Destination Weddings

Etiquette ?'s re: Destination wedding

I am brand new to TK. We got engaged last month, and this is what I am thinking re:the wedding. I am really eager to get some opinions about this. Some background: I am a first-time bride in my late 40's. FI is in his late 60's. I have no kids and an extremely small family.( my mom and my brother. Neither have SO's and my brother has no kids) My FI has 3 children in their early 30's. None are married or have kids. 2 have SO's. We want a super small, intimate, elegant wedding. It will be: my mom, my brother, his 3 kids, their 2 significant others, and my BF. We want to do a transatlantic voyage on the Queen Mary, and get married by the captain at sea. We will be paying for all costs. Here are my ?'s:

1) I have no interest in a bachelorette party, and it would be inappropriate. A number of friends really want to throw me a bridal shower. I really wouldn't mind having one, but I think it is a breach of etiquette because they would be inviting people who are obviously not invited to the wedding? 

2) Would it be any less of a breach of etiquette to have a "bridal shower" where there is no "shower" part? In other words, no gifts. We have 3 households between us and need nothing. I'm thinking just a little party/celebration type thing with my GF's. Maybe a brunch with mimosas or something like that?

3) After the wedding/honeymoon, I'll send out cards announcing the marriage. I was also thinking about maybe having a cocktail party to celebrate with our couple friends. Again, no gifts, and completely at our expense. 

I'm wondering what people think of these plans? Any downside to them or helpful suggestions? Am I making any etiquette gaffes? Thanks in advance, and sorry the post is so long!
lnixon8InLoveInQueenssparklepants41

Re: Etiquette ?'s re: Destination wedding

  • 1. You are correct. Only people invited to the wedding should be invited to pre-wedding related parties.
    2. Just call it brunch with friends or whatever. The topic of the wedding is bound to come up but if you don't make it a wedding related party then any one can be invited.
    3. Absolutely, have a party. No one ever needs an excuse to have a party! 

    The cruise sounds like a lot but as long as you are paying for everyone and they are happy with it, bon voyage! :)
    charlotte989875ernursejSP29
  • Ok so first of all, that cruise sounds awesome!! Your families are so lucky :)

    Your questions..

    1. Yes, technically it is against etiquette to have a shower for people who aren't invited to the wedding. The exception would be work friends, church group, etc who celebrate everyone's everything and know they're not invited. The reason for that guideline being you're asking people to celebrate (and bring a gift for) something they're not invited to.

    2. I personally wouldn't side-eye this, but I think some people may find it a little rude (same reasoning as above). However, my take on it would be...if your friends want to plan a party and everyone invited knows your wedding plans, go for it! 

    3. Yes, totally fine! A lot of people host after-parties for their destination weddings. As long as it's hosted properly and not a re-creation of your ceremony you're good to go. You can certainly have pictures for those who want to see, but don't wear a white dress, etc. It's also generally considered rude to specify "no gifts," as that signifies you were assuming people would bring gifts. Just don't make a registry, and politely accept any gifts that are brought :) 
    charlotte989875
  • CMGragainCMGragain
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 25 Answers
    member


    I am brand new to TK. We got engaged last month, and this is what I am thinking re:the wedding. I am really eager to get some opinions about this. Some background: I am a first-time bride in my late 40's. FI is in his late 60's. I have no kids and an extremely small family.( my mom and my brother. Neither have SO's and my brother has no kids) My FI has 3 children in their early 30's. None are married or have kids. 2 have SO's. We want a super small, intimate, elegant wedding. It will be: my mom, my brother, his 3 kids, their 2 significant others, and my BF. We want to do a transatlantic voyage on the Queen Mary, and get married by the captain at sea. We will be paying for all costs. Here are my ?'s:

    1) I have no interest in a bachelorette party, and it would be inappropriate. A number of friends really want to throw me a bridal shower. I really wouldn't mind having one, but I think it is a breach of etiquette because they would be inviting people who are obviously not invited to the wedding? 

    2) Would it be any less of a breach of etiquette to have a "bridal shower" where there is no "shower" part? In other words, no gifts. We have 3 households between us and need nothing. I'm thinking just a little party/celebration type thing with my GF's. Maybe a brunch with mimosas or something like that?

    3) After the wedding/honeymoon, I'll send out cards announcing the marriage. I was also thinking about maybe having a cocktail party to celebrate with our couple friends. Again, no gifts, and completely at our expense. 

    I'm wondering what people think of these plans? Any downside to them or helpful suggestions? Am I making any etiquette gaffes? Thanks in advance, and sorry the post is so long!


    Well, the rule is that anyone who is invited to any pre-wedding party (shower or a bachelorette) must also be invited to the wedding.  This gives you your out on the bach. party.  You can decline it with thanks.  No shower, either, I'm afraid.

    Your idea about the party to celebrate after your return is fine!  You can invite all those people whom you would have invited to a shower and have a fine time.
    Tell the people who want to give you the parties that you will celebrate with them after you get back from your honeymoon.

    I am a frequent cruiser, myself.  I have done a transatlantic with Holland America.  Have you cruised before?

    I think your plans sound perfectly lovely! Oh, and he's not your BF anymore, he's your FI (fiance)!  Congratulations! :)
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
  • Thanks to everyone so far for some great ideas. I didn't know that about the "no gifts." Great tip, and I get it. We obviously aren't registering anywhere, so that should take care of itself! We have cruised before, but not on the Queen Mary. My mom and brother just did this cruise for her 70th last year, and loved it. They will be at the weddings. We love the idea of "landing" in Southampton. We can do European honeymoon, and then fly back. I do have 2 more ?'s:

    1) What is the best timeframe after we get back from the honeymoon to have the party? Are there any recommendations on that? A month or two?

    2) I can't believe I forgot to ask this in the original post. We got engaged last month, and people are naturally asking about wedding plans. When I told two of my GF's about it, they said , "we're coming!" They made it clear that it was at their expense, and they just want to see me get married and go on an awesome trip at the same time! I'm thinking a few other people might say the same thing? We are having a private, separate dinner after the wedding, which has an upcharge, which we will pay for these 2 guests. It is obviously an "open" cruise and anyone can buy a ticket if they want. Am I handling this correctly?
  • CMGragainCMGragain
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 25 Answers
    member
    edited June 1
    Well, it is rude to invite yourself to someone's wedding.  It is up to you how to handle this uncomfortable situation.

    1.  You can tell your friends that you are having a private, intimate ceremony with immediate family only.  (They can cruise if they wish, but that does not automatically make them wedding guests.)

    2.  You can suck it up and invite them to your ceremony and reception.

    Either response is etiquette approved, but only you know your friends and how they will react.  They might change their minds after they review the costs.

    About the party, I would wait about a month.  Time for you to have sent out your announcements (Very proper!) and get your photos organized or maybe scrapbooked.


    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
    SP29
  • Oops. I meant best friend" when I said "BF!" I guess I need to study all the acronyms on here!
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    member
    Just wanted to add that my H and I sailed on the QE2 a few years ago, and we absolutely loved it. Obviously the Queen Mary is a different ship, but we loved sailing with Cunard. Are you leaving out of Southampton? 

  • 1. I think a month fine. I probably would think 3 months would be the longest I would push it, after it would seem weird. Unless there were obvious obstacles; waiting house renovations to be finished, semesters to end, moving, etc.

    2. Lots of people say they are coming when you first get engaged. Sometimes they make it, sometimes they don't. If they purchase the ticket, and you want to invite them to the ceremony, paying for them to come to the reception dinner is the correct thing to do. 
  • Thanks! I think that we will love it, too. We will be doing the Brooklyn to Southampton route. Plan is to honeymoon in Europe and then fly back. If you go to YouTube and type in "Cunard weddings" they have a 3 minute video that totally sums it all up. I would have LOVED to go on the QE2.
    climbingwife
  • This sounds so lovely!
  • This all sounds lovely. Congratulations and enjoy! 
    image
  • This sounds lovely, and extremely generous. Congratulations!
  • CMGragainCMGragain
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 25 Answers
    member
    It is so nice to see a new Knottie who is doing it right!  Stick around if you have any more questions.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
  • Thanks. I'm sure more questions will come up. I appreciate the input/advice!
    missJeanLouise
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