Post # 1
I am considering having a small ceremony at a beautiful location attended by maybe 40-50 guests followed by a meal (dinner, brunch) and no reception. At times I love the idea and find that it will be intimate and touching but at other times, I think I would regret not having a larger celebration with extended family and friends. I think I may feel like we didn’t do enough to celebrate the marriage.
Did anyone do this? Were there any regrets?
Post # 3
Our wedding ended up only having 30-40 people attending. Afterward, we had a reception but the only real reception things that we did were the first dance and the cake cutting. If you want to have dinner with these people, that will still be a good way to celebrate your wedding!
Post # 4
I had 2 weddings. The first was a small civil ceremony with about 20 ppl and the second was a big church wedding and vineyard reception with 200 ppl. The 1st one was very special and intimate and I loved it. We did a short civil ceremony followed by lunch at a local restaurant. The only reception type of thing we did was cut the cake and had the best man give a speech. We also gave a speech and had our professional photographer there. We left the restaurant right away for our little “mini-moon”. It was perfect. Had my mother been there, I wouldn’t feel the need to have the big church wedding.
We had the civil ceremony very last minute b/c my hubby’s brother was sent to Afghanistan at the last minute and would miss our church wedding, so we decided to hold a civil ceremony literally the week after we found out, and before he left. My mom lives overseas and couldn’t make it. But I said all of that to say, that I loved our civil ceremony. It was nice and intimate and I didn’t miss all the reception traditions at all. I would’ve been fine with that as our wedding, but we were knee deep in planning at that point and would’ve lost a lot of money in deposits if we cancelled our big wedding.
Post # 5
My circumstance is a little different than yours, but the feelings were the same.
My Darling Husband and I got married last February to start his Green Card paperwork. We had a very small dinner with only our immediate families and had a short 2 minute ceremony before signing the marriage license. We wrestled with the thought of having a bigger celebration with our extended family and friends once he got his Green Card.
I went through the whole “intimate/marriage does not equal wedding” vs. “i want to be a bride and share a special day with everyone important to me” debate for a while. We ended up having what we call our “wedding” in September with a full ceremony and 100 of our closest family and friends.
We loved every minute of it. We love the celebration, the joy on everyones faces, the ability to share our love, and the pictures to look back on. I loved being a true bride and following all of the traditions. Personally, I would have regretted not having that day to look back on.
Post # 6
Thanks, everyone. I appreciate all of your perspectives. Like you, CanAm, I am wondering if I’ll miss the “party” aspect of it.
Post # 7
as long as you have a meal, i don’t think you’ll regret it. you could always have a party on a later anniversary. weddings are about celebrating with those closest to you — not spending tons and tons of money on a party.
Post # 8
@NJmeetsBX: You’ll find on your wedding day, that you’ll be sooo happy with those you have chosen to share your joy with you. The food, laughter, and having everyone say a few words for you and your new hubby will be great!!!
I’m having a destination wedding with a mini-reception afterward, but its not a party and only a couple of close friends are coming. Hope you feel better about it soon.
Post # 9
@NJmeetsBX: what are the reasons you are thinking of nixing it? I’m asking because maybe your reasons will shed light as to the answer to your question. I debated the question and ended up going with the reception. I realized that I wanted to nix it because I was sick of the drama and stress – but, I’m SO HAPPY I went with the plan I chose. I guess my point is to really think about what YOU want – outside of whatever stresses may be causing you to ask yourself that question. As long as you do what YOU want, you can’t go wrong.
Post # 10
One major factor I am considering nixing it, is cost. While we could save the money and spend it relatively comfortably, I am not sure I want to wait the amount of time it would take for us to save enough to cover the costs a reception. The other thing is, we’ve been together for 5 years so the only real reason we would wait would be to save. So I kind of would like to get on with it in a way. We are in our 30s and ready to begin our lives. We could be spending that money to buy a home as well.
All of that said, I still have a nagging feeling that I would want a party and an opportunity to celebrate (=dance) with everyone. I am not sure what to do at this point. I don’t want to feel like I missed out.
Post # 11
Have any other bees gone through this?
Post # 12
40 to 50 people is a lot of people celebrating with you, so how would it really differ? Just the amount being invited? You can still have it function as a reception with the exception of maybe no dancing.
Post # 13
We cut down the guest list to about 20 and are just having a dinner with cake and some toasts if they happen. It is costing a lot less plus with our guest list, it just wouldn’t make sense to pay that much when not many people would actually party. We were thinking about having an after party that’s optional and have everyone pay their own way to get more of the party feeling. We figured also that it would be better because only the younger crowd that actually want to go out will be going.
Post # 14
My fiance and I are are doing the same thing. I have faught back and forth with myself on rather or not to have a full blown out wedding or a small intimate wedding. I finally decided just to go with the small intimate wedding. I want to be focused on us and the whole intimacy of the moment and with a whole bunch of people I personally would be distracted. Plus we are trying to save for a house. 🙂
Post # 15
The meal is kinda a reception, just less formal! I say go for it!
Post # 16
We have gone through the same debate. A lot of DH’s close friends are scattered throughout the country (being military men) and to be honest, I haven’t managed to maintain a whole bunch of close friendships because of the time I invested in law school and then motherhood shortly after. We were going to have a nice dinner with about 35 of our closest friends & family, but I did feel like I would miss the party aspect of a full-on reception. I do have a circle of work friends who I wanted to invite to the wedding and I was agonizing over inviting them to the wedding but having no reception for them. Money was a HUGE factor in this decision. If we had a big budget, I absolutely would have planned the big reception without a single thought.
In the end, we found an affordable place to have a nice reception and have decided to go with it since we’ll be able to feed and water up to 150 guests for only about $1200 more than it was going to cost us for a nice dinner with 35. Also, after much waffling back and forth, I gave up and called my first choice for the intimate dinner only to find out that my date was taken. I needed to just make a decision and get the dang invitations out!!
I am a bit worried that the crowd will thin out rather quickly and leave me thinking, “WHY did we spend all this money?!” but what are ya gonna do? Sometimes you just have to jump, yanno?