Post # 1
Hello, I am in a decision dilemma. My fiance and I have already started our family 2 years ago and after being engaged for almost a year now we still see no way of affording a wedding and reception anytime in the next 3 years. Furthermore, we don’t want to take funds we could set aside for our growing family to spend on one day that is full of stress and worry over everything being perfect. We both have huge families that would want to be included in our day though. So we are considering doing a church ceremony where everyone is invited. Instead of the reception right after, we want to provide a private dinner for just our immediate famiies (25 people or less). Then, after dinner, we would go out for drinks and everybody could then celebrate with us but we would not foot that bill. Luckily, most of our family members enjoy the bar scene and would probably go along with the idea. We feel that this will be less stressful and allow us to get married much sooner and still not fret over the costs. Is it tacky to do things this way? How should we word the invites to invite people to the ceremony and then to bring money to go out later in the evening?
Post # 3
Yes, this is really tacky. It’s fine to have a ceremony with just your immediate family included, then treat them to lunch after. It’s also fine to have a mid-day ceremony with cake and punch after in the church hall. You could then tell your guests that you’ll be at X bar that evening if anyone wants to stop by. But you have to host something for every single guest who attends, even if it’s just cake and punch.
Post # 4
I don’t know, I would feel weird meeting up with the couple after the dinner I wasn’t invited too, plus I would have to keep myself busy until your dinner was over. I feel like it may be best to pick, either the dinner for immediate family after, or a general “hey we are going the bar if you want celebrate with us”. Maybe do the bar right after and do dinner with your fam the next night, or brunch with them the morning after…
Post # 5
A wedding is an all or nothing event. Guests should be invited to the ceremony and all portions of the reception, and properly hosted at those events (they should not need to take their wallets out or foot their own bils.)
What you could do to save money is host a morning or daytime wedding with a cake and punch reception in the church hall or another, reasonably priced venue directly afterwards. You can host everyone easily and not need to serve a full meal or open up a huge bar tab.
Post # 6
What if you did a family dinner as the rehearsal dinner, then had the wedding with cake and punch, and then did the bar thing as well?
Post # 7
@MrsAlvarado: Maybe I’m in the minority, but if you’ve already had kids (I assume that’s what you mean about having started a family) and you’ve been together for a while, I am sure people pretty much think of you as married already. I don’t understand why anyone would expect you to have a big ceremony. Most people don’t even really like to attend weddings. I don’t get why you’d compromise your finances and future dreams to have a big party. I know you’re trying to save money and do it cheaper, but unfortuntely I think with weddings it pretty much has to be all or nothing to not come across as tacky/cheap. We’re going to elope. Why can’t you do something similar? It doesn’t even sound like you have your heart set on a big wedding.. so why not do something just for you and your man (and kid)?
I just don’t get why the wedding is such a big deal. It really is a ONE DAY event. Don’t let society’s expectations or your own family or whoever guilt you into thinking that you need to spend a fortune.
Elope and people will be happy for you. You’re just making your family more official now… I don’t see how that could annoy anyone… or why anyone would expect you to do more. It’s not like you’re 19 and want to marry for religious reasons or anything before having sex.
Post # 8
What would you possibly say to the guests who don’t make the cut for dinner? “Hey less important friends and family, please leave now, so those more important to us can be wined and dined on our dollar. But you all feel free to show up again later and buy us drinks at the bar?”
It is also not polite to make your non dinner guests get all dressed up, then wait around for hours while you get fed, and then come back out.
It is not polite to have a tiered reception. You must host every single person you invite to the ceremony. You don’t have to do a full meal, but at least cake and punch or a sandwhich and soda, something.
Host what you can afford!
Post # 9
I guess I wasn’t specific enough when I made my original post. We acutally are planning to meet with ceremony guests after the ceremony and offer them light snacks and refreshments.That is something we would put on the invite and make no mention of a reception. I hadn’t considered doing the cake then but thanks for that tip. After that no one is obligated to “wait around” or feel left out of dinner. There is a six hour break between the after ceremony snacks and the time we go to x place later in the evening. We wouldn’t expect people to sit around doing nothing during that time. We looked at that as a chance to give people options on how they celebrate the day with us. We wanted to have a private dinner with our parents and siblings because most of them are coming from out of town and we want to enjoy some alone time with them.
As far as going somewhere later on, that is something we want to do without the kids (because that is what I meant when I said we already started our family) and if people want to join us they can. Also, we have plans to offer appetizers there. I guess you could call it a cocktail party that has a cash bar if that helps to make it understandable.
We are not trying to exlude people, but we don’t feel the need to provide a meal for 300 people who will complain about what we did wrong and how they would have done better. Furthermore, we want the day to be focused on us and not the guests, as most weddings with huge guest lists tend to be that way.