Post # 1
My fiance and I are planning a simple, intimate wedding. We don’t want all the hoopla and craziness of a traditional reception, so after the wedding ceremony, later in the evening, we’re going to have a really nice dinner at a local restaurant. We’re talking – 50 people, max. Close family and friends.
However, both of us are very involved in church and have TONS of other friends, acquantainces, etc. and would like them to have the opportunity to come ot our ceremony. We’re going to basically open it up to anyone and everyone who wants to come (parents’ friends, coworkers). Immediately following the ceremony, we’re having a “time of fellowship” with light refreshments (meat, cheese, & crackers, veggies, cupcakes, cookies, etc.) so that our guests can socialize with one another and have time to greet us.
The timeline looks like this:
– Ceremony at 1 PM
– “Fellowship” from 2-3:30
– Intimate Dinner (Invite Only) from 4-7ish
We’re sending out two sets of invites – one for the dinner (with a response card and all that) and one that’s just plain, with a section asking them to join us for a brief time of fellowship. Those who are not invited to the dinner won’t have any idea that it’s even happening.
Now. What in THE WORLD do we do about gifts? We don’t want our guests to feel compelled to buy us stuff, since we’re not having a reception for them, but I don’t love the idea of writing “no gifts” on the invite.
What should we do?
Post # 3
People will likely want to bring you gifts. Just spread by word of mouth amongst your most vocal friends/mother/church ladies that no gifts are required, and graciously thank the people that end up bringing one anyway.
Post # 4
I like “your presence is gift enough”. Many bees will say addressing gifts at all on the invite is bad I disagree with that but I think it’s regional. If gift talk is normal in your group go with the above statement or something like it! 🙂
Post # 5
@ClassyKate: Sorry I’m no help (I did vote though!) but we are wanting to do the exact same thing as you after the ceremony. We want a nice restaurant, but arent sure where to start looking. Are you looking for Banquet rooms? Are you taking your photographer with you?
Post # 6
We are posting on our web site that we do not want gifts “the honor of yoiur presence is gift enough!”. The URL of our web site is on the Save-The-Date Cards and will be on the RSVP cards as well!
Post # 7
@sheepandbear: We made a list of restaurants that were known to have absolutely AMAZING food and inquired about their large-group capacities. My fiance and I don’t like the traditional look of a banquet hall, so to speak, we wanted more a private room in a restaurant. We ate a meal at our top two choices and picked a winner!
This is where we’re having our reception – as you can see, it’s pretty modern but I absolutely LOVE the look!
And yes, the photographer will be there for part of it. I think she’s arriving at my house at 10 AM, ceremony at 1 PM, reception at 4 PM and so she’ll stay until 6 PM or so 🙂
Post # 8
@ClassyKate: That is great you are offering light refreshments after the ceremony. I was reading to check, so you’re OK etiquette wise there!
The etiquette for gifts is simply to say nothing (until asked), certainly nothing printed. Even saying “no gifts” is presumptuous because it assumes you were going to get them in the first place. You can simply not to register anywhere, and then there will be someone undoubtedly who will ask where you are registered. You say to that person (after the ask you directly), we do not need anything. Then you let that get spread around by word of mouth.
Despite this, (or even if you go with the printed no gifts route), there will be people that will get you something. It’s unpreventable.
Lovely reception space!