Ask The Celebration Advisor: We're getting married in Siesta Key, FL with just family (less than 20 people) and having a wedding celebration 2 weeks later. I'm not sure of the activities that should take place at the celebration. Do we cut the cake (again?), does anyone make a toast, do I throw the bouquet, do we dance at our wedding song? I just want it to be special and want to share with everyone in our lives how happy we are. Please help! Kristi
Celebration Advisor Reply:
In this situation, you can plan it just like a wedding reception following the ceremony. Think of it as a belated wedding reception which can be hosted by the couple, the bride's parents, the groom's parents or other family members or friends.
You can include all components of a wedding reception — music, food, cake, flowers, toasts, etc. It can be as formal or as informal as you would like. You can wear your wedding dress and throw a bouquet or you can wear cocktail dress or evening gown. You can cut the wedding cake or have it cut and served to your guests.
When you have a wedding reception a few weeks after the ceremony, you can change the tone of the reception without breaking any etiquette rules. A formal wedding must have a formal wedding reception. In your case, you would not have to have a formal reception. This gives you the opportunity to throw the kind of party you really want.
The only constraint in this situation revolves around gifts. When the reception is held weeks after the ceremony, gifts are not expected. Should guests bring gifts, you should not open them until after the party and you should immediately send thank-you notes.
Remember to send invitations four to six weeks in advance. Below is a sample of the wording for a belated wedding reception hosted by the bride's parents:
Mr. and Mrs. Dirk Danenger
request the pleasure of your company
at a reception
in honor of
Mr. and Mrs. Simon Barger
Good luck and may your wedding reception be the party of your dreams.