Destination Weddings

Family is Everywhere! What to do? Multiple receptions?

Hello everybody! New here, and love reading everything :smiley: I'm having a dilemma which I'm sure is common nowadays, but I'm not sure what to do! My FH and I met and live in Montana where we go to school, and this is where we consider home. His family is almost all exclusively in CA or Europe, while mine is all in the Midwest. We don't have terribly many friends left where we live as they have moved on with their lives. We want to have the big wedding that we have always dreamed of, but can't think of how to include all of our loved ones!! As always, budget it tight, but whose isn't?? I'm hesitant to do a full on DW because we are Catholic, and want our ceremony in our church, most preferably here. I'm thinking we are going to probably do multiple receptions, but how to do that smoothly without looking like we are favoring one family over another? Lots to think about, and would love to hear some advice/experience! Thanks guys! 

Re: Family is Everywhere! What to do? Multiple receptions?

  • Hi there! Well first off congrats on the engagement! That's super exciting! I think you should just plan your big wedding AND reception where you are, since you would like to get married in your church and that it seems to be important to you. It sounds like no matter what someone will be traveling so just have everyone travel to you. I would definitely check with your VIP's (people you couldn't imagine getting married without) and see if that would work (meaning have a date in mind) for them! You'd be surprised how many people, especially family, would travel to see you two get married!

    You unfortunately wouldn't be able to have multiple receptions because a reception is a Thank You to your guests for watching your ceremony. What you could do is when you guys travel to go see everyone have a Celebration of Marriage party and invite everyone to a dinner or something that you and your now husband would be hosting. However I would go with the first suggestion and just have your wedding where you are now, because your saying you don't want to make it look like your favoring one family over the other. This way everyone is traveling to you and no one should feel slighted.

    STARMOON44short+sassy
  • CMGragainCMGragain
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 25 Answers
    member
    edited November 6
    I think you should simply plan your wedding at your church because that is what you really want to do.
     
    1.  Set your budget.  This will be all the money you have to spend on your wedding.
    2.  Draw up a guest list of everyone whom you want to invite to your wedding.  Never mind where they live.  That isn't your problem.
    3.  Talk to your priest about scheduling your wedding time.  If you have an early afternoon ceremony, you must plan a reception to follow within the hour.  No gaps!
    4.  Now that you have all the information you need, start looking for reception venues that fit your guest list and budget.

    Since most of your guests will be coming from a long distance, you do need to send out Save the Date cards so they can make arrangements.  It is nice to have a hotel or two blocked out for their convenience.  Though Save the Dates don't require a response, you will probably hear by the family grapevines about who can come.

    It is your guests choice to attend your wedding, or not.  There will always be some people who cannot come.  Hopefully, your VIPs will be able to make it.  Be prepared for some declines because of the distance, but you can't please everybody.  I hope you have a lovely wedding day.

    My daughter was married in Maryland, and our relatives are in Iowa, while we live in Colorado.  Only a few family members came, but we are not a close family, so that was no surprise.  It was a wonderful day.

    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
    SP29STARMOON44short+sassy
  • CMGragainCMGragain
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 25 Answers
    member
    edited November 6
    Yes, please forget about the multiple receptions.  You only get one wedding day and one wedding reception on that day.  If you are traveling to visit your families in the future, they can chose to host a party for you, but it will not be a part of your wedding at all, just a party.

    Two years ago, I talked to a man at my church who had paid for three receptions for his daughter.  He was unhappy about the situation, and rightly so.  Your wedding reception is not a traveling carnival show.  To have multiple receptions on different days is not appropriate.  Please don't do this.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
    STARMOON44short+sassy
  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs
    5000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    member
    I agree with everything all posters have said.  I do want to stress one point that @CMGragain highlighted.

    With most Catholic weddings, you must speak with your priest first about setting a date. Do NOT book a venue until you have a firm date chosen with the church.  Many Catholic Churches limit their Saturday offerings because they often hold a Saturday night vigil mass.  More often than not, a 3:00 PM mass is the latest time offered on a Saturday.  Your reception does need to start immediately following mass as a gap is very impolite.  If your heart desires an evening reception, see if your Church offers a Friday late afternoon/early evening nuptial mass.
    InLoveInQueensSP29CMGragainlevioosa
  • SP29SP29
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    member
    It seems that you are invested in continuing with your local church and your Catholic faith- that is your priority then and what you should start with (setting a date and time for your wedding with your church).

    As said above, you only get one wedding date. While you are welcome to host a celebration of marriage party or "meet the newlyweds" party, these are separate events from your wedding. Host your wedding appropriately and those who can come, will.

    It seems fair that since both sides of the family must travel, you may as well have it in the city where you and your FI live (particularly since you wish to continue with your current church). Do consider your VIPs when setting a date.

    When DH and I married we lived away from our families (similar to yourself, OP), but our families live in relatively the same area. We did have friends where we lived but we chose to get married in our hometown because it was easier for our friends to travel (although only about half could attend due to finances, date of travel and time off) than for our families (much larger number of people, older family members with health issues). In this case, it made sense to make us travel because we weren't favouring one side of the family over the other, but we also did not have any religious preferences/obligations that tied us to any one venue.
    short+sassy
  • flantasticflantastic The Midwest
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    member
    knottie3d757a6bd8ef3a24 said:
    Hello everybody! New here, and love reading everything :smiley: I'm having a dilemma which I'm sure is common nowadays, but I'm not sure what to do! My FH and I met and live in Montana where we go to school, and this is where we consider home. His family is almost all exclusively in CA or Europe, while mine is all in the Midwest. We don't have terribly many friends left where we live as they have moved on with their lives. We want to have the big wedding that we have always dreamed of, but can't think of how to include all of our loved ones!! As always, budget it tight, but whose isn't?? I'm hesitant to do a full on DW because we are Catholic, and want our ceremony in our church, most preferably here. I'm thinking we are going to probably do multiple receptions, but how to do that smoothly without looking like we are favoring one family over another? Lots to think about, and would love to hear some advice/experience! Thanks guys! 

    As a fellow Catholic, I get wanting to be at your parish, and I also don't care about follow-up parties if I don't get to see the sacrament, which is the important part. Just have the wedding and (single) reception in Montana. Those who can make it, will, and it's not showing favoritism.

    I really don't need to go to a secondary reception in my city for a wedding that already happened, and most of your family and friends will feel the same way. If they can't go to the wedding itself, they may be disappointed, but that's life, and another party without the wedding isn't going to make them feel better about it.

    Anniversary

    charlotte989875CMGragainshort+sassy
  • We also had a guest list from all over! We ended up getting married where we live, because it was wayyyyy easier for planning, and none of our immediate family had issue traveling here. 

    It sounds like you're pretty invested in your church & your community, which is awesome! I would suggest checking with your immediate families or any other VIPs to make sure they could all make the trip, and then have your wedding where you live now. Having multiple "receptions" around the country is poor etiquette. BUT there's nothing wrong with a "hey meet my new spouse!" dinner or something. We had a cookout at my parent's house for the few family members who weren't able to attend our wedding. It was super low-key, and the only wedding talk was when someone asked to see pictures. 
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