Wedding Etiquette Forum

Reception Only, what to wear?

My husband and I married at the court house on his 2 weeks of leave from Afghanistan and the day that we left the hospital after having our son.  We want to have a reception now, a year later.  What should I wear?  I'd love to have a fancy wedding dress but is that awkward without a ceremony before hand???
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Re: Reception Only, what to wear?

  • My husband and I were married at the court house last year on the day we were discharged from the hospital after we had our son.  this was also on his two weeks of leave from afghanistan.  now we'd like to have a reception a year later but what do i wear???  is it awkward to get a traditional dress or should i go for it?!?! 
  • I would go for a short white dress or a simple long white dress. 
  • I would recommend a short white dress -very simple.

    A big white ball gown is strange when you are basically throwing a party to celebrate your marriage (think basically a lovely anniversary party). You can wear what you want. But I would feel silly wearing a huge wedding dress when I'm a married woman.

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  • I wouldn't really call it a "reception" this far after the fact.  Are you doing it on your anniversary?  I'd just call it an anniversary party.  If you want to wear a white or ivory dress, that's fine, but I think it would look a little silly to wear a full-on bridal gown for something like that.  Maybe a white or ivory sundress or suit?
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  • I think the "reception" ship has sailed.
  • In this situation I wouldn't mind seeing the bride in a wedding dress.  But, I would go with a cute short one, or a more subdued long if you want.  I would NOT go with a huge ball gown type with a full on veil.
  • I say wear it. You decided to get married on his leave and you just had a baby. In my opinion, I think this is an ok exception.
    227 Invited image
    136 Ready to party image
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_reception-only-what-to-wear?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:1bc505dd-58a5-4feb-aef2-3dfec1087a9dPost:8d10913c-b663-419f-9647-de5854b34edf">Re: Reception Only, what to wear?</a>:
    [QUOTE]I say wear it. You decided to get married on his leave and you just had a baby. In my <strong>terrible</strong> opinion, I think this is an ok exception.
    Posted by PaddysGirl8[/QUOTE]

    FTFY
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  • If your date, August 31, 2012, is the date of the party, I think a short dress would really fit. August is so hot. But I might be partial, I had a short wedding dress (I took a ball gown and cut it so it became a short dress).

    Planning Bio
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_reception-only-what-to-wear?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:1bc505dd-58a5-4feb-aef2-3dfec1087a9dPost:06f33f6f-768a-469f-a170-25f4e419371d">Re: Reception Only, what to wear?</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Reception Only, what to wear? : FTFY
    Posted by Habs2Hart[/QUOTE]

    Haha Habs.

    I vote for a short white dress.
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  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Fancy dress, yes.  Fancy wedding dress, no.  

    If you want long, I'd go with something more like a BM dress in white.  But like PPs said, I would prefer a short dress in August.  A fancy white cocktail dress could be awesome.  
  • If you are just having a reception party it would seem awkward to have the big white ball gown. However, maybe you can make it some sort of vow renewal, that way you can dress it up a bit more. Also, if you had been able to have your dream wedding the first time around, would it have been a religious ceremony? I ask because if that's so, maybe you can do that ceremony now then you can have the full-on wedding gown and party.

    With that said, your circumstances are unique so if you and your H don't feel weird about it and you think your families and friends wouldn't find it odd that you did the whole shebang so long after the fact, do it. And if you know anyone who might give you the side eye about a delayed reception, don't invite them. I just think that it might be best to forgo registering and expecting any gifts (although some people might still bring something).
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_reception-only-what-to-wear?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:1bc505dd-58a5-4feb-aef2-3dfec1087a9dPost:591cb025-7e46-4aa3-9d13-48d3b39b05e3">Re: Reception Only, what to wear?</a>:
    [QUOTE]If you are just having a reception party it would seem awkward to have the big white ball gown. However, maybe you can make it some sort of vow renewal, that way you can dress it up a bit more. Also, if you had been able to have your dream wedding the first time around, would it have been a religious ceremony? I ask because if that's so, maybe you can do that ceremony now then you can have the full-on wedding gown and party. With that said, your circumstances are unique so if you and your H don't feel weird about it and you think your families and friends wouldn't find it odd that you did the whole shebang so long after the fact, do it. And if you know anyone who might give you the side eye about a delayed reception, don't invite them. I just think that it might be best to forgo registering and expecting any gifts (although some people might still bring something).
    Posted by Squishy'sGal[/QUOTE]

    Please don't listen to any of this.  Your situation is not unique.  Yes, it would be weird to have a fake wedding a year later.  Good luck finding a priest/pastor/whatever to perform a fake wedding ceremony.  Vow renewals at one year aren't my bag, but if done properly they can be ok.
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    But Christmas has a pregnant virgin.

    Way cooler." - anna.oskar
  • Agreed that the ship has sailed on a reception. Do an anniversary party if you must, and don't wear a wedding dress. And don't do a vow renewal, that's utter foolishness without a milestone anniversary of 25 or 50 years, or a situation where you've gone through some rough times like a separation and have gotten through it and want to reaffirm your commitment.
  • Will he be gone for that long because that changes everything. I wouldnt do a reception if my H wasn't there because he is serving our country. Now if he comes back or is already back reception wouldn't be the word that I would use. It would be more of an anniversary celebration because its a year later. I would go with a very cute short white dress and for him nice pants and dress shirt.   Like I said, totally understand waiting a year to do the reception if he will be overseas until then. I would totally understand given the circumstances. But if he is home already or is going to be home early, do is as soon as he comes back. Hope this helps :)
  • This is one area of etiquette that I don't agree with... if a couple has to get legally married in a short period of time, for one reason or another, I don't see why they can't have the big party later with the dress, the cake, etc. Registries and showers would be tacky, IMO, since the couple is already married, but I guess I don't mind the rest of it. However, that's just my opinion and it is NOT etiquette.

    If proper etiquette on this is important to you, and I assume it is since you posted on this board, don't wear a big white dress. As you can see from your poll results, most people advise against it.
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  • adamar15adamar15 member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments
    edited March 2012
    They don't HAVE to get married. 
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    Way cooler." - anna.oskar
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_reception-only-what-to-wear?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:1bc505dd-58a5-4feb-aef2-3dfec1087a9dPost:629f6fd8-5e88-4873-ba06-2875d45551a7">Re: Reception Only, what to wear?</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Reception Only, what to wear? : Please don't listen to any of this.  Your situation is not unique.  Yes, it would be weird to have a fake wedding a year later.  Good luck finding a priest/pastor/whatever to perform a fake wedding ceremony.  Vow renewals at one year aren't my bag, but if done properly they can be ok.
    Posted by adamar15[/QUOTE]
    <div>
    </div><div>I don't see how having a religious ceremony after the civil ceremony is a fake wedding. The civil ceremony makes it legal but the religious ceremony is a commitment before God - how is that fake? And who the hell is anybody to say that having a big reception after the fact is wrong? As long as she doesn't register and makes it clear that she wants no gifts (cash or otherwise), why not have a great big, fancy celebration with family and friends?</div>
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_reception-only-what-to-wear?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:1bc505dd-58a5-4feb-aef2-3dfec1087a9dPost:63cd2e92-5eaa-4fee-8846-91fd58fe5405">Re: Reception Only, what to wear?</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Reception Only, what to wear? : I don't see how having a religious ceremony after the civil ceremony is a fake wedding. The civil ceremony makes it legal but the <strong>religious ceremony is a commitment before God</strong> - how is that fake? And who the hell is anybody to say that having a big reception after the fact is wrong? As long as she doesn't register and makes it clear that she wants no gifts (cash or otherwise), why not have a great big, fancy celebration with family and friends?
    Posted by Squishy'sGal[/QUOTE]

    Last time I checked, God was everywhere. :)
  • edited March 2012
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_reception-only-what-to-wear?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:1bc505dd-58a5-4feb-aef2-3dfec1087a9dPost:63cd2e92-5eaa-4fee-8846-91fd58fe5405">Re: Reception Only, what to wear?</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Reception Only, what to wear? : I don't see how having a religious ceremony after the civil ceremony is a fake wedding. The civil ceremony makes it legal but the religious ceremony is a commitment before God - how is that fake? [/QUOTE]
    A religious ceremony that takes place a year after a couple is married would be a convalidation, not a wedding. Those are meant to be very low key and not wedding-like. It is the church blessing the marriage. Although I'd think this disingenuous, in that if it's important for a couple to be married in their church, they should have done so in the first place. I'd think differently in a case where a couple just started practicing a new religion, but that's generally not a situation that gets discussed here.

    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_reception-only-what-to-wear?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:1bc505dd-58a5-4feb-aef2-3dfec1087a9dPost:63cd2e92-5eaa-4fee-8846-91fd58fe5405">Re: Reception Only, what to wear?</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Reception Only, what to wear? :And who the hell is anybody to say that having a big reception after the fact is wrong? As long as she doesn't register and makes it clear that she wants no gifts (cash or otherwise), why not have a great big, fancy celebration with family and friends?
    Posted by Squishy'sGal[/QUOTE]
    It's fine to have an anniversary party that doesn't resemble a wedding if they want to celebrate their marriage with their loved ones. As has been said, the ship has sailed on a reception. The reception is a thank you to people who have attended the wedding ceremony.
  • I think that it would be weird to call it a reception at this point.  And I also think it would be weird to wear a wedding dress.  It would be fine to wear a fancy dress and have a party, but at this point, I don't think it's a reception.
  • aragx6aragx6 member
    2500 Comments 5 Love Its Combo Breaker
    edited March 2012
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_reception-only-what-to-wear?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:1bc505dd-58a5-4feb-aef2-3dfec1087a9dPost:c02b0001-95c7-41a2-92cf-a73fe4993d42">Re: Reception Only, what to wear?</a>:
    [QUOTE]They don't HAVE to get married. 
    Posted by adamar15[/QUOTE]

    This.

    Also, I agree their situation is far from "unique" -- there are almost 1.5 active military personnel in this country. It comes with its own set of issues and sacrifices like everything in life.

    I have no problem with an anniversary party to celebrate your fairly recent marriage with your loved ones, but keeping it low key is the best way to ensure you don't look tacky. Sounds like you've pretty much got the right idea.

    *edited for spelling
    Lizzie
  • Why is everyone suggesting a white dress? This is an etiquette board. You're fine to have a party celebrating the anniversary of your wedding. The length and the style of the dress depends on the formality of the party. I get that hardly anyone is a virgin when they get married but you've already had the wedding and you have the child. I think there are much more appropriate color options that would still be fun and gorgeous to wear. I'm really not trying to be rude but this is an etiquette board- the length and style of the dress have nothing to do with this situation but the color does.
  • redheadfsuredheadfsu member
    2500 Comments
    edited March 2012
    <div align="left">In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_reception-only-what-to-wear?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:1bc505dd-58a5-4feb-aef2-3dfec1087a9dPost:5c95046f-a542-45fa-a2b2-0ba0ee211590">Re: Reception Only, what to wear?</a>:
    [QUOTE]Why is everyone suggesting a white dress? This is an etiquette board. You're fine to have a party celebrating the anniversary of your wedding. The length and the style of the dress depends on the formality of the party. I get that hardly anyone is a virgin when they get married but you've already had the wedding and you have the child. I think there are much more appropriate color options that would still be fun and gorgeous to wear. I'm really not trying to be rude but this is an etiquette board- the length and style of the dress have nothing to do with this situation but the color does.
    Posted by Caroli1210[/QUOTE]

    ::facepalm::

    A white wedding dress has nothing to do with virginity. People wore white to show they were rich, that the dress would be worn only once (Queen Victoria started it) Look it up before you say things that you have no idea about.

    And we are suggesting a short dress so she doesn't look like she is having a re-do.</div>

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  • They do make wedding dresses that are casual and shorter in length.  I agree, you could find a nice white cocktail dress as well.  I wouldn't go the full wedding ensemble though.
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  • First thank you to your husband for serving our country and all the sacrifices your family has had to make. I. Everyone who is attending the reception will understand your circumstances and that your dress should fit the formality of the event. If you're having a black tie affair than a fancy wedding dress will be fine. If its more of a backyard affairs then go for a more casual dress.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_reception-only-what-to-wear?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:1bc505dd-58a5-4feb-aef2-3dfec1087a9dPost:8d10913c-b663-419f-9647-de5854b34edf">Re: Reception Only, what to wear?</a>:
    [QUOTE]I say wear it. You decided to get married on his leave and you just had a baby. In my opinion, I think this is an ok exception.
    Posted by PaddysGirl8[/QUOTE]

    totally agree. do whatever YOU want!
  • White is the color associated with purity and innocence. Yes, I also know that wealthy brides began favoring it after Queen Victoria wore white (who started the tradition). Anyway, some brides get married for the first time in short dresses so I don't get how that would make it look like it's not a redo. The length and style depends on the formality of the party.

    My opinion is that there are more appropriate options but if she wants to wear a white dress then fine.
  • I'm sorry, but I think it's terribly insensitive of someone to tell you you can't have a reception a year later. Her husband serves his country, a sacrafice that few of us can understand. Yes, there are many people in the military and many of them have normal ceremonies and receptions, but it doesn't always work that way. I just simply can't say, "no you can't wear a huge ball gown and have a normal recpetion because you wanted to marry the father of your child before he went back to serve his country." Do what you feel is right for you and your husband. You both deserve it.
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_reception-only-what-to-wear?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:1bc505dd-58a5-4feb-aef2-3dfec1087a9dPost:abc267ec-55c9-435d-b8f8-e5f2c034248b">Re: Reception Only, what to wear?</a>:
    [QUOTE]This is one area of etiquette that I don't agree with... if a couple has to get legally married in a short period of time, for one reason or another, I don't see why they can't have the big party later with the dress, the cake, etc. Registries and showers would be tacky, IMO, since the couple is already married, but I guess I don't mind the rest of it. However, that's just my opinion and it is NOT etiquette. If proper etiquette on this is important to you, and I assume it is since you posted on this board, don't wear a big white dress. As you can see from your poll results, most people advise against it.
    Posted by angelstar975[/QUOTE]

    <div>I totally agree with everything this post mentioned.  Please thank your husband for his service.  And thank you for supporting him.  </div>
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