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I am from MN and my fiance is from WA; we are getting married in WA to be close to his family, but plan to have a celebratory reception back in MN with a larger group (we're keeping the wedding small-ish because we don't want to ask everyone to travel/spend the money on a weekend out of town, especially those with limited resources). The MN reception will be similar to our actual wedding reception - we'll have apps, drinks, dessert, etc. at a venue. This has caused a couple of etiquette conundrums:- bachelorette: can I invite friends who will be invited to our MN reception but not the WA wedding? No. It will be casual and possibly even free - a hike or possibly a beer at a local brewery.- shower: same issue, inviting those (especially friends of my parents) who will be invited to our MN reception but not WA wedding? No. This one is trickier as it often involves gift-giving, and I definitely do NOT want to see gift-grabby, only want to celebrate with those who express interest in doing so!Help!
Yeah, I have to agree that you only get one wedding day. If you want to have a small wedding that is fine, have a small wedding. But don't decide how people can and can't spend their money. Plan one wedding that includes everyone who you want to be there. Plan it for whatever place you would like and then invite everyone to that wedding. That frees you from all of the "Conundrums" that you are currently facing. It allows you to invite everyone you want to the showers/bachelorette, etc.
As a side note, if a lot of family can't make it to the actual wedding, or you want a small intimate wedding nothing is stopping you from hosting a "meet the new couple" BBQ after you're married. Just make sure to host it like any other party...it is not a second reception, but a party.
ETF: Words...they escaped me!
Agree with @CMGragain. People not invited to the wedding should not be invited to pre-wedding events, ie shower and b-party. That's basic etiquette. For whatever reason, you don't feel close enough to these people to invite them to your wedding. Especially since you are having a small wedding. Totally fine. But then it's rude to invite them to pre-wedding events.
It doesn't matter you are having a big party back in your hometown post wedding. That is not a wedding. That is not a reception. It's a party. You can call it a "celebration of marriage" or "meet the new couple" party, but you need to erase the word "reception" out of your thinking. I think it sounds like a great idea! But you need to call a spade, a spade.
And you can always invite whoever you wish to your wedding. Even if you think they can't/won't come. You shouldn't count on their not coming, you might be surprised. But, as long as they are invited to the wedding, they can then choose to just go to the shower (since its local) and not the wedding.
I think you'd be surprised how many people may be willing to travel to see you get married, even in another state. Please, don't make this decision for them. If you want them at your ceremony and reception (in WA) then invite them. Invite them to pre-wedding events as well and let them determine if they can afford to/want to make the trip.If you choose to have a celebration of marriage party in MN, be considerate of the fact that you should not be reenacting the ceremony, no BP, bouquet, etc.; just have a nice party. For the record I travel all the time for weddings, we live OOT from all our close friends and families. I would (and have) travelled across multiple states to be at someone's wedding. I'd be pretty unhappy if I was willing to do that, but then not invited to the ceremony, but to just a party later.
DD are rude, please don't do that. The consolation party is also rude, so again, please don't do that.
What it SOUNDS like you want is a destination wedding and an At Home Reception. However, everyone should be invited to witness the wedding. And for those that cannot attend the actual wedding, the AHR is the back up celebration to include the people who were unable to attend. If you go about planning your wedding this way, you can invite anyone invited to the wedding to any pre-wedding parties like the shower or b-party. What you are planning isn't terrible, but with a few changes you will fall onto the right side of etiquette.