Laura
Dedicated July 2018

Destination wedding with reception after?

Laura, on June 21, 2017 at 2:11 PM Posted in Etiquette and Advice 0 18
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So Ive read some positive and negative things on this topic. Fiance and I are getting married in South Africa, and having a traditional reception to celebrate about a month and a half after we get home (to make sure we have the pictures). We plan on doing the dinner, drinks, wearing our outfits etc and doing a unity lovelock ceremony to essentially join the families at the reception - this would happen right before the dinner, dancing etc. Ive read in some places that having a reception after a destination wedding is tacky...and gift grabby. Any thoughts? No one in our family, with the exception of my dad, can afford to go out to South Africa so we wanted to still be able to celebrate our marriage with our loved ones.

18 Comments

Latest activity by Kayla, on August 20, 2019 at 4:17 PM
  • stephanie
    Super October 2017
    stephanie ·
    • Flag

    I say go for it. I've been to multiple celebrations after couples return from a destination wedding and I've been happy to attend and celebrate with them. It should just be clear that you had a destination wedding and are now celebrating with family/friends.

    If someone thinks it feels gift grabby, they should feel free to just not give a gift. What's the reason for doing the ceremony so far away? Maybe an explanation included with the invite, or on a wedding website, would be helpful. Ex.: "As many of you know, South Africa is a very special place for us because of XYZ. Because of this, we are choosing to have a small, private wedding ceremony there. We would love for you to join us in celebrating our union after we return. blah blah blah"

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  • Laura
    Dedicated July 2018
    Laura ·
    • Flag

    Thanks! Thats how I felt. We wont have a registry so I would hope people dont assume they need to get us a gift. Ive found wording for the invites that would make it known that we are getting married in South Africa, but everyone knows already. South Africa is very special to my fiance. He works with elephants, and giraffe and the wildlife there 'speaks' to him in a way I guess you could say. When he went the first time he said it changed his life so thats another reason. So we dont have a reason other than that. Ive always wanted to go and we both just thought it would be fun to get married there, take wedding photos with the animals etc.

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  • Deanna
    VIP October 2018
    Deanna ·
    • Flag

    I am doing it!! I don't see anything wrong with it at all! We are having our reception a month after the DW.

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  • Laura
    Dedicated July 2018
    Laura ·
    • Flag

    Thats awesome! Where are you all going for your DW?

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  • Deanna
    VIP October 2018
    Deanna ·
    • Flag

    FH and I are going to Emerald Isle, NC. I grew up going there as a kid and my aunt is letting us use her beach house for hosting our immediate family (10 guests) then the rest of the week we have it to ourselves for our honeymoon.

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  • Laura
    Dedicated July 2018
    Laura ·
    • Flag

    That sounds awesome!

    • Reply
  • K
    Dedicated February 2018
    Kendall ·
    • Flag

    FH and I are doing the same thing! We are having a small ceremony in Maui with just our parents and sisters and a couple friends. Then celebrating with the rest of our family when we get back.

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  • Cricket
    Devoted March 2018
    Cricket ·
    • Flag

    It's becoming more and more common. We are doing the same. We are getting married in Costa Rica and having a reception a few months later in the summer (most of our families are farmers, so we had to work around planting season, thus the long gap).

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  • Elizabeth
    Super March 2017
    Elizabeth ·
    • Flag

    We did it for our dw. We waiting about 5 weeks to make sure the pictures were finished. We kept the pictures super secret and prior to us getting to the reception the dj played a slideshow with music of the pictures from the wedding in Florida. Everyone said they loved it!!! I say go for it!!!

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  • DoggoMom
    VIP August 2016
    DoggoMom ·
    • Flag

    I think if you are doing a small ceremony with minimal guests present then doing a reception back home is fine. It's when you invite 50 people to your DW wedding and B list everyone else for the reception back home that can be seen as rude.

    • Reply
  • Deanna
    VIP October 2018
    Deanna ·
    • Flag

    For you guys that are doing the intimate thing. How are you handling the bridal party. We are planning on having our MOH and Best Man at the ceremony but then having the rest of the bridal party for the reception only because a few members of the bridal party are from out of state and we dont want them traveling all over for us in a 2 month time frame. Our MOH and Best man are local so they only have to travel to the ceremony.

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  • Cricket
    Devoted March 2018
    Cricket ·
    • Flag

    @Deanna...We are only having a BM and MOH. Kinda went with the logic of small ceremony, small BP.

    As for the bridal party, the only thing they're required to do is wear the appropriate attire and show up to the ceremony, so not sure why they'd have to travel all over in a 2 month time frame or only attend the reception? All other wedding activities are optional, so they would get to choose what they can and can't attend. If you're having just MOH and BM for the ceremony, I'd just not have the rest of the BP.

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  • Deanna
    VIP October 2018
    Deanna ·
    • Flag

    We gave them the option MOH and Best Man want to be at both and the rest of the party would rather be at the reception since it is saving them money on travel.

    • Reply
  • Ashley
    Super September 2017
    Ashley ·
    • Flag

    I'm having a destination wedding but the reception is at the destination. I say do whatever makes you happy.

    • Reply
  • Elizabeth
    Super March 2017
    Elizabeth ·
    • Flag

    @Deanna S. We had three gm and 2bm and a flower girl. We had a total of 30 people including us. It was mainly family. We had four friends (2 of which were my hairstylist and her mom who flew down to do our hair!).

    When we did a reception back home all of the bridal party was there because all but 2 were from Wisconsin. So that wasn't a big deal at all!

    • Reply
  • Jameena
    Expert August 2017
    Jameena ·
    • Flag

    First off, I love the idea.

    Secondly, I hate when people say things like it's tacky or gift grabby because it really isn't, it's all in the way you do it. People who love you and really want to celebrate will come and bring you gifts to support you and your husband or wife. I think it's considerate to not put a burden on people to travel all the way to South Africa for your wedding. I love giving people the opportunity to celebrate after a destination wedding, it's only fair.

    • Reply
  • D
    Just Said Yes September 2018
    Dominique ·
    • Flag

    How did you end up wording your invitations for this, also how did the reception go? I am also doing this... private ceremony in Italy and reception with family/friends back home (USA).

    • Reply
  • Kayla
    Just Said Yes September 2021
    Kayla ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment
    Did you have the rest of your bridal party dress up in color theme of the wedding or did you allow them to wear what they wanted since they werent there for ceremony?
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