Wedding Etiquette Forum

Grand Entrance....HELP!

Okay, So... backstory: we are having a destination wedding, where only our immediate family will be joining us in the Caribbean. About a month after we get back, we are having a reception aka "Wedding Celebration" (since I have been told it's not etiqeuette-ly appropriate to call a reception lol) back home about a month later where we will invite remaining friends and family.

I talking to my mom about the reception and I was talking about my grand entrance where she interrupted me  right when I began with "uhm, no. You aren't having a normal wedding, Elizabeth. Your guests didn't get to see you two get married so you and Cye need to be here as your guests arrive to greet them. You don't have a wedding entrance"  I didn't say anything b/c I had never thought about it... but... Is that true? Should we be there to greet our guests as they arrive? Would it be  bad etiquette to show up late? That's something I was looking forward to doing is walking in with my hubby with everybody clapping... just b/c... it's exciting. lol.

So, I guess I am just looking for opinions. My mom is paying for the food at the reception, which is a huge chunk of the cost, so I feel obligated to please her, but I feel like this might be something I wanna fight(not literally) for. And let's say we DO show up late. How late is it appropriate to show up? I was thinking 15 or 20 minutes, eventhough maybe not all guests would be there?. Our event is only 5 hours, so maybe that's why she thinks we should just be there? But I always thought that when the bride and grrom entered it was a good 'start' to the party?

Help!
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Re: Grand Entrance....HELP!

  • Are you planning on being dressed in nice clothes or are you planning on wearing your wedding dress? WHile I am not a big fan of second receptions I am even less of a fan of second receptions where people try to re-create their wedding day. I agree with your mom, you should be there to meet your guests as they come in.
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  • I'm with your mom on this one, too. All of the AHR's I've gone to, I've been greeted by the bride and groom.

    Showing up late would be especially rude, I think.
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  • I've never been to an AHR before, but it would seem strange and a bit rude to me if the bride and groom showed up late. 
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  • CellesCelles member
    Combo Breaker First Comment
    edited November 2010
    I agree with mom.  There's nothing wrong with a destination wedding and an at-home reception, but recreating wedding events at the reception for the benefit of people who weren't even invited to see the real wedding?  Kind of silly.  If you wanted a grand entrance you should have had a local wedding (or at least a wedding to which your entire guest list was invited). 
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  • Your mom is right ... they didn't see you get married, so having a "grand entrance" is kind of silly and AW-ish to me. It may be the celebration of your wedding, but it's no longer your wedding day. So you show up on time and greet your guests as they arrive.

    In general, I don't really understand AHRs where the couple tries to recreate some sort of "real wedding" by re-reciting vows and having a WP in coordinating outfits and such ... if you can afford to do something like that, just have a "traditional" wedding that everybody's invited to in the first place.


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  • Sorry, mom is right.  When you choose to do a destination wedding and an AHR, the typical "celebrations" have to happen at the destination, NOT at the AHR.  And people may not stay the full five hours.  They might, but you really should already be there. Just don't try to recreate the wedding.  Keep it simple.  I hate to say it, but this isn't one of those situations where you can have your cake and eat it too.
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  • I think the main reason behind the couple making a grand entrance at the reception is because they've been taking pictures or taking care of business, etc. or just taking a moment to be with each other, after the ceremony.  So in this case there wouldn't be a practical reason for entering late.  Plus, I agree that as mentioned above people may not all be there at the start of the party.

    I understand the inclination and that it might be nice to have your friends and family shower you with applause.  So you'll miss out on that, but instead you'll get to greet each of your guests individually, which to me seems a lot more special.  And if you really want people to clap for you make a toast or speech at some point in the evening when more people are there.
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  • I agree with your mom and PPs.  I would be very confused if I showed up to an event like that and the bride and groom were nowhere to be found...especially if I didn't know many other people.
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  • I just wanted to say.... we aren't trying to recreate the wedding. I just thought it would be fun to do an entrance as husband and wife. Yes, I am wearing my gown again..... Why wouldn't I? I have already been told by guests who will only be at the AHR that they want to be able to see me in my gown, so that's why I am doing it. A speacial Thank You to user nickandmerritt - who gave me a polite response and a wonderful idea to use instead! Love the toast/speech idea! Thank You!! Thanks for all the responses so far!
  • Do your grand entrance at your real wedding (The DW). Problem solved!
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  • IMO, the grand entrance belongs at your wedding - not at the post-wedding celebration.

    And I'd put the dress on for a few minutes but since it isn't a reception and it isn't your wedding day, the dress shouldn't be what you wear all day.
  • You should probably only wear your wedding dress on your wedding day.  The thought of a married woman putting on her wedding dress to have people ooooh and aaaahhhh her during a grand entrance makes me want to barf.
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  • Just out of curiosity, why aren't you inviting everyone to you actual wedding? Inviting them to some consolation party actually seems a bit rude.
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  • bethbittnerbethbittner member
    First Comment
    edited November 2010
    We want an intimate wedding ceremony. We want only our immediate family to be there..We weren't going to have a reception back home... but after talking to some people we don't want them to think they aren't important to us, so we want to be able to celebrate with them as well. I know a destination wedding still kind of annoys those who like the more formal type of wedding. We aren't that couple, we've always been a little unconventional. If they think it's rude they don't have to attend. I am having it for the people who want to celebrate with us and might not have been able to afford where we are going for the wedding but still want to be able to enjoy the celebration.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_grand-entrancehelp?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:bfc74e2b-0aab-469b-b58c-aefb1a9cbbefPost:057da2f5-8fea-4cef-92c7-77b543c467c9">Re: Grand Entrance....HELP!</a>:
    [QUOTE]I am having it for the people who want to celebrate with us and might not have been able to afford where we are going for the wedding but still want to be able to enjoy the celebration.
    Posted by bethbittner[/QUOTE]

    Just to clarify: they're not going to your wedding because they are not invited, <u>not</u> because they can't afford it.

    I agree it might be strange for you to do things traditionally reserved for the wedding, like bouquet toss, cake cutting, first dance, but I don't see a problem with you wearing your dress.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_grand-entrancehelp?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:bfc74e2b-0aab-469b-b58c-aefb1a9cbbefPost:21a8992a-08c1-47d9-93dd-8df8c31eaa74">Grand Entrance....HELP!</a>:
    [QUOTE]Okay, So... backstory: we are having a destination wedding, where only our immediate family will be joining us in the Caribbean. About a month after we get back, we are having a reception aka "Wedding Celebration" (since I have been told it's not etiqeuette-ly appropriate to call a reception lol) back home about a month later where we will invite remaining friends and family. I talking to my mom about the reception and I was talking about my grand entrance where she interrupted me  right when I began with "uhm, no. You aren't having a normal wedding, Elizabeth. Your guests didn't get to see you two get married so you and Cye need to be here as your guests arrive to greet them. You don't have a wedding entrance"  I didn't say anything b/c I had never thought about it... but... Is that true? Should we be there to greet our guests as they arrive? Would it be  bad etiquette to show up late? That's something I was looking forward to doing is walking in with my hubby with everybody clapping... just b/c... it's exciting. lol. So, I guess I am just looking for opinions. My mom is paying for the food at the reception, which is a huge chunk of the cost, so I feel obligated to please her, but I feel like this might be something I wanna fight(not literally) for. And let's say we DO show up late. How late is it appropriate to show up? I was thinking 15 or 20 minutes, eventhough maybe not all guests would be there?. Our event is only 5 hours, so maybe that's why she thinks we should just be there? But I always thought that when the bride and grrom entered it was a good 'start' to the party? Help!
    Posted by bethbittner[/QUOTE]

    I agree with Mom- you should be there for the whole party, greeting guests as they arrive.  This AHR is not Wedding, Part 2- it's a party to celebrate the marriage that has already happened.
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  • BeeBee22BeeBee22 member
    First Comment
    edited November 2010
    Your mother is correct.  A 'grand entrance' is inappropriate and you should be there to greet your guests.  It would be extremely rude to show up late.  You can set an official "start" time, and open the party with a toast thanking your guests for coming.

    You're not being "presented" as the just previously single (10 minutes ago) and now married couple.  You're an already married couple having a party. The tradition of the entrance of the bride and groom is the presentation to their community of a brand-new adult couple.  It's an adult moment, a rite of passage, not a fake red-carpet event or a victory lap.  Be a grown-up.  That presentation should take place at your actual wedding.

    Re "looking forward to walking in with your hubby and everyone clapping."  Please.
    Don't give in to the growing narcissistic tendencies of today's culture. People will applaud your toast or when you actually accomplish things in your life that merit applause.  

    You may be annoyed at some of the answers you are getting, but only because you don't realize how childish and self-centered you sound.  I agree that wearing the dress is weird and inappropriate, and don't expect people to stay the full 5 hours ... that's a fairly long party.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_grand-entrancehelp?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:bfc74e2b-0aab-469b-b58c-aefb1a9cbbefPost:057da2f5-8fea-4cef-92c7-77b543c467c9">Re: Grand Entrance....HELP!</a>:
    [QUOTE]We want an intimate wedding ceremony. We want only our immediate family to be there..We weren't going to have a reception back home... but after talking to some people we don't want them to think they aren't important to us, so we want to be able to celebrate with them as well. I know a destination wedding still kind of annoys those who like the more formal type of wedding. We aren't that couple, we've always been a little unconventional. If they think it's rude they don't have to attend. I am having it for the people who want to celebrate with us and might not have been able to afford where we are going for the wedding but still want to be able to enjoy the celebration.
    Posted by bethbittner[/QUOTE]

    <div>If you aren't "that couple," why do the grand entrance or wear the dress?  Why turn your AHR reception into the very thing you said you didn't want for your actual wedding day?</div>
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_grand-entrancehelp?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:bfc74e2b-0aab-469b-b58c-aefb1a9cbbefPost:70ec38a6-08e3-41a8-8bb1-1aa29be70803">Re: Grand Entrance....HELP!</a>:
    [QUOTE]Just out of curiosity, why aren't you inviting everyone to you actual wedding? Inviting them to some consolation party actually seems a bit rude.
    Posted by msmerymac[/QUOTE]
    I thought this, too. 

    I think an AHR for guests who weren't invited to the wedding is rude.  Are you expecting people to bring you gifts to this reception?  If the AHR was just for guests who were invited to the DW but couldn't make it, that's one thing.  But a second party at home with B-list guests that weren't even invited to the actual wedding is not really appropriate.  What you're describing is a second reception for B-list guests, even if you're calling it a "wedding celebration".  Especially when you're wearing your wedding dress for the whole thing.
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  • Honestly, no one has been rude here.  We've been honest.  Lurk a little more.  If you don't like the tone of the board, you don't have to post here.  But you came looking for answers, and we're giving them to you - even if you don't LIKE what we have to say.
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  • You should post this on the DW board. There are a lot of people doing an AHR there and are a bit more open-minded about it since they are in the same situation.
  • So rather than get advice on etiquette, she should go somewhere to be validated?

    Because the her mom and a bunch strangers who agree with her aren't enough to convince her that this is a bad idea.  She should only go places where people tell her that it's GOOD.


  • if you arent "that couple" then why have the AHR to begin with?  lots of folks marry quietly/privately.  the people that might get upset by this are not going to be happy being invited to an AW party.  tehy are upset because they want to see you get married. 

    i personally dont get AHR's.  if you  make a choice to elope, do a small DW, etc. that was your choice.  stick to it.  if you wanted folks to celebrate with you and see your pretty princess gown, then you shouldnt have eloped/DW'd.
  • bethbittnerbethbittner member
    First Comment
    edited November 2010
    I am not asking for opinions on IF i should do a AHR or DW.. I AM doing that. my question was about the entrance only. I appreciate the advice I have been given. I don't think we'll be doing an entrance, but we're still doing the AHR - Cake, dancing, etc.. all in my beautiful wedding gown! :o) I am so excited!
  • Beth, when you post on an international ETIQUETTE board, you don't get to pick and choose what parts of the post that people comment on.

    If I said in my post, "I'm thinking about having two maids of honor, and each one will carry a dead puppy down the aisle... Is it ok to have two maids of honor?" I'm pretty sure people will comment on more than just the maid of honor part. If you ask an etiquette question on an etiquette board but mention other things about your wedding that are horribly rude, people are going to let you know.

    Wouldn't you rather be stopped from doing something extremely rude before it happens? If my best friend were proposing what you're proposing, I'd tell her "Honey, I know your heart is in the right place, but you're going to offend a lot of people by doing this." I wouldn't smile and let her make an ass of herself.
  • Ditto Poli.

    I also don't understand the entire thing.  If you're not "that couple" then why the big dress again?  It just seems way over the top AWish.
  • Yes, but I am not asking that kind of question. My situation is not that crazy, (The DW with AHR) I have been to these types of AHR and haven't felt offended b/c I didn't attend or get invited to the DW, and I certainly did not feel like a B-list guest. lol. I also spoke with my family a lot regarding the situation with the AHR and trust me, they would tell me if it wasn't a good idea. We have blessings from everybody we have spoken with (friends...family) to do our wedding this way, so I don't feel like this is an issue. Like I said, I got the opinions about the entrance and it helped me make my decision to not do it and I appreciate all the advice I have been given. :o)
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_grand-entrancehelp?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:bfc74e2b-0aab-469b-b58c-aefb1a9cbbefPost:344b8cbd-5b34-48a2-9916-e3f62680bc4d">Re: Grand Entrance....HELP!</a>:
    [QUOTE]<strong>Yes, but I am not asking that kind of question.</strong> My situation is not that crazy, (The DW with AHR) I have been to these types of AHR and haven't felt offended b/c I didn't attend or get invited to the DW, and I certainly did not feel like a B-list guest. lol. I also spoke with my family a lot regarding the situation with the AHR and trust me, they would tell me if it wasn't a good idea. We have blessings from everybody we have spoken with (friends...family) to do our wedding this way, so I don't feel like this is an issue. Like I said, I got the opinions about the entrance and it helped me make my decision to not do it and I appreciate all the advice I have been given. :o)
    Posted by bethbittner[/QUOTE]

    I appreciate what you're saying, but if one of your friends came up to you and told you about an offensive and rude idea she had about her wedding that she was so excited about, would you really tell her how you feel, or would you smile and nod?

    And re: the bolded part of your post, please re-read my post. Again if necessary.
  • No one here is saying not to do the AHR (although I'm not a fan of them).  We're saying that most AHRs do not involve the newlywed bride wearing her gown, the big wedding cake or the grand entrance.  And as you've said that a big wedding is not your style, no one gets why you're having an over-the-top AHR.  Most DW brides who decide to have an AHR have something more like a BBQ or cocktail party.
  • Well, and it's also not an "at-home reception," given that very few of the guests were invited to the actual wedding. IMO, an AHR is when you invite everybody to the DW, find out that most can't make it, and then have a reception for those who can't make it. She's not even inviting people to the wedding.
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