The Post-Wedding Reception
Last week, we got a private message from one of our brides with a question. She was getting married at an intimate destination wedding with her closest friends and family, but still wanted to have a celebration with her friends. Did we have any ideas and suggestions?
Well, as usual, Jacqueline had a story:
"I got married!!" yelled my friend down the phone late one Sunday afternoon. Frankly, I didn't even know she was engaged...As it turns out, she wasn't, and it was a Vegas wedding, to her long time now-husband of 6 years, Tommy.
"Wait....but....where was my invite?" I was a little offended at first. After, we're talking about a girl who may not be in my immediate circle, but was definitely more to me than just a Facebook friend.
"Oh Jacqueline, please don't be mad...It was definitely a last minute thing. I mean, Tommy's parents were in town, and we just thought...'let's do it, let's go to Vegas'. It really was just our families, Becky and George (bridesmaid/best man) and us."
"You never wanted the big gala wedding?" I asked quizzically. Being in the wedding industry, and constantly surrounded by everything from invites, to dresses to cakes, I get very caught up in the excitement of 'The Big Day' and very easily forget that not every girl is after the big day where she wants all eyes on her, in a big flowing gown, walking down that aisle towards her future.
"Well...that's the thing. I just felt it was too hard to organize the garden, a celebrant, flowers....stuff like that. So I got married with my family, and now I'm ready to have the reception...and I can still be the center of attention! What do you think?"
What did I think? It was GENIUS! In fact, I'm annoyed I hadn't thought of it myself earlier...this wedding planning business has of late been on the border of becoming a chore. I would much rather just plan the 'party' part of the day. Think of all the things you could cut out! Hmm, I wonder if it's too late to cancel my own wedding and run away to Vegas?
I got an invitation a few weeks later. It really was genius. It was a collage of their Vegas wedding, in the form of a postcard. On the back, they had scrawled (it was handwritten! For authenticity I guess); "Sorry we did it without you! Please come for our post-party!" My initial annoyance and offense disappeared. It was impossible to stay upset or offended for not being invited to the 'real' wedding after seeing such a cute postcard that portrayed how happy she was.
For all brides looking to have a private ceremony and a big bash afterwards, there's nothing wrong with having the ceremony with just your nearest and dearest. If you're afraid you'll offend someone, stay firm on who makes the cut: family members, yes! Friends from high school that you sometimes catch up with, no. Don't make any exceptions on your friends who you aren't super duper close to because...you know how it is. You invite one, and the next thing you know, you have 80 more guests.
Show how super excited you are to be getting married/already got married. No one can stay mad at you when you're that happy.
I guess in the words of Katy Perry, if you're feeling the moment...just "run away and don't every look back...!"
So, reiterating what Jacqueline said, your friends and family (the ones who didn't get to go see you tie the knot) should be happy for you regardless, because they love you. While some of your relations may need a gentler hand, generally speaking, your invitation should be straightforward request that they join you in celebrating your new marriage.
Posted by Jacqueline H. and Natalie T.