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Author Topic: STD for just a reception?  (Read 6778 times)

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o_gal

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STD for just a reception?
« on: July 27, 2016, 06:38:48 AM »
TL;DR version - Is it common to send STDs for a reception that is going to be held a few months after the actual wedding? And if you send the STD, should it state that it is for a reception and not a wedding?

I'm trying to figure out what might be going on in a wedding situation. DH's nephew got engaged and told everyone they were planning a fall 2016 wedding. We got a STD postcard for Oct 22. The postcard just says STD, it doesn't actually say wedding or reception. I thought it was a little strange that the couple lives on the west coast but the STD says Cleveland, OH, where the groom grew up. But maybe they decided to get married in Cleveland - the bride's family are mostly in Hong Kong. Maybe it's going to be one US ceremony in Cleveland, another traditional Chinese ceremony in HK.

But a couple of days ago, they posted on Facebook what is most definitely a wedding picture. It's gorgeous - they are standing in the edge of the ocean, in the extremely shallow water, her in a wedding dress and him in a tux, with him leaning over to kiss her hand, with the soft glow of sunset behind them. I am seriously in love with this picture :-) But it's also obvious that either they rented clothing just for the photo shoot (unlikely) or they are doing the after-everything-else-is-done photos. All the comments from their friends are along the lines of "Congratulations!"

There's been no discussion on the family email list about them actually getting married, and the shindig on Oct 22 being just a reception. I have absolutely no problem with this, and it will be fun to just get together and party. It's just that I think the groom's whole family is expecting a wedding. Especially DH, who doesn't yet know - he works out of town during the summer and I haven't shown him the postcard or the Facebook picture. What does everyone think?

gramma dishes

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Re: STD for just a reception?
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2016, 09:05:02 AM »
I presume this is your husband's sister's adult child.  Are you on close terms with her?  If so, I'd just give her a call and ask her! 
If not, your husband may want to do this himself.  But unless one of you asks, I don't see how you're going to get the answer.

HannahGrace

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Re: STD for just a reception?
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2016, 09:19:06 AM »
I guess I am wondering why it matters. The invitation, once you receive it, hopefully will be clear about what is taking place on Oct 22. Save the dates are a relatively recent phenomenon. My impression is they are sent to give an early heads up as to the fact that an event will be taking place. The details of what the event will entail usually come in the invitation.

Luci

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Re: STD for just a reception?
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2016, 09:59:07 AM »
I guess I am wondering why it matters. The invitation, once you receive it, hopefully will be clear about what is taking place on Oct 22. Save the dates are a relatively recent phenomenon. My impression is they are sent to give an early heads up as to the fact that an event will be taking place. The details of what the event will entail usually come in the invitation.

This. Just out of cutiosity, are you sure that is the couple or is it a photo gallery shot to decorate the post card?

Hmmmmm

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Re: STD for just a reception?
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2016, 10:37:12 AM »
STD's are to notify you of the date an event will take place. It doesn't matter what the event is. You now know the date they plan to either have a wedding or a local reception in honor of their marriage. Once the invite arrives, you can make the decision if you want to attend.

I can see how someone might wanting more details if they could foresee a conflict. For instance you and your DH had tentatively planned to go out of town that weekend but would change your plans to attend a wedding. But for some reason a reception only event doesn't rate as high on your scale of priorities so you'd keep your travel plans if it was a reception only. If that's the case then I'd give a call to another in the know relative and ask.

o_gal

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Re: STD for just a reception?
« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2016, 12:01:34 PM »
I can see how someone might wanting more details if they could foresee a conflict. For instance you and your DH had tentatively planned to go out of town that weekend but would change your plans to attend a wedding. But for some reason a reception only event doesn't rate as high on your scale of priorities so you'd keep your travel plans if it was a reception only. If that's the case then I'd give a call to another in the know relative and ask.

Thanks everyone, for all the input!

As I said in the OP, the issue raised by Hmmmmm is one that I can see causing problems - DH's family is expecting a wedding, not a reception, and this will probably hit them like a ton of bricks. It won't be the first wedding in the grandchild layer, but he was the first grandchild. People may be flying in from many states away, with the expectation of a wedding, not a reception. I've asked around here at work today and the general consensus is that an STD is for a wedding. I'm in Ohio, so maybe it is different in other areas of the US.

And I'd contact the relative (groom's Mom) except that she has a not very well disguised hatred of me (and all the other spouses  >:D ) I just texted DH to ask him if he knows if they got married. He works at a summer camp and he's home for 3 days. I'm sure he will be mighty confused at my question until I show him Facebook tonight!

o_gal

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Re: STD for just a reception?
« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2016, 12:02:28 PM »
I guess I am wondering why it matters. The invitation, once you receive it, hopefully will be clear about what is taking place on Oct 22. Save the dates are a relatively recent phenomenon. My impression is they are sent to give an early heads up as to the fact that an event will be taking place. The details of what the event will entail usually come in the invitation.

This. Just out of cutiosity, are you sure that is the couple or is it a photo gallery shot to decorate the post card?

It is most definitely them. The groom discusses how far he had to bend over to get their heads at the same level in the shot  ;D

Zizi-K

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Re: STD for just a reception?
« Reply #7 on: July 27, 2016, 12:15:27 PM »
I can see how someone might wanting more details if they could foresee a conflict. For instance you and your DH had tentatively planned to go out of town that weekend but would change your plans to attend a wedding. But for some reason a reception only event doesn't rate as high on your scale of priorities so you'd keep your travel plans if it was a reception only. If that's the case then I'd give a call to another in the know relative and ask.

Thanks everyone, for all the input!

As I said in the OP, the issue raised by Hmmmmm is one that I can see causing problems - DH's family is expecting a wedding, not a reception, and this will probably hit them like a ton of bricks. It won't be the first wedding in the grandchild layer, but he was the first grandchild. People may be flying in from many states away, with the expectation of a wedding, not a reception. I've asked around here at work today and the general consensus is that an STD is for a wedding. I'm in Ohio, so maybe it is different in other areas of the US.

And I'd contact the relative (groom's Mom) except that she has a not very well disguised hatred of me (and all the other spouses  >:D ) I just texted DH to ask him if he knows if they got married. He works at a summer camp and he's home for 3 days. I'm sure he will be mighty confused at my question until I show him Facebook tonight!

A save the date is for any event that you want to let people know about in advance of the regular 6-8 week window when the actual invitation itself would go out. It sounds like perhaps the bride and groom eloped, or had a small civil ceremony. They may still have a religious service or some other exchange of vows in addition to the reception. It sounds like this reception is the only event that will draw large numbers of people together to celebrate their nuptials. Apparently they want people to be able to attend, and so they have gone to the expense of notifying invitees of the event so that people can, indeed, "save the date."

I think it's impossible for you to know (in absence of asking them directly) if they had a wedding ceremony, what their reasons were, and what exactly this future reception is going to be. I actually think your asking around about it is a bit of pot-stirring. Why don't you just wait for the invitation? In the grander scheme of things: who cares? Either you're local and can easily go to this event, or you're not local and you either do or don't want to make the effort to attend. If you are close enough to the groom to be FB friends, why don't you just ask him directly about the photo that he posted publicly, instead of going around to other family and making it seem like there's some secret or they did something wrong?

gellchom

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Re: STD for just a reception?
« Reply #8 on: July 27, 2016, 03:00:05 PM »
I sometimes see save the date cards for reunions, charity events, and other things.  There's no rule about it.  And if whatever they are going to do in Cleveland is important to them as the big family celebration of the marriage, whether or not there is any ceremony, then I don't see any reason not to send out a save the date card if they would for an ordinary wedding.

They may not have known the final plans when they sent the cards.  Like, maybe they originally planned the wedding for Cleveland, but weren't quite sure, and they did end up getting married wherever that photo was taken and now are just going to have a reception in Cleveland.  Or they could now be planning, or could have intended from the first, another wedding ceremony (proper or not!).  They even may still be deciding.

If it's not worth talking to this sister in law you dislike, then ask someone else in the family, if you really want to know.  But I agree that unless it will change your decision about attending, there really is no necessity.  (I'd be curious, too, though.  In fact, I am!  :))

o_gal

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Re: STD for just a reception?
« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2016, 06:11:28 AM »
If it's not worth talking to this sister in law you dislike, then ask someone else in the family, if you really want to know.  But I agree that unless it will change your decision about attending, there really is no necessity.  (I'd be curious, too, though.  In fact, I am!  :))

I am not going to go farther into the pool of relatives, because I don't want to stir up any trouble. I am afraid that if I ask any of the other aunts and uncles that that will begin a chain of gossip. I'm taking the advice given here and just waiting to see what happens in the intervening months between now and Oct 22. But if anything juicy and e-Hell worthy ends up happening, I will be sure to update  ;D

gellchom

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Re: STD for just a reception?
« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2016, 08:41:26 AM »
Maybe I'm confused, but isn't the groom the son of your husband's sibling? Seems to me that it casual conversation between two siblings, or between uncle and nephew, wouldn't excite family-wide gossip. Maybe one that starts, "We got the STD!  We are all excited. How can we help?"  But I don't know the relationships.  Do they never talk to each other?
« Last Edit: July 28, 2016, 08:43:58 AM by gellchom »

RainyDays

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Re: STD for just a reception?
« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2016, 09:16:33 AM »
I'm confused by those saying that STDs are used for many reasons and that the OP shouldn't look into it too much. Don't most (all?) STDs say what you should save the date for?

Dh and I eloped and then a year later had a vow renewal/reception for family and friends. That was very clearly stated on the STD; there was no confusion that it was a wedding-like event, but NOT a wedding.

Harriet Jones

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Re: STD for just a reception?
« Reply #12 on: July 28, 2016, 09:26:46 AM »
I'm confused by those saying that STDs are used for many reasons and that the OP shouldn't look into it too much. Don't most (all?) STDs say what you should save the date for?

Dh and I eloped and then a year later had a vow renewal/reception for family and friends. That was very clearly stated on the STD; there was no confusion that it was a wedding-like event, but NOT a wedding.

One would hope, but some might emphasize style over substance.  We got one last year that was just a picture along with the first names and date, and never received any more information.  We ended up having to make some phone calls to determine if we were actually invited.

shortstuff

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Re: STD for just a reception?
« Reply #13 on: July 28, 2016, 11:31:47 AM »
I can see how someone might wanting more details if they could foresee a conflict. For instance you and your DH had tentatively planned to go out of town that weekend but would change your plans to attend a wedding. But for some reason a reception only event doesn't rate as high on your scale of priorities so you'd keep your travel plans if it was a reception only. If that's the case then I'd give a call to another in the know relative and ask.

Thanks everyone, for all the input!

As I said in the OP, the issue raised by Hmmmmm is one that I can see causing problems - DH's family is expecting a wedding, not a reception, and this will probably hit them like a ton of bricks. It won't be the first wedding in the grandchild layer, but he was the first grandchild. People may be flying in from many states away, with the expectation of a wedding, not a reception. I've asked around here at work today and the general consensus is that an STD is for a wedding. I'm in Ohio, so maybe it is different in other areas of the US.

And I'd contact the relative (groom's Mom) except that she has a not very well disguised hatred of me (and all the other spouses  >:D ) I just texted DH to ask him if he knows if they got married. He works at a summer camp and he's home for 3 days. I'm sure he will be mighty confused at my question until I show him Facebook tonight!

I just want to say, good on you for seemingly having a good re|ationship with what sounds like some difficult members of your DHs family.  But that said, their reaction to a reception-only event is on them, not you.  It also does not sound like you are close enough to the happy couple to try to prevent them from making a possible faux pas.  I agree with others to just stand back and let things happen. 

Incidentally, my save the dates were a picture of a beach with a heart in the sand around my and my husband's name, with the date.  I didn't realize until after I sent them out that we didn't include the town!  My cards and wedding were beach themed, but my wedding certainly was not at a beach.  I don't think there was lasting confusion, but it's one thing I would have done differently.

Hmmmmm

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Re: STD for just a reception?
« Reply #14 on: July 28, 2016, 01:59:51 PM »
I'm confused by those saying that STDs are used for many reasons and that the OP shouldn't look into it too much. Don't most (all?) STDs say what you should save the date for?

Dh and I eloped and then a year later had a vow renewal/reception for family and friends. That was very clearly stated on the STD; there was no confusion that it was a wedding-like event, but NOT a wedding.

One would hope, but some might emphasize style over substance.  We got one last year that was just a picture along with the first names and date, and never received any more information.  We ended up having to make some phone calls to determine if we were actually invited.

Of the last few save the dates for weddings I've received, none have indicated that a ceremony would occur. I have one on my fridge right now that just has a photo of the couple with wedding bells as a boarder, Save the Date, their first names and the Date and the city location. Another has a several photos of the couple with "We hope you'll be able to  join us as we celebrate the union of Jane and John on November 5th in City, State" and there's a listing of their website below and a note that a formal invitation is to follow.  Those seems to be typical in my experience.