My husband and I were recently invited to two weddings, which included two receptions each, one following the other.
The first receptions were the traditional cocktails, dinner, toasts and meeting the bride and groom. The second receptions were held at nightclubs after the first receptions had finished up, and were more of a dance party for all of the couple’s friends.
So why do a two-part reception?
Some couples are opting for small weddings, with just the wedding party, family, and closest friends invited. This small wedding is followed by a traditional reception at a local restaurant or reception hall for the guests at the actual ceremony. This can make the sit-down reception more affordable and a more intimate experience.
Later in the evening, after the wedding reception is over, the bridal couple arrives at a dance club to which they have invited all the friends that they wish to include in their celebration. Guests from the wedding and first reception are also invited to attend if they wish.
So what is the advantage here? Relatives who rarely see you can enjoy a quieter, more relaxed dinner reception, with time to greet the newlyweds and not have to deal with blaring music making it difficult for them to hold a conversation.
With the second event a few hours after the first, the wedding party has a chance to catch their breathe, change into more relaxed clothes and then spend the rest of the evening dancing, schmoozing and releasing all the tension that comes with any wedding day.
Whether you rent out a private party room and include a full bar and food, or just pay your friends’ cover charges is up to you.
If you opt for this type of double reception be prepared to explain it more than once, and be clear that Grandma doesn’t have to attend the dance party, but she’s more than welcome to come and boogey down. She might just surprise you.