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Eloping... Cokctail party reception back home. Bridal party ideas???

I am eloping in St. Thomas and having an intimate ceremony with just us two.  Because we really still want to celebrate our marriage with family and our closest friends, we decided to just have a sort of cocktail party reception back home.  I know one of the main jobs of a Bridesmaid/MOH is to be there for you at your ceremony and support you however just because I am not inviting anyone to the wedding ceremony, doesn't mean I want to miss out on recognizing the people who have played such an important role in my life.  I want to give them special duties/recognize them at the cocktail party but I am not really sure how to do it.  I might want them all to wear the same color dress (like black) but they do not have to have matching dresses or anything like that.  My fiance and I are far from traditional so and we do not want, nor expect anyone to spend much money. Does anyone have any ideas how I could involve them in the cocktail party that would let me recognize how important these girls are to me.  (I have already decided I would still give them little gifts as my "sort of bridesmaids".)  Any help you guys could give would be great!  :)
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Re: Eloping... Cokctail party reception back home. Bridal party ideas???

  • In Response to Re: Eloping... Cokctail party reception back home. Bridal party ideas???:
    [QUOTE]Actually, the ONLY job of the wedding party is to attend the ceremony.  It is in no way appropriate to ask people to wear matching attire, act as attendants, or give them "special duties" (wth does that even MEAN???) for a party you are throwing after the date.  Just invite them as guests.
    Posted by StageManager14[/QUOTE]
    This.
    DSC_9275
  • Agree with PP, it will be in bad form to have a wedding party for a party, which is effectively what it is. There's absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to celebrate with your friends and family, but the wedding party ship has sailed.
  • No... no.

    Invite them as guests.  Thank them in person for being awesome.  Done.

    Nothing about asking them to wear a specific color dress to a cocktail party or giving them duties at a cocktail party is an honor to them.
  • Agree with everyone else.  Don't have a bridal party. Don't ask them to wear anything special.  Don't have the traditional "firsts" that are associated with a reception (first dances, bouquet toss, etc.)  Just have a nice celebration. You could buy those few people a corsage or something, but it will likely look out of place.
  • I'm sorry, I guess I didn't really make much sense.  Not really "duties".  I only wanted my special people to be recognized by me and to be recognized by my guests as important people in my life.  That's all I really want.  That is the only reason I thought maybe the same color attire would be a good idea.  Just so everyone knew.  Also because I still wanted some kind of pictures together.  I know they all want to still be a part of anything they can and have expressed that.  A few of them are getting married and cannot afford to go to a wedding in St. Thomas so I didn't want to put that burden on them.  I know they would not be able to attend.  Again, that is the reason I wanted them to be recognized, formally, at the cocktail party.  But thank you for your your response.

    In Response to Re: Eloping... Cokctail party reception back home. Bridal party ideas???:
    [QUOTE]Actually, the ONLY job of the wedding party is to attend the ceremony.  It is in no way appropriate to ask people to wear matching attire, act as attendants, or give them "special duties" (wth does that even MEAN???) for a party you are throwing after the date.  Just invite them as guests.
    Posted by StageManager14[/QUOTE]
  • invite everyone as a guest.  if you would like to thank those who were speciall influence to you then do so individually.  DONT have them wear same colors.

    COPIED FROM YOUR TEXT:

    I only wanted my special people to be recognized by me and to be recognized by my guests as important people in my life. 

    so the rest of your guests arent special?  only those that are dressed in same colors? 

     

  • I agree with scribe.  Sometime during the celebration, take a moment to say a little something to recognize those who are important to you.  No need for special attire or corsages.  Snap a few pictures together at the celebration.  
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  • Why not give a toast at your cocktail party and honor those particular people in your speech?

    At our AHR, my husband and I thanked everyone for coming and highlighted all the people by name (and applause) who were also celebrating big things that month or year.  Our photographer was sure to snap a pic of them and we grouped up together later for more formal shots. 
  • I did not say matching dresses, I just said possibly the same color.  It was just an idea.  I am trying to think outside the box.  I am doing far from any traditional wedding/reception so I'm sure if most people knew my plans, they would judge or not understand and that's fine because it's about me and my fiance.  Not anyone else.  My post is actually all about making my friends feel special and honoring THEM.  That seems very far from "bridezilla" behavior.

    This is what I don't understand... I have already seen so many posts where people feel the need to reply with their rude comments or judgments or disgust.  There is no need for you or anyone to speak or make comments like you have made.  I got on here to simply ask for people's ideas on how I could honor my friends.  I did not ask for people to judge me or try to tell me how dumb or untraditional or ridiculous my thoughts were.  I am honestly very shocked people react this way on a wedding website where most people who get on here are probably over the top excited to plan their special day and then people like you have to get on here and bash their ideas.  I am sorry that you do not agree with what my thoughts are and I am sorry that you obviously do not understand what I was trying to accomplish.  You do not know me or the kind of wedding/party that I want.  I may not be doing what everyone else does and I am okay with that.  I just don't appreciate your rudeness.  It really was totally unnecessary.  If you didn't like my post, you didn't have to comment.  Just keep that in mind before you reply to someone else's post and realize how much you may end up hurting their feelings.

    In Response to Re: Eloping... Cokctail party reception back home. Bridal party ideas???:
    [QUOTE]Dressing in matching dresses isn't really an honor, it's an extra PITA.  Nor is it required for photos.  And if I went to a party like this and saw a bunch of girls wearing matching dresses, I would think  a.  That looks like a really awkward fashion faux pas and then b.  Wow, how bridezilla do you have to be to insist on "maids" at your at home reception?  I'm so glad I'm not them.
    Posted by StageManager14[/QUOTE]
  • Thank you, that is great idea.  :)  I appreciate your input! 

    In Response to Re: Eloping... Cokctail party reception back home. Bridal party ideas???:
    [QUOTE]Why not give a toast at your cocktail party and honor those particular people in your speech? At our AHR, my husband and I thanked everyone for coming and highlighted all the people by name (and applause) who were also celebrating big things that month or year.  Our photographer was sure to snap a pic of them and we grouped up together later for more formal shots. 
    Posted by Joy2611[/QUOTE]
  • I think it's so nice that you want to honor your close friends - I would want to do the same especially if they couldn't be with me when I said my vows.  I was also thinking of the idea of giving a nice toast and mention your special friends.  I think a corsage would be a nice touch.  For my sister's bridal shower, I had small pins made up that said "Mother of the Groom" or "Bridesmaid" on them so that the guests knew who everyone was. Some guests wouldn't know the Mother of the Groom from Eve since they had never met her.  Maybe you could do something along those lines so they stand out.
    Anniversary
  • Ooooo I really love that idea actually!  We are from two different sides of the U.S. and so a lot of his family/friends have not met my family/friiends so that would definitely be a good way to show who the people are, mainly the mother/father of the bride/groom.  Thanks for that!  :)

    In Response to Re: Eloping... Cokctail party reception back home. Bridal party ideas???:
    [QUOTE]I think it's so nice that you want to honor your close friends - I would want to do the same especially if they couldn't be with me when I said my vows.  I was also thinking of the idea of giving a nice toast and mention your special friends.  I think a corsage would be a nice touch.  For my sister's bridal shower, I had small pins made up that said "Mother of the Groom" or "Bridesmaid" on them so that the guests knew who everyone was. Some guests wouldn't know the Mother of the Groom from Eve since they had never met her.  Maybe you could do something along those lines so they stand out.
    Posted by ljsquintz[/QUOTE]
  • You could give people corsages/boutonnieres.

    But a wedding party is only appropriate at a wedding, not an AHR or a do-over or a vow renewal or anything like that.
    image
  • Did you know that there are religions/cultures where it is customary for the bridal party to NOT be involved in the ceremony or walk down the aisle as they do in traditional American weddings?  Did you know that they are only involved in the reception because being involved in the ceremony is sort of "taboo"?  Probably not.  This is why I said what I said about your comments.  If you don't agree with me that is totally fine.  But I didn't ask people to tell me if they agreed or not.  Just because something is not the "norm" does not mean it's not a good idea.  It's just not for you which is fine.  It doesn't matter to me whether something is normal or appropriate or traditional.  

    So please, I am asking you politely to stop with the negative comments and to please just stop replying to my posts.  Thank you.


    In Response to Re: Eloping... Cokctail party reception back home. Bridal party ideas???:
    [QUOTE]Um, all wearing one color IS sort of the definition of matching.   I wasn't rude, I simply gave you advice you didn't care for.  I'm sorry, but disagreeing with you does not make me rude or disgusting and you don't get to tell people what to post or not post.  You asked about specific ideas, I told you they were poor ideas and gave you reasons as to why.  Chill.
    Posted by StageManager14[/QUOTE]
  • QueerFemmeQueerFemme member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited November 2012
    In Response to Re: Eloping... Cokctail party reception back home. Bridal party ideas???:
    [QUOTE]I did not say matching dresses, I just said possibly the same color.  It was just an idea.  I am trying to think outside the box.  I am doing far from any traditional wedding/reception so I'm sure if most people knew my plans, they would judge or not understand and that's fine because it's about me and my fiance.  Not anyone else.  My post is actually all about making my friends feel special and honoring THEM.  (1) That seems very far from "bridezilla" behavior. This is what I don't understand... I have already seen so many posts where people feel the need to reply with their rude comments or judgments or disgust.  There is no need for you or anyone to speak or make comments like you have made.  I got on here to simply ask for people's ideas on how I could honor my friends.  I did not ask for people to judge me or try to tell me how dumb or untraditional or ridiculous my thoughts were.  I am honestly very shocked people react this way on a wedding website where most people (2) who get on here are probably over the top excited to plan their special day and then people like you have to get on here and bash their ideas.  I am sorry that you do not agree with what my thoughts are and I am sorry that you obviously do not understand what I was trying to accomplish.  You do not know me or the kind of wedding/party that I want.  I may not be doing what everyone else does and I am okay with that.  I just don't appreciate your rudeness.  It really was totally unnecessary.  (3) If you didn't like my post, you didn't have to comment.  Just keep that in mind before you reply to someone else's post and realize how much you may end up hurting their feelings. In Response to Re: Eloping... Cokctail party reception back home. Bridal party ideas??? :
    Posted by nylvtx[/QUOTE]

    My response to the bolded parts:

    (1)  No one SAID you were being bridezilla, what was said is that people will THINK you were being bridezilla-esque if they showed up at an celebration/cocktail party and saw a bunch of girls in similar/matching/same color dresses.  It will LOOK as if you had everyone get all matchy, so you could have a do-over bridal party.  Your intentions of recognziing them is nice, having them wear matching color/styles/BM dresses of any sort, is a bad idea.

    2) Part of the problem IS that people get on here and are over the top excited.  And their excitement sometimes blinds them to what may be seen as rude, or against proper etiquette, or generally, just not a good idea.   No one here is going to blow sunshine and roses up anyone's butt just because they are excited about planning their "special day".

    3)   You posted on a public message forum. You don't get to dictate the responses. If you can't handle that, you should avoid posting your plans on a public board. 
  • In Response to Re: Eloping... Cokctail party reception back home. Bridal party ideas???:
    [QUOTE]I think it's so nice that you want to honor your close friends - I would want to do the same especially if they couldn't be with me when I said my vows.  I was also thinking of the idea of giving a nice toast and mention your special friends.  I think a corsage would be a nice touch.  For my sister's bridal shower, I had small pins made up that said "Mother of the Groom" or "Bridesmaid" on them so that the guests knew who everyone was. Some guests wouldn't know the Mother of the Groom from Eve since they had never met her.  Maybe you could do something along those lines so they stand out.
    Posted by ljsquintz[/QUOTE]

    I think that's great for a shower where there IS a bridal party and people with designated roles, but I don't think OP could do the pins.....what would they even say?  "Bestie of the Bride?"  
    OP, I can tell you're a little bent out of shape by the responses you're getting, but I think everyone is spot-on.  Have a huge, awesome party.  Mention your besties in a toast.  Possibly even invite those super close friends to a girl's night or a sleepover or something to celebrate your friendships.  Anything beyond that is just not appropriate. 
  • My suggestion: read other's comments, realize that some of your guests may also share these opinions, and take any snark with a grain of salt.  I think it's lovely that you want to honor your close friends, but keep in mind you don't necessarily have to do this at the reception.  If they live locally, you can take them out for dinner, drinks, spa day, etc (whatever you all enjoy and you can afford) or make some other meaningful gesture prior to the reception.  For example, I'm planning to give my bridesmaids jewelry prior to the wedding, and if they want to wear it to FI + my big day, great, if not, that's also fine. 

    BTW I've attended weddings where the ceremony was private and then enjoyed a lovely reception later and never felt that their special day was any less so because it wasn't done in a "traditional" way.  Bottom line: It's a celebration of your marriage, regardless of whether the reception + ceremony are at the same time and place or are done the typical way, and wanting to honor your friends obviously comes from a good place.  As long as you are considerate, I can't imagine any friend or guest being offended that you want to acknowledge supportive and loving people in your life.  My sister-in-law did something similar to what you're describing and had bridesmaids at the reception (=closest friends + sisters) who did a reading + made a few toasts.  I can't imagine any of them felt anything but touched, let alone thought for a minute that sacred rules of wedding ettiquette were violated.
  • thejucheideathejucheidea East Nashville, Tennessee member
    Tenth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited November 2012
    In Response to Re: Eloping... Cokctail party reception back home. Bridal party ideas???:
    [QUOTE]Did you know that there are religions/cultures where it is customary for the bridal party to NOT be involved in the ceremony or walk down the aisle as they do in traditional American weddings?  Did you know that they are only involved in the reception because being involved in the ceremony is sort of "taboo"?  Probably not.
    Posted by nylvtx[/QUOTE]
    Did you know that you're only digging yourself into a deeper hole by not knowing when to stfu and take advice?

  • Iwasn Response to Re: Eloping... Cokctail party reception back home. Bridal part[QUOTE]Um, all wearing one color IS sort of the definition of matching.   I wasn't rude, I simply gave you advice you didn't care for.  I'm sorry, but disagreeing with you does not make me rude or disgusting and you don't get to tell people what to post or not post.  You asked about specific ideas, I told you they were poor ideas and gave you reasons as to why.  Chill.
    Posted by StageManager14[/QUOTE]

    I hate to break the news to you, but you are being rude. This bride was asking for ideas, none of which you offered. Instead you continue to keep providing comments that do not contain any ideas. You are continuing to post comments that offer no help to this bride. She is not asking for reason why you think her ideas are not good. You are being inconsiderate to a bride who is looking for help which is what these communities are for!
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  • I think a cocktail party reception is a great idea to get your friends and family together after you return from eloping. Everyone has the right to have their wedding their way regardless of what anyone else says or how it traditionally is done. We are all cut from a different cloth and shouldn't be judged for how we chose to have a wedding!

    I think if you discuss with your close friends and they agree than having them wear same color dresses would be a good idea or as someone mentioned having them wear pins that say "Maid of Honor", "Bridesmaid", "Flower Girl"...etc is a good idea. At my friends wedding they had a DVD playing during cocktail hour that had tons of pictures of friends (mostly the bridal party) and family with the bride and groom to show people they really meant a lot to them. Or you could perhaps just make a couple of cute signs that said bridesmaids or something and then take a couple cute photos with them so those girls feel special and make sure to give them copies!
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  • edited November 2012
    In Response to Re: Eloping... Cokctail party reception back home. Bridal party ideas???:
    [QUOTE]I think a cocktail party reception is a great idea to get your friends and family together after you return from eloping. Everyone has the right to have their wedding their way regardless of what anyone else says or how it traditionally is done. We are all cut from a different cloth and shouldn't be judged for how we chose to have a wedding! I think if you discuss with your close friends and they agree than having them wear same color dresses would be a good idea or as someone mentioned having them wear pins that say "Maid of Honor", "Bridesmaid", "Flower Girl"...etc is a good idea. At my friends wedding they had a DVD playing during cocktail hour that had tons of pictures of friends (mostly the bridal party) and family with the bride and groom to show people they really meant a lot to them. Or you could perhaps just make a couple of cute signs that said bridesmaids or something and then take a couple cute photos with them so those girls feel special and make sure to give them copies!
    Posted by gershpjp[/QUOTE]

    A married woman (which OP will be at this party) is not a bride.  There is nothing wrong with having a cocktail party to celebrate your recent marriage, but I have to agree with PPs that you shouldn't have a "wedding party".  If I were you OP, I would do as Retread suggested and write a letter or card thanking these people for their love and support, and anything else you want to say.  You could maybe give a toast to these people at the party (if we're talking about a few people).  And if you wish to have any readings, blessings, etc. read at the party perhaps you could ask one of your VIPs to do it. 
    image
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  • yeah here's the thing. since you're not including them in the ceremony or the real reception after the ceremony they dont' get to be bridesmaids---because a cocktail party doesn't have bridesmaids. if oyu want to give a speech and recognize them great-but realize that everyone is there to celebrate you and fi, not your friends. also giving a speech about a few of the people at the party may alienate others.

    imo-just have a party, skip the speeches or any special attention to anyone and thank them with a heartfealt card or something another time.

     

  • In Response to Re: Eloping... Cokctail party reception back home. Bridal party ideas???:
    [QUOTE]Iwasn Response to Re: Eloping... Cokctail party reception back home. Bridal part I hate to break the news to you, but you are being rude. This bride was asking for ideas, none of which you offered. Instead you continue to keep providing comments that do not contain any ideas. You are continuing to post comments that offer no help to this bride. She is not asking for reason why you think her ideas are not good. You are being inconsiderate to a bride who is looking for help which is what these communities are for!
    Posted by gershpjp[/QUOTE]

    It's next to impossible to offer ideas or opinions about an idea and just ignore the elephant in the room.  We can't say  "oh, dress them in THIS color or this type of outfit", because guess what?  Cocktail parties don't have bridesmaids.  And it's rude to the rest of the guests to single out a few guests to reflect on how special they are.   

    It's sort like someone coming up to you and saying "Don't you just LOVE my new coat. It was made from puppies!!"    Well, you may like the coat, but are you going to ignore the fact that the damn thing was made from puppies?   No, you are going to tell her what a horrible person she is.   Clearly, that's an exaggerated example, but, its the same theory.  We don't give advice for bad ideas without pointing out the bad idea.
  • In Response to Eloping... Cokctail party reception back home. Bridal party ideas???:
    [QUOTE]I am eloping in St. Thomas and having an intimate ceremony with just us two.  Because we really still want to celebrate our marriage with family and our closest friends, we decided to just have a sort of cocktail party reception back home.  I know one of the main jobs of a Bridesmaid/MOH is to be there for you at your ceremony and support you however just because I am not inviting anyone to the wedding ceremony, doesn't mean I want to miss out on recognizing the people who have played such an important role in my life.  I want to give them special duties/recognize them at the cocktail party but I am not really sure how to do it.  I might want them all to wear the same color dress (like black) but they do not have to have matching dresses or anything like that.  My fiance and I are far from traditional so and we do not want, nor expect anyone to spend much money. Does anyone have any ideas how I could involve them in the cocktail party that would let me recognize how important these girls are to me.  (I have already decided I would still give them little gifts as my "sort of bridesmaids".)  Any help you guys could give would be great!  :)
    Posted by nylvtx[/QUOTE]

    If celebrating with your closest friends and family is important, why are you eloping? Why can't you just plan a lovely wedding at home and honeymoon in St. Thomas?

    If you love your friends THAT much, why wouldn't you want them to witness your MARRIAGE?
  • j-harveyj-harvey member
    Fifth Anniversary 100 Comments
    edited October 2013
  • I'm still trying to figure out how no one seemed to notice that, from the sounds of it, OP plans on doing "wedding party" photos at her AHR. OP, you aren't planning on wearing your wedding dress for this party, are you?
    Praying for a miracle!
  • In Response to Re: Eloping... Cokctail party reception back home. Bridal party ideas???:
    [QUOTE]Dressing in matching dresses isn't really an honor, it's an extra PITA.  Nor is it required for photos.  And if I went to a party like this and saw a bunch of girls wearing matching dresses, I would think  a.  That looks like a really awkward fashion faux pas and then b.  Wow, how bridezilla do you have to be to insist on "maids" at your at home reception?  I'm so glad I'm not them.
    Posted by StageManager14[/QUOTE]

    Yoiu don't need to be so rude!  These boards are for advice not to be attacked by other brides.  There are ways to get your point across without attacking the other brides.
  • gmg75241gmg75241 member
    100 Comments
    edited November 2012
    Do it how you want to do it. Its your day. If you want them to do it, ask and see what they say. Your bridal party just might want to do it. Dont let people you have never met (PEOPLE ON THE KNOT) tell you whats wrong or right for your wedding/reception/party. Ive noticed how so many many talk about correct etiquette etc but not showing it by rude comments being made.......so technically thats not good etiquette. There is a way to say something without coming off so aggressive and rude.

    It does not seem like advice is being given, rather more of..if you dont do it this way or that its wrong. Its not wrong, just different. So have a wonderful elopement and reception and if you want your bridal party to  be acknowledged a certain way, just ask them if they want to do it or not. Just because you did not have the typical wedding, does not mean you have forgo all the extras. ITS YOUR WEDDING, NOT OURS.

    :)
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  • In Response to Re: Eloping... Cokctail party reception back home. Bridal party ideas???:
    [QUOTE]Do it how you want to do it. Its your day. If you want them to do it, ask and see what they say. Your bridal party just might want to do it. Dont let people you have never met (PEOPLE ON THE KNOT) tell you whats wrong or right for your wedding/reception/party. Ive noticed how so many many talk about correct etiquette etc but not showing it by rude comments being made.......so technically thats not good etiquette. There is a way to say something without coming off so aggressive and rude. It does not seem like advice is being given, rather more of..if you dont do it this way or that its wrong. Its not wrong, just different. So have a wonderful elopement and reception and if you want your bridal party to  be acknowledged a certain way, just ask them if they want to do it or not. Just because you did not have the typical wedding, does not mean you have forgo all the extras. ITS YOUR WEDDING, NOT OURS. :)
    Posted by gmg75241[/QUOTE]
    horrible advice. we aren't saying that because it is different it is wrong; PPs were saying that because it is poor etiquette, has the possibility to be offensive/hurtful to some parties, and that in choosing to get married the way she plans, she is also choosing to forego certain things, unless, that is, she is planning a PPD, which is again poor etiquette.
    Praying for a miracle!
  • gmg75241gmg75241 member
    100 Comments
    edited November 2012
    In Response to Re: Eloping... Cokctail party reception back home. Bridal party ideas???:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Eloping... Cokctail party reception back home. Bridal party ideas??? : So what very bad, very rude idea did YOU ask about that we didn't validate?
    Posted by StageManager14[/QUOTE]

    None actually, but Im not about to go back and forth about what I said to HER, and not you. No you may not agree to some things, but once again its the way you say it and the tone. I dont expect everyone to agree with me, just like you should not. Its her wedding so she will do what she like, just as Im sure you did for yours or will do it if you have not had it yet. The post she made was not about me so please refrain from making it that way. I dont have the time nor the inclination to have petty catfights on SOMEONE else post that just wanted a opinion, whether negative or positive. Its okay to give negative advice but its the tone that changes it from advice to being rude. Thank you and have a good day.
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