(Closed) DW with a big party at home afterwards confuses me…please explain…

posted 6 years ago in Destination Weddings
Post # 3
147 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

I agree, I always thought the point was to have a smaller and usually less expensive wedding.  I have some good friends that just did the Destination Wedding and reception at home and I think looking back on it they are wishing they had done it differently.  Their initial thought was that they would save money but in the end they spent just as much and it was a bigger headache coordinating 2 different events on 2 different dates in different states.  Plus their wedding was during the family vacation that a bunch of us always go to and it didn’t really end up being a vacation at all for those who had to plan and organize the ceremony/after party.

Post # 4
4192 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: July 2012 - Baltimore Museum of Industry

Two of my friends had a Destination Wedding in Mexico- one of his favorite places. The cost prevented some guests from being able to attend, and I personally couldn’t get the time off work. 

About two months later, they closed down a pub for the afternoon. We were all wearing jeans, they had casual food (wings, etc.), open bar, and everyone had a great time, celebrating their new marriage. They also had their wedding video playing on a loop, for those of those who weren’t there. I think they did a great job of the #2 party.

Post # 6
6123 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

There are various goals in mind when having a Destination Wedding – each couple will have their own priority/goal.  Some may not be the same.  Some may do it to lower costs; others just want to get married somewhere awesome that is not perhaps the most accessible for their guests.  Hence, they get their ceremony location, but also want to celebrate with loved ones later.  Frankly saying my vows infrton of a crowd isn’t what I think of for my ceremony.  I think it’s a private experience.

I’ve always pictured at home parties to be just way more casual – not the caliber that you would see at a wedding reception (the party right after the reception to thank the guests for coming).  Almost like less pressure to have an at home party rather than a wedding reception.

So you’re point to have a Destination Wedding was to avoid the big reception hubbub.  Mine would be to recite my vows in an intimate ceremony in a beautiful location with my Fiance.  Different goals.

Brides that want the total do over after a Destination Wedding – now that I don’t get, unless they somehow wanted their awesome ceremony location to be part of the wedding and that location was not affordable to others.  Maybe in their culture it’s expected, like with religious ceremonies?

Post # 7
7606 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

My friend is thinking about having a Destination Wedding and her dad insists that they have to hold a big reception locally afterward.  I think his main reasoning is to include the many family members who are either too old/unwell to travel or who don’t have the money.  I understand his point!

Post # 8
119 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I’m having a Destination Wedding on Sept 17 and a full reception on Sept 22.  I am divorced and he has never been married before.  We’re both Catholic, but my annulment is not  complete so we can’t get married in a church.  But since I am 41 already and we’re hoping to have a child, we don’t want to wait 3 years for the church to recognize my annulment.  Having a non-church ceremony in town would really bother his side of the family, so we all agreed that a private ceremony with just a few close family/friends (8 of us total) would be more appropriate.  But at the same time, he’s never been married before, he’ll only be 26 and he wants to have the big party.  So, Destination Wedding at an amazing B&B and then a reception to celebrate with everyone else.  That’s our reasoning.

Post # 9
7295 posts
Busy Beekeeper

i had a Destination Wedding for more than one reason. First it was my dream to get married on a tropical beach – so location itself was a big factor.  Then we realized how much weddings cost and so it also became somewhat a necessity to do a small Destination Wedding – though i spent more money on it than i initially planned – the wedding i got for that money was far more than what i would have got had we done it locally.   I was never even planning to have a party at home either. I didnt see the point at all…..that is, until certain “VIP” people couldn’t come to our wedding (DH’s sister, two of my closest friends). So it was because of those 3 people that we did a BBQ style reception back home.  I would have felt silly doing a full on formal reception back home though (though even if we wanted to, there was no way we could have afforded it!).  Although some people want (and can afford) both things (DW and local reception) so they have both.

Post # 10
1557 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

@AirForceWife78:  I have not read through the other responses so forgive me if I’m repeating other posts. I often don’t see the point if the party afterwards is super fancy, you know, like a wedding. For me, if Fiance and I were to do this it would be to basically appease the families because there would be no way we could invite them to a Destination Wedding without hurting someone’s feelings, so we would use friends as witnesses and leave the family behind, rather tahn pick and chose among family members. If we did a party afterwards, it would be super simple. Probably a cook-out, swimming, all food and drinks provided, no centerpeices, no gifts,no white dress etc. 

Post # 11
2580 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

I think in a lot of cases, it’s because so many people can’t travel for the wedding but still want to celebrate with you.

We had a local wedding, but my parents wanted to throw us another reception in their home state because a lot of their friends and family wouldn’t be able to travel. We definitely did not ask for it, but we graciously accepted their offer. It was relatively large (125 people) but not very wedding-like–it was just a cocktail hour, sit-down dinner, and speeches at a golf club ballroom. There was no ceremony/wedding dress/cake/dancing, etc. It was more like a dinner party.

Post # 12
383 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I agree.

Fiance wantd a destination wedding and huge party afterward.

I told him we could save a ton of money by calling the huge party a reception and getting married in a church for free (or close to it). lol

I don’t think he realized that 90% of the budget was for the reception. That a church requires so little.

And this way, our parents aren’t on our honeymoon with us!

Post # 13
1856 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

We were originally planning on eloping, just us and our daughter. Then we thought about it and I was concerned that my SO’s mother would be really hurt (he’s her only child) and I know she’d want to be there. But if we invite her, we’d then invite my parents, and my SO’s father, stepmother and sister. So we may end up having a mini Destination Wedding at the courthouse in the city we want to go to, with our immediate family followed by a nice dinner out all together. (the added bonus is that our kid can spend the wedding night in someone else’s hotel room 😉 )

This will not excuse us from celebrating (twice!) with both sides of his very large and involved extended family. But if we end up doing two at-home receptions, they’ll be simple – at someone’s house, lots of food, BYOB like all family events in our family. We don’t want a wedding (both for personal and financial reasons) but it’s been clear that his extended families will be throwing us parties to celebrate whether we want to or not.

Post # 15
1577 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

We’re having a Destination Wedding with a formal at-home reception.  All I REALLY wanted was the Destination Wedding.. it’s my mom & Fiance that wanted to do something afterward at home.  FI & I both really loved the idea of keeping the ceremony small and intimate and going away to somewhere beautiful.  But at the same time we both have a lot of family that we knew would really be hurt if they weren’t invited to ANYTHING.  Lol.  So, honestly.. ours is really to appease the masses.  

The reason it’s going to be formal is that I’m honestly just not into the backyard BBQ thing— I like eating BBQ, but I hate eating outside.  I’m weird, I know.. LoL.  And, at least 90% of my family (and probably 30% of FI’s fam) is having to travel to attend the event & I’d feel odd having people drive for hours or fly in and stay in hotels for a backyard shindig.  Plus, why not have a reason to wear my expensive dress again & give everyone else a chance to dress up & have a good time?  How often do most people really get to get super spiffy for a formal event? I can’t speak for the rest of y’all, but the women in my family LOVE getting formal & prettied up for a good party… so why not?

Post # 16
3175 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

Well, we’re not exactly in this situation, but we are having 2 receptions. We’re paying for our reception in Ohio (where I’m from and all my family/friends live). Some of his family (from Montana) can’t make it, so they’re throwing us another reception in Montana. We don’t really want or need another ceremony, but they’re insisting & paying for it, so we’re obliging 🙂 I think this is the case for some people doing a Destination Wedding. Also, sometimes the Destination Wedding is just an attempt to “put off” the expense of a large reception for a bit. 

Personally, I would probably treat the second reception as a “vow renewal party” or something (as a guest). 

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