1. Melissa Ford

    I recently got married in a beautiful ceremony in the state where my husband and I reside. We paid for about half of the wedding and my parents paid for the other half. I have a large extended family and many of them were not able to travel from their state to the wedding, so my parents are having a second reception. My parents are completely paying for this ceremony. I was hoping to have a small backyard BBQ with family and friends from my home state, but my mom is hosting an elaborate second reception. She has told me I need to wear my dress again, and she has rented a hall, hired a DJ and photographer, invited co-workers, and would like to get corsages and boutineers. I am really uncomfortable putting on this big show as we are already married, and I have expressed this to her. She says that many people have second receptions since a lot of people do destination weddings (ours was in the mountains, so it could be considered a destination wedding). Do I have a say in any of this since she’s paying? Is there etiquette to follow when having a second reception?

    Thank you!

    • A destination wedding is a wedding that takes place far from the bride and groom’s home. For instance, if a bride and groom live in Key West and get married on a nearby beach, that is not a destination wedding, even if most of the family has to travel there. If the bride and groom are from Wyoming and get married in Key West, that is a destination wedding. It doesn’t sound like you had a destination wedding (there’s nothing wrong with choosing a lovely location in one’s state of residence).
      Your parents are very kind to pay for this party… but I agree with you that this second reception seems odd. Second receptions, as your mother said, do tend to happen after destination weddings, or after military deployments. Because you didn’t really have a destination wedding, and you didn’t mention the military, I advise against this. Inviting coworkers? They’re going to feel awkward if they didn’t bring a gift, and/or weren’t invited to the actual wedding/reception. Perhaps your mother could be talked into a less extravagant party? Your idea of a backyard BBQ sounds wonderful.

    • Zakafury

      I don’t like to call it a Wedding Reception – since you are not receiving wedding guests. It also comes with a sense of requiring a gift – right or wrong.

      The Hometown Party should be fine. If your mother wants to throw a big party in honor of your marriage (and invite people as distant to you as her coworkers), then she can.

      You do have a say in what you are being asked to do. If you’re uncomfortable wearing your wedding dress, tossing a bouquet, dancing the hora, cutting a wedding cake, etc., then tell her firmly that you don’t want to put on a wedding show.

  2. Alicia

    I agree call it a Party in honor of the new couple. Then skip wearing your wedding dress, skip the bouquet,ect. I mean a big cake is pretty much always delicious at a party and teh guests of honor typically cut the cake so wedding like cake is fine I would think. It can be as fancy or informal a party as your parents would like but keep it from being confused with a wedding reception by keeping elements only seen at weddings away. It is better called a party in the honor of the new couple or a party in honor of their new son in law.

    • Joanna

      I agree with Alicia – you definitely should skip the wedding dress and all of that, and just keep it a party in honor of the new couple.

      Also, I know you said this party is mainly for people who couldn’t make the first event, but will there be ANY duplication of guests? You don’t want to make people feel like they’re being asked to give two wedding guests to the same couple.

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