Post # 1
My fiance and I have always talked about a small wedding, big reception. I have a big family and the thought of taking my vows in front of hundreds of people makes me have a panic attack. We just wanted immediate family there and then when it’s time to let loose at the reception, everybody can come. However, my fiance’s mother has since contacted their family on the other side of the country and told them about our wedding for next April. (not knowing that when we said “small wedding”, we meant NO aunts/uncles, cousins, etc). Now she’s saying that she didn’t know they couldn’t come to the actual ceremony and they probably won’t come now if they are just going to go to the reception. Here’s my dilemma: having a huge wedding that everybody can attend, and me being a freaked out bride with hives… or NOT having a huge wedding, sticking to the immediate family and offending his family by not inviting the out-of-towners to the ceremony and potentially risking them not coming at all. (which would disappoint my fiance and his mother). I could invite his family from out of town but that would offend my extended family that was not invited… HELP.
Post # 3
@shanana1925: I don’t attend weddings where I am cut out of the ceremony. I don’t go to weddings for dancing and food, I go to see an exchange of vows.
The only time I find it acceptable is when it’s a destination wedding and the bride and groom chose to be married far away.
Post # 4
What if you had the small, intimate marriage ceremony and the larger reception on two different days? That might drive home the point that the two events are separate – one for immediate family and the other for everyone to celebrate the recent marriage.
Post # 5
@mwitter80: So you’re saying that the only time somebody can have a small, private wedding is to have a destination wedding? These family-only weddings have become very common. If there are people who don’t understand that we want the cut the costs and stress of a big wedding, then I really don’t care if they attend or not. If my family loves me, they will support whatever decision we end up making.
Post # 6
@shanana1925: Well, if you don’t really care if they attend or not because they don’t understand, have the wedding your way.
I don’t understand what the big deal is. On one side you say you don’t care if they come, and on the other, it matter SOOO much.
And your theory on cutting costs of the “big wedding” are kinda backwards. The “big wedding” costs actually stem from the reception most of the time, NOT the wedding ceremony itself. Just FYI.
Post # 7
Try to find a venue with a capacity of the ceremony size you want. You can then use that as your reasoning to avoid hurting feelings.
I chose a ceremony venue that only holds 60 people. When people have inquired as to why they can’t come to the ceremony, I simply tell them that I found my dream venue, but the price was that we couldn’t have everyone we wanted there, and I hope they’ll still be able to celebrate our day at the reception.
Everyone has been very understanding, and I’ve heard nothing of hurt feelings.
Post # 8
If you have them on separate days, sure. If I was only invited to the reception, I probably wouldn’t come. I feel the same way about inviting people to the ceremony but not the reception.
Post # 9
@shanana1925: I’m in kind of the same boat. My fiance and I have chosen to have a really small ceremony (us, our immediate family, and extremely close friends – it will be about ~20 people). To start including aunts, uncles, cousins would immediately bump it up to over 100 people.
My fiance and I are incredibly private people who hate being in front of large groups… so the thought of a very small ceremony with only those absolutely closest to us was most appealing. I mean, in the past when I have had to get in front of such groups – I get anxiety to near panic attack levels! I just want to enjoy my wedding to my fiance without that stress. I don’t think that’s too much to ask. We will just have a large reception with everyone we care about where we can socialize with everyone in a more intimate way.
I think the best advice I can give you is just to go with what would make you most comfortable for the ceremony. If it gives you much anxiety (as it does with me), then why – on one of the most meaningful days of your life – would you want to put yourself through all of that stress?
If we have guests that get miffed and choose not to attend because they weren’t invited to the ceremony… I’m not sure I’ll know what to say. I’ll be sad that they didn’t come, that’s for sure. All I can say is that in my mind the ceremony is completely about the couple – and if the couple is the type to want something small and very intimate, then they should have it that way. The receptions I have been to in the past have just been a celebration of the marriage – so you’re inviting people to celebrate with you. I don’t understand why you wouldn’t want to go and celebrate the wedding of people you care about, even if you didn’t experience the ceremony. It wouldn’t bother me at all to be invited to the reception alone.
Post # 10
I am going to echo the “having the events on different days.” I wouldn’t come if I couldn’t go to the ceremony as well (if it was on the same day)
Post # 11
Hi sweetheart, my suggestion is not to be bullied by any one else’s pressure. I think it can be selfish if people put across the energy purely that if they don’t come to everything they aren’t going at all; they should be there to celebrate your love and support you unconditionally. I have been honoured to be a part of anyone’s day however big or small and an having an intimate wedding myself. I would ask the mum who invited them in the first place to appologise and just explain to her family that she misunderstood, and now that if you felt pressure in invite all of yours too the budget etc would spiral too. There’s other ways to involve people; like how about a party the night before too, an informal family barbecueaims something of a semi family reunion to let everyone see one another, share the excitement and have even more reason to make the trip, then keep the ceremony intimate as you wish and invite everyone to the evening as you had always planned! You could also look at doing something else as a family the next day if it suited you; or involving them in another way.. Get a and day edit of your wedding video and show clips at the reception or like me, have a handfasting and get everyone to put a prayer into the cord before its tied; something do they still feel apart of everything and treasured without compromising your fairytale. Love and light for you; evetyrhing will work out for the divine highest good of you and yr hubby 🙂
Post # 12
My suggestion…have your small private ceremony, maybe have a nice family dinner in a nice restaurant…in April. In the summer, say August, have a big party to celebrate your wedding, invite everyone. Don’t have a ceremony or if you do, a short, sweet vow renewel, few minutes. Don’t wear your dress again (or do if you really want to!), wear something more casual. Don’t make it a monstrous stressful event, just make it a celebration! If people truly want to celebrate your love and marriage, they will be there for you!
My brother and his wife did this, because she is military, they needed to get married sooner than later for her transfer papers. So they had a courthouse ceremony, a quiet dinner, then flew to Costa Rica for 2 weeks after, in eary 2011. In septepmber, they had a huge cookout potluck gathering, a breif vow renewal, and cake etc. It was really cool, even though we all knew they were already married, our families flew in from all over to be there to celebrate THEM. I think it’s all in how you put it out there.