having a private ceremony and a big reception party

posted 3 years ago in Ceremony
Post # 3
1716 posts
Bumble bee

That’s a great idea. I’ve seen several weddings that were set up this way and they looked great and worked well. 

It’s the best of both worlds: an intimate ceremony and time spent with only the closest of family and/or friends, and a big celebration with all of those people you wish to share such a wonderful occasion with. 

It’s a great way to get married. 

Post # 4
42117 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

It is not uncommon to have a small, intimate ceremony followed by a larger reception. Just make sure you are clear in the wording of your invitations so people know what they are being asked to attend.

Post # 5
1018 posts
Bumble bee

@rissmama:  I’ve been to a  couple weddings that were private ceremony then big party later. Those are my favorite and actually what I plan on doing (also not engaged yet). But BOTH my SO and I don’t like big weddings, so I would make sure you’re not going to regret having a private ceremony.

I still plan to have flowers, wear a wedding dress, walk down the aisle, etc. but with only IMMEDIATE family there. You could always have it video taped and play it at your party 🙂


Really think about what you truly want in a wedding (besides being married, duh) and reach a compromise with your SO.

Post # 6
1535 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

I went to a wedding with 11 people and then the couple had a big cocktail party after and had photos of the ceremony playing on a screen. I think it’s a great idea. Everyone seemed to like it 🙂

Post # 7
309 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

@julies1949:  I’m following this because this would be our ideal scenario.  Except we already have a venue for both ceremony/reception booked (same place for both), so we would just have a separate invite for immediate family to ceremony.

Post # 8
9526 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

Seems like that’s a great compromise!

Post # 9
3202 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 2014

This is what we’re doing next month! Our ceremony will be immediately family plus two friends. Then we’re having a big reception in my hometown a week after the wedding, and another reception in FI’s hometown two weeks after the wedding. I think it will be wonderful!!

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