by Rachel Lowe
This is a short and sweet post, chronicling our adventure of a bi-coastal wedding reception. If we had to do it all over again, we would do exactly the same thing! I would encourage any couple who has roots in two vastly different areas (like, Virginia and Oregon for example) to consider the possibility of celebrating your marriage in both areas. Here are the top 3 reasons for at least giving it a second thought.
1) You get to celebrate with everyone - even those who can't travel. Part of our reasoning for doing the bi-coastal celebration in the first place was the sheer number of people we didn't want to burden with the cost of a plane ticket. There were college and high school friends, distant relatives, and old colleagues who truly wanted to be a part of this special time, but couldn't afford the time off work and/or the travel costs. So this was a way of allowing them to spend some time with us! Plus, the cost of 2 plane tickets is MUCH more affordable than say...60?
2) You get to involve more people in the process. My mother and my aunt wanted to be part of the wedding in a big way, but due to the distance (just over 3000 miles I believe), that would not have been very likely if we had kept the reception as a Virginia-only affair. It felt good to let them be part of the planning adventure as well. They both had their hand in the VA festivities as well, but more with the last minute details, since they did not know the area or the vendors.
3) You get to celebrate TWICE! We chose to have two completely different reception types, and it was so fun. Our Virginia ceremony/reception was small and intimate - an afternoon, adults-only affair for very close friends and family. Our Oregon Reception was a PARTY - kids, dancing, singing, and large amounts of wine and beer. Plus - added bonus - I got to wear the dress twice. The first Reception ended by 6:30pm, so we actually got to have a wedding night. The second reception ended at 2:30am, following too many free shots at random downtown bars.
One suggestion that made things easier on our end: hold the reception that is not attached to a ceremony close to a major holiday. This killed two birds with one stone. In addition to making sure many of my friends were in town visiting their families, we also go to fly out west and spend Thanksgiving with my family this year! Finding a venue the Saturday after Thanksgiving was also fairly easy, as far fewer people hold weddings around Thanksgiving (although I've heard it is a popular time for other large events like high school reunions).
I realize this doesn't apply to everyone, but I hope I've offered some food for thought to those in situations similar to ours. Wherever, whenever, and however you hold your receptions, just remember to CELEBRATE!
Rachel Lowe is a very part-time blogger and photographer living outside Washington, DC. Along with her brand-spanking-new husband, Greg, she loves to ride motorcycles, look at random things through her telescope, and go hiking in her new Vibram Five-Fingers. Read more about their journey toward a balanced life at Lowe on Balance.
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