Will a Reception Only Wedding Affect Turnout?

posted 2 years ago in Guests
Post # 31
Member
1613 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2019

If you really think that it’s supposed to be the happiest day of your lives at the expense of your guests, just elope and have a party somewhere comfortable and convenient for your guests. I would endure altitude sickness grudgingly for an actual wedding ceremony but I’d be salty about going all that way for just a party. I’m from sea level and it takes me a while to adjust to the altitude in addition to over hydration to avoid the worst of it. It sucks. And I’m healthy and young. 

Post # 32
Member
8006 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

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sharpshooter :  A lot of us aren’t criticizing her choice to plan a separate reception so much as we are the choice to possibly compromise the health of guests who “have heart issues, some that have athma, and others that are just not in great shape” to attend a reception on a mountain at 10,000 feet because they “don’t want to compromise our dream of having it on a mountain”.

Post # 33
Member
4410 posts
Honey bee

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beethree :  read the first page of the thread.  She hadn’t disclosed that yet.  It was people whining about how “the ceremony is the only part that they care about.”

Post # 34
Member
6800 posts
Busy Beekeeper

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rob31 :  your updates really change things a bit, in my opinion. I truly understand wanting a gorgeous mountaintop wedding. Seriously. I wanted that too, particularly after coming across a beautiful lake with the same name as the one I grew up on. Here’s the thing though: you have to decide if sharing the most important day of your life with those you love matters more or less than the scenery. 

We decided to give up on the dream. My mother in law has a bad heart. My mom and aunt/uncle can’t hike. My best friend had a baby and toddler. There is amazing scenery at lower altitudes. We found a new place so guests wouldn’t be snubbed or injured trying to spend time with us. 

I’d suggest either eloping and hosting a ‘meet the couple’ party at home later or finding a new location. It would pain me to lose the photos but would be worth it to share the day with those I love. 0-10000 is nothing to sneeze at. 

Post # 35
Member
2610 posts
Sugar bee

Your VIPs will probably come, and the people for whom it’s convenient. But people are less likely to travel or go out of their way for it. 

Not necessarily because people will be annoyed or insulted –  it’s just that celebrating someone’s marriage after the fact isn’t as significant as being invited to witness their vows and the moment they get married. Then it’s really just a party, not quite a wedding.

If the location of the ceremony is the priority for you, then go for it! It sounds beautiful. Just know that it won’t be as significant an event for your guests. It’ll be more like a big party and will be prioritized that way. 

Post # 36
Member
2610 posts
Sugar bee

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skunktastic :  “I’d suggest either eloping and hosting a ‘meet the couple’ party at home later”

Yes, this! If you have the reception in a more convenient location that will make more sense. Rather than inviting them halfway up the mountain, but not to the actual event. 

Post # 37
Member
2373 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2019

I totally get wanting a mountain-top wedding…I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t sad that the prettiest option the planning company we used wasn’t going to work out due to the hike/older family members. 

 

I do think that the kindest thing would be to do the family only/elopement ceremony on top of the mountain, and then either later that night or at some later point, have a party at a place that isn’t 10,000 ft in the air. Best of both worlds. 

Post # 38
Member
2710 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

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sharpshooter :  No one is whining. People are simply stating that they would not prioritize a reception only wedding if it wasn’t a) a super close friend/relative AND/OR b) convenient for them to get to. OP asked if her idea would reduce her turn out and it might. 

I have been to a wedding celebration before. The couple married the day before at the courthouse and had their celebration the next day. I went and loved it but would NOT have farther than 1 hr to be there for 4 hours.

ETA: I would also NOT have wanted to watch the ceremony video b/c the moment had already passed… I just need to say this again OP… DONT show a video.

Post # 39
Member
992 posts
Busy bee

Wouldn’t bother me a bit.  A close friend of mine had a reception only wedding (her ceremony was private with just the bride + groom and parents) and she had a great turn out.  I think more people were bent out of shape that it was child-free.  

Post # 40
Member
14160 posts
Honey Beekeeper

Contrary to what many people are telling you there is nothing contrary to etiquette about your plan, “even” in the US. With the exception of an open to the public congregational ceremony, what’s considered rude here is to invite people to a ceremony and not to the reception. Or to have a tiered list for ceremony and reception that is anything beyond immediate family. But there are many reasons a couple may choose to have a private ceremony. Historically, tiny churches were one such reason. Personally, I think it’s even ruder to invite people to a destination event. 

From Miss Manners:

“Miss Manners is afraid that it is true that people once invited guests to a wedding ceremony only, enclosing reception cards for the people with whom they wished to celebrate as well. She does not believe that the fact of this being an old-fashioned custom cancels out its rudeness.

It is also true that there is a new custom of guests who are invited to both skipping the ceremony, as they are more interested in the party than the marriage. This being a current custom does not cancel out its rudeness.

However, there is an old custom of holding a private ceremony and inviting guests only to the reception. In the past or in the present, Miss Manners finds that acceptable.”

 

Post # 42
Member
2710 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

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rob31 :  This is purely my own opinion but live streams and videos lose the magic. There is something about the physically palpable love and excitement of a ceremony that video (even live) won’t capture so I wouldn’t watch. I am also very athletic and would be disappointed that I didn’t get to see it in person based on the assessment of my fitness.  

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