Jaymie
Just Said Yes October 2021

2 receptions? One for family and one for friends?

Jaymie, on May 22, 2019 at 12:26 PM Posted in Planning 0 9
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I am planning a wedding and want to limit the guest list to 200 people due to budget. However, coming from an Asian family, I would likely have 200+ people to invite from my side of the family alone, so cutting down the guest list will be extremely difficult.

Traditionally in our culture we have a reception at a restaurant for family and extended family, even those we have not met, most of which being more traditional and less "American", thereby not understanding the need to RSVP. Food is always served family style as a 8-10 course meal over several hours.

Has anyone ever thrown 2 receptions? One immediately following the ceremony for friends and super close family, and another on a later date for more traditional and extended family members?

9 Comments

Latest activity by Alys, on February 14, 2020 at 12:50 PM
  • Summerbride77
    VIP July 2019
    Summerbride77 ·
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    I’m not sure two receptions solves your budget issue. Are you thinking on reception after the ceremony and then another a year later?

    I know it’s hard, especially with traditions at play and big families, but cutting you guest to 200 is probably the best bet. Throwing two large receptions in a single year might end up costing even more then one super big receptions
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  • Jaymie
    Just Said Yes October 2021
    Jaymie ·
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    I'm thinking reception after the ceremony and then another reception about a month or so later. I guess the way I was thinking of solving my budget issue is being able to cut down the list of my first reception for close family and friends to about 150. And then hosting another reception at a much more cost efficient venue (traditional asian restaurant) for other family and extended family/family friends. This way I am not leaving anyone out, but also I am not paying $150-200 for family my mom invited who I do not even know.

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  • Summerbride77
    VIP July 2019
    Summerbride77 ·
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    Got it. So this is technically a tiered reception which can be considered rude.

    You could have the ceremony and reception with the same guest guest list and then maybe do a celebration of marriage further down the line after the honeymoon and such. You will find people on this forum who do a very small destination wedding and then do a big reception locally afterwards. Or have receptions back in their hometowns closer to family after a main wedding ceremony/reception. Typically though the first wedding/reception is really small (50 people under).

    Have the you talked to your parents? Is there a compromise you could come to that balances tradition and a manageable guest list?

    some additional resources:
    https://www.marthastewartweddings.com/651096/guide-to-having-multiple-weddings
    https://www.brides.com/story/second-wedding-reception-when-to-have-one
    https://www.theknot.com/content/can-we-have-two-wedding-receptions
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  • Jaymie
    Just Said Yes October 2021
    Jaymie ·
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    You make a very good point... I will speak to my parents. Thank you for the advice! Smiley smile

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  • I
    Dedicated December 2019
    isabel1115 ·
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    I am Chinese and know lots of Chinese people who have multiple receptions. Usually, its where they live now and then another one back in their home country for the people who didn't make it. I consider this standard practice for Asians.


    -One of my cousins had 3: 1 where she was living, 1 where he was living (they did move in together but were long distance until the wedding) and another in Asia.

    -I know someone who had a destination wedding and reception, another one back in her home country and then another small reception in the US.

    -I know several other people who's parents owned businesses and they had one for their parents friends and clients and another for their own friends and families. They couldn't even find rooms large enough to fit everyone so it had to be split into two. (I'm talking like 500+guests across two receptions.)

    -I've attended and been invited to plenty of "2nd receptions" or "first of 2 receptions" etc and did not think it was a big deal.

    -I also know a non-Asian couple who had one in his hometown and one in her hometown/where they were living.


    I understand when you say you're spending less for the mom's friends wedding reception, it's not really just about the cost. Asian-style weddings, which your guests may more comfortable with anyways, are geared towards large crowds. The expectation is that an Asian -style reception will maximize costs per guests to be most efficient.

    I think because this is very common in our culture and it seems most of your guests (at least in the Asian-style reception) are Asian, this is totally fine and possibly expected.


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  • L
    Just Said Yes March 2020
    Linda ·
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    Yes 2 receptions is fine and common for most Asian families. You can have the traditional reception with a small group and then do the banquet style wedding too which might be cheaper overall because you don’t have to do much decoration etc.
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  • Jaymie
    Just Said Yes October 2021
    Jaymie ·
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    I totally understand what you mean when you say guests may be more comfortable with asian-style weddings. Coming from Thai-Laotian background, I've been to many wedding receptions where everyone is there to just eat, drink, and socialize! No desire for speeches or any sort of "fancy" American traditions. And that's perfectly fine to me because it's our culture.

    I've been to a wedding where the bride was Laotian-Cambodian and the groom was African-American. The bride's side was very loud, and did not fully understand American wedding traditions, thereby eating, drinking, and socializing as speeches were going on. The groom's side got very bothered and annoyed by the lack of attention and disruption from the bride's side. It was very clear that each side did not understand each other's cultures. I do not want this to happen at my wedding! I want those comfortable with American traditions to have a pleasant experience and i want those comfortable with "Asian-style" weddings to be comfortable in that environment too.

    So thank you for bringing this to my attention, because I do agree it is not just about cost, but about the expectations of the wedding from the guests. Smiley smile

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  • A
    Just Said Yes May 2022
    Ashley ·
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    I would love to hear what you end up planning! I’m pre-planning (engaged Jan 2020) but I know this going to be a big issue for us.


    I’m Laotian-Vietnamese and he is Chinese so in addition to doing the baci/sukwan, we’ll do a tea ceremony which I think could be done the same day with “Asian-style” reception at home or an Airbnb or restaurant. This would be the big 200+ invite event with extended family/family friends and mostly just to please my Lao mom.
    Fiancée and I are Americanized and plan on funding and organizing the westernized wedding ceremony and reception for a different date keeping the guest list down to 100 or less with just close family and friends.
    It’s tough to keep multiple cultural traditions and appease family but I hope you find/found a way to keep the day about you and your partner!
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  • A
    Dedicated September 2020
    Alys ·
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    It’s not “tiered” receptions. Having multiple ceremonies and receptions is the norm for many Asian Americans. My cousins, sister m, and many friends have hosted multiple weddings in multiple countries in order to include everyone in their lives. It’s not rude, it’s inclusive. And if there’s diff cultural expectations, this way you get exactly the wedding celebration you want and also your families get the wedding celebrations they want as well. Everyone’s happy!!
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