We are to Wed on 8/2/03 aboard the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line before we sail. This is my fiancÚ's 1st wedding and my second. We didn't want a big service, just a few good friends and family to attend. So, we decided to do something different. We invited those special people to not only attend our wedding but also, join us on the honeymoon cruise, at their expense. Most all our friends were excited to join us because they would not do something like this ordinarily. But some, mostly family, were annoyed. For those who could not afford this luxury or unable to get off work that long, they could still come to the wedding and reception, which we would pay the extra cost. All they have to do is pay AirFare to Miami.
Now for the questions:
1. Was it tacky to do this?
2. Should I still send out engagement notices or just send wedding announcements and/or invitations later?
3. Is there a proper protocol for this backward setup?
4. Since I am totally relying on the Cruise Staff for this special event, is there anything I must ask about on insist upon?
5. After reading the proper steps for a nice wedding, I have little control on my end. I must trust the coordinators to be very professional and knowledgeable event. I see many steps I have to pass up on.
6. Would a reception invitation, after the marriage, be ideal for those who wanted to come but couldn't, be tacky? For example, show a video of the wedding and the Honeymoon with our guests and then have a party?
Here's a good start. Any ideas or suggestions would help.
I'm going to try to answer your questions as best I can. Your family may be unhappy because they had hoped to spend more time with you and your fiance rather than a few hours, especially if they have to fly to Miami from some distance. However, February is still a ways in the future. Encourage your family to begin saving and to plan for vacation time to join you on the cruise. Given enough time, they may warm up to the idea and get excited about it.
Is it tacky? I don't think so. This is how you want to have your wedding, and you should make that decision. Your guests should think of it as a very generous offer on your part to let them join you on your honeymoon. Most couples who get married aboard ship do so by themselves.
Where you have your wedding has nothing to do with announcing your engagement. You can certainly announce it if you wish. You should send wedding invitations to everyone that you want to attend the ceremony and reception. If you intend to keep it small, then send out announcements after the wedding to others to let them know that you have married. You can address the announcements before the wedding, then mail them (or have someone do it for you) right after the wedding.
I'm not sure what you mean by a proper protocol for the "backwards" set up. What you have mentioned sounds fairly straight forward: ceremony, reception, honeymoon.
You will probably have little control over the ceremony and reception, as you mentioned. In most cases like this, the staff has a procedure that they follow for every event. To keep your wedding from being another "cookie cutter" event, read the information that you receive carefully. If there are things that you would like to have done differently, and they don't involve a major expense, ask to have it done your way.
Since you are only inviting a few close relatives and friends to go to the original wedding and reception, then you could have another reception when you return home and invite everyone else. Usually, such a reception is hosted by your parents or the groom's parents rather than by you and your fiance.
Your wedding sounds like it will be unique and special. Relax and enjoy the day!
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