Post # 1
We are getting married in May. My fiance and I had previously considered eloping but now (after input and prodding from parents) have decided to have a ceremony and a reception. We would like to invite only grandparents and parents to the ceremony, and extend our invitations to the rest of the family for the reception. We are having our wedding on the same weekend of my brother’s high school graduation, because extended family is planning to come up for that and will not be able to come up for both in the same month. My grandma also can’t make the trip by herself and would need for my cousin and two aunts to bring her (this is likely the only family I will have come to the reception also). So, his graduation ceremony would be friday and we would have our wedding on saturday. He does not mind about this as he is not having his graduation party until June. My fiances family is huge-his dad has 5 siblings and cousins with multiple children (most have 3-6). My mother thinks it is rude to only invite guests to a reception. We would like for our wedding ceremony to be very small. I am not sure what to do about my mother. I have told her that is how we want it and now she is telling me that no one will even come to my reception. It is only the 2nd day that I have been engaged and I am already stressed to the point of tears over this. I want to be able to have what we want but I am also worried about hurting people’s feelings. I feel that if we allow some people at the ceremony (I have great aunts & uncles only, he has both normal & great) that we have to allow them all. We are having no bridal party.
Post # 3
I know what you mean. We had the same dilemma. I don’t encourage this arrangement, but it can definitely be done tastefully and non-showy, whereas people will understand, and it sounds like you are going to nail that.
The first think you are doing RIGHT is you are only having immediate family, and no friends, no wedding party, etc. Guests will not think anything of it because they know they weren’t excluded for any other reason other than their lack of relation to you.
If your mom starts pressuring you like this you and your honey might consider just having a wedding between the two of you, and no one else except the officient and witness, and have the reception for the entire family and all your friends. My fiance’s father and step-mom did this when they got married 25 years ago. They loved it and even encouraged us to do the same thing.
The wedding vows are what it is all about. No one else has to be there for you two to commit yourselves to each other. Your vows are to each other, and if you want that to be an intimate affair, then that is the way you need to do it!
Post # 4
I see nothing wrong with having an intimate ceremony with immediate family only followed by a reception with extended family and friends.
In fact, my FI and I just received and invitation to our friends’ wedding in May that is just that. You want to know what my FI said (jokingly of course) “Great, thanks for inviting us just to the fun part!”
You are well within your rights and etiquette to have only your immediate family at the ceremony and the other guests at the reception only. I doubt anyone will base their decision on whether or not to come on this fact and, even if some people do, it will only be a very small percentage of your invite list. Definitely not something you guys should change your vision of your big day over.
Post # 5
All I want to say is on day 2 I was a wreck. It gets better. Just remember to breathe. I have only been at this a couple weeks and it already way better. 🙂 I promise!
Post # 6
First off, you can do whatever you want. I had only parents, siblings, and grandparents at my first wedding. Only one grandparent was able to make it because of health reasons and she doesn’t drive so one aunt had to bring her. Luckily I only had one sister and he only had one brother so MOH and BM was an easy choice. We had a reception for family and friends afterwards. Sure, some of my aunts probably would have liked to watch the ceremony but I’m guessing most people were perfectly happy with not having to worry about finding the church, keeping kids quiet, and then driving 40 minutes to the reception site. And I’m pretty sure people aren’t still pissed about how we did things even if they were disappointed at the time. They will get over it…I promise!
Post # 7
Thank you all for your support and advice! But we’re now stuck doing it the “normal” way, having an open ceremony and a reception following. My mom & father-in-law both agree on this and my FI and I feel like it’s a losing battle. We now have a guest list of 200 people (the majority of that is family). My mom (of course) then complained about feeding that many people, but she is stuck now because I am not going back and forth on this again!! At this point I am standing my ground on no wedding party, but we’ll see how that goes as we go along. I think they are fine with not having one, just not our ceremony idea. Thanks again for all of your advice!! Wish me luck with this mom-zilla!! She is going to be worse than me, I can tell 🙂