(Closed) Reception months after ceremony

posted 8 years ago in Reception
Post # 3
249 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

Same situation!

We are eloping in April, and will plan a reception for next December-ish. I’d thought of having a proper reception with sit-down dinner and all the usual trappings, but have recently been leaning toward a large cocktail party. More people, more wine, more jazz band, less stuffy! 

In our situation, I think the formal reception would leave a lot of people feeling like they just went to a wedding, without the wedding part- and a few are already upset about our elopement plans. I’m also not too into the usual wedding stuff, because I’ve been married before and am just finding it all kind of weird.

I think the cocktail party would be a much better way for us to mingle with everyone and just really celebrate! I’m thinking about having the elopement video’d, and making a short flick with that and pictures from our past 6 yrs together.

You bet I’m gonna wear my dress twice though, fun!!

Post # 5
1871 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: February 2011

We’re doing ours next weekend (yikes!). We are having a breakfast brunch at a private home. 

You guys can do whatever you want! There might be certain traditions that seem more suited for a later reception (like, cake cutting and a first dance sort of make more sense to me than a bouquet toss–simply because there is no ceremonial attachment to the bouquet in this sense and you’d sort of be buying to (literally!) throw it away). But again, if you really LIKE a certain tradition, I think it’s okay to include it. Some people even restage their vows–or they do as sort of variation, like they re-read the ones they wrote for each other or just recite a few readings they like. We’re not restaging our vows, but we probably will make a toast. We didn’t have big posters made of our wedding, but we did get photobooks made of the day and we’re going to put those out for people to flip through on the day-of. 

The two things that you might be more sensitive to are 1) that you make sure it’s crystal clear people are being invited to a celebration and shouldn’t expect a ceremony and 2) that you don’t come off as gift-grabby. You can have a registry and put the links on a wedding website and all that, but I wouldn’t put it in the invitation. I think that since you didn’t invite people to actually witness the vows, it’s probably better to be more discreet about the gifts. 

There probably IS a way to loop the celebration in video, but in all honesty, I sort of think that’s a bit odd and I think that after a while, unless your video is like, an hour long, I might tire of it as a guest. I think that a video projection is a fine idea, though, so maybe you might consider saying a little thank you to your guests and playing the video before you guys sit down to eat or before your first dance. 

Post # 6
249 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

Glad to hear you are not regretting! I know I won’t, but I feel for him, because he was kind of digging the big wedding idea himself- until he saw the price tags, details, and all the scheduling issues with other weddings, babies, graduations etc…

I’m envisioning renting the top floor of a wine bistro, gathering everyone in there, letting them view a precursor slideshow telling the story of our lives and relationship, ending with the video of our ceremony- and then have the band announce us as we join the party! 

Black tie, passed hors d’ouvres, live jazz, dancing, and an open-mic for anyone that feels the need to give a speech 🙂  Maybe from 8-11pm or so. I feel this way it’s still quite the swanky event that everyone can feel excited about, but it will not be a ridiculously expensive affair, and we will be able to invite absolutely anyone we want. 

I really like your idea of posters- I’d just be worried that a) it’s weird to see a really big picture of myself, and b) wine and dancing? I’d probably trip over my own posters at some point in the evening, lol!

I’m going to look forward to hearing more about what you plan!

Post # 7
542 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2011

Yep! We eloped in October because we bought a house and hubby’s mom was going through chemo treatments for breast cancer, so it just seemed easier on holding off on the reception, which is now on March 25th (soon!! eep!!) We are basically doing another wedding, which I know a lot of people think is dumb, but whatever. LOL. It’s our wedding and we will do what we want. No one that we have invited has said anything bad about it though, so I really don’t think they care. I just think our family and friends are excited to be able to celebrate our marriage with us.

On the invites, instead of listing our parents names as giving us away, we just put our names and that we were inviting so and so to come help us celebrate our marriage. We are doing a ceremony, but it we won’t be doing vows or a ring exchange. Instead we are just reading our favorite love poem. I will be doing a walk down the isle though with my full-on wedding dress. We also have Bridesmaid or Best Man and GMs too. Afterward we’ll have our reception, but like you mentioned is for like a cocktail party. We’ll have a buffett with food and desserts and stuff. But not sit-down formal dinner. So yeah, it’s pretty much another wedding. LOL. This definitely seems to be getting more and more popular for people to do for various reasons. I say go for it!!


*Sorry for the loooong post!* 😀

Post # 8
249 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

@JennyW1: how exciting that yours is next weekend! I love the brunch idea too! Where/when did you elope? 

And yes- tact when it comes to gifts… I believe that in choosing to have our wedding day to ourselves, it would be unreasonable to have expectations of any gifts- but will graciously accept them from those who want to offer.

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