Post # 1
Bees, I need your help and this is my situation. SO and I plan on having 2 ceremonies since we are from 2 very far places. First would be the civil wedding with a judge but not in a courthouse (my hometown) and then on a much future date with a church ceremony (his hometown). The gap between the two will be big… a year at the very least. We plan to have bridal parties on both (I know many of you are cringing just the thought but wanted it to be fair on both sides). Only ones flying to the civil wedding are his immediate family, groomsmen and partners, and flower girl and her parents. This is a total of 2 children and 12 adults.
Now, for the church wedding, I have more of my people express that they are (much more than his people) willing to fly from my hometown to his. Not everyone but a good chunk are aware that there will be a separate church wedding. At first, I didn’t think much of it but now, it seems like too much work to have a lot of people come to his hometown because in addition to the tasks around the wedding, I feel somehow I am pressed for time/energy to entertain them, provide rides, additional expenses of course, etc. At the moment, I am only thinking of having my immediate family and my Maid/Matron of Honor, BM’s & their long term partners to be invited to the church ceremony. My SO has much more guests in his hometown compared to the civil wedding because he knows much more people than I. To some degree as well, I feel like no need to invite others anymore because there would be dinner/drink, cake, & dancing after the civil ceremony. Is it too early to worry about it since many things will happen between now & then? When the time comes for the church wedding do I just keep quiet around the rest of my people and just invite the ones I mentioned above? Is this okay? Is this rude? Any other suggestions?
Please be nice because I honestly have no clue what to do.
Post # 2
So regardless of what you decide to do, the one most important thing…..make sure the guests KNOW they are attending a non-legal ceremony. Some people really have no interested in attending a “re-enactment” if it is not the legal portion. That’s fine and up to them, but those people will be so much more angry if they find out after the fact that you lied to them. So whatever you do, just make sure you are honest.
As to where it should, figure out both of your VIPs and see where they would be able to attend and go from there.
Post # 3
chocochai : In my SO’s country, it is a legal requirement to be married through the government first. It is a common and a well known practice to have a civil ceremony and have a religious /church ceremony later on. So yes, EVERYONE ( both my people and his people) is very much aware that one is legal binding and the other is for religious purspose.
Post # 4
I can understand where you’re coming from with having two separate weddings – my husband and I are both from different countries and we discussed organising our events this way as well. In the end, we decided to just do one ceremony and reception, since what was important to us was that the wedding was an opportunity for our families and friends to come together and this would likely be the only time this would happen because of the distance.
Personally, what I loved so much about my wedding was that it involved friends and family from both sides and (we hosted the wedding in my husband’s country) that my guests could have the opportunity to see where my husband is from. Having it this way for us did mean that some of our invitees from my country weren’t able to attend, but I think that would have been a reality either way (they’re spread all around the US, so travel would have been necessary regardless).
As for hosting guests the week before – I organised a tour of the city for our out-of-town guests and we hosted a barbecue at our place the day before to make sure we saw everyone. But that was pretty much it. I had put together a website with a lot of tourism suggestions for surrounding areas and in the months leading up to the wedding I received a lot of questions and helped a lot with bookings, but by the week before most people already knew what they wanted to do and understood that I was busy. It worked out great.
Obviously the final decision is up to you who you invite, but I loved that some of my really close friends were able to be there for me the day of the wedding and that they were able to visit the city where we live and meet our friends. There aren’t going to be many other opportunities for all the people you love to be there for you (most people won’t fly internationally for a birthday or baby shower or other milestone), so I really appreciated the fact that so many were able to be there at that moment.
Post # 5
kflemin3 : I think I remember seeing some of the wedding photos you posted. Did you have a civil or religious ceremony? Besides you wanting your guests some see the place your husband grew up in, can you share other major factors that made you decide to have it in his country?
Post # 6
socalgirl1689 : it was a combination of a couple factors. The most relevant is that it’s the city where we live, so planning and logistics were easier to take care of here. My hometown in the US is also relatively small, and it would have been necessary for guests to fly in to the nearest city 2hrs away and rent a car to get there. My family and friends are also spread out all across the US, so hosting it in my hometown would have been convenient for just a handful of people. In Belgium, we live in a city that’s easily accessible via public transport, and its easy to get from our city to other major ones (Amsterdam, Paris, London) so guests wouldn’t just be stuck in one place. We also talked to our guests and at the time of our wedding more Americans expressed interest (and ability) to travel to Belgium than vice versa.
but we also just had a civil ceremony (I’m not religious), so it could have worked out differently if we had a religious component to it.