reception 2 1/2 years after ceremony?

millissonSeptember 5, 2008

me and my husband got married on april 21 2006 at city hall with just our parents siblings and grandparents. my husband had been very ill and it made us realize that we could lose each other at any moment so we got married without all the fuss . we figured we would have a reception for freinds and family once he got 100% better. it took longer then expected and he has now been better for a year but alot of time has passed since our ceramony. my question is is it apropriate to have a reception after this much time ? should we renew our vows or is it ok to just have the reception? i would stil like to include the cake cutting and i would still wear a white dress not anything super formal . what are your opinions out there?

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I am sorry for the circumstances leading to your marriage, but glad to hear that your husband is now in good health. To me, having a wedding reception or a vow renewal ceremony 2 1/2 years after the wedding seems inappropriate. A wedding reception is usually held within a few weeks to a few months of the wedding. A vow renewal ceremony is usually held after more years of marriage.

Have you considered just having a party with family and friends to celebrate your husband's health and perhaps as a way to say thanks for their support of the two of you, assuming that they did support you through your ordeal. Then, perhaps for your 10th anniversary you could have a vow renewal ceremony.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2008 at 12:59PM
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My sympathy for the circumstances of your marriage, and congrats on realizing how important the vows are, and that they are completely more important than any party.

And I'm glad to hear your husband is so much better!

I think you could have an anniversary party, or simply any party. But I don't think you can at all call it a wedding reception..

*Maybe* you could renew your vows earlier than most people as a way to mark that, in a way, your DH is a different person because he's well now.

But it's been a year since he got better, so you run the risk that it'll look a little attention-hungry.

Not everyone gets a big white wedding, I'm sorry to say. Sometimes circumstances just don't allow it.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2008 at 8:41PM
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I would not have a vow renewal. (It sounds like you don't even really want it, just as if you think maybe it would be expected for some reason -- well, it isn't.)

Even in your circumstances, I do kind of agree that although it is unfortunate you couldn't have the big wedding you evidently wanted, it is just a bit late to have a reception now, especially because it has been a year since his recovery and 2 1/2 years since the wedding (more by the time you'd have the party).

But I do think that given the reason you didn't have a big wedding, people would not think ill of you for having a big party for, say, your next anniversary, or better yet your 5th (which they might if you had ALSO had the big wedding -- most people don't have a really big anniversary party until at least 20 years, if ever). It's not as if EVERY couple has a big wedding; you don't want it to look like you simply changed your mind or, worse, like you need money and gifts.

I would not do a cake cutting or a wedding gown; it won't have the effect you want, and I fear you will feel self-conscious and regret it. But you can certainly wear a fabulous dress (any color you want, including white if it is summer, off-white if it isn't -- why not?) and flowers, and you can give and receive welcomes and toasts. That is the part that is going to mean the most to you anyway. And do have a special cake, and music and dancing, too, if you want.

I'm sorry you feel like you missed something important. I can see how you feel life played you a bad hand, and you would like to somehow "fix" it. But I am afraid that if you try to go back and do it now, you will just feel foolish, like a 23-year-old going to the prom she missed because she was in the hospital.

I know you know that the important thing is that you and your husband are married and that he has his health again. Congratulations to both of you, and may you have many happy celebrations to come!

    Bookmark   September 7, 2008 at 12:09AM
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who says you cant? because its tacky? attention seeking? these people have not walked a mile in your shoes. they are not worth your time. i do not know all of your situation. i do not believe that "some people just don't get the big white wedding". me and my DH were married two years ago sept. 30th. his parents are dead. mine are non-existant. we did not get dressed up, have family, get pictures, have cake, eat dinner or go on a honeymoon. we did not have money bcuz we are both full time students. we make less than 10,000 dollars a YEAR. i was sick. my husband took ill. we had to move unexpectedly bcuz our landlord died. and we are going to do it right this time. we do not expect gifts or attention or money. we want my sister who couldnt be there. his disabled brother who couldnt be there. i'll be wearing a dress in my fave color and i will bake a small cake. this is important to us and those who couldn't be there. experts say a serious illness can add 7 years to your life. and in a world where divorce rate is at 74% and the average marriage lasts 4 years, i would venture to say the two of you have something to celebrate! so enjoy your special day..twice! oh.. and anyone who believes its tacky to see a 23 year old at prom with double mastectomy scars, enjoying the short precious life we all share, is to say the least a pretty FOOLISH person!

    Bookmark   September 8, 2008 at 8:27PM
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Deandr, no one said it would be tacky.

No one said she "can't" do anything.

Please read our posts more carefully. We all sympathized with the OP. We all understood that her circumstances are special, and we all understood why she wanted to have a reception. We all told her to go ahead and have a wonderful party.

Maybe someone has told YOU that you "can't" have another wedding or that it would be "tacky." But no one here said anything like that to the OP, and I wouldn't say it to you, either. We only said that we were concerned that the effect might not be what the OP hoped, and that we feared she might feel foolish or self-conscious about calling a party 2 1/2 years after the wedding and a year after her husband recovered from his illness a "wedding reception."

Please read more carefully before insulting people who were just trying to answer the OP's question helpfully and sympathetically.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2008 at 10:21PM
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Gellchom, your sympathetic suggestions may have had a helpful intent, but your analogy was offensive. at the very least to myself. i can't imagine how offensive it may have been to the OP. "and if it wasn't, my sincerest apologies>
also, i did read everyone's responses carefully. and though the general tone was "go ahead, have your party" the immediate undertone was "it's just innappropriate".
now i agree somewhat that if there was already a wedding with invitations and gifts recieved it would probably be considered rude by family and friends if gift expectations were insinuated. but i certainly don't see a reason why you couldn't do a party and call it whatever you wanted.
i apologize for insulting you and any others.
my intent was simply to comfort the individual asking for advice by letting them know they are not alone in their situation. and, no i have never been told "I can't" have the wedding reception.

nor, would it affect my decision to have one or not.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2008 at 11:10PM
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"experts say a serious illness can add 7 years to your life. "

I don't believe this at all (most people I knew with serious illness died...). Can you link to a credible source?

You sound pretty bitter... I thought the other posts were sympathetic and kind. Sorry you can't see them that way.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2008 at 8:35AM
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deandr, thank you for your last post. I am sorry I offended you. Please, though, read carefully! You wrote:

"your analogy was offensive ... anyone who believes its tacky to see a 23 year old at prom with double mastectomy scars, enjoying the short precious life we all share, is to say the least a pretty FOOLISH person!"

Foolish I may be, but that is not what I wrote. Here is what I did write:

"I am afraid that if you try to go back and do it now, you will just feel foolish, like a 23-year-old going to the prom she missed because she was in the hospital."

Do you see the difference? I am not saying I would think ill of a bride who had a reception 2 1/2 years later (or for that matter of a 23 year old who went to a prom). I didn't write about my opinion at all. I wrote only that I was concerned that SHE might be disappointed at how it will make her feel if she has a traditional wedding reception now -- it just may not fill the void as she hopes.

That is the focus of my post, and everyone else's posts, on this thread. She is going to do whatever she wants (and she should), and no one told her not to. She asked our opinions, and we gave them -- not that it would be tacky, but that she might not be happy with her choice.

I think if you stick around this forum, you will find that nearly everyone tries hard to be polite and helpful. Just please make sure you have understood posts before responding to them.

Have fun at your celebration, too! When will it be?

    Bookmark   September 10, 2008 at 4:34PM
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Life is short & uncertain.


    Bookmark   September 12, 2008 at 2:46PM
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I admit I did not read thru all the above posts but I can tell that some are for it and some are against it. This is just my two cents worth. I have known of at least 3 couples in the past that have gotten married at the courthouse and then turned around and had a formal wedding 2 and 3 years later. These people did not have a health issue. Their problem was that they were very young and had no money. Once they had money, they had their wedding.

I see no problems with having a reception this long after you have gotten married. Some will like it and some will not.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2008 at 11:35PM
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The OP asked if it was appropriate to have a wedding reception 2 1/2 years after getting married.
My answer is no, it's not appropriate.
Have a big party if you wish, serve champagne, wear a beautiful dress, ask your friends to toast you....but don't call it a "wedding reception"...that's not appropriate.
No one says you "cant'"... they say it's not appropriate, it's not good taste, not good manners.
Throw a wonderful big happy party, call it a celebration of good health and your love....but don't call it a wedding reception.
Linda C

    Bookmark   October 4, 2008 at 11:53PM
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I like the way lindac put it. I would even go as far as to say the issue isn't whether it is inappropriate to call the party a "wedding reception," just whether it will make the OP herself feel good or disappointed in the end -- much more important.

This reminds me of something my aunt, who grew up poor during the Depression and married in a tiny wedding during WWII, did. She'd never had any kind of big party. So when she turned 46, she gave a party and called it a "Sweet 46." Her friends understood and were happy to celebrate with her. If she'd called it a "Sweet 16" or had a "wedding reception" (after 20+ years), she might have lessened her own enjoyment by feeling embarrassed or wondering how it looked.

I suspect that is what the OP is wondering, too -- especially if people gave them gifts when they got married, and she is uneasy that they might feel prompted to produce another. Otherwise, why would she have posted?

Certainly, everyone agrees that there is absolutely nothing wrong with having a big, wonderful celebration with lots of fuss. I bet it will be great, and especially meaningful after all they have been through.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2008 at 1:23PM
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Gellchom, I love your aunt's party. As a wedding and event planner I tell my clients that life is short and it is important to celebrate with family and friends whenever possible. I have a niece that lives in a small town with extended family nearby. They celebrate everything, including a recent party to name the new puppy. Life is too short not to take advantage of every opportunity to enjoy spending time with family and friends.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2008 at 4:40PM
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