Intimate Wedding Ceremony and Destination Celebration. Would this work?

posted 2 months ago in Destination Weddings
  • poll: Would you attend a destination wedding reception/celebration (without the ceremony)
    Yes : (4 votes)
    7 %
    No : (52 votes)
    88 %
    Depends where : (3 votes)
    5 %
  • Post # 16
    Member
    1039 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: August 2019

    If it was close enough to drive, a destination I’d like to visit, and someone I was close to, I would go. If there was an actual wedding, and it was an immediate family member or close friend, I would do whatever was within my means to attend. But without the ceremony, I would not feel any obligation, so I’d only go if I really wanted to go. I love vacations, but on my own terms. I have limited vacation time so if it was more than a long weekend, I’d pretty much be choosing my own vacation plans vs someone else’s, and my own would win.

    Post # 17
    Member
    978 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: November 2019 - City, State

    I totally get what you’re going for, but I don’t think a lot of people would be receptive to it.  There’s such a thing as inviting people to the ceremony but not to the reception, and the reason for that is because the ceremony is technically more important than the celebration afterward.  Doing it backwards (inviting people to the reception but not the ceremony) feels awkward and maybe like they didn’t get to be a part of the important stuff.

    Post # 18
    Member
    83 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: June 2019

    My FH and I thought about this. We ended up planning the opposite. Essentially we will elope with our two witnesses and go on a vacation together. Then we will do a big reception locally. We have a ton of people we would like to attend but we are not really “spectacle” people and would rather get to just party with our friends. So we are framing it as a “private ceremony ” with an anniversary party later. We will get married on our favorite beach on our 9th anniversary and then do a 10 year couple/one year married reception the following year. Takes a lot of planning stress off(or extends it, depending on how you look at it) and let’s us enjoy each part the way we wanted to in a way that “feels like us”

    Post # 19
    Member
    170 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: July 2020

    I’ll echo the other comments – I just don’t think I would go without the wedding ceremony. 

    Post # 20
    Member
    1489 posts
    Bumble bee

    Highly unlikely to attend that one sorry bee. Exceptions if it’s in driving distance and accommodation is not too expensive.

    Post # 21
    Member
    1282 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: October 2019

    So your way of thanking your guests ( or asking for gifts?) is to to ask people to inconvenience themselves and spend money?  People that weren’t even important enough to see you marry? So you enjoy your dream beach idea?

    Hard pass.

    Get married, do dinner then go to the beach on honeymoon.

    Post # 22
    Member
    11099 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper

    hickoryhills :   I believe you have that backwards. Etiquette used to be OK with inviting people to a ceremony and not the reception many years ago but that is no longer considered acceptable. The reverse, a private ceremony followed by a larger, delayed reception has always been considered perfectly appropriate. 

    The issue here is not a delayed reception, it’s the fact that it’s destination, and not even a wedding, at that. Etiquette disapproves most destination weddings as well. The PP who is planning to get married on a vacation with two close friends and host a larger celebration for an anniversary has the right idea. 

    Post # 23
    Member
    612 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: August 2017

    Nope, I wouldn’t attend. I dislike destination weddings. Destination parties are a non-starter.

    Post # 24
    Member
    2764 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: January 2021

    What is the purpose of having the intimate ceremony locally? Why not just stick with the Destination Wedding plan so that everyone who is “close enough to travel for you” can also witness the ceremony?

    Post # 25
    Member
    8540 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper

    hickoryhills :  “There’s such a thing as inviting people to the ceremony but not to the reception, and the reason for that is because the ceremony is technically more important than the celebration afterward.” — You are the one who has this backwards, actually. I am not even convinced that this was ever ok in the past. I think what it was was, it used to be more common to not have a reception at all. So people would come to a wedding, but not to a reception because there wasn’t one. I am not aware that it was ever ok to HAVE a wedding reception but not invite people who came to the wedding. 

    In any case, today (in the US at least, I can’t speak for anywhere else) it is unthinkable to invite people to what is customarily a gift-giving event (the wedding) but not invite them to partake of the hospitality you’re offering to celebrate that event. Inviting people to the wedding but not the reception is saying “We’re doing something that people usually get presents for. You can come watch the present-earning-thing but you’re not important enough for me to pay for your meal.” Inviting people to the reception but not the wedding is saying “We’re having a party, let me feed you and give you booze and music and friendship. No no, no gift required, we just want your company!” Ideally everyone is invited to both. But if that’s not possible, you arrange it so that the reception includes AT LEAST everyone who was invited to the wedding.

    Post # 26
    Member
    11099 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper

    Daisy_Mae :  This actually was once considered an acceptable custom, but not anymore. Reception cards were enclosed in the invitations of some but not others. 

    The reason why small ceremonies and larger receptions made some sense is many churches and places of worship were quite tiny. What becomes problematic is inviting beyond ones true intimates or immediate family to the ceremony. That becomes like an A list and a B list and is not OK. 

    An old article, but gives the history and still applies today. 

    https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-1999-07-08-9907080047-story.html

    Post # 27
    Member
    8540 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper

    weddingmaven :  Ah, thank you. This part though makes me think that even though it might have been common, it was not necessarily accepted (at least not by everyone):

    • Miss Manners is afraid that it is true that people once invited guests to a wedding ceremony only, enclosing reception cards for the people with whom they wished to celebrate as well. She does not believe that the fact of this being an old-fashioned custom cancels out its rudeness.

    But until now I didn’t even know it was done, so thanks for the tidbit.

    Post # 28
    Member
    2764 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: January 2021

    Daisy_Mae :  in a lot of church communities, the regular congregation is invited to any ceremony of a church couple that is marrying there, but would require a specific invitation for the reception. 

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