there’s just one wedding! It’s not like they get a do-over because they didn’t like the first one!

Post # 9
388 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2020

Invites:  I would recommend doing 3 versions of the invitations just like you defined in your original post.  On the Midwest-only invite, yes, there might be some people who are offended, but you will never please everyone so you just have to do your best. 

How about saying on the invite:  John Smith & Jane Jones will be married at a small, intimate ceremony in California on MM-DD-YY.  We invite you to celebrate our marriage at a local reception in the Midwest location on MM-DD-YY….

That way, you aren’t divulging the exact details of the Napa wedding, but you are telling them that you are getting married out-of-state in a small ceremony, but you want to celebrate with them locally in the Midwest.

Dress:  It’s up to you, I’ve seen both where the bride wears the dress again (picture Gwen Stefani in L.A. and London).  Or like Rebecca said, if you specifically plan the 2nd party w/ Future Mother-In-Law as a post-wedding celebration and NOT a 2nd reception, you can design it as a more casual affair and not feel like it’s competing with your Napa wedding (unless you want a big fancy affair in the Midwest, then go for it!)

Honeymoon:  Don’t put it off if you prefer to go right away. Again, it’s a mental switch of thinking of the Midwest event as a post-wedding celebration instead of a 2nd reception.  You will be living as husband & wife after the Napa wedding, so you may as well enjoy it!

Post # 10
88 posts
Worker bee

Invites: We are having a destination wedding and reception… & then a few weeks later our I gues real ‘reception’ back home for all (including those who will not be able to make to our wedding).  We are doing two different invites.  The second invite being a more casual fun colorful invitation that will say something like ‘Your present is requested as we celebrate the union of Tiffany & Eddie blah blah" or something to that effect. 

Dress:  I bought another dress for the reception that is lace, short, and what I feel is more fitting for our reception ambiance… So I advise would be.. Do whatever makes you feel comfortable!  On one hand, you spent all that money on your wedding dress – Wear it as much as possible! 🙂 But be sure it will fit the formality of the event. 

Honeymoon:  We knew from the get-go we would have the reception back home thus we decide to wait until after the second reception for the honeymoon… and this way we can go back to work for a few weeks between the Out of Town wedding and the honeymoon… it almost feels like we aren’t taking off for 3 weeks;-)


The topic ‘2nd Reception Quandries’ is closed to new replies.

Find Amazing Vendors