Post # 1
Fiance and I have hit the wedding wall. We don’t want to talk about the wedding. We don’t want to think about the wedding. We literally can’t wait for it to just be over and move onto a happy marriage.
We feel this way because honestly – the wedding has gotten away from us and become something we really don’t want. Our mothers have insisted on a bigger guest list than we wanted. And a more formal event than we wanted.
So this morning, we were thinking of a crazy idea. And, it might just be a nice compromise to get what we want and our mom’s can still have what they want.
So far, the reception is planned for a hotel. However, about 1 block from the hotel is a public park. We were thinking of creating two guest lists. Small, intimiate park wedding ceremoney guest list of about 40 people tops. and then keep the original reception guest list of about 200.
Is this crazy? will this offend a lot of people?
We are having a friday wedding – so, we kind of think its a nice way to not make a lot of people take off work early. have the ceremoney be bridal party, parents and grand parents only. and then the reception is a big happy party with everyone and their friggen mother.
What do you think? Crazy or brilliant?
Post # 3
It will offend a lot of people, in my opinion and experience. I wouldn’t do it. But I can see why it is appealing to you. It’s not unheard of – I just think it’s strange not to invite people to the actual IMPORTANT part of the day. It’s one thing when you have a destination wedding and then do an at-home reception weeks or months later. But for them to be just a couple hours apart, I don’t like it.
It’s not uncommon in the LDS community either, where the couple is getting married in the temple and it is very limited on size.
But – if this isn’t a normal thing in your social circle – I do think people will be put off by not getting to see the ceremony.
Post # 4
Do it! We’re in a similar situation, where the wedding became a much larger project than we had anticipated. If we could start all over, we would have eloped… but that’s not an option and I’m sure you understand that. Your idea of having an intimate ceremony at least means that you get the wedding you somewhat envisioned.
Post # 5
Also, just thought of this – I think it’s actually going to create more work for you than just leaving it all at the hotel. Where are you planning on the ceremony right now?
Holding an event in a public park isn’t as easy as it would sound – you’ll need chairs brought in (church or hotel would have provided those), you may want or need sound amplification so people can hear, especially if there is other noise in the area, you’ll have to deal with logistics of getting you there & parked and where you’re going to walk in from, you may need to get a permit from the city, you’ll need to clean up everything you use while you’re there, etc.
You also need a backup plan in case the weather is bad. So you pretty much have to plan your ceremony TWICE (park plan & backup plan).
Park weddings are actually a TON of work, and there isn’t staff to take care of it like there is at a church or hotel/banquet room. So I think you might be creating more of a headache for yourself.
Post # 6
It’d be easier and cheaper to just cut down the guest list. If your mothers are insisting on inviting these people, I’m guessing they won’t be ok with excluding them from the ceremony.
Post # 8
“Fiance and I have hit the wedding wall. We don’t want to talk about the wedding. We don’t want to think about the wedding. We literally can’t wait for it to just be over and move onto a happy marriage.”
I’m wondering if you’ll regret it. Your wedding is about 3 months away, and you’re probably just exhausted! I know I am, and my wedding is 6 months away! Sometimes I just want to cancel the whole thing and just go down to city hall on a Saturday morning and take immediate family to brunch afterwards — similar to Sex and the City.
But I keep reminding myself that isn’t what I really want. I just am ready to be married and have the spotlight off of me and Fiance. We’re pretty private people, and all of this attention is getting to us. I do want to have this wedding. Having a small ceremony might sound good now, but maybe later down the line you’ll regret your decision.
Post # 9
40 isn’t exactly small and intimate. It’s ok to have a private ceremony, but it should only be parents, siblings, and grandparents – no aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, etc – and should be no more than 20 people. Once you start going over 20 and including non-immediate family it borders on a tiered wedding and tiered weddings are rude (well at least in the States).
Post # 10
Sounds brilliant and if people get offended so what? its your day and if you only want the people you are closest to there to witness the most special part of the day then go ahead (im doing the same) who cares if your parents kick off they get what they want a few hours later a massive reception. Anybody who loves you will just be happy that youre happy and anybody that isnt well … do you really want them at your wedding?
Post # 11
The wedding is 3 months away and we haven’t planned the ceremony yet. HOnestly just figured we’d have it at the hotel. which, really really really isn’t what we want. But, sort of what we have been bullied into bc of convenience. The park would be nice because it doesn’t require much planning. It’d be us, our wedding party, our parents, and our grandparents. thats it. I say 40 becasue the wedding party’s dates will probably attend. We wouldn’t get chairs. it’s be standing room only. We hired an officiant who said that he has never had a ceremony longer then 20 minutes. The park has some park benches that my grandparents could sit on if 20 minutes is too long for them to be standing.
Post # 12
@sarg88: I think you are underestimating the planning that goes into a simple-looking park ceremony. I also think it is a bad idea not to have chairs. While it may only be a 15 – 20 minute ceremony, guests arrive early (15 – 20 minutes at least). That’s a long time to stand, especially dressed up for a wedding. Plus, people who are short may be unhappy with their view, and it is going to be a disorganized mess of where people stand. 40 people isn’t a small event, it’s pretty substantial (I plan events for a living and most of them are between 25 – 50) in terms of the need to direct people and provide structure.
Also – weather backup plan.
A park ceremony is NOT going to let you do less planning or have less wedding stuff to think about. It’s going to be more work. Which is FINE, but if you’re just going for “I just want this done and don’t want to have to think about it,” a park ceremony isn’t the way to go.
Post # 13
I’m 50/50 on this. If you are thinking something like Miranda’s wedding from Sex and the City, then I think it’s okay…if it’s wedding party/family only.
But it will probably be actually easier to go with a known wedding ceremony location, so that they can do the set up for you.
Post # 14
@RunsWithBears: +1. If you are going to invite some people only to the reception, the ceremony should be very intimate and family only. Otherwise, it’s kind of offensive because you are picking and choosing which friends are important enough to invite to the ceremony, or at least that’s how your guests will see it. 40 seems large for an intimate wedding. When I think of an intimate wedding, I definitely don’t think of a wedding party larger than 1 person on each side (maybe 2 if they are family)
I also agree with PPs that a park ceremony is going to take a lot more planning that you think. You said you would have them sit on benches, but honestly you probably need to provide chairs for your guests, even if it is only 20 minutes long. It would probably be easier to just have it at the reception site.
Post # 15
Personally I would be hurt if I just got invited to the reception but I would still go.
Post # 16
yeah, i figured you guys would respond this way. i’m to the point where i’m never going to please everyone so I’d like to please myself. but, I guess I haven’t thought this whole park thing through all the way.
We’ve already committed to a rather large wedding party. So, they’d have to be invited. (6 on each side) so thats 12. plus me and my groom. his parents are divorced and both remarried. so thats 6 parents. and then grandparents would be another 4. so, thats about 22 people. then, i assume our wedding party’s dates would attend too. In my mind we all show up, stand around. Say quick vows. boom, we’re married. lets go party.
It was a thought. I wanted to get your opinions. and so, I guess, overall, its not the best idea.