Wedding Reception Forum

Wedding and reception on different days?

I've seen this discussed in other forums, but nothing that fit my situation in particular. We're getting married on a Tuesday evening in October. I want that date in particular because it holds special meaning to us and it's the only detail I will not budge on. That being said, I realize a Tuesday is not the most opportune time for a ceremony, which I why I was wanting to hold the "celebration" that following Sunday. The city we live in also happens to have a giant festival going on that week. They have it every year and they literally close down the whole downtown area for activities. It lasts from Wednesday until Saturday and is a huge deal. I feel like I'm doing my guests a service by holding the celebration at a later date because getting to the town will be a nightmare. By that Sunday, everything will be back to normal. I plan on inviting everyone to both the ceremony and celebration, with the understanding that most will only make the celebration. Is this logical or do I have the celebration that Tuesday evening and just expect noone, save for close friends and family, to show up?

Re: Wedding and reception on different days?

  • Your wedding reception is immediately following your wedding ceremony. If you invite 2 guests, and then you go out for a drink after the ceremony and then go home, that was your wedding reception. (You should pay for the drinks, since you are thanking the guests for attending your wedding). 

    Have your wedding on Tuesday evening with a small number of VIP guests, and all go out to dinner immediately after the ceremony. On Sunday, have a "celebration of marriage" party where you DO NOT recreate any wedding events (i.e. no bridal party, no vows). However, you could have a first dance if it is literally your first dance, and do a cake cutting (because everyone loves cake), and I think you could even have some toasts if you want to, as long as you didn't have them at the actual reception. Since this isn't your wedding, I also don't think you should wear a "wedding gown" although if you are throwing a fancy party you can definitely dress fancy and wear white if you want. As the Tuesday and Sunday events are entirely separate, you should do entirely separate invites and can have separate guest lists. 

    I think the key here is to keep the Tuesday event really really small--like just immediate family and closest friends. I'd aim for no more than 10-20% of the guest list you're inviting to the Sunday event. Otherwise it just seems weird to have the two events, and you should just do it all on the Tuesday. 
  • We would still host a small gathering after the reception for the guests who came, the celebration later on would just be for the ones who couldn't make it.
  • If you invite people to the ceremony on Tuesday, you need to host something immediately afterwards to thank them for coming. Even a 2 hour gap would be rude...let alone a 5 DAY gap. Plus if the event is Sunday afternoon or evening, you're basically asking OOT guests to take a week of vacation. That's asking WAY too much.

    If the date is really that important to you (color me confused), then either do the entire thing - ceremony and reception - on Tuesday (and expect a high decline rate), or get married privately on Tuesday and host everyone Sunday.

    [Deleted User]PrettyGirlLost
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    edited January 2016
    I think it's really weird.   I guess I should say I do not "get" must have non-negotiable dates either.  

    Question:What happens when half or more of the guests DO come to the Tuesday event AND the Sunday event?   That can cost you a lot of money.   Or you could find yourself with a big turn out on Tuesday and not a lot on Sunday.

    FWIW - I also do not see how Sunday is much more desirable then a Tuesday night party.    For most people a Sunday night is a "school night", if you will.     They might not need to leave work early, but they still have to get up the next morning.   

    I would just have everything on the same day and let the cards fall where they will.

    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
    lc07STARMOON44holyguacamole79[Deleted User]
  • LondonLisaLondonLisa London, UK member
    Eighth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited January 2016
    Why is this date non-negotiable? 

     I think you have 2 options:

    1.) Elope or hold a small ceremony on that Tuesday. Take everyone out to dinner that night. This is your wedding and most likely will be very, very small as Tuesdays are horribly, horribly inconvenient. Any later celebration is just a party held by a husband and wife, so not-wedding related (no wedding gown, gifts, bridal party, first dances etc). 

    2.) Go out to dinner just you and your fi on that Tuesday and have a special meal just you two. Get married on any other day of the year that is convenient for you and your VIPs (most likely a weekend) and have your reception on the same day. 

    Truth is, you need to either budge on your wedding day or budge on having all your friends and family there. 

    You can't have it both ways. Your wedding day will be special because it is the day you got married. This Tuesday date will still continue to be special (there isn't a limit on how many sentimental days you can have). This way you can have 2 special dates you celebrate with your husband. 

    I'm sorry to say it, but I'm with PPs, I wouldn't attend a Tuesday wedding unless you were my sister or brother. It is really, really inconsiderate and selfish. 
  • Which is more important to you?   The date or the guests?

    If it's the date then plan the wedding for that date and invite your guests as you wish.   Deal with the declines and then call it a day.   One day.     No more parties after it.

    OR, if you want to celebrate with people as if it's a wedding reception, get married on a weekend day that's far more convenient.   As @STARMOON44  said, I don't understand the desire to do what your'e doing.   And if I'm one of your closest friends or family, you're actually treating them the worst by asking them to go to your Tuesday event and then the weekend one.   

    Remember, your wedding date is special because it's the day you get married.   My wedding day had no special significance to me until 2007.   Now we celebrate it every year since it's the day we got married.   Did you say you can't have a first date or first kiss or first whatever unless it was a date of special significance?    Move onto your future with your FI and create new special dates.   There's no need to cling to the ones in the past. 
    ILoveBeachMusic[Deleted User]SP29PrettyGirlLost
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    edited January 2016
    I can't read

    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers

    If this date is truly somehow more important than having your friends and family witness your wedding (which, fine, you do you, but IMO numbers on a calendar do not rank above the people I care about) you should elope. Get married on this uber-important day. No crappy consolation-prize celebration and absolutely do not re-enact your ceremony because it will be exactly like staging a play. A kind of boring one, since wedding ceremonies are fairly predictable and rarely if ever thrilling or genuinely comedic or, God forbid, tragic.

    ETA: By the way, please don't take any of this personally. We have heard this idea on here and elsewhere a million times and no one's situation is as unique as they think it is and this is never not a rude idea.

    Either the date is more important than the people, or the people are more important than the date. If the date is more important, just elope or accept the declines. Trying to pretend that this disjointed split event is somehow a service to your guests is a joke. 
    STARMOON44[Deleted User]InLoveInQueensPrettyGirlLost
  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    edited January 2016
    AddieCake said:
    Another silent GBCK, another SS melting away....
    Wow, I wonder how some of these people deal with real life. 
    [Deleted User]AddieCake
  • levioosalevioosa Southern California member
    Seventh Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    "My situation is special!"

    It never is. 

    [Deleted User]InLoveInQueensPrettyGirlLost
  • levioosa said:

    "My situation is special!"

    It never is. 
    But, but, but! This is her wedding day - a day like no other!
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