• Images
  • Text
  • Find a Couple + Registry
GO
Destination Weddings

Bridal Shower, destination wedding, reception invites

lvblackenlvblacken member
First Anniversary 5 Love Its First Comment
edited December 2014 in Destination Weddings
Hi everyone!

I'm recently engaged and new to the whole planning process but we are set are having a legal marriage in the states, a symbolic ceremony in Italy, and a party back home for people who cannot travel. 

I'm curious how people have handled invitations for bridal showers people have thrown for them, the destination ceremony, and after party for their destination wedding. Did you invite everyone you wanted to come to the after party to the destination wedding? Or did you only send invites to the destination wedding to those you know can travel? On the same note, who did you invite to your bridal shower? 


«1

Re: Bridal Shower, destination wedding, reception invites

  • Etiquette states that only the people invited to the wedding should be invited to anything wedding related.

    Now I can tell you what we did.

    We had no pre-DW parties like showers or anything. But had we accepted offers to have one I would have made sure only the people invited to the DW were invited. I just felt icky about allowing anyone to throw us a shower since we're in our mid-to-late-30's and don't need any housewares which is what showers were traditionally hosted for. And I also feel that inviting people out of the country and their attending is gift enough - we damn sure didn't want them traveling AND buying us unneeded housewares.

    Our AHR was a different story - we invited whomever we wanted and looked at it as kind of a separate event. We didn't want a DW just to keep it small, it was small bc it was a DW. We had a DW because we wanted a beach wedding and we don't live near a beach. We hosted a big party about a week after we returned from our honeymoon for about 125 people. Some of whom had been at our DW some of whom had not. I knew what etiquette says on this subject, didn't agree, and did what we wanted. I'm glad we did too, because we had a great time at our AHR. We didn't wear our wedding attire but I considered it for a long time. In the end I just wanted to be comfortable and my wedding dress would have felt overdressed for the style party we threw and the venue. 

    I believe this comes down to a know your crowd thing. Our friends and extended family who came to our AHR but who weren't invited to the DW had a wonderful time and if I found out the few people who didn't attend our AHR because they hadn't been invited to the DW and were offended by it, it wouldn't change a thing, we'd do it all the over again the same exact way. If your people are the type that would feel offense at this, take this in to consideration (or not) and proceed how you think things will work best for you.

    Good luck!

    SarahWinslvblackenCJandRyanwedonadime
  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    hkay15 said:
    Hi everyone!

    I'm recently engaged and new to the whole planning process but we are set are having a legal marriage in the states (at the courthouse, no big thing), a symbolic ceremony in Italy, and a reception/party back home for people who cannot travel.  The ceremony in Italy will only be the bride and groom's family and the maid of honor/best man. As many other family members/friends cannot travel due to age, money, etc, we are having a reception back home; I know our grandparents would be very upset if they didn't see me personally in a wedding dress although most of the boards say its a no-no to "re-do" or "re-enact" any wedding activities. 

    I'm curious how people have handled invitations for their bridal shower, wedding and reception for their destination wedding. Did you invite everyone you wanted to come to the at home reception to the destination wedding? Or did you only send invites to the destination wedding to those you know can travel? On the same note, who did you invite to your bridal shower? 


    You should not be hosting your own bridal shower.  Only guests invited to your wedding should be included on a guest list if someone other than yourself would choose to host a bridal shower for you.  When you choose to have a small and intimate wedding, other choices/consequences follow. 

    Calling your legal wedding at the courthouse "no big thing" is incredibly offensive and hurtful to those who choose to hold their wedding at a courthouse.  It is also incredibly hurtful and offensive to those who would give their right arm to have the right to have a legal, courthouse wedding and cannot for political reasons.

    Immediately after your wedding, you can send out announcement cards to anyone that was not invited to the wedding.  They are simple in verbage and simply say that you and your husband wed on XX/XX/XXXX in City/State. 

    You cannot have a reception back in the states because that is what is held immediately following your wedding ceremony.  I am at a loss as to why you would have a "symbolic" event in Italy if it excludes the majority of your family and friends.  Why deny your grandparents, other family, and friends the joy of seeing you wed if you can do it all at once in the states?
    Jells2dot0
  • Like MobKaz, I am a bit confused as to why you are having 3 different events (legal wedding, which IS a big deal, ceremony in Italy and reception, which it isn't because it isn't following the wedding).

    The only people who should be invited to a shower or hens night etc... should be those invited to the courthouse (the actual wedding).  Especially a shower.  Those are to "shower" the bride with gifts.  I would be super pissed if I was good enough to give a shower gift but not witness the actual wedding.

    As far as the celebration party, it shouldn't be treated like a wedding reception because it's not.  Etiquette says you shouldn't wear your wedding dress, but others will say it's a victimless crime.  My FMIL insists on a party after our DW.  I will not wear my dress because it's not my wedding day and I'm no longer a bride.  I'm a wife.  We will also not do a cake cutting or first dances. 
    [Deleted User]
  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I see from other posts that your trip to Italy is not planned until 2016.  I encourage you to rethink whether you want to put a wedding vision ahead of your nearest and dearest friends and family. 

    I would also encourage you to disregard "advice" from someone who acknowledges throwing etiquette out the window.  "Doing what YOU want", and forsaking how it may impact your friends and family, is not how I would want to be treated.  Admitting that it would not bother you if friends or family felt offended is also not the atmosphere in which I would want to host people.


    [Deleted User]
  • I recommend having a wedding at home in the US followed by an awesome reception. Your entire family can be there, see you get legally married, and see you in your dress. Then when the time is right, have a symbolic vow renewal ceremony in Italy with just you and your DH. I don't know why you'd still want to do the symbolic ceremony, but since you won't be inviting anyone, you are free to plan it however you see fit.

    Only those who are invited to your wedding can be invited to your pre-wedding parties. If you are privately signing papers at a courthouse, then you must forgo all pre-wedding parties as your Italy ceremony is NOT a wedding.

     







    [Deleted User]
  • Thank you mrs4everhart for the details of your destination wedding! It was very helpful. 
  • A reception is an event immediately following a wedding to thank your guests for attending. So, what you are referring to is an At Home Reception. This is meant for those people who were invited to your DW but could not attend. Based on your plans, you should be throwing a reception in Italy for those who attend and an AHR (though AHR are optional) for those that were invited but could not attend. 

    As for your shower, you should only invite those invited to your wedding.

    Given your wedding will be a private wedding at a courthouse, you technically should not be having any pre-wedding parties. You can invite people to your vow renewal in Italy and for those that cannot attend, you would throw an AHR for them. I would not invite anyone not invited to Italy to your AHR. If it were me, I'd feel super slighted that I was not invited to your wedding OR your vow renewal, but instead, to just some party. 

     







    lvblackensaric83
  • esstee33esstee33 Pittsburgh member
    Ninth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    hkay15 said:
    I'm sorry if I offended anyone by saying a legal wedding is "no big deal"; I understand it is a very big deal for many. I appreciate everyone's advice, but ladies leave the judgement off the internet! I have not made this decision lightly and have of course considered my family's opinions and feelings. I am specifically asking for advice on what people have done for their destination wedding, not for people just to rag on me and my ideas; wedding planning is a process and and a balancing act between what the bride/groom want and what the family/guests want! So please if you have any actual advice on what you have done for your destination wedding, I'm all ears. 
    You can't control how people respond to you, so you'd definitely be much better off not trying to tell people how to post. You're not going to like the outcome. You're also consulting an international forum, with many posters who have planned weddings previously, so you may want to take into consideration that those same people you're asking for advice might actually know better than you currently do what a balancing act planning a wedding is. 

    The fact remains that your wedding is at the courthouse. If you're not inviting anyone to that, you can't have showers, if anyone offers to host one for you (because you shouldn't be throwing your own shower in the first place). If you ARE inviting people to your courthouse ceremony, then those same people can be invited to your shower. You also need to have a reception for them following the courthouse ceremony.
    image
    saric83[Deleted User]CMGragain
  •  Jells2dot0 you hit the nail on the head! Thanks for your input!
  • First of all, congratulations on your engagement!! Secondly, I think if you want to have a bridal shower, bachelorette, or really any kind of party before, then do it!! No one on here knows you or your Fiance's lives, and they should not "tell" you what is right or wrong. I think your idea sounds lovely! 

    We are newly engaged as well. We aren't sure what we are doing yet, but are also thinking about a destination wedding. We have so many close friends and family that we want to include but cannot afford it. So we are basically looking at doing the same thing. If we get married out of the US we will probably go to the courthouse as well. Not saying it isn't a big deal, but to us (and I'm guessing you too) walking down an isle and saying vows it really what means a lot to you, not the legality part. So I totally understand having a ceremony, and then a reception to include those who couldn't make it. 

    We have an extremely large guest list and know many won't be able to make it, so we are planning on having a party when we come back. I too would like to know what you include in the invitations, save the dates, and everything. We can't be the only two out there doing this... So, if you find anything let me know please, and I will do the same!! Good luck to you!!
    lvblacken
  • We live in a society where there are many rituals, rules, provinciality, and etiquette.  As far as I am concerned, I will do my wedding and pre-functions as I wish.  I think that you have been given some good advice, but some of the opinions leave a lot to be desired.  Not to dictate to you, this is what my fiance and I are doing:

    * We are having a Jack 'n Jill shower/engagement party combo.  Many of our friends are already married with children and I would not want them to host anything for us.  Both of our parents are gone, so we registered at Macy's and will do a fun, casual party in an outdoor restaurant in the summer.  We don't need two parties and we don't need so much stuff.

    * We also love the idea of a destination wedding - just the two of us.  Of course, that won't be fun for our family and friends, but we are doing it anyway.  We have not decided on the locale, but somewhere on the Caribbean right on the beach.  The "symbolic" wedding is appropriate because if you do not live in that particular area, by law you have to do this type of ceremony, and get married at the JP or other ceremony in your own hometown.  The mock wedding will be a special moment to relive in a more magical atmosphere, so go for it.  I would limit this to as few people as possible.  

    * We will then do a party at a banquet hall after our return from our private destination by sending announcements of our marriage along with a matching enclosed invite with the reception details.  We will show photos of the wedding on video at the reception for everyone.

    As I said, do what you want.  It's your life, your wedding - do be happy.  Best
    ready2wed59
  • Jells2dot0Jells2dot0 Cowtown mod
    Moderator Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    We live in a society where there are many rituals, rules, provinciality, and etiquette.  As far as I am concerned, I will do my wedding and pre-functions as I wish.  I think that you have been given some good advice, but some of the opinions leave a lot to be desired.  Not to dictate to you, this is what my fiance and I are doing:

    * We are having a Jack 'n Jill shower/engagement party combo.  Many of our friends are already married with children and I would not want them to host anything for us.  Both of our parents are gone, so we registered at Macy's and will do a fun, casual party in an outdoor restaurant in the summer.  We don't need two parties and we don't need so much stuff.

    * We also love the idea of a destination wedding - just the two of us.  Of course, that won't be fun for our family and friends, but we are doing it anyway.  We have not decided on the locale, but somewhere on the Caribbean right on the beach.  The "symbolic" wedding is appropriate because if you do not live in that particular area, by law you have to do this type of ceremony, and get married at the JP or other ceremony in your own hometown.  The mock wedding will be a special moment to relive in a more magical atmosphere, so go for it.  I would limit this to as few people as possible.  

    * We will then do a party at a banquet hall after our return from our private destination by sending announcements of our marriage along with a matching enclosed invite with the reception details.  We will show photos of the wedding on video at the reception for everyone.

    As I said, do what you want.  It's your life, your wedding - do be happy.  Best

    The bolded is not true for a lot of locations. I was married in Australia and was able to use my Australian marriage cert to change my name and legal status in the US.

    A lot of brides think that weddings in Mexico are not legally binding in the US, but the reality is that these brides just don't want to deal with the legal steps in Mexico.

    IMHO, if you want to get married abroad, you should follow the steps to make the marriage legal I realize some places just don't allow it, no matter what, and I don't know why someone would choose those options unless they had significant meaning. You only get one wedding, so why go in front of the JOP AND have a symbolic ceremony when you could just do it all at once?

    Of course, if you aren't inviting anyone, then it's not really a big deal, but for those who are inviting guests, you need to follow proper etiquette when sharing your event with others.

     







  • wedonadimewedonadime Omaha, NE member
    Second Anniversary First Comment
    Hi Iblacken, I say you do what you and your fiancé want! 
    We are having a destination wedding in Jamaica with just our immediate family because thats what we wanted. Not all of our family is happy with it, but we are. In order to compromise, we are having an AHR and plan to invite all of our friends and family to help us celebrate our marriage. Old etiquette may say that we are only suppose to have our family that was at the wedding, but I disagree! If your friends and family are all wanting to celebrate with you, let them! Most people only care about celebrating at the reception anyway.  
    I haven't decided on a bridal shower or anything. Someone has mentioned throwing one for me in passing, but I'm not sure that I really need one. If someone REALLY wants to throw one, I think we will just do a nice brunch without the presents. 
    Hope this helps a little and congratulations!  
    lvblackenlindseyem22
  • Like you, we're planning to legally marry in the states  (to avoid the legal hassle), have a symbolic ceremony in Mexico, and a party back home.  The reason for the wedding in Mexico is because I've always wanted to get married on a beach and in MN with about 6 nice days a year, it's not possible.  I've read the etiquette books and I'm going with "do what makes you happy".  Some people may not agree with it, but you don't have to please them...you have to please you.  And some people just need to get over the idea that it's not the way they would do it.  
    lvblacken
  • WinstonsGirlWinstonsGirl The Cold North member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    curiouskg said:
    Like you, we're planning to legally marry in the states  (to avoid the legal hassle), have a symbolic ceremony in Mexico, and a party back home.  The reason for the wedding in Mexico is because I've always wanted to get married on a beach and in MN with about 6 nice days a year, it's not possible.  I've read the etiquette books and I'm going with "do what makes you happy".  Some people may not agree with it, but you don't have to please them...you have to please you.  And some people just need to get over the idea that it's not the way they would do it.  
    The minute you invite people to an event, you do need to take them into consideration.  I would not travel on my limited vacation to watch a "symbolic" wedding.  It isn't hard to get legally married in many other countries.  Yes, some have long residency periods, or require blood testing, etc., but it is doable.  I got married in Hawaii (not American) and had it done legally there.  A good friend was married in Cuba.  Her certificate is on file at the Cuban consulate in Toronto, all in Spanish.  

    And I have travelled for a DW to the US.  We tied it in with our planned vacation but it was still out of our way.  Decor was beautiful.  Wedding was beautiful.  I had to pay for drinks.  Including pop.  We didn't drive all that way and pay for hotels/gas/meals to see that they spent all of their cash on decor and not buying me a couple of cokes throughout the evening.  You better believe we weren't pleased with her, so yes, you do need to take your guests into consideration.  
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
    saric83charcoalandblush[Deleted User]YogaSandy
  • Ivblaken -  first I will say you need to be VERY careful how you word things. While the legal ceremony here in the states is just a formality for you, for others that is their wedding.

    The thing about wedding etiquette is it varies depending on where you live, who you ask, and where you get married, and gets even more complicated when it is a destination wedding. I have done as much research as I can stand, lol.  I have developed a pretty thick skin, and learned to ignore people telling me what I need to do. I have been to all types of weddings, and no one follows etiquette completely. People will always have opinions about what you should or should not do, and what is right and wrong. So I learned the first step to planning a destination wedding is to learn to not take offense, and not get defensive. 

    Having said that, on to the fun stuff :)
    We are having a destination wedding in Vieques, Puerto Rico. We sent out save the dates to everyone, created a wedding website, and included that info on the STDs. We put a virtual invitation on our website, and a place for people to request additional information. We are creating tri-fold pamphlets with all of the cost info, island info, ect, and those who request it will get it mailed to them. We also created a place for people to ask questions. We are doing formal invites for the ceremony but they will be included in the welcome bags when guests arrive on the island. We are also creating reception invites, and will send them out before we leave for the DW, as our AHR will be 2 weeks after we return. We decided to have an at home reception, because we still want to celebrate with everyone who cannot attend the actual wedding (legal happening at ceremony in PR). Our attendants are planning a co-ed bridal shower for us, all will be invited to that as well, and we are having bachelor and bachelorette parties, we have not decided if we want to do this before we leave or on the island. We decided, we are going to invite everyone to all events, and they can choose what they want to attend. I don't feel as though we should refuse to have pre-wedding parties simply because not everyone can attend our wedding. We tried to find a happy medium, so we could have what we want, and our guests would still be happy and involved. 

    Hope this helps!!!
     
  • I'm definitely not onboard with the "do whatever you want" attitude because when you invite other folks and ask them to buy you presents (for a shower), it's not just about you and your fiance anymore.

    Regardless of what you do, be COMPLETELY upfront and clear with everyone.  Let them know that your ceremony is Italy is just symbolic.  That way, they can make their choice/opinion about the situation. 

    FWIW - I got legally married in Mexico, and when I mentioned to some friends and family about how it seems common enough for people to do the symbolic ceremony (which we didn't consider), they were VERY turned off by that.  So let your friends and family come to their own conclusions. If you're comfortable with the idea of the fake ceremony, just don't hide it.

  • JennyColadaJennyColada Awesometown, CA member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
    I invited everyone that I wanted to my destination wedding. I did not have a bridal shower.

    Having three events (or more, if you count the showers) is just way too much fucking hassle for me to plan and host. Ain't no one got time for that.
  • lvblacken said:

    I appreciate everyone's advice, but ladies leave the judgement off the internet!

    You realize that if this ever happened, the internet would pretty much cease to exist, right?
    JennyColadaashley8918
  • I'm recently engaged and have a question in somewhat the same vein. My fiance and I have decided to do a DW in Puerto Rico and we're just inviting immediate family and the bridal party. However we are planning on having a large At Home Reception later on when we come home.
    Anyway, my mother's best friends who have known me my whole life want to throw me a shower. They know they're not invited to the DW but still want to do it anyway and are super excited about it. Am I supposed to tell them no? And am I supposed to tell them to not invite anyone even if we do plan on having everyone at a big party later? Honestly most of our cousins and whatnot know they're not invited to the DW but have already started asking about a shower and are really excited about that and the At Home Reception. But looking at this board...it looks like I'm supposed to just tell everyone no?
  • WinstonsGirlWinstonsGirl The Cold North member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers

    I'm recently engaged and have a question in somewhat the same vein. My fiance and I have decided to do a DW in Puerto Rico and we're just inviting immediate family and the bridal party. However we are planning on having a large At Home Reception later on when we come home.
    Anyway, my mother's best friends who have known me my whole life want to throw me a shower. They know they're not invited to the DW but still want to do it anyway and are super excited about it. Am I supposed to tell them no? And am I supposed to tell them to not invite anyone even if we do plan on having everyone at a big party later? Honestly most of our cousins and whatnot know they're not invited to the DW but have already started asking about a shower and are really excited about that and the At Home Reception. But looking at this board...it looks like I'm supposed to just tell everyone no?


    If they're not invited to the wedding, yes, you should be declining their shower.  If you invite people to pre-wedding events who aren't invited to the wedding, you're basically telling them you're happy to let them buy you a gift but don't want to spend the time with them on your important day.  

    Just tell people you are having a small private family only wedding
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
    LondonLisaCMGragainredoryxchibiyui
  • But they already know they're not invited and want to throw a shower anyway. In fact, if I told then no I'm sure their feelings would be seriously hurt. I haven't asked anyone for gifts and don't plan on doing so, but at some point all this etiquette stuff seems very silly when people want to do something nice for you just because and you have to tell them they're not allowed. We throw showers for people at my work all the time and we're not invited to their weddings. We just want to do something nice.
  • Say NO, THANK YOU!
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
  • CMGragainCMGragain member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    edited April 2015

    But they already know they're not invited and want to throw a shower anyway. In fact, if I told then no I'm sure their feelings would be seriously hurt. I haven't asked anyone for gifts and don't plan on doing so, but at some point all this etiquette stuff seems very silly when people want to do something nice for you just because and you have to tell them they're not allowed. We throw showers for people at my work all the time and we're not invited to their weddings. We just want to do something nice.

    Work showers are an exception to the "must be invited" rule.

    If your mother's friends want to give you wedding gifts, they are free to do so.  You will then write them a proper Thank You note.  No showers!  A shower is a gift giving occasion, and, whether you realize it or not, it is like asking people for gifts in addition to wedding gifts.

    You DO realize that this thread is almost  6 months old?
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
  • Of course I realize this thread is old. But I figured I'd add to it instead if starting a whole new thread. Was that wrong?

    Also, no need to yell. I understand how to say no thank you. I just disagree with your thoughts on this. And I googled this last night as well and found several wedding etiquette websites that say the one exception is if you're having an At Home Reception. So obviously this is not a hard fast rule. I get you think this is a bad idea and thank you for your opinion.
  • Jells2dot0Jells2dot0 Cowtown mod
    Moderator Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its

    Of course I realize this thread is old. But I figured I'd add to it instead if starting a whole new thread. Was that wrong?

    Also, no need to yell. I understand how to say no thank you. I just disagree with your thoughts on this. And I googled this last night as well and found several wedding etiquette websites that say the one exception is if you're having an At Home Reception. So obviously this is not a hard fast rule. I get you think this is a bad idea and thank you for your opinion.

    Please read the announcement at the top of the page about posting to old threads. It is recommended that you start a new thread when the original post has been inactive for more than a week or two.

     







    ashley8918chibiyui
  • Jells2dot0Jells2dot0 Cowtown mod
    Moderator Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its

    Of course I realize this thread is old. But I figured I'd add to it instead if starting a whole new thread. Was that wrong?

    Also, no need to yell. I understand how to say no thank you. I just disagree with your thoughts on this. And I googled this last night as well and found several wedding etiquette websites that say the one exception is if you're having an At Home Reception. So obviously this is not a hard fast rule. I get you think this is a bad idea and thank you for your opinion.



    The At Home Reception is usually for people who were invited to the DW but could not attend. If your DW is truly only immediate family and bridal party, having a larger AHR is somewhat acceptable (example- if your wedding was no more than 10 guests but your AHR is 100 guests.) However, an AHR is still not your wedding. Only those invited to your wedding should be invited to a shower or other pre-wedding event.

    You obviously had doubts about having a shower as you posted seeking advice. The ladies on here are an excellent etiquette source. I recommend skipping the shower and just having everyone get together for the AHR. There is also nothing wrong with someone hosting a GTG for you, perhaps a tea or a luncheon. It just can't really be tied to your wedding or a gift giving event.

    You have to remember that the wedding industry is big on making money. Of course they are going to tell you to throw several wedding-related parties. It means more money for the industry. So, most wedding-related websites do not take etiquette into account.

     







  • CMGragainCMGragain member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    edited April 2015
    Well, other posters tried being polite, and you are still arguing.  Why did you ask?  We aren't going to tell you what you want to hear.
    Agreeing to a shower makes you look like a very greedy bride.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
    [Deleted User]
This discussion has been closed.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards