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Destination wedding, hometown receptions - invite etiquette question.

Hello all!  I need help.  My fiance and I are getting married in Hawaii with receptions in each of our respective hometowns.  We are very low-key people who want a SMALL, intimate wedding.  We are hosting receptions in each of our cities so that we can celebrate with more people and so that we don't put the burdeon of traveling/cost of traveling on our guests.  We were thinking of sending invites out to only those we REALLY want at our wedding (not even all of our immediate families) then invites to everyone (extended family, friends, other immediate family, co-workers) for the receptions.  How do we do this withoug offending those not invited to the Hawaiian wedding?  We do not have dates set for the receptions, so sending out save the dates at the same time of sending the wedding invites out (at this point) isn't likely.  Do we wait until we have dates for everything?  Do we send invites to everyone and cross our fingers that only the ones we "want" can make it?  I'm at a loss.  I don't want to offend anyone.  Please help.  Thanks so much.

Re: Destination wedding, hometown receptions - invite etiquette question.

  • Wwwoooooooaaaaaaahhhhhh!!!!!! I am also doing an intimate destination wedding/ hometown reception. I thought people would be happy about the hometown reception?!? I only want my closest family members and best friends at my wedding so we decided that a small wedding was what we wanted. I didn't realize people find it offensive to be invited to a reception after the fact. I thought this was a win win situation. Crap!!!
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  • Thanks all for your input!  I have attended hometown receptions in the past, so that is where we came up with the idea to do that.  The dress I have in mind is actually a bridesmaid's dress that I plan on wearing it to all three events (with slight alterations for each event).  My fiance will wear one outfit in Hawaii and a different suit for the hometown receptions.  Our Hawaii reception is basically a glorified eloping.  As of now, we have an idea of less than 20 that we'd have at the Hawaiian ceremony.  I am not even having both of my sisters stand up in the wedding, and my fiance isn't having anyone in his family stand up.  We plan on hosting a lunch the day before the ceremony as well as a super small event the evening of the ceremony (might even go for a luau to avoid having to figure out catering) and a brunch the next morning.  The receptions in our hometowns would be where we celebrate with our friends and family on a more "large scale."  This is where we would cut cakes, have our first dance, etc.  (and it will actually be our FIRST dance together!).  I think what I am understanding is that I should just invite everyone to the Hawaiian wedding with an indication on the invite that details for the hometown receptions will follow.  Then the next question arises, do we then invite everyone to each of the hometown receptions?  When does the offensiveness stop?  When does this day become about him and me and not so much about following rules that might not always apply to everyone?  Ugh.  I'm such an overthinker. 

    Hannah-I 100% hear where you are coming from!  I thought that inviting people to the hometown receptions was more thoughtful so that they wouldn't feel pressure to attend a wedding so far away.  Also, we want to kep our wedding SMALL. 

    I kind of see this as having a baby.  Who would I want in the room with me rather than around for the baby shower and over for a welcome-the-baby-home celebration?  I view both as being very special and intimate moments meant only for those that we REALLY want in that moment. 
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