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Should you have an AHR - my thoughts


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#1 mich999

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    Posted 15 July 2009 - 11:05 AM

    We had our AHR last Saturday, 6 weeks after our Cabo wedding. Now that it is over, I thought I'd share my thoughts in case it helps anyone else on deciding whether to have an AHR.

    When we decided on a DW, I wanted to invite almost everyone we would invite to a local wedding, but felt weird knowing that most would not go, so the compromise was to also have an AHR in my friend's backyard (huge yard, fancy house). It was planned as an elegant cocktail party (we called it a soiree) with a beachy theme - frozen drinks, passed apps, cupcake tower. I was extremely excited about having both events and my extended family was excited there would be a party at home.

    Fast forward to the time between the wedding and AHR. Our wedding was more than I could have hoped for, was so special and I surprisingly found myself wishing we hadn't planned an AHR. I wasn't even super excited about wearing my dress again! I was shocked!

    The AHR went great, but I definitely kept saying to myself, this is why we didn't have a local wedding - I saw DH just in passing the whole night, except for the 5 minutes redoing our first dance. I'm glad we did the AHR - seeing all of our family and friends and how grateful they were to be able to share in the celebration, even if it wasn't the actual wedding was great. Luckily Juan Carlos Tapia rushed 25 of our professional pictures for us for the party, so everyone could see the pro pics mixed with some other photos I had and that made the party for me. But the night was the epitomy of why we had a DW - the DW was for us, the AHR was for everyone else.

    When I initially planned everything, I thought both were for us, so we could celebrate with everyone and feel complete. I found that I didn't need the second party for myself and would have been fine with just having the DW (and so would DH). But if it's important to you to include extended family and friends, it is definitely worth it for them and I don't regret that we had one at all, in fact I would do it again - I was just surprised at how I felt about it after the DW.

    Oh - and I did love wearing my dress again and so did my guests - it made it feel more like a wedding for them and I got to hear everyone ooh and aah over my dress again, so that was definitely worth it! : )

    #2 sperger

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      Posted 18 July 2009 - 11:11 PM

      This was helpful to me and we're planning our AHR for about 5 months after. Thanks for posting.

      #3 Islandbride2b

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        Posted 19 July 2009 - 12:35 AM

        Thanks for posting. We dont know if we are going to do one yet..but i love hearing about other couples. It has its own way of helping!

        #4 waltandjean

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          Posted 22 August 2009 - 12:37 PM

          The FI and I were just discussing this the other day. I totally agree with what you are saying. We decided on a DW because didnt want to feel like we had to put on a show for everyone on our wedding day.. we wanted it to be intimate and comfortable for us.. The AHR is more for the family and friends than for the bride and groom.

          Thanks for posting this! Glad to see we were not the only people feeling this way.

          #5 cruisebride0410

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            Posted 22 August 2009 - 04:49 PM

            Thanks for sharing. I have been debating whether to have one and when I think about trying to make conversation with all these people I barely know, I don't get too excited about it. As you all have said, this is why my fiance I want to have a DW so we are surrounded by our closest friends and family. I am thinking we probably will do one for my extended family and parent's friends, but I will probably have the same feelings as mich999 about it.

            #6 Lara

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              Posted 23 August 2009 - 06:36 PM

              mich999, thanks for this thread. It pretty much sums up all the feelings I've already been having about our AHR. FI and I have different feelings about it - I think we can/should do without the AHR, because the DW will be enough. FI is more concerned with the people who aren't able to make it on the trip and wants to celebrate with them, too. In the end, we're compromising and having a low-key event back home a month after our DW. I'm sure, like you, I will not regret it afterwards but probably won't be too keen on doing it in the in between time=P

              #7 midnight24

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                Posted 24 August 2009 - 05:05 AM

                we are still in the process of deciding on having an AHR. it's more about the cost for us because we also want to buy a house. i am trying to please everyone, and i know everyone keeps saying do what we want. i just don't want to not do the AHR and regret it later for not celebrating with family & friends that couldn't make the trip.

                #8 Kristy!

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                  Posted 24 August 2009 - 11:59 AM

                  This is almost exactly how we felt about our AHR. We had it 8 days after we came home (I know, insane), but we were so happy to just have it and be done with it. I didn't wear my dress again either.

                  #9 dolfinluck

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                    Posted 24 August 2009 - 02:09 PM

                    Thanks so much for your insight. This has been something that i have been going back and forth about but the FI really wants one.

                    #10 mich999

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                      Posted 24 August 2009 - 03:20 PM

                      Six weeks after the AHR and with a little more perspective, I wouldn't change one thing I wrote above. THe AHR was for others, not us, and if you plan your AHR with that mind set or decide not to have one because of that reason, I don't think you will be disappointed. Even though I was wrong about the initial reason why we had an AHR, I still would have had one because in the last six weeks numerous people have told us how wonderful the party was and how grateful they were to have celebrated with us at home - not something we needed, but something they wanted and I'm glad we were able to do that for them.

                      However, if you can't afford one or are fine with just focusing on your DW, I don't think you should feel bad for not having one. Depending on how much you spend, you could get bitter about the AHR bill if you come to the same conclusion I did, that it wasn't for us! (I wasn't bitter, like I said, would do it again now, but there were a couple touch and go moments between wedding and AHR, so be prepared). I love the members' attitudes about AHRs on this forum and that anything goes - I believe that, so even something simple for loved ones who could not make it can fit the bill.

                      Good luck future brides - I hope you create as many wonderful memories as we have!




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