Reception Ideas

Reception months after the wedding

So my husband and I were married April 16 and it was extremely small and intimate (just our best friends at the top of a mountain in Alaska). It was absolutely perfect, but we'd like to throw a reception in July to include all of our family members and friends that weren't invited to the ceremony.

I was just curious if anyone on the boards has done something like this and has some advice? I have the theme/venue chosen and guest list written but I'm wondering if there's a polite way to say something along the lines of "Oh hey I'm married! Really sorry we couldn't have you at the wedding but we'd love for you to come celebrate with us!" and to make the guests feel like they're just as much a part of our new life as everyone that was at the ceremony.

Thanks for the help ahead of time!

Re: Reception months after the wedding

  • The reception is meant to be a thank you to the guests that came to your ceremony. You've already had your wedding day and I don't see the need to have a reception months after the fact. You chose to have a small intimate ceremony and forfeited some of the perks of having a larger event.

    Why can't you just have a party to celebrate your marriage without all the frills of a reception? If I received a reception invite to wedding than happened months prior I would assume the couple were just looking for gifts and I would decline the invite.
    MyNameIsNotKnottiebdc634b0cdb57474
  • Call it a celebration or something...
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  • I disagree with pp. I think it is perfectly fine to have a reception on a different date other then the wedding. We are getting married in a different state and know some family & friends will not travel for it so we plan on having a reception a month or two later for those that weren't able to come. It WILL be wedding related, obviously we wont go all out but I plan on having the video from the ceremony playing & pictures up so people feel like they were there. If people wanted to get you a gift most likely they already did so. GO AHEAD AND DO IT!!
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  • I just don't get this. As I said in another thread, it's like having a birthday party 5 months after your birthday. Like dude...the event is over, why are you throwing a party for it NOW?
  • In Response to Re: Reception months after the wedding:
    I just don't get this. As I said in another thread, it's like having a birthday party 5 months after your birthday. Like dude...the event is over, why are you throwing a party for it NOW?
    Posted by courtney1188
    THIS!

    Unfortunately some people are going to miss your wedding, and when you make choices  that will deter a large portion of your guest list from attending or that excludes them entirely, than you just have to deal with the fact that they can't come and won't be there.

    You don't get to keep throwing parties just to "give everyone a chance to celebrate". If they wanted to celebrate that bad, they would throw you a party themselves.

    I'm not saying that you can't throw a nice party just because and invite all the people you wanted at your wedding, however you missed your chance to have a reception.
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  • I agree with some of the PP why not just have a BBQ or a party instead of a reception. At least you won't come of as gift grabby (or what ever its called)
    When life hands you lemons, you throw them back in life's face and say "F*ck you, I want some Orange juice, B!tch! Make it happen!"

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  • I agree with (almost) everyone else.  You made the decision to have the kind of wedding that you wanted.  Grown-ups learn to live with the consequences of their decision.

    In your case, the consequence is that you didn't get the "traditional" or "Wedding Industry Wedding".  I personally find it somewhat distasteful to purposely have a tiny wedding that people aren't invited to, but then have a big party because you still want that aspect of the wedding.

    If I really cared about celebrating with family/friends, I would have made a point of having a ceremony that they could attend.

    Sorry, I have no advice for you other than to have a 4th of July picnic for your family.  Just don't relate it AT ALL to your wedding.  Because it won't be about your wedding at all. 

    Your wedding is over.  You don't get to drag wedding "stuff" on for months and months and months and months.

    But good luck to you.
    "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
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  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta
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    I'm generally ok with AHRs and later receptions, but only if they are for people who couldn't make it, not for people that weren't invited.  If these people weren't invited to your actual wedding, it would be really poor form to invite them to a wedding related event after the fact.  

    If you want to have a party, have a party.  But don't make it about the wedding.
  • In Response to Reception months after the wedding:
    So my husband and I were married April 16 and it was extremely small and intimate (just our best friends at the top of a mountain in Alaska). It was absolutely perfect, but we'd like to throw a reception in July to include all of our family members and friends that weren't invited to the ceremony. I was just curious if anyone on the boards has done something like this and has some advice? I have the theme/venue chosen and guest list written but I'm wondering if there's a polite way to say something along the lines of "Oh hey I'm married! Really sorry we couldn't have you at the wedding but we'd love for you to come celebrate with us!" and to make the guests feel like they're just as much a part of our new life as everyone that was at the ceremony. Thanks for the help ahead of time!
    Posted by amandolynne

  • Amandolynne -

    My fiance and I are doing somthing very similar. We are having a destination wedding with immediate family and a reception to celebrate when we return. We are having it more of a party than a traditional wedding reception. It will be heavy apps and drinks. The invitations will be very informal asking everyone to come and celebrate. I have never heard of this practice being innapropriate. Good luck!
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    LegallyBrownIUKnottie1448995014
  • LOL! That's pretty much exactly what we did! We did it back in November and everyone was kinda pissed we didn't have a huge wedding so we're doing a vow renewal ceremony/reception in July. You can renew your vows if they'd like to see the ceremony, or just do a reception. Are you planning on wearing a dress? If so, I'd just do the vow renewal. We're having a family member be the "officiant." Just do all your invitations as "vow renewal" instead of "wedding". If you need help msg me--I just got done all our invitations/wording!
  • I know it's probably not as common or traditional as many people think, but my nephew did this for his wedding. He and his wife married in Antigua with just parents and a couple close friends present for the ceremony. They stayed there for a week as a honeymoon, while the family and friends returned to New Jersey, and after they came back they threw a huge reception. During the cocktail hour before the actual reception, they played videos of the actual ceremony, which was a nice touch. The whole thing was hawaiian themed since they married on the beach. Now since you're planning on throwing it months after the wedding, I wouldn't call it a reception. I would make it more of a "celebration of union", even though it's basically the same thing. I don't know if you have a video of the ceremony, but if you do it would definitely be awesome to include some sort of showing of it through the celebration. And definitely include lots of pictures of the ceremony since many gusts didn't get to witness it. I also wouldn't include many of the traditional reception activities. Making it more of just a party would make more sense. (A father bride dance 4 months after he gave you away at the alter is a little silly). 
  • In Response to Reception months after the wedding:
    So my husband and I were married April 16 and it was extremely small and intimate (just our best friends at the top of a mountain in Alaska). It was absolutely perfect, but we'd like to throw a reception in July to include all of our family members and friends that weren't invited to the ceremony. I was just curious if anyone on the boards has done something like this and has some advice? I have the theme/venue chosen and guest list written but I'm wondering if there's a polite way to say something along the lines of "Oh hey I'm married! Really sorry we couldn't have you at the wedding but we'd love for you to come celebrate with us!" and to make the guests feel like they're just as much a part of our new life as everyone that was at the ceremony. Thanks for the help ahead of time!
    Posted by amandolynne
     You didn't invite them to your wedding.  You shouldn't apologize.  You and your husband decided to have an intimate wedding, which is fine.  
  • In my social circle this isn't unusual as we've had lots of friends and families who have done small destination weddings with a larger party back home.   It's usually been a more casual cocktail party where they didn't do the traditional things like tossing the bouquet and cutting a cake, but it was definitely still a celebration of their marriage. 

    It sounds like you're just trying to figure out a way to word the invitation, you could always set it up more like a wedding announcement with a picture of you guys from the ceremony saying something like, "On April 19th John and Jane exchanged marriage vows on top of blah blah mountain in Alaska."   And then below that include invitiation wording for a "Celebratory Cocktail Party with Mr and Mrs Smith" or whatever.  Good luck!
  • I did almost the same thing.  We had a very small backyard wedding with only immediate family present.  We sent out a combination announcement/STD a few days after.  We have gotten great responses that everyone is excited they will get a chance to celebrate wtih us at our reception.  We worded the invitations something like this ".....invite you to celebrate in the joy of their recent marriage vows..."

    Hope this helps!  Do what will make you happy.  You don't want to do what strangers are telling you is their version of PC and then later wish you would have followed your heart.
  • CLB1981CLB1981
    Third Anniversary First Comment
    member
    I say go ahead and have a party.  A few of my cousins were married away from family and friends and decided to have a potluck/BBQ to celebrate after a period of time.  I never thought that it was the wrong thing to do and have considered it as an option for myself.

    As people have been reminding me as I stress over the initial decisions, this is your wedding and you should do it how you want to do.  You can't please everyone.

    Congrats and good luck!
  • my boyfriend and i are planning something similar. we'd already been planning for a wedding when we found out we were pregnant (i'm 15 weeks). wanting to be married before the baby arrives and before i get too huge, we've opted to push the date forward (in two weeks! yikes!) and just invite immediate family - there will only be 20 of us. something small and simple and not stressful because pregnancy is stressful enough. then, after the baby is born, we will have a larger celebration - probably show pictures of our ceremony and maybe a short speech at the beginning sharing our love story and thanking everyone for coming but mostly it will serve as a relaxed party where both sides of the family and friends can meet each other and meet baby. we both come from huge families, so this has been very tricky to navigate but for the most part people have been understanding. and we are not registered anywhere because we've lived together for a few years and already have our home set up - don't need anything like that, you know. but if people want to bring something for the baby, well, i won't say no to that. kids are expensive! :)

    i don't know if this site might help but it's worth a shot: http://apracticalwedding.com/2013/05/post-elopement-reception/

    good luck with your plans - do what you want to do, it's your party.
  • JCbride2015JCbride2015 Dirty Jerz
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    @KnotPorscha zombie thread.
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    "I'm not a rude bitch.  I'm ten rude bitches in a large coat."

  • If you want to do that just do a 1 year vow renewal or just throw a party, but no "first dance", big white dress, etc since you are already married it is not a wedding. But I'm all up for celebrating!
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  • @JCbride2015 thanks. I'm over here rambling without looking!
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  • theartistformerlyknownastheartistformerlyknownas peaced out.
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    JFC what's with all the zombie resurrections today?

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