This is for several reasons. To begin with we want to be able to enjoy our ceremony and dinner with our close friends and family. This will hopefully allow us to spend enough time with the people that are special to us and who potentially travelled hundreds of mile to be with us on our day.
Another reason involves the culture and size of Cyprus. We are basically a dot on the map. Unless you know what you are looking for, you will most likely miss this lil' island. Due to its size, it's easy to imagine that between our two families, we know a lot of people. The only thing I guess I can equate it to in terms of North America is living in a small town and knowing more or less everyone. But on a bigger scale.
Our parents have people they want to invite but not necessarily people Mr. Milk and I know or are close to. Having the reception on a different day will allow our parents to invite the people who are closer to them. While Mr. Milk and I were ok with missing this step completely, we realized that it is important to both our parents to share their kids joy with their friends and colleagues. My dad and his mom initially did not like the idea of having the reception on a different day. My mom and his dad thought it was a great idea. Go figure. Anyway, the reception will be at a different venue altogether, somewhere cheaper, and will be on a weekday, I think it's a Wednesday. We came to realize that one of the issues people
Since our wedding venue is a little out of the way by Cyprus standards (if someone here heard Cypriots complaining about distance they would just laugh at them!), the second venue is in a more convenient location in the center of the capital city, Nicosia. We came to realize that a large majority of our guests, for both the dinner and the reception, reside in Nicosia. Around 80 to 90% if I had to guesstimate. So we also wanted to make it a little easier for these guests to get to our reception, which will only last a few hours.
As you may have figured out, culturally, family is very important to us. Not that it isn't to people anywhere else in the world, but I think we are more inclined to take our parents desires and wishes into account. Initially it was difficult for both Mr. Milk and I. We are not what we would refer to as traditional Cypriots by any means. He has lived in Canada for the last 10 years and I was in San Francisco for the last 5. Not to mention that I grew up in Saudi Arabia and only moved to Cyprus when I was 14. So no, not traditional. We were gung ho on having our wedding the way WE wanted it. But we realized that this went beyond our little worlds and that there were elements of us getting married that were important to our parents, that they took pride in, and I think, to some degree, they would have been hurt if we just went about our business and didn't take into account the things that were important to them.
The resolution came in the reception. The way we see it, our wedding day, the day of our ceremony and dinner, is OUR day. That day will be geared towards what we want. With the people we want, and the favors we want and so on. The reception is more about our parents and giving them the opportunity to celebrate our marriage in a way that makes them happy. Not that they aren't happy about the wedding day. They most definitely are. Its more about being proud of their kids and sharing that with their group of people. While it took a while to get here, and we are still working out the details for the reception venue, I think all parties involved are happy with the final decisions. And the best part? I get to wear my wedding dress twice! After all, this is all about the bride... ;o)
Have others faced cultural/familial dilemmas, issues, concerns? Would love to hear your views!