Post # 1
Hi everyone! I’m new here. My FH just officially proposed today, yay!! Anyway, we’ve been talking about getting married and the wedding for a few months now. Tonight we had a LONG talk about what we actually wanted to do… and here’s our thoughts so far:
We want a small beach wedding. The beach is about four hours away from us/our families. We only want our immediate families there(about 10 people total – including us).
We still would like a celebration with all of our friends and extended family though. So we thought about doing a reception at home the week following the actual wedding. That seems somewhat common with destination weddings, right? But then, complicating things, we also decided we want to have a handfasting ceremony. We do not want to do this at the beach. We want a short ceremony(including a sand ceremony) at the beach… and we don’t want the ribbons to be flying away. So, would it be awkward for us to have two ceremonies – the official wedding then the reception with a handfasting ceremony before it at home?
We want the beach wedding to be with modern music played, etc… but the handfasting to be with a bagpiper. We’re not religious but we have Irish and Scottish hertiage.
If we do this – there’s a few issues we need help with:
-How do we word the invitations to the reception/handfasting? (We want it to be somewhat casual, but not completely tacky)
-Would we need to have an actual officiant perform the handfasting or could we ask a friend to perform it?
Thanks to anyone who can help at all!! Any comments are welcome.
Post # 3
I think you need to be clear that you will already be married at the time of the handfasting ceremony. There are a bunch of threads talking about already being married but still having a ceremony, and there are some really mixed responses.
As for wording, be specific. “Bride and Groom invite you to witness their bond with a handfasting ceremony at (date/time/place). Reception to follow immediately.” or something like that.
If I’m understanding the handfasting ceremony correctly, it’s not a religious thing at all, so I don’t think you’d need an officiant for it. Plus, you’d already be legally married by the officiant at your beach wedding, so the point is null unless there is a religious aspect in it.
Post # 4
Thank you Abbie. I really like that example for the wording! I was thinking along the same lines with not having an actual officiant for it, but I’m afraid people around here will just see it as weird – especially if it’s just done by a friend. But I guess, like I feel about everything else, it’s what we want to do and I think our true friends will understand that. =)
Post # 5
With Destination Wedding, people that have AHR they are typically celebration parites, not full on recpetions as that is the event that takes place right after the ceremony. This way anyone can be invited to an AHR, not just wedding guests as it’s a party.
Is the handfasting because you want to do one and don’t want ribbons flying in the wind? Or do you think it will be meaning ful to the guests? If it’s just purely a show, then I’m sure anyone can do a reading and wrap the ribbons around you. Some use it in their legal ceremony as well, but since you’ll be married already, it seems to fall under the “show the guests?”
Post # 6
Sienna -Any party that welcomes or celebrates something can be called a reception. AHR even means at home reception, no? I’m not very concerned with semantics… I just want a lot of our friends and extended family to get together in one location to eat, drink, dance, and have fun.
I guess I just don’t get what you’re asking. We want to do a handfasting ceremony. It’s important in our culture. We like the symbolism it can have. We love that it’s not necessarily religious. We’re not even sure many of the guests would understand it, so we figure if we do it in front of them we’d have to explain it in detail. But that’s okay. So, no, I don’t think we’re doing it just for show.
Post # 7
I forgot – Congratulations on the engagement!
Reception is meant to recieve your guests – thank them for coming to the wedding. So AHR is kind of a misnomer even though we use the term often.
There’s the etiquette rule that guests invited to the wedding are the only people you can invite to wedding related events (reception, bach parties, enagement parties, showers). It’s etiquette, not semantics.
So AHR doesn’t fall under this category as anyone can be invited to an AHR, even people not invited to the wedding. You can repeat vows, do a speech, handfasting or nothing at all.
We’re not even sure many of the guests would understand it, so we figure if we do it in front of them we’d have to explain it in detail.
You could put info on each table regarding the handfasting meaning or if somone runs the handfasting they can say what the meaning is. Since it’s not legal, I’d think anyone can run it.
Post # 8
I’ve known people who do full on receptions after a dw. I think following what Abbie said with the wording.