(Closed) Pre-wedding saturday “reception” + tuesday evening small ceremony

posted 8 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
1048 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2009 - City Hall

I dunno about offensive, but if your relatives/friends who aren’t invited to the ceremony are anything like mine and Mr. MJ’s, they might be a little confused about why they dont’ get to go to the ceremony. So be prepared for questions about that. You could even use the ol “Didn’t want to inconvenience anyone on a work night!” excuse.

(This is coming from a bee whose wedding was on a Wednesday afternoon.)

As far as wording…the key here is to be direct AND vague. You don’t want anyone to think you’re getting married on Saturday and expect a ceremony. But you also don’t want people to show up on Saturday thinking it’s just a pre-party for the super-fun Tuesday party they’re surely invited to! KnowwhatImean?

You want to say youre “celebrating your marriage” or that people are “invited to celebrate your upcoming nuptials at a party…” something like that. On ours, we also mentioned that we’d be married in a ‘private ceremony’ on xx date.

Here’s a link to mine… the difference being that our party was the Saturday after our weekday wedding.


Actually, you might be interested to poke through my recaps – your wedding plan sounds a lot like our wedding, right down to the intimate cake cutting, and the barbecue extended-family/friends reception. 🙂

Anyway I hope that helps! And I think it’s really sweet that you are getting married on your grandma’s bday.

Post # 4
491 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

I think it’s completely fine to seperate the wedding and reception, as long as your guests are clear about it.  Also, it’s a little weird to me to have a “pre-party” versus an “after-party.”  Why not celebrate the Saturday after so guest can congratulate you on your recent wedding?

Post # 7
3049 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 1991

I don’t think you’ll have a problem having two separate events. Although, I’m not sure how to word it for a “pre” wedding celebration. My friend had a destination wedding and a few months afterwards we got these invitations for a post-wedding celebration. It was something like: “You’re invited to celebrate the wedding of Jane & John” “This is a  post wedding reception” Or something. Anyway, if you talk to a stationer, they will probably know the best wording and etiquette.

Post # 8
1871 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: February 2011

Yes, I think some people would be offended (whether they SHOULD be is another issue) and I know this because we had our wedding separate from the reception and some people were offended. 

People are less likely to be offended a) if your wedding is VERY exclusive and very cut-and-dry in terms of who’s invited–that means “family only” or “family and one bosom buddy only” and b) if your events are far apart. I think that the close proximity of your reception and your ceremony AND, moreover, the fact that you are having your party before the marriage are going to pose problems. For one, if you will not have been married yet, people might be a little confused as to what they’re really celebrating–and, despite your best intentions, the fact that they’ll be celebrating prior to the main event might push the focus onto gifts and suggest that you’re only doing it to receive gifts (in part because having it prior to the wedding makes it reminiscent of a shower, more than a reception). Plus, you also risk the probability of your wedding guests talking about details related to a ceremony that the party guests aren’t going to be invited to–for whatever reason, people seem more likely to be offended hearing about an event that will take place in the future than one that’s already passed. 

My advice would be to move the celebration to the Saturday following the marriage. If you’re going on honeymoon or something, don’t worry about moving it to some weekend after you come back. 

Either way–even if you can’t move it to the weekend following–the wording “a reception celebrating the upcoming marriage of” or something to that effect should make it clear. Also avoid the more formal “honor of your presence.” 

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