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Kaycee
Just Said Yes September 2023

Out of order - can i still do what i wanted?

Kaycee, on June 6, 2023 at 1:14 PM Posted in Etiquette and Advice 0 14

I eloped with my husband last September, which was not the original plan. My only surviving grandma was diagnosed with cancer and given prognosis of just weeks left to live. She helped raise me, and I could not imagine getting married with out her there. With the help of other family we pulled together a small intimate wedding that was held in her back yard in just 4 days. This short time line didn't allow us to include many family or friends and we couldn't really as we were using caution with my sick grandma. I had already booked a date for September 2023 to have our wedding, so I switched gears and changed the day to be a reception for everyone who could not make our last minute day. I always had the dream of a big wedding, having a bachelorette party, having a bridal shower, and all of the things that come along with a wedding. I really want to still do those things, but unsure if I'm able since I'm already married. I have a large family, and many friends and want to be able to celebrate with them like I would have been able to if my grandma didn't get her diagnosis. I have no regrets, as she passed just 10 days after our wedding day, but I am feel like I'm missing out on the fun things to look forward too during the planning process.

14 Comments

Latest activity by Pamela, on June 20, 2023 at 4:04 PM
  • Lisa
    Rockstar July 2022
    Lisa ·
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    I think you can totally still have all the pre-wedding events in this scenario! I'm so sorry about your grandma, and am glad that she was able to be there when you got married.

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  • C
    CM ·
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    I'm so sorry for your loss. Unfortunately, etiquette doesn't condone pre-wedding events after a wedding has taken place, regardless of the circumstances. For example, a cardinal rule is everyone invited to a shower must also be invited to the wedding. A delayed celebration or reception can be as big a blowout as your budget and preferences allow, and a wonderful event, but it's not the occasion on which you were married, ie your wedding.

    There may be also be people who have already given you your wedding present. Usual guideline is for people to divide the total they want to spend between a shower gift and a wedding gift. But the main reason is that you are no longer in the role of a bride setting up her first home as a married couple, you're already a wife, and this could come across as a gift grab.

    If you want a special celebration that includes intimate friends or family, that's great. Just call it a luncheon or a tea, not a shower, and don't make it about gifts.

    As for a bachelorette, I think the same general logic would hold.

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  • Cece
    Rockstar October 2023
    Cece ·
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    I completely agree with Lisa
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  • Kaycee
    Just Said Yes September 2023
    Kaycee ·
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    We had planned to actually have another ceremony and told guests to not give gifts until our September date. While we changed our minds on holding another ceremony, we did not accept gifts from anyone. A lot of my family are in the area so were able to attend, while my husbands are from different states. So a lot of people that would attend the shower/bachelorette did attend our wedding, and people that didn't it wasn't that they weren't invited it just didn't work out on that short of notice. Also everyone that couldn't attend knew the circumstance of why we were getting married. I don't necessarily care about gifts, but more about missing out on things I would have enjoyed being a traditional bride. While I understand there might be an etiquette for more formal events, that doesn't describe me and I believe people invited would understand my circumstance. Thank you for your input, and I like your idea of a luncheon/tea!

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  • Cece
    Rockstar October 2023
    Cece ·
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    So sorry to hear about your grandmother. I’m glad you got to celebrate with her before her passing. That said, under these circumstances, I think it’s completely acceptable to have all the pre-wedding events! And I’m sure your friends and family would want to celebrate you, and support you, during this time. I know you changed your original wedding date into a reception for everyone, but if you want to repeat your vows in front of all your loved ones (some people find this makes it feel more “real”), that’s always an option too! You can even choose a wedding party if you want to repeat your vows.
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  • Lisa
    Rockstar July 2022
    Lisa ·
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    While I would normally agree that pre-wedding events are for those who are not yet married, I think OP's situation is an example of where the situation overrides etiquette. Similar to 2020, when many couples held super small ceremonies on their original dates and then postponed the larger receptions, bridal showers, and bachelorette parties until a time that COVID restrictions allowed for larger gatherings (in many cases, a year later). Most people were very understanding of this, and it wasn't perceived as a gift grab, even though these parties were hosted after the wedding instead of before. I think in OP's situation, her guests would absolutely be understanding of her time-sensitive need to change her plans, and I truly don't believe it would come across as a gift grab to anyone.
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  • Pamela
    Savvy April 2023
    Pamela ·
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    You can totally have a wedding/reception after the fact and I did not ask for gifts at mine either, it was my second marriage (we already have stuff). Many people who get married at the court house have full on weddings after, and as far as the "bachelorette party" you can have a girls night/day out it is totally fine. I am having one and I was married a month ago. I not branding it as a bachelorette, but some of my friends were not available before so we are getting together after. There is no etiquette that dictates circumstances beyond your control. Be happy and enjoy! You were very sweet to make the day happen for your grandma!

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  • LM
    Expert December 2022
    LM ·
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    I'm glad you feel you are ready to celebrate this milestone. Your grandma would be happy for you, too. Best wishes.

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  • Samantha
    Beginner November 2023
    Samantha ·
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    Please don't worry about what "etiquette" deems appropriate for your life or wedding. Etiquette is just tired, old traditions set in place to keep other people happy. Have your pre-wedding fun, and maybe you can even phrase them as a celebratory tying the knot occasions!

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  • K
    Just Said Yes October 2023
    Kimi ·
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    My husband and I are doing the same thing, we had to elope under an emergency circumstance after everything was already booked for our wedding and we are still having it. Of course you can! You eloped under an emergency and that doesn't mean you can't have your celebration! My husband and are going to reveal it to everyone at our ceremony that it is actually our 1 year anniversary and finally get to celebrate it with all of our friends and family who couldn't be there at the time of our first. It's your money, and your event! Enjoy it 💗
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  • M
    Just Said Yes September 2023
    M M ·
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    Sorry for the loss of your grandma. You could do whatever you want. All you have to say is, 'we are having a celebration to honor our marriage after one year! You're invited!"
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  • R
    Rockstar
    Rosebud ·
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    So sorry for your loss, absolutely have every party you intended to have. Your family an friends probably understand the situation with your grandma and if someone doesn’t like the fact that you are having a shower and a bachelorette well they can stay home for those events. Life throws unexpected curveballs sometimes but when you can you dust yourself off and chose joy. Wishing you all the best. 💜

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  • Michelle
    Rockstar December 2022
    Michelle ·
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    Agree with this. Because the wedding is passed, unfortunately it is a faux pas to have further wedding events, especially any pre-wedding parties that are for ceremony guests only, and no one attended the ceremony. Covid and other circumstances (military , etc) didn’t erase the etiquette that exists that makes this a faux pas to call this a wedding celebration.


    It’s another recent trend to have multiple post-wedding events that continue to be wedding related instead of moving forward with married life and go back to normalizing hosting regular parties for loved ones that don’t center around the wedding.
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  • Pamela
    Savvy April 2023
    Pamela ·
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    This is strictly opinion based. There are plenty of articles on the subject: https://marinajbanquets.com/weddings/why-its-okay-to-have-a-bachelorette-party-after-your-wedding/ Here is one from this sister site https://www.theknot.com/content/bachelorette-bachelor-party-after-wedding. Things are changing and old world views are out!!!

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