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My grandson is marrying a sweet, shy young lady from another state who is planning a very small wedding; as a matter of fact her guest list adds up to 15 people. Economic issues and the fact that her family is uncomfortable with large gatherings underlie these plans. In her wedding party she does include friends that she has made from her groom's area, who will be traveling.
My daughter, the groom's mother, has made a minimal list of people who want to be there and could travel; this swells the count to 80. Even though the venue is an 11-hour drive for the groom's people, there are a number (aunts, uncles, cousins) who really want to celebrate their nephew/cousin's special occasion, and are willing to make the trip. The groom's family loves to get together with each other.
After hearing that the bride is in a panic, I started thinking about ways that we could help reduce the stress for the bride by reducing the guest list, and still celebrate our grandson's marriage. I remembered how when I married his grandfather, his parents and siblings came to our wedding in Kansas. Then we returned to California to live (where he was from) and a groom's reception was held at his church, where we wore our wedding clothes and celebrated a second time, this time with his people.
Actually, the young couple will be settling back in our area. So how about a groom's reception here, which would allow for even more friends to attend? Has anybody else ever done such a thing? What kind of occasion might that be? I've been thinking that it could be something very much like the traditional wedding reception with the wedding party guests wearing their stuff. Another of my daughters has a party barn, which seems to be an ideal venue. Does anyone see any problems with this? Does anyone have any other ideas? Is there a protocol for such situations?
When I got married in 1964, we decided if we were ever going to get married to do it withing two weeks. Se set a date when we both had a Friday off, which gave us a three day week end, and basically eloped. He wore a basic suit and I had made a white jacquard two piece street length dress.
If the bride is in a panic about the amount of guests, it could be a financial issue (admitting that, is embarassing). Having a second venue with the grooms family will cost more money. Decide who is paying for each venue. The groom' side should definitely pay for a second venue.