Wedding Reception Etiquette: Can We Have Two Wedding Receptions?
Q: My son is getting married in his bride's hometown in South Carolina next October. Since we live in Massachusetts and most of our family is from New England, many of us will be unable to attend the wedding. We would like to have a second reception for the newlyweds here. What is the protocol for inviting guests to either or both wedding receptions? I do not want to include only those who did not attend the wedding, but I also don't want guests to feel they have to give two gifts if they are invited to both receptions.
A: In the regular wedding invitations -- which the bride and groom should send to everyone you'd want at the wedding, regardless of whether or not they think those guests can make it -- enclose a card that lets guests know about the second wedding reception you're planning in Massachusetts. The card needn't include "official" info if it's too soon -- maybe just your phone number so guests can call to chat about the second reception. This way, they'll know that if they can't make it to South Carolina, they'll still be able to celebrate with the couple -- or they can come to both wedding receptions! As for gifts, it's doubtful most people will think that coming to two parties means buying two gifts. And if they ask, simply say "Of course not." Otherwise, don't worry!