First, I see you are NEW to WBee… so Welcome to “the Hive”
Like j_jaye: said, I too commend you for wanting to be upfront with your friends & family on the fact that you are getting married in a small ceremony… and then “celebrating” that marriage later.
As a bit of an Etiquette Snob… let me tell you how I would handle this situation (to be truthful, this is one of those “modern” situations where you are breaking new ground in regards to the Rules of Etiquette… but paying due respect to the OLD Rules, certainly will serve you well in the long run in that you’ll run the risk of offending fewer people. And really, who wants to start out their married life on that foot). And if it is any comfort, I myself am going thru a similar situation… in that Mr TTR are Eloping and then planning a Back Home Reception afterwards… so I do understand the challenges of doing something that “isn’t the usual”
After your “Legal Ceremony” send out Marriage Announcements to whomever you wish.
The format to follow will depend on WHO would normally be proud to announce your Marriage (or would have hosted the Wedding)…
So from Mom & Dad of the Bride
Mr. and Mrs. Henry Miller
have the honour of
announcing the marriage of their daughter
Mr. Francis Scott Corwin
Saturday, the fourteenth of June
two thousand and twelve
Like a regular Wedding Invite you can alter the wording to fit whomever is doing the announcing… so there are variations for using Both Parents Names, for a Bride that is an Orphan, Divorced or Widowed… or even for a Couple doing their own announcing of the marriage (if you let me know your situation, I can certainly provide the correct wording as per the Emily Post Institute (which is where I referenced the above quoted text from)
What you are having later on, is known as a Vow Renewal. It is perfectly acceptable to send out Invites to this “social event” as you get closer to the date (I would not send out Save The Dates for a Vow Renewal). The Vow Renewal Invites can be as Formal or Informal as you like… Printed Invitations, Handwritten Notes, Email Invites, or even word of mouth or phone calls.
The nice thing about a Vow Renewal is for the most part there are NO RULES… you can make this party whatever you wish. Formal / Informal, Big or Small… in Wedding Dress or street clothes etc. You can direct the event as however you see fit.
As you are already married, having a Registry can be seen as “tacky” in some circles. Most Couples just understand that more than likely if friends & family want to get them a gift, chances are that it is going to be done quietly… maybe a cheque or gift card tucked into a Card of Congratulations (those will probably happen once you send out the Announcements). You can’t really dictate WHEN someone chooses to give you a gift, or what it is… or how it is done. So you kind of have to “go with the flow” on this one Wedding aspect.
It is certainly possible that people might not do anything now, and give you something at the Vow Renewal… but again you can’t appear to ask for that (or even anticipate it).
So in this particular case… NO Wedding Registry, NO mention on any Website, Blog or Facebook etc should be included anywhere on your Wedding Annoucements. This is the one element of a Wedding that you gave up by having what is technically an Elopement (along with any other regular Pre-Wedding Events that are used to build anticipation for a Bride & Groom… Shower, Bachelorette, Bachelor Party)
IF after the Announcements come out and anyone should ask… “We’d love to get you a present”… the correct response should be “How generous of you… anything you choose would be fine”… and leave it at that. Most Guests will take the hint, and give you Cash or a Gift Card.
Along with your Wedding Announcements you can send out what is known as an “At Home” Card (just stuff them in the same envelope). An At Home Card, essentially is the written announcement that oftentimes is included with a Wedding Invite telling people the address of the Couple’s New Home.
Mr. & Mrs. Francis Scott Corwin
will be at home
after July seventh
3882 Grand Avenue
Telephone: (898) 555-4321
will be in their home… OR have moved into their home at (in which case there is no need for the date to be printed)
Likewise you can change out your names to a more casual stance…
Heidi and Francis Corwin… OR if the Bride is keeping her own name…
Heidi Miller and Francis Corwin
As you have said, that you and your Hubby are moving into a NEW space, it is also perfectly acceptable in this situation to have a Housewarming Party. That might effectively kill 2 birds with 1 stone… when it comes to having a “reason to celebrate” and possibly getting a few things for your home. It is also perfectly acceptable to send out Invites to such a Party.
And in this particular instance you could “push” the bounds of etiquette a wee bit and register for say a modest Registry. BUT as always, you couldn’t really “advertise” that too much without being seen as gift grabby. So NO Mention of that on the Housewarming Invites (just rely on friends and family members to get the word out)
This is an occasion when starting a Blog about your NEW Life might come in handy (focus the theme on being Newlyweds). Then you could find a “subtle” way on such a medium to mention the trials of being a Newlywed and that you’ve come to realize just how many things “setting up house” requires. (Example do an entry about your Kitchen situation… and Gadgets & Gizmos… and you and your Hubbys different Cooking Styles… or WHY it is a good idea to have 3 or more sets of sheets… as having one and and continually having to find the time to wash & dry it on the same day and get it back on the bed is exhausting, now that you are married and find life to be a lot more busier than when there was just YOU to think about)
You can then say, you’ve made a list of to keep track of what is lacking in your NEW LIFE and hoping that over the course of the next year or two, can tick off more boxes (the list aka Registry can then be mentioned… and ask for feedback perhaps from other Brides / Couples to get their thoughts). Just make sure, that that the list is limited to JUST ONE STORE (otherwise others will “see thru” your posting… and it’ll look gift grabby too)
As I said, you’d be pushing the boundary here a wee bit… but as it isn’t tied to your Wedding or Vow Renewal… just to your Blog as a Newlywed it should fly.
If the focus of your Blog is Newlywed Life… then you can tell whoever you like about the Blog… just don’t put the info on any printed Invites etc.
Having such a Blog could come in handy as you prepare for your Vow Renewal… especially if you wish to frame it to look more like a Wedding. Nice place to chat about Plans & Details… and as the event gets closer you can use it to announce things Guests will want to know (or you could link to a Website that you specifically create JUST for the Wedding / Vow Renewal itself… which is what I’d do in your situation)
I hope this helps in your quest to be aware of Etiquette… and if you have any more questions, do post again, I’d be glad to help / make suggestions.
*NOTE – the Annoucement / At Home Info above shows the correct phrasing (words per line) capitals & punctuation