Post # 1
Hello! Newly engaged and first time poster here…
My fiance is from Tennessee and I’m from Texas, where we live now. We want to have a huge party of a reception where we can celebrate with all our friends and family, but dont want to wait to be married. Sappy, I know. 🙂
We are thinking of doing a private ceremony at his dad’s farm in TX in Oct with my parents, 1 set of my grandparetns, my sister/her longtime bf, his dad and siblings/their spouses (15 people) and then the huge party of a reception (200+) in TX in March.
While I’m not really worried about offending people in TX, since it’ll literally be immediate family at the ceremony in TN and it’ll ensure that all his siblings can be there, I’m concerned that people will think it odd (or not even come) because of the time between the ceremony and reception. Side note, the reception is not about gifts, I’m 34, he’s 44 and we’ve both been married before. The invites will say something along the lines of, “Your presence is our present”.
Please share your thoughts, but be kind as I’m already overthinking it! Thanks in advance!
Post # 2
- Wedding: September 2017 - Poppy Ridge Golf Course
You can skip the cheesy your presence is our present line, call it a marriage celebration instead of reception. Otherwise I personally wouldn’t mind this but there will always be people who do and may not want to attend. On the other hand I really don’t see how waiting an extra five months would kill you. Its not like you’re saving money since the party/reception is whats expensive and you plan on inviting 200+ people. 🤔 Edit: btw 15 people is not a private ceremony its an intimate wedding. Private would be the two of you which would make more sense.
Post # 3
I don’t really get the point. These people aren’t important enough for you to want to invite to the wedding, why bother inviting them to a consolation party? If having them there was important you’d make it work. Even though you say it’s not about gifts it still comes off that way.
Post # 4
There is a lot of confusion about this. Etiquette has no issue with an intimate ceremony and a larger, delayed reception. It’s the reverse that’s not condoned.
The only time I’d hesitate is if the two events were on the same day and you were asking people to fly in, or if you planned to invite a larger group to the ceremony. You’re fine on both counts. There are any number of reasons why a small ceremony might be necessary or preferred.
Post # 5
heavenlyflower : I absolutely agree with the celebration of our marriage instead of reception. While not the reason for having the celebration later, we would be able to save up quite a bit and plan something very nice for us and our friends/extended family in the 8 months from now to March.
In reality, it wouldn’t kill us to wait 5 months, we just dont want to as we aren’t getting any younger and want to start our lives together. This is the second marriage for both of us and we are ecstatic about the love we have found. My overthinking mind thought people may not come because of the time between the events and I really appreciate you sharing your thoughts. 🙂
Post # 6
jellybellynelly : I’m not sure why you would feel that it’s a consolation party and like it’s about gifts when we will specifically ask our guests to not give us anything. We love each other and want to be married now, hence the intimate ceremony, and we also want to celebrate with our friends, hence the wait to host the celebration until we have sufficient time to plan for it. If you dont mind, please elaborate so I can understand how I’m coming off as not wanting to invite everyone and just wanting gifts?
weddingmaven : Thank you for your thoughts and respectful presentation of them! We do have several reasons for considering/having an intimate ceremony that I wont list here (no, we’re not pregnant, but may want to try and make it where we can announce that at the celebration in March!) and I appreciate your noting ettiquite as I’m new to this and am trying to learn! 🙂
Post # 7
I sort of get it. It’s like a destination wedding where you invite your VIPs but then have a big reception back home. That is reasonable for most people I think.
I agree with PP though that it’s not really a private ceremony. You’re going to have 15 people there with you watching you say your vows. That counts.
Post # 8
craigslistgirl : Thank you!
I’m torn bc I really want a large celebration with our friends/family and I know that will take time to plan out. But when it comes down to it I know that us being married is really what it’s all about and I don’t want to wait on that part. It’s apparent that I used the incorrect term with private and will refer to it as intimate from now on. 🙂 I just didn’t want to do the intimate ceremony and to be all excited about our celebration, but others not be as excited. I do know that if they are true friends they will be excited no matter what, I guess I just needed reassurance of such.
Post # 9
You may not want gifts, but I believe people will see it as a gift grab. It’s not like you’re inviting them all to TN and later hosting an even for those who can’t make it. You’re waiting 5 months for a celebration, to an event that they weren’t invited to- but 15 people were.
Post # 10
So I voted for the first option because of my background and the fact that I hadn’t read your post prior to voting. In my culture, it is normal to have an intimate ceremony followed by a large reception. However the ceremony and reception occur on the same day. So if I were invited to a reception only, I wouldn’t think twice. Frankly, I’d rather have skipped all of the ceremonies I’ve been to anyways, no matter the culture.
But also being honest, I find the fact that you’re planning on a reception so long after being married strange. I’d be more understanding if you had an elopement and did a reception immediately after. But you’re not. So I don’t know if I’d see your reception as a wedding celebration as much as a nice party. A 5 month anniversary party.
Post # 11
- Wedding: March 2017 - Outside in Paris
Have a party. Don’t call it a reception. Receptions are for the people you invite to the wedding.
Post # 12
being totally honest here: I’d only go if it was at a really fancy or fun place and I knew it’d have alcohol. Since it’s not the real wedding in my mind it’s more like a birthday party so I’m not compelled to go if I have better things to do.
Post # 13
People can split hairs but fifteen people is still just immediate family any way you look at it. OP’s delayed party is both polite and acceptable. You’d call it a celebration of marriage as opposed to a wedding reception. It is no more gift grabbing than any other party.
As usual, it’s improper to have any mention of gifts on an invitation, even “no gifts.” You are not even supposed to be thinking in those terms.
People will either attend or they won’t. PPs may be correct that you may get some attrition if people know they are not attending a wedding. But there is nothing wrong with what OP wants to do.
Post # 14
I know people who have had simple courthouse weddings or elopements and then had a celebration party after. I’m not sure that it is something travel a long distance for–more something that occurs with loved ones back home.
Post # 15
jagray : I prioritize celebration of marriages/receptions only differently than an actual wedding. I’m not too big into celebrating an event I wasn’t invited to in the first place but I might go if it were local (less than an hour drive) and if there was lots of other friends/family that I knew there. I’m not going to make it a high priority though, like a wedding. I sometimes work on weekends and I wouldn’t take a weekend off to go to one, (like I would a wedding) and I definitely wouldn’t travel for one. (like I would a wedding)