Destination weddings are a hot trend in the wedding industry. Many couples opt to go away and get married abroad, in an effort to have a memorable, exciting and exotic wedding experience and to minimize the pressures and stresses of planning a local wedding. Some couples decide to elope and have a destination wedding for two, while others bring along a small group of family and friends who travel with the couple and combine the wedding with a vacation.
However, the dilemma a lot of couples face when they do a destination wedding is how to celebrate with family and friends who weren’t able to attend the wedding. Many couples choose to do a local reception when they return from their wedding abroad and this can range from a more formal wedding reception with a sit-down dinner, to an elegant cocktail party, to a casual backyard barbecue with family and friends. Couples planning a local reception should try to incorporate the theme from your wedding into the local reception. If you got married on a beach, incorporating some beach elements into the décor brings the two events together, or doing a Paris-themed reception if you got married in Paris will give that Parisian feel to your local event.
Many couples will display an album of their wedding photos, or have a slideshow so their guests will feel like they were part of the wedding. You don’t have to do a full destination theme, however—one couple I know opted for a completely different colour palette and theme for their local reception, but incorporated elements of their beach wedding—such as displaying a few wedding photos, having a slideshow and using the same guest book for both the wedding and reception. The key is to keep it simple, elegant and stay true to your vision.