Post # 1
I was talking to my Future Mother-In-Law a couple nights ago about the wedding and she had, what I thought, was a really interesting idea:
My Fiance and I initially wanted a very small, intimate ceremony with a max of 20 guests and a huge reception for all of our friends and family. I had been searching everywhere for ideas on how to do this. I had read somewhere, probably on these boards, that proper etiquette is to invite everyone to both the ceremony and the reception, instead of only one or the other.
The other night, my Future Mother-In-Law suggested to me to have our small ceremony on a Friday and have the big reception the Saturday following.
My question is this, if you received an invite only to a wedding reception and not the ceremony, how would you feel?
P.S. From the bridal standpoint: We don’t want a very fancy affair, something pretty casual, so I wouldn’t have to worry about wearing my dress, getting my hair and make up done or anything like that two days in a row. We’d wear something dressy, but comfortable at the reception.
Post # 3
see, in this scenario, i wouldn’t be offended. if it were vice versa, i would. also, i’d be very careful about keeping the ceremony REALLY small (parents will want to keep tacking more people on)….because the larger the ceremony, the more likely to offend me.
Post # 4
@Mrs. Meowerson: We have already discussed who would be invited to the ceremony and counted 20 people total. Both of our parents are being wonderful about this being our wedding and to invite who we want to (sure, a few suggestions here and there, but nothing like, “This person that you’ve never met HAS TO COME!” Thank God). Thanks for you comment, I will remember to keep it in mind.
Post # 6
Haha @Ms. Meowerson, I think I might!
Post # 7
it’s fine alot of people do this.
Post # 8
I don’t think you need to do two separate nights unless you really don’t want to be in your dress and everything for the reception. Regardless of how you do it, I don’t think it’s a big deal.
People get ffended when you invite them to the ceremony only and not the reception. That looks like you wanted to share with them but weren’t willing to pay for them to be at your reception. It can come across badly. But a reception only invite doesn’t read the same way. You’re hosting them and treating them well, and the ceremony can be personal for some people who just don’t like the idea of a ton of people there.
Whether they’re on two different nights or the same night, all you need are two sets of invitations. One for the people who are invited to both, and a different one for the reception only folks. If you want the same night then just have the reception only folks show up at the reception site when you intend for it to start. And be anal retentive about making that run on time.If you want two different nights, then timing isn’t as much of an issue since it’s your only worry that day.
That was a long answer to say I think it’s fine either way. Sorry. 😉
Post # 9
I figured I’d get these responses (and I like them)! Haha 🙂
@Encore: I wouldn’t mind going to the reception in my dress (haha- the dress I don’t even know what will look like yet, I need to start shopping!), in all honesty, so maybe we would just do that. We could even have an early afternoon wedding and afterwards take a few hours for pictures, lunch, or whatever. That would give us pleanty of time to make it to wherever our evening reception will be. Hmm… So much to think about!
Anyone else doing a small ceremony and large reception?
Post # 10
To be completely honest, I’d feel mixed about this. I guess depending on who the couple is. If it’s for a very close friend I’d feel hurt. If my BFF did this to me, I’d be crushed knowing she didn’t see me close to invite me to her ceremony. After all, she IS my Maid/Matron of Honor for my own wedding. If I got this invite from just an acquaintance I’d feel two things. A) Wow, they thought of me in celebrating their love, cool!! And I’m sure the thought of B) Are they fishing for gifts?? Would go through my mind for a quick second.
Anyways, best of luck.
Post # 11
I don’t think it looks like you are fishing for gifts because you are still throwing an awesome reception for everyone.
The one thing I would say is that you would need to plan a really cool entrance or beginning of the reception. Even just having a DJ announce you guys and your parents or something like that?? Then go into a first dance like at a regular wedding reception? This would give you guys a bit of a chance to kinda have your moment in the light and let your guests get a good look at you and then get down to the party.
Post # 12
Do most of the people have to travel or are they local? I might be kind of iffy to travel a long distance to only go to a reception and not see the wedding but if I lived next door and wasn’t BFFs with the person, I would probably understand.
Post # 13
I haven’t been in this situation, but I am thinking that I probably wouldn’t be offended. I do have a suggestion though for those that might be. What about having a video of your ceremony available to watch at your reception. I think that would satisfy most of the guests that might be offended.
Post # 14
We had a small ceremony (30 people including wedding party) and a bigger reception (90 people) on the same night.
We had good reasons for this, a big one being that I get anxious in front of people and I get really bad migraines. I wanted to get rid of all possible triggers to give me a migraine, and a big wedding was one of them. But hubby wanted a big wedding. We compromised.
Some people understood, some didn’t. My aunt still isn’t talking to us after she hung up the phone when she found out she wasn’t invited to the ceremony. It also made a lot of oot guests not come at all b/c they didn’t want to fly all this way and not see us get married.
Even with all of that stress, I wouldn’t have done it any other way. I loved our wedding, I loved how intimate it was, and if people can’t understand that it’s their own problem.
Post # 15
I will be doing this. My ceremony is Friday night at 7pm (the earliest we can do it at our venue). Aftweards we may do something fun with our 50- 70 guests, family only (ideas welcome! right now, bowling is winning out 🙂 since we still have the photographer and to thank them for coming. Saturday we will have an open house reception with the DJ/dancing starting around 5 and going until 10pm.
I can’t wait 🙂
Post # 16
My BF rec’d a reception only invite to a wedding (I was a +1) last year and he wasn’t offended in the least. We just assumed the ceremony was only for close friends and family. Not once did the BF (or I) think they were fishing for gifts.
I’ve thought about doing this myself but I will have a lot of Out of Town guests and I wouldn’t think it would be fair to them to only be able to attend the ceremony.
So I say go for it! Maybe there’s some way you can convey that the ceremony is only for family and close friends only to make sure that no one is offended?