Is it okay to get married and have a reception months later?

My fiance and I are extremely tight on cash at the moment, since I’ve been laid off work for the last couple months and we’re in the process of buying a house, and we’ve been trying to think of any way at all we can save money on our wedding. We’re trying to plan small, but his family is huge (9 brothers and sisters, plus spouces, parents and cousins) and we are having a terrible time finding ways to save. The reception seems to be our biggest money pit, and we’re considering everything from a pot-luck reception to having more of a barbeque reception, but those ideas don’t seem quite right for us. We’re even considering (very strongly) just eloping to save the money.

Last night, an idea acme to us, and at the moment, it’s seeming like the perfect solution to our money woes. We would like to get married here, at my fiance’s church, and then leave from the church for our honeymoon. We figure the invitations would ask people to join us to witness our union and pose for pictures, then wish us luck as we embark on our honeymoon and man and wife, then at the bottom put in that a wedding reception will follow at a later date.

We figure, that way, we can still invite everyone to see us get married, save on the cost of the reception when we really can’t afford it, and then later when our cash flow is better, have a big reception with everyone in attendance and no corners cut.

I don’t think our families or friends would have a problem with this. I’ve had two cousins who were married out of town who had receptions months after their actual ceremonies so that the family could all attend. What I’m wondering is if there are any problems with this idea that we haven’t thought of yet. Are we overlooking anything?

With such big families, we want everyone to be included, but we really don’t want to push back the date of our wedding either, so could this be the solution we’ve been looking for?

Any opinions from anyone will be greatly appreciated! Thank you so much!

Rebecca Black, Etiquette By Rebecca

Dear SherryBerry,

Sure this is fine. This is actually quite common. It would have been nicer to have a cake and beverage reception at the church following the ceremony. But, there is nothing wrong with what you plan to do.

Typically you wouldn’t mention that your reception will follow at a later date on your wedding invitations. However, this will probably be an informal affair. So, this will be fine.

Best wishes,