Post # 1
My Fi and I were planning a fairly large wedding, as my family alone is about 200 hundred people. We had originally wanted an elopment in Vegas back in January, but my family quickly talked us out of that idea.
So, halfway through planning this big (but informal wedding) my Fi and I got into an argument about his non-existance in the wedding planning, when he confessed to me that he was just really stressed out about all the money we’ll be spending on something we initally never wanted, to appease our families.
Now, we have never officially sent out invitations to said big wedding, but my grandparents and imediate family have been chatting and spreading the word to everyone, so we’ve had extended family (like great-aunts and uncles) on my side asking us questions, and assuming they’ll be involved.
I do not want to have a wedding that my Fiance is uncomfortable with. Even more so now that money is getting a lot tighter as we’ve had some unforseen issues with our new home (hot water tank going, well is being re-dug). So we decided this week (3 short months until the wedding date) that we’re going to have a ceramony only wedding at Niagara Falls which is about two hours from our home town area.
Because so many people already know about the wedding, and I dont want to tell anybody that they CAN’T come, I’m thinking about not sending invitations at all, and just spreading the word that anybody who wants to come can come, but we will in no way be offended if anybody chooses not to drive two hours to witness a 20 minute ceramony with absolutely no reception. All of my wedding party and siblings (along with FI’s) are getting hotel rooms, and we will party the rest of the night at the falls. We’re a young bride and groom (22 and 26), so I think everyone will understand the financial aspect, seeing as we just purchased our first home. My family is not too enthralled into perfect etiquette, but I’m still worried that this will really piss some people off.
Bees, would you be pissed if you thought you were being invited to a wedding and reception, only to find out that there will be no reception? Do you think that the way we’re going about this is rude?
Post # 3
If you have not sent out invitations or save the dates yet, you are in the clear.
You should be sure to host something after the ceremony – lunch, cake and punch, pizza, as long as whoever attends the ceremony is properly received and thanked.
Post # 4
I had sent out save the dates and we canceled it all and eloped. People were very understanding. I told people how miserable I was planning a huge wedding and most people responded “I wish we had eloped”.
I would just tell parents and grandparents how you are honestly feeling and tell them the new plan. They can spread the word.
Post # 5
Once you invite other people, it’s no longer just about you. If you want to skip any form of reception, then you should just elope.
If you want guests, you should do something to thank them for coming out and being supportive of you. The expectation in our culture is a reception of some type. You can do this on a budget. You could have a cake and punch reception to keep it really affordable.
You should be strong enough to let your families know that the image they had in mind simply isn’t in your budget, and with all of the other things going on in your lives, it’s not in your interest. If you want them there, then I suggest making a guest list and sticking to it. It is their fault if they invited people before the wedding was even planned. If anyone says something to you, just let them know that your budget and other responsibilities with your husband put you in a position of limiting it to close family. If you don’t feel strong enough, start drinking some extra milk to help build that backbone. 🙂
But, I do think that you owe your guests a reception of some sort. It would be better to let them know you are limiting the guest list than to invite them to something where you aren’t even willing to give them a slice of cake and a glass of punch after they made a sacrifice to come share the day with you.
If even this stresses you two out, then just elope. And don’t be afraid to let your family know that their pressure was just too much. My mom now shuts up at a simple uttering of the word “Mom…” in a certain tone. 🙂
Post # 6
I’ve let everyone in the immediate family know and they’re all really excited. We’re having a small picnic and punch hour within the park, but there will be no lunch. Probably cheese plates and a couple of snack finger foods, but nothing big, and I dont see it lasting more than an hour, to an hour and thirty minutes. But there will be no music, or dinner. The wedding is taking place at 1 in the afternoon, and the ceramony will only last a few minutes. I think everything will be done by 3pm. Is there a proper way to spread the word that gifts are not expected? Or do you guys think that people will get the gist of that with the informality and “quaintnesss” of the wedding?
Thanks so much for your replies, ladies! I can honestly say neither Fiance or myself were very excited about the wedding when we were planning something big. I think my family can tell that without this weight on our shoulders, they can see we’re so much more excited about the prospect of getting married and just enjoying eachother and the day now. The only exception to that is mom! She’s not very pleased because she was planning on inviting everybody she knows and their mothers lol.
Post # 7
Your reply sounds like you do plan on offering them a reception of sorts. Receptions aren’t only defined as large dinners. With the ceremony at 1, you should be clear of any expectation of lunch. If I was going to that direction, I’d probably plan a little closer to 2 just to wipe away any chance of a guest expecting that.
Don’t say anything about gifts. People will give you a gift if they want to do it. Don’t worry about it beyond making sure you have a way to get any that are brought to the wedding home with you.
With what you have planned, you should still do invitations. It will formally set a guest list so you know how many to buy snacks for afterwards. The problem with word of mouth is that you won’t know who plans to make the drive, and your mother can still end up inviting everyone she knows with their entire families.
Post # 8
@jesrphoto: That sounds more than acceptable for the time of day for your wedding. Cheese and crackers and light beverages is perfect for a 1-3 PM event.
As for the gifts, only mention that you don’t need anything if someone asks. Gift information should not go on any type of event invitation, with the exception of wedding showers. People may still want to give you something, so don’t be surprised if you receive a few items.