I am planning a convalidation ceremony/blessing of my marriage and wanted to get opinions and see if anyone has ever been in the same unique situation as me. My husband and I got engaged back in 2012. He is not a US citizen, so we met with an immigration lawyer back then who suggested we get married sooner rather than later, since he was in jeopardy of possibly losing his work visa the following year. At the time, I was still in college. We met with my pastor to explain the situation and ask if he could marry us. He told us he couldn't on such short notice for a few reasons, one being we had to do Pre-Cana etc. He told us we should have our civil marriage and then come back when we were ready to have our Catholic Mass. We had a very small civil ceremony with just immediate family in 2013.
I'm now at the point where I've been out of school for a couple years, we've purchased our first home, and are able to pay for the wedding we want. Getting married in the church is very important to me, and so is having a celebration with my extended family and friends. My whole family has told me that they want to celebrate with us because they have not had the chance to yet, even a few years later, but I can't help feeling self-conscious and that people are going to accuse me of having a reception just to get gifts and wear the wedding gown/be the center of attention. In my mind, that's not it at all. On the other hand, I feel like I would be missing out on a major milestone by not having the whole ordeal. It just sucks because the situation was sort of beyond our control.
I know I'm rambling, but I was just wondering if anyone has ever been in a similar situation and could provide some reassurance that I should do this! The other option is to just have our convalidation Mass with no reception after, which to me, would feel very strange and anti-climactic.