Should you have an AHR - my thoughts
Posted 15 July 2009 - 11:05 AM
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! : )
Posted 18 July 2009 - 11:11 PM
Posted 19 July 2009 - 12:35 AM
Posted 22 August 2009 - 12:37 PM
Thanks for posting this! Glad to see we were not the only people feeling this way.
Posted 22 August 2009 - 04:49 PM
Posted 23 August 2009 - 06:36 PM
Posted 24 August 2009 - 05:05 AM
Posted 24 August 2009 - 11:59 AM
Posted 24 August 2009 - 02:09 PM
Posted 24 August 2009 - 03:20 PM
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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