As far as I know, US etiquette allows for a reception quite separate from the ceremony, which can occur for a variety of reasons. After consultation with all concerned and several etiquette books, mostly on the frantic part of my mother, who didn't want to seen ignorant of US customs, the Prof and I flew (yes, they had planes back then) to Elsewhere and had a Temple wedding for the elders and extended members of my family, with accompanying celebrations. In Elsewhere, a marriage is not legal until you sign up at the local Registry Office. We didn't. My mother had hoped we could do a second Temple ceremony, in My Home Town, to make it legal and precede the festivities planned there, but the Temple said we could not have a second religious ceremony. But we had already checked the etiquette books and knew it was OK to just throw a reception separate from the ceremony, so we went with festivities only. We stopped off in Place Where This is Possible to have a quickly legal thing, and went on to HugeU City, where his family lives, and where we lived and live, for the reception we had already discovered was perfectly correct, in terms of etiquette, that they threw. Just because it happens over one day rather than three weeks doesn't make it any less proper as far as I know. Small ceremony, huge party or parties -- what's not to like? I am afraid,if the ceremony is small for some reason (our legal ceremony was us and a few random strangers), I can't find fault with a big do, of whatever level of elaboration the HC prefers or can afford later on in the day. Certainly, regionalism comes into play, but, hey, we were in widely separated parts the the US plus Elsewhere. It was all fun except I had to haul my official Elsewherian dress around and keep putting it on, and nobody was offended at all. Have things changed that much?