Thursday, October 22, 2009

Our Reception Revealed

So it occurred to me the other day that I haven't really talked about our reception. While the ceremony and dinner here discussed in a previous post I failed to mention that our reception will be on a totally different day!

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 complain about face in Cyprus, is the huge number of weddings they have to go to, starting from May and probably going through all the way to November. Sometimes several Saturdays are taken up by weddings. In a row! And these can be weddings that include THOUSANDS of people. No joke! It's no coincidence the movie was called My Big Fat Greek Wedding! So we thought having a cocktail reception during the week would be appreciated by most of these guest who are coming to support our marriage, but mostly our parents. We will be leaving their weekend untouched.

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!

10 fabulous blogger's comments:

Born to be Mrs. Beever said...

It is always a plus to get to wear the dress twice :)

Since we are so much older and paying for everything ourselves (mostly me actually), we don't have our parents really giving us any grief about what they expect or want. My fiance's parents live in Northern California in Palo Cedro and my mom knows that I am an anal control freak with too much time on my hands and ideas when it comes to the details.

I have already told her that some of her friends have to be moved to the B list or cut altogether from our guest list and she was fine with that.

I think it's great you are taking your parents desires into consideration and the idea of having a separate reception seems to be a good solution to allowing all parties involved their wishes and dreams. :) Well done...I don't know how you destination brides do it...I could not imagine planning from so far away. More power to you!

Stacy Marie said...

Wow, you've lived so many places!

It sounds like you all have reached a happy compromise. That's really amazing that you worked with your parents wishes so gracefully!

Sarah said...

I love this idea. We will probably do this too. Have the ceremony and dinner one day and then the next day or two days later have the reception. I am worried a little about people being mad about not being invited to the actual ceremony but the amount of money that would cost isn't worth it to me. People will get over it and have fun at the big party!!

Morgan said...

I love that you guys are being so nice about this and not taking up people's weekends with your reception, I'm sure they'll appreciate it if they go to that many weekend weddings! Plus, the benefit of savings, since most places charge more for weekend events.

Cairo Typ0 said...

HI, visiting from SITS! :)

We were in Cyprus last december for a short holiday and drove all over the island. It was so much fun.

I like the arrangement you guys came to regarding the ceremony vs reception.

thatgirlblogs said...

just stopping by from SITS and think it is a really nice blog! Will subscribe.

best of luck with your plans -- think less about "everyone" and more about the fact that it's going to be a fantastic day ;)

... says the old lady who's been married for 17 years...

Anonymous said...

All I can say is BRAVO...compliments on accomplishing what you want AND acknowledging what family wants as well. Not an easy balance to achieve, but one you'll appreciate for the rest of your life!! -:)

buhdoop said...

I totally understand. My fiance and I are from two completely different backgrounds and cultures. He is Korean and I'm American.

We have incorporated both into the ceremony. We are having a lunch wedding. Then after the ceremony and reception we will hang out with all of our guests OUR way.

love lives in the kitchen said...

i understand you perfectly! i got married in poland and my husband is italian! the cultural gap was sooo big but at the end of the day we did it and it was a beautiful wedding! the biggest problem was to deal with my parents in law who had different expectations ;)
wish you a great day,

Live.Love.Eat said...

Definitely different but awesome that you are doing it that way. Good way to keep everyone happy. And you get to celebrate more than once!!!