Married in another state, having ceremony and reception a year later in home state
My wife and I had to travel out of state (to Vermont) to get married last year in October as our home state of Texas does not yet allow those of the same gender to get married. We knew that very few of our family and friends would be able to attend the out of state event due to travel costs, and therefore we planned all along to repeat the event at home in Texas with another ceremony, dinner, reception, and dancing a year later. We will be having our “big wedding”, if you will, at a local Hyatt this coming October. When we were married, I took her last name so we are Mrs. and Mrs. Kristi & Lisa Starr. We are older (40s & 50s) and this is my wife’s second marriage. My question is how to word the invitations. We certainly didn’t have the option of getting married in our home state, but I also feel that calling this a wedding is perfectly fine as the dictionary defines a wedding as a celebration of a marriage, and we were legally married. I want to be clear this is a ceremony along with dinner/reception and not just a reception. My parents are paying for a small portion of the wedding (about 10%) but my wife’s family is not paying for anything, and in fact, her parents are divorced and both remarried many years past. What do you recommend for wording on the invitation? And should I honor my parents as they are paying for some of the wedding (but that will “leave out” my wife’s parents)?
Donna, Wedding Queen, President; Top Wedding Sites, Inc
The definition of a wedding is a ceremony to marry a couple, which you already had. The celebration of the marriage would be the reception. This is the definition of wedding as per Webster’s Dictionary:
1: a marriage ceremony usually with its accompanying festivities 2: an act, process, or instance of joining in close association 3: a wedding anniversary or its celebration —usually used in combination
The etiquette for same sex marriage would be the same as for traditional marriage. One wedding (ceremony) is all that is needed since once you’re married there is no need for another ceremony – and, as you mentioned, you were legally married and have been living together as a married couple.
If you’d like to celebrate with friends and family with a reception this can be done within one year of the wedding. You would send out reception invitations, wording them from the couple (leaving off t\any mention of parents and considering their payment as a gift) or allowing the parents giving the party to send the reception invitation, using their names as host(s). But the keyword here is host. The invitation shouldn’t be an indicator of who is paying.
This is an example of typical wedding reception invitation wording:
The pleasure of your company
is requested at the
wedding reception of
Saturday, the tenth of June
at five o’clock
Rebecca Black, Etiquette By Rebecca
I agree. Unfortunately, even though it is still difficult to marry for those of the same gender, the etiquette rules are the same for you too. When you marry, you are married. It is the same as those who are not the same gender. Realistically, what would your guests be viewing? It isn’t a wedding since you two are already married. She is your wife, not your bride. So, it would be pretend. I doubt that you would want your guests to feel as if they were watching you two pretending to marry. That would, most likely, make them feel uncomfortable.
So, celebrate your wedding with a reception if it is held before October. But, please remember that most of the traditional elements may seem a bit odd after waiting this long to host this–first dance (you’ve been “dancing” as a married couple for a while.