Wedding Customs & Traditions Forum

Reception before the Wedding? I know... Sounds crazy. (XP)

My fiancé wants to get married in the Bahamas with no family or friends present. I'm not completely okay with the idea but I'm compromising. My dilemma is that I still want my family and friends to be involved in some way; so I came up with the idea to have a "pre reception party" . I figured we could still do the traditional things like a bacheorette/ bacheolor party or bridal shower, and then the party right before we leave for our private ceremony out of the country. We don't live near family and I don't believe anyone would show up if we have the bachelorette party etc. before the wedding and then the reception after we get back. It would be so expensive to make multiple trips here. Is it a stupid idea to have our reception before the wedding?

Re: Reception before the Wedding? I know... Sounds crazy. (XP)

  • If you are eloping, I would recommend just skipping the bparty/shower and having just the wedding celebration party afterward. I mean, you could have the celebratory party before, I GUESS, but it seems kinda silly to also have a shower and whatever other pre wedding parties.
  • edited February 2013
    <div align="left">In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_customs-traditions_reception-before-the-wedding-i-know-sounds-crazy?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:36Discussion:a830b2c6-613c-4d1f-b99b-0c4ba1a532d8Post:b52180cd-b874-4cf3-b581-114b061eeecd">Reception before the Wedding? I know... Sounds crazy. (XP)</a>:
    [QUOTE]My fiancé wants to get married in the Bahamas with no family or friends present. I'm not completely okay with the idea but I'm compromising. My dilemma is that I still want my family and friends to be involved in some way; so I came up with the idea to have a "pre reception party" . I figured we could still do the traditional things like a bacheorette/ bacheolor party or bridal shower, and then the party right before we leave for our private ceremony out of the country. We don't live near family and I don't believe anyone would show up if we have the bachelorette party etc. before the wedding and then the reception after we get back. It would be so expensive to make multiple trips here. Is it a stupid idea to have our reception before the wedding?
    Posted by JT13181[/QUOTE]

    You are eloping if you agree to your FI's plan.  This means no B-parties or showers.  I would also not be going to a party that essentially sends someone off to elope.  Have a party when you get back.</div>
    Proud to be an old married hag!! image
  • My girlfriend just did this, this past weekend! They left today with their family for St. Thomas, the wedding is on Wednesday. On saturday, we had a "send-off" party her parents threw, which was essentially a reception minus a wedding cake, toasts, first dance etc. She had a bachelorette party the weekend before and a shower a few months back.

    I LOVED it, and was so glad that my friends and I could help celebrate their upcoming wedding, even though we wouldn't be going to the actual wedding.

    I say do whatever makes you happy!
    Our beautiful engagement pictures imageMy Bio... returning from hiatus
    readingrrlgoldensangria
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_customs-traditions_reception-before-the-wedding-i-know-sounds-crazy?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:36Discussion:a830b2c6-613c-4d1f-b99b-0c4ba1a532d8Post:bcfd4d9c-0204-4b15-8513-b836b393f277">Re: Reception before the Wedding? I know... Sounds crazy. (XP)</a>:
    [QUOTE]My girlfriend just did this, this past weekend! They left today with their family for St. Thomas, the wedding is on Wednesday. On saturday, we had a "send-off" party her parents threw, which was essentially a reception minus a wedding cake, toasts, first dance etc. She had a bachelorette party the weekend before and a shower a few months back. I LOVED it, and was so glad that my friends and I could help celebrate their upcoming wedding, even though we wouldn't be going to the actual wedding. I say do whatever makes you happy!
    Posted by Shoefly21[/QUOTE]
    This is awful advice. PP, I would be willing to bet that a lot of the other gusests might have minded, and dollard to donuts people are talking about her.
    OP, eloping is fine, but part of making that choice is giving up pre-wedding parties. Think about it-you're saying to them, you aren't good enough to see my wedding, but you're good enough to buy me stuff. Skip the shower and bachelorette, and have a reception when you get back. Don't be a jerk.
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  • It sounds like you aren't okay with eloping, and giving up your one chance at a wedding is too big of a compromise. I'd get married at home with your closest friends and family, have a simple but fun reception, and then honeymoon in the Bahamas. Either that or invite your loved ones to make the trip with you if they choose. You can have some guests there while still keeping it simple, small, and affordable. That way you could also have small pre wedding events with a few of your invited guests.
  • Anyone invited to pre-wedding parties must be invited to the wedding.
  • Have the wedding and reception at home (same day) and noneymoon in the Bahamas. You could even have a priviate vow renewal just the two of you with a photographer.

    A pre-wedding reception doesn't really make sense. To me, it would be called an engagement party or rehearsal dinner and those don't have bachelorette parties or showers.
  • I think if you are having a party, you should do it after the elopement. Otherwise, it seems weird. I suggest going to the destination wedding board or looking at other destination wedding sites. A lot of brides do it and they call it an at home reception or a welcome home party.

    I know it is usually a faux pas to have party after the wedding, but I say you know yours friends and family better than anyone here. If you think they would mind, and have a problem with it than don't go through with it. If you think your family will be thrilled with the idea go ahead. 

    I am having a destination wedding in the Bahamas and many people who could come asked me to have an At home reception. EVen though a lot of family members have asked me to have one we are deciding against it. 

    So yes, traditional etiquette says it is a no-go but you know your loveds best so go based on that. 
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  • I don't think you should have to compromise on an elopement; both people really ought to be on board...
  • positivekpositivek member
    Second Anniversary 10 Comments 5 Love Its
    edited February 2013
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_customs-traditions_reception-before-the-wedding-i-know-sounds-crazy?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:36Discussion:a830b2c6-613c-4d1f-b99b-0c4ba1a532d8Post:003c582b-9626-43d8-a8eb-74c93ac3faf9">Re: Reception before the Wedding? I know... Sounds crazy. (XP)</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Reception before the Wedding? I know... Sounds crazy. (XP) : This is awful advice. PP, I would be willing to bet that a lot of the other gusests might have minded, and dollard to donuts people are talking about her. OP, eloping is fine, but part of making that choice is giving up pre-wedding parties. Think about it-you're saying to them, you aren't good enough to see my wedding, but you're good enough to buy me stuff. Skip the shower and bachelorette, and have a reception when you get back. Don't be a jerk.
    Posted by zizibet[/QUOTE]


    Thing is, since we weren't there, and we don't know those guests, we really have no idea whether people are "talking about her" or not. There are cultures and communities out there that are different from Knottie culture, and I've seen plenty of things done out there in the real world that are different from the rules here, that honestly no one had a problem with. I'm invited with some friends to a reception next month but not a ceremony. Only immediate family will be at the courthouse. That's a big TK Hell No. But my crowd is pretty straightforward. If we had an issue, we'd at least be muttering amongst ourselves. No one's talking, because no one cares- in our crowd. We know we cannot all fit in the courthouse. Maybe it's because we've endured far worse offenses, that this particular situation seems pretty tame and we just can't muster the energy to be offended. I don't know. That's us. We're all doing alright and getting along with each other ok.

    OP, know your crowd, and what they concern themselves with. Maybe they're easily offended. Maybe not. If no one is going to be offended with a sendoff party- if in fact, they WANT one- and logistically it makes more sense than to hold it after, I don't see the issue. Same with pre-parties. That not be in line with the dominating thought on this thread, but I'm trying to take into account here cultural variations outside of the board culture.

    The goal is to make the effort to not to p*** people off (although I guarantee you, no matter what you do, someone will be offended, someone will find something tacky, etc.- you cannot avoid this- in fact it's theoretically possible that someone will be disappointed because you DIDN'T do the party beforehand). The only way to find out is through communication with your crowd.
    goldensangria
  • Actually, there is nothing wrong with having family only ceremony and then having a reception. And rude is rude in "Knottie culture" or not. And if the OP is having prewedding parties but nelioping, she's rude.
       The point of a lot of thios etiquette is to not look like an entitled and selfish brat who thinks that everyone in the bride/groom's lives should buy them things. That's it.
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  • This is hilarious, why would anyone get offended? OPs plan sounds awesome. Nobody gives a crap about the ceremony anyway except the people in it and maybe the parents... most weddings I've been to it's like "this is the part we sit through before partying & cake." 

    In my opinion, as long as you are providing people with partying and cake (or other awesome celebratory sweet thing) you're golden and can't go wrong. I'd probably be like "cool story, now we get to go straight to the party." :D

    Sometimes you just have to put practicality and awesomeness before traditional etiquette. 
    readingrrlgoldensangria
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_customs-traditions_reception-before-the-wedding-i-know-sounds-crazy?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:36Discussion:a830b2c6-613c-4d1f-b99b-0c4ba1a532d8Post:726e5708-7edb-4996-b220-3d2ff89668a7">Re: Reception before the Wedding? I know... Sounds crazy. (XP)</a>:
    [QUOTE]This is hilarious, why would anyone get offended? OPs plan sounds awesome. Nobody gives a crap about the ceremony anyway except the people in it and maybe the parents... most weddings I've been to it's like "this is the part we sit through before partying & cake."  In my opinion, as long as you are providing people with partying and cake (or other awesome celebratory sweet thing) you're golden and can't go wrong. I'd probably be like "cool story, now we get to go straight to the party." :D Sometimes you just have to put practicality and awesomeness before traditional etiquette. 
    Posted by genki_as_hell[/QUOTE]

    <div>Wait, so you think it's more important to throw a good party than to apply etiquette to how you treat your guests?  I think that's ridiculous-you should be willing to treat those nearest and dearest to you with appropriate etiquette and manners, and inviting people to gift giving parties like showers, or events where they are expected to cover your cost (bachelorette) but not the wedding, you're sending a big message along the lines of "you're only good enough to give me presents, but not to get an invite to the wedding."</div>
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_customs-traditions_reception-before-the-wedding-i-know-sounds-crazy?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:36Discussion:a830b2c6-613c-4d1f-b99b-0c4ba1a532d8Post:726e5708-7edb-4996-b220-3d2ff89668a7">Re: Reception before the Wedding? I know... Sounds crazy. (XP)</a>:
    [QUOTE]This is hilarious, why would anyone get offended? OPs plan sounds awesome. Nobody gives a crap about the ceremony anyway except the people in it and maybe the parents... most weddings I've been to it's like "this is the part we sit through before partying & cake."  In my opinion, as long as you are providing people with partying and cake (or other awesome celebratory sweet thing) you're golden and can't go wrong. I'd probably be like "cool story, now we get to go straight to the party." :D Sometimes you just have to put practicality and awesomeness before traditional etiquette. 
    Posted by genki_as_hell[/QUOTE]

    <div>This is so sad.  Most people are delighted and honored to witness as someone near and dear takes their vows and gets married.  It's the whole reason weddings are a big deal.</div><div>
    The fact that you don't care about something so important does not mean no one else does.  Don't project your callous apathy on everyone else.  Most people actually care about their loved ones, and don't just see special events as an opportunity for free cake.  </div>
  • Whoa.  A lot of strong feelings here.

    It is an elopement she is describing, and that does mean that the bride and groom have decided that THEY don't care if the majority of people will see their ceremony.

    It is because of this decision (I think?) that many families get upset when a couple decides to elope.  But - it is their choice.

    If that is their choice, and we love them, I guess we should embrace and accept their choice, as we embrace and accept them.

    Then, it stands to reason, we should accept and enjoy whatever they do invite us to.  But, that does not mean we HAVE to give a gift....IF we (you?) (the guest) feels that the gift should only be given if a ceremony has been observed.  I don't think so though. I think that gifts should not have disclaimers or qualifiers.  Gift if you love the couple/individual, and want to say 'congratulations,' and 'best wishes on marriage.' Period.
  • positivekpositivek member
    Second Anniversary 10 Comments 5 Love Its
    edited February 2013
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_customs-traditions_reception-before-the-wedding-i-know-sounds-crazy?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:36Discussion:a830b2c6-613c-4d1f-b99b-0c4ba1a532d8Post:209e5c12-9e25-4945-a310-0ab6c778c588">Re: Reception before the Wedding? I know... Sounds crazy. (XP)</a>:
    [QUOTE]Actually, there is nothing wrong with having family only ceremony and then having a reception. And rude is rude in "Knottie culture" or not. And if the OP is having prewedding parties but nelioping, she's rude.    The point of a lot of thios etiquette is to not look like an entitled and selfish brat who thinks that everyone in the bride/groom's lives should buy them things. That's it.
    Posted by zizibet[/QUOTE]

    To me, re: "Knottie culture", that's where I think things go wrong when you say something like "rude is rude". When I google "etiquette", a wealth of articles turn up that explore "cultural differences". I get kind of uptight when someone throws down the hammer and says "this is how it's done, UNIVERSALLY"- that sort of thinking reminds me of religious and social intolerance. If true intent is made here to minimize the hurt and maximize the joy, that's what's important. How that's executed depends on the group. I'm not saying we know they wouldn't be offended by the pre-party. But I don't think you can assume everyone and all people everywhere unquestionably WOULD. In fact, people would be hurt by NOT having the sendoff, I think she should do the sendoff. That's what she needs to find out. The base line is "Try not to hurt". There's no point in sticking to rules simply because they're "the rules", if they don't result in their intent. That's why I said "know your crowd".

    That's not to say I would say "people, don't express what you think is rude". It's an open forum. But as an open forum, you can expect dissent because a lot of people are uncomfortable when they sense intolerance and imbalance, no matter if it's in line with a dominant set of rules on a particular forum. There's a whole world out there and a wealth of different group mindsets not represented here. I'm just trying to take that into account.
  • I wish posters could just be respectful of different opinions... 

    But, I agree with PPs that you if you want a local ceremony and want the wedding elements, then you should have your wedding here and make the destination your honeymoon. You could even recite your vows again at the honeymoon if you like.
    imageimageimage

    You'll never be subject to a cash bar, gap, potluck wedding, or b-list if you marry a Muppet Overlord.
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