Some couples (or their parents) will choose to host a reception in their hometown after the wedding. If it's very important to you (or to your wife, or to the in-laws) to host a post-wedding soiree for the newlyweds, it's a perfectly acceptable practice. Proceed as you would with a normal wedding-day reception — with a few differences, and a few caveats:
These parties tend to lean more toward champagne and cake than toward a seven-course meal.
Assuming the reception is not being held in the park, you should wear your best suit. Tuxes are not necessary (unless it's a black- or white-tie event).
The couple is free to register for gifts…but they might want to think twice about doing so.
Gifts Are Overrated, Anyway
Here's the thing with post-wedding receptions, especially if the bride and groom opted for a destination wedding because they didn't want all of these guests at their
Or worse, you won't hear the sniping and you'll be left to deal with offended friends and relatives who feel obligated to show up at the reception, but who also feel no obligation to be pleasant.
One way to minimize hurt feelings is to discourage gift-giving at the post-wedding reception — because, after all, it's not a real stretch for these folks to assume that they're only being invited to this event simply because they're expected to bring a present.
If your daughter agrees to the no-gift policy, you're in for smooth sailing. If she's ranting and raving that she needs pots and pans and a colander and money…you might just want to call the whole thing off. Her intentions will be transparent to your guests, and as the host, you'll be held at least partly responsible — whether your friends and family choose to express their resentment or simply hold this reception against you for the rest of your life.
Nix the B List
Though it's a risky practice, brides who are having traditional weddings sometimes draw up a list of alternate guests — folks who don't make the cut during the first round of invitations, but who are more than welcome to fill the spaces left vacant by regrets. Why is this risky? Because, often, these guests
If this is unadvisable where a traditional wedding reception is concerned, it's doubly so for the post-wedding reception. Having a B List for this party effectively means that these folks have been snubbed twice — once when they weren't invited to the actual wedding, and again when they failed to make the first draft of the guest list for this reception. Advise the newlyweds (and anyone else who's tossing names into the ring) to make a list and stick with it.
Invitations for this reception should be sent at least one month before the reception. Must they be formal and engraved? If it's a large, formal reception, you shouldn't send out handwritten invites; you'll need to find a reputable printer in your area. They need not be engraved, though; today's printing techniques are able to mimic the highfalutin look of years gone by at a much more affordable price.