Post # 1
I am in need of help with my wedding invitation wording. We are having a 3pm Catholic ceremony in the afternoon with a reception immediately to follow at a location across town. After the cocktail hour and before dinner, we wil be having an informal exchange of vows ceremony with my fiance’s father officiating. My fiance is not religious and he wants his views represented on our wedding day as well as mine and thus we are doing a second ceremony.
How can we word this for the invitation? We will probably include wording on the reception card, something to the effect of “at sunset we will exchange personal vows, followed by dinner and dancing etc” but I have a few problems with the details. I don’t want people to be confused and wonder why the two ceremonies are happening and not just the standard one. So I don’t know how to make it clear and concise. I also don’t know how to word the timing of the ceremony and don’t want people to think there is a huge gap in time during the day – there isn’t. Lastly, I don’t want people to be lazy and avoid the Catholic wedding because there will just be another one later – I want all of the guests to attend both!
Post # 3
You can consider doing it the old-fashioned way.
In the olden times, brides used to have an invitation to the church wedding, and then on a separate card that was about a half or a quarter of the size of the invitation would be the reception card. On this second card, you can write
“Reception to follow” in a larger font, and then in a smaller font, centered below,
Personal vows at sunset
Dinner & Dancing
People are going to be there for cocktails – they’re not going to disappear. You have a captive audience, so to speak – they want their dinner!
I don’t think you need to go into too much detail in the invitation because there is always the risk that people will skip the Catholic ceremony, so keep it somewhat of a mystery. On the other hand, I don’t think people will be too confused when it starts happening. Your FI’s father will probably say something like “And now, we gather to hear Jane and John exchange vows they have written themselves.” Anyone who doesn’t get it by that point is never going to get it, so don’t worry.
Post # 4
@Lapeaudesoie:Very helpful, thanks for the good wording!
Post # 5
A two ceremony solution is not a real option. The idea is that when you say your vows you make the marriage happen. Anything that would cast doubt on whether this moment or some other moment was the real expression of consent can cause many problems, so it is not allowed by the Catholic church. I guess the idea is that when you say “I DO” you mean it and you aren’t supposed to turn around a few hours or days from that say, oh never mind now I really mean I DO. This is how a preist explained this to us when we considered two ceremonies.
Post # 6
@HisBride2Bee: I think if you make it clear that you are already married, but have more to say to each other, there is nothing wrong with exchanging personal vows. It’s not like you are getting married twice.
Post # 7
@jedeve: I was just mentioning how it was explained to me and my fiance when we considered doing something similar