(Closed) Throwing a party after a small wedding

posted 4 years ago in Parties
Post # 2
17 posts

I’m sort of in the same boat. We’re doing a ceremony and reception in the province we currently live in (and his family is from) and then after we’re having a reception in my home province (a lot of people might not be able to travel to our current location because of time/money and in particular, my grandmother, due to health reasons). We are doing appetizers and drinks- sort of a cocktail reception deal. We are going to have a cake because I think people might like to have some of the wedding traditions still present even though there won’t be a ceremony. I think we’ll also have a photographer and I’m going to try to get photos with all the guests so we can send them out after in the thank you cards (so the photographer will be treating it more like an event rather than a traditional wedding). I’m still trying to figure out exactly how we’re going to navigate everything.

Post # 4
17 posts

Thanks so much and good luck to you too! I like your photobooth idea! We’re planning on having some framed photos from the ceremony at the reception so people can check it out. I am actually way more excited about the food at the reception because I love appetizers so much. I also like that people can mingle rather than being stuck at a table with 7 other people for a 2 hr dinner.

Post # 6
17 posts

krgenzer88:  I am not sure about doing the first dance again at the reception. Haven’t decided that one yet. I definitely think you should wear white or ivory- you’re still the bride! I would say no to the veil. I don’t know whether I will wear my wedding dress again or get another white dress (I haven’t picked a wedding dress yet, so maybe it will be determined by the style I end up with- if it’s long and formal I may buy a shorter, more fun dress but still somewhat bridal). I am thinking something along these lines Chloe Dress

  • This reply was modified 4 years, 3 months ago by  ames5.
Post # 7
119 posts
Blushing bee

I did this after a Vegas wedding. I rewore my dress because it’s short/not super fancy. I contacted places that held events and called it a cocktail party (we did hors d’oeurvres and a beer/wine open bar), brought In a cake and hired a DJ. Since it’s not a plated dinner, we didn’t do a seating chart and had both normal tables and some high top tables (hoping people would be up dancing anyways, and they were!) We did do a “first dance” and no one cared it “technically” wasn’t the first. 

Post # 8
46978 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

krgenzer88:  Etiquette wise, it is fine to hold a reception after an elopement, intimate or destination wedding.

You simply invite people to “a celebration of the wedding of __ and ___  then add the details.

If you are not planning a meal, do not schedule the reception close to or over a time when people would expect a meal to be served.You can also help clarify your intent by the wording you choose:

drink, dance and be merry rather than eat, drink and be marry

or Please join us for cocktails and dancing to celebrate the marriage of…

If the time is 8 pm or later,people won’t be expecting a meal.

I see no problem with doing first dances. It will also help to get people out on the dance floor.

I would not bother with a seating plan.



Post # 10
4815 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

We’re planning on doing a similar thing.  We’re having a small wedding in Maine, and then have “celebrations” in our home states.  But ours will be appetizers/drinks/desserts only, and held at our house and my dad’s house.  Unfortunately, the one in my home state likely won’t happen until about 6 months after our actual wedding… it just depends on when we can make it back.  The one in his home state (where we live) will likely be about a month and a half afterwards.  I think I’m just going to do informal invites – likely via private Facebook event and calling anyone without Facebook.  We don’t want to spend a bunch of money on the celebration, and we don’t want any gifts.  We just don’t want people to feel left out… I have a huge family.

julies1949:  Great suggestions!

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