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Pre-wedding Parties

reception before private destination wedding

My fiance and I are thinking of having a pre-wedding reception that would be more of a sendoff/"we give you our blessing" party and then having our ceremony alone on the beach while on our honeymoon. 
I can't find any advice on this.  I feel this would still be appropriate, but how much "wedding" stuff do we do?  Do we treat it exactly like a normal reception? Do I wear a wedding dress?  Do we have a cake, dance, etc, etc.  Any insight on the idea would be greatly appreciated. 

Re: reception before private destination wedding

  • edited December 2011
    That sounds really strange to me, and I'd be even less likely to attend than if you had an AHR after the wedding.

    But I also think that AHRs should only be fore those invited to the wedding but who choose not to come.

    Wouldn't it feel strange to you to wear your wedding dress and dance with your "husband" before you're even married?  I wouldn't do it for those reasons alone.
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  • trix1223trix1223
    5000 Comments Combo Breaker 5 Love Its
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    edited December 2011
    The reason you're having trouble finding a nice way to say this is because there isn't any way to graciously say something that is ungracious.

    The "reception" is for the guests who attended your wedding.  What you're essentially saying to your family and friends is that you don't care enough about them to have them at your ceremony, but that they can come and bring you gifts.

    I'm sure it's not the message that you INTEND to send, but it's the message that many will get.

    Traditionally, a reception comes after the ceremony.  Any prewedding events really MUST, according to proper etiquette include anyone invited to the wedding.  Since you're not going to do that, you can't invite people to pre-wedding parties, including a "reception". 

    And I would find it especially odd to have you do a "first dance" as a married couple if you're not married.  To do a cake cutting (read the symbolism of it please) if you're not married.  To wear a wedding dress before the wedding is just bizarre to me.  Sorry, but as my mom used to say, you'd be doing everything "bass ackwards".

    But good luck.
    "Trix, it's what they/our parents wanted. Why so judgemental? And why is your wedding date over a year and a half ago? And why do you not have a groom's name? And why have you posted over 12,000 posts? And why do you always say mean things to brides?" palegirl146
  • trix1223trix1223
    5000 Comments Combo Breaker 5 Love Its
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    edited December 2011
    In Response to reception before private destination wedding:
    My fiance and I are thinking of having a pre-wedding reception that would be more of a sendoff/"we give you our blessing" party and then having our ceremony alone on the beach while on our honeymoon.  I can't find any advice on this.  I feel this would still be appropriate, but how much "wedding" stuff do we do?  Do we treat it exactly like a normal reception? Do I wear a wedding dress?  Do we have a cake, dance, etc, etc.  Any insight on the idea would be greatly appreciated. 
    Posted by Shark12
    JIC
    "Trix, it's what they/our parents wanted. Why so judgemental? And why is your wedding date over a year and a half ago? And why do you not have a groom's name? And why have you posted over 12,000 posts? And why do you always say mean things to brides?" palegirl146
  • edited December 2011
    Wow, 'm surprised at the responces to this.

    Basically my theory for most wedding things is this-your family loves you and they shouldn't care what you do for your wedding if it makes you happy.

    How about a simple bbq. Your back yard, or somewhere cheap but pretty like apark.

    Don't wear a wedding dress.

    You couldwear a simple but flattering white summer dress.

    I think it's agret idea. GL.
    perviously known as wannabecrunchymama
    cosyp13
  • edited December 2011
    I think a pre-wedding reception would be completely inappropriate. Like PP have said it will probably come off as very rude because you are basically saying that people aren't good enough to actually watch you get married.

    I also don't understand why you would consider doing this. Most people who get married on a beach alone do so because they don't like crowds or can't afford to host that many people or want an intimate ceremony and reception. Obviously that's not the case here or you wouldn't be doing it.

    What you could do is go get married on your vacation and have a party after you get back. But don't call it a wedding reception if you don't plan on inviting people to the wedding. Just have a BBQ or something "just because" and people can see you as a married couple for the first time without feeling obligated to give a you a gift.
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  • edited December 2011
    In Response to Re: reception before private destination wedding:
    Wow, 'm surprised at the responces to this. Basically my theory for most wedding things is this-your family loves you and they shouldn't care what you do for your wedding if it makes you happy. How about a simple bbq. Your back yard, or somewhere cheap but pretty like apark. Don't wear a wedding dress. You couldwear a simple but flattering white summer dress. I think it's agret idea. GL.
    Posted by LifeRemarkable

    Lurk longer and you won't be surprised.  And no, your family will feel sad and left out if you fly off somewhere and get married without them -- even if it makes you happy.  There are things in life that your family will say "do what makes you happy".  But, not including them in, of all things, your wedding can be hurtful.






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  • edited December 2011
    Nope - not appropriate.

    If they are not invited to the wedding, they don't attend anything else.

    If you want to get people together, have an unrelated party.  A family reunion? Family dinner? NOT a reception.  It's rude.
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  • edited December 2011
    To me the important part of a wedding is the part where you actually get married. A send of party is great and all if you're not going to include anyone in the ceremony, but if you do it then i don't think you should do any of the traditional 'wedding' related activities - no first dance, no cake, no registry, no big white poufy dress (a white dress would be fine, just not a wedding dress, cuz it's not a wedding), etc. Toasts wishing you two the best would be appropriate.

    The problem with receptions where people weren't invited to the ceremony is that it looks like you just want them to give you presents. Not having a registry would solve that problem.

    I would call it a "send off party", skip all the wedding related activities, and just leave it at that.
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  • edited December 2011
     I'm really surprised how harsh people are being!

    It's your wedding, do it YOUR way. If you want a private, intimate ceremony, then do it!  I think a celebratory party is a great idea! It may be better recieved/more fun to do it AFTER your wedding, but again that is your choice! If you want a party to celebrate your excitement, then keep it casual and make sure guests know your not just fishing for gifts. Good Luck :)
  • edited December 2011
    In Response to Re: reception before private destination wedding:
    Wow, 'm surprised at the responces to this. Basically my theory for most wedding things is this-your family loves you and they shouldn't care what you do for your wedding if it makes you happy. How about a simple bbq. Your back yard, or somewhere cheap but pretty like apark. Don't wear a wedding dress. You couldwear a simple but flattering white summer dress. I think it's agret idea. GL.
    Posted by LifeRemarkable

    With my family and friends we are more similar to this quote: If your family and friends are more etiquette then stick to not having a send off wedding. 

    What I would do if I were in your shoes is have a "SEND OFF PARTY" keep it really un wedding like. Still have food, drinks, dancing, even some speeches to your guests telling them how much they have meant to you and love that they came together before sending you and your FI into marriage....

    Do a white dress but not your wedding dress, maybe food from where you guys are going... Keep invites very "SEND OFF PARTY"  with rsvp and follow etiquette of enagement party on gifts- nobody has to bring one but hey if they do thanks.  Maybe if in budget get each person a small photo frame and say we will send you a photo of our wedding when you return. 

    These are all things my people would be comfy with.  
  • edited December 2011
    Last summer I went to a reception that was not attached to a wedding. The bride had been pregnant and wanted to drink at her reception, so they got married in front of a JP with only immediate family present. After the baby (and gym time) they had a wedding reception. She wore a white sun dress, served BBQ and had a first dance. no cake, no toasts, no registry. A few people brought cards which I assume held money, but when asked her parents (who threw the reception) said presents were not necessary. It was nice, but they were already married. idk.
  • edited December 2011
    Why not have the Reception after you get back? I, myself am also having a private wedding for just me and my Fiance' but then we're throwing a big informal reception for everyone to attend after. I didnt care to go through all the hastle of planning a wedding but I did want to see all our family and spend that special day with them. It would be silly for you to get dressed up in a wedding dress if you're not even getting married that day. I just suggest having the private wedding/honeymoon and then more like a celebration when you get back.
  • Wow somebody is incredibly bitter and judgmental.  You clearly didn't read their post they want to get married in another country and are being very considerate by still wanting to share this time with family and friends (natural), and if you knew anything at all about travel and destination weddings you'd realize how stressful and complicated the planning of that trip could be especially with jobs, time off etc.  Must be sad having nothing to do except bash other people who are nicely asking for advice. 
    cosyp13goldensangria
  • Loki555 said:
    Wow somebody is incredibly bitter and judgmental.  You clearly didn't read their post they want to get married in another country and are being very considerate by still wanting to share this time with family and friends (natural), and if you knew anything at all about travel and destination weddings you'd realize how stressful and complicated the planning of that trip could be especially with jobs, time off etc.  Must be sad having nothing to do except bash other people who are nicely asking for advice. 
    Not quite as sad as digging up two year-old posts just to whine about the replies.
    staar987Simply FatedQueerFemmeDreamergirl8812
  • SandraSandra
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    member

    Regardless of what other people may think, your weeding is about you and your fiancé. Not really for the Family.

    You have a reception because you want them to celebrate with you. So the point is to celebrate the event. You can do it as you like. There are no rules for anything if you thing about it. So just have fun and enjoy with your love ones a good time.

    Use something nice but not that elegant. Make a nice toast and eat some cake. 

    Celebrate life!!

    cosyp13
  • Sandra said:

    Regardless of what other people may think, your weeding is about you and your fiancé. Not really for the Family.<?xml:namespace prefix = o />

    You have a reception because you want them to celebrate with you. So the point is to celebrate the event. You can do it as you like. There are no rules for anything if you thing about it. So just have fun and enjoy with your love ones a good time.

    Use something nice but not that elegant. Make a nice toast and eat some cake. 

    Celebrate life!!


    Actually, there are etiquette rules.  The ceremony and marriage is about the couple. Once you invite guests, it's no longer just about the couple. You have to take etiquette and the guests comfort into consideration.  

    image

  • Sandra said:

    Regardless of what other people may think, your weeding is about you and your fiancé. Not really for the Family.

    You have a reception because you want them to celebrate with you. So the point is to celebrate the event. You can do it as you like. There are no rules for anything if you thing about it. So just have fun and enjoy with your love ones a good time.

    Use something nice but not that elegant. Make a nice toast and eat some cake. 

    Celebrate life!!

    No, you have a reception to thank your guests for coming to your ceremony.  That is the entire point of a reception.
    image
  • kmmssgkmmssg
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its Combo Breaker
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    What is the DEAL with digging up all these long dead posts lately?  Is it because it took someone 2 or 3 years worth of posts to find something they want validated for their own wedding?
    [Deleted User]
  • I think most people are completely off base here, the reception is for those attending the wedding, yes that is true in a conventional wedding.  However, this is not a reception, she clearly stated that she wanted to have a celebration/ send off before her destination wedding.  And why should they not have such a party???  There are many reasons why some guest may not be able to attend a destination wedding- age, health, financial reasons.  I think its a lovely idea to have a party to include those who cannot attend the destination wedding.  Keep in mind the bride and groom are still most likely paying a caterer, renting a venue, giving favors, sending invitations, providing entertainment and music--of course guests should bring a gift for the couple!  
    goldensangria
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