(Closed) You can come to the reception only

posted 11 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
8246 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2010

How much “later on” is the reception?  Could you not send out invites for it until after the wedding and then make the reception invites like wedding annoucements and ask them to come celebrate with you at the reception?

Post # 4
1351 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

To be brutally honest- people will be offended.

But, this is your and your FI’s decision. If you’re going to do this, then stick to your guns. It’s your choice. No matter what, people always get offended.

Is the reception the same day?

I wouldn’t even mention the ceremony, I would say something like “Join us in celebrating the union (or w/e you want to say) of X and X at (insert date and time)”

If anyone asks about the ceremony, say exactly what you posted here- that is for parents and siblings only. And if I were you, to avoid offending anyone on either side of the family, don’t make excpetions- just keep it parents and siblings.

Post # 5
755 posts
Busy bee

I wouldn’t mention the ceremony at all. I would just word the invitations with something like: “Join us is celebration of the marriage of Bride and Groom” and then just put the reception details. And just have your families spread the word that you will actually be getting married in an intimate ceremony sometime before the reception.

Why don’t you want everyone to attend the wedding ceremony?

Post # 6
1449 posts
Bumble bee

I wonder the same thing, is “much later on” later on in the evening or later on in the month/year?  If its later in the month/year, I would send out marriage announcements and an invitation to the reception.

Post # 7
414 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

Would they be more offended by a secular ceremony or by not being invited to witness vows being exchanged at all?

Post # 9
8246 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2010

@PinkPinstripes: I have to disagree with you there.  My Fiance and I were recently invited to an intimate ceremony with a bigger reception that evening.  Fiance and I were included in the ceremony but many of our friends were reception only.  These people were actually glad to just have reception invites – actually prefered that option.  They still got to celebrate with the bride and groom on their big day.

Post # 10
1585 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2010

I would rather go to the reception then both. I am not religious and I find ceremonys boring. I even want ours over with ASAP

This is my invite wording

Mishellee Z********
Nick *******                                                                                                                 Will be married at a private beach ceremony
on the 5th of November
2010 Nassau, Bahamas

Please join them
for a celebration filled with drinks, dinner & dancing                                                on 27th of November
Wyndham Portland Airport
Portland, Maine

Post # 11
2419 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

oK, I got to co-shoot one back in 2007 and it was amazing! They had a small and intimate wedding with family only. Afterwards they did a family only brunch.  That evening around 7pm they hosted a huge, 200+ person black tie affair.

Never ONCE did I hear anything negative. Everyone was so excited to be there, there was nothing but well wishes, there was happiness, excitement, and joy all around.  In between the ceremony and 2nd reception we did a quick edit and had a slideshow playing of the ceremony. Guests loved it! 

I’m going to PM you the link to the old old post, so you can maybe start to visualize it a little more 🙂 If you have any logistical questions, feel free to ask.


Post # 12
13 posts
  • Wedding: May 2009

Now my turn to be brutally honest:

1) This is not about what other people want.

I’ve always felt that other people place way too much importance on what /they/ think is appropriate for someone else’s wedding. It’s not about them, it’s about what you and your fiance want. It’s not their decision. You’re an adult and you aren’t going to make your wedding–or your life, for that matter–into what they want it to be. This is your chance to set boundaries and parameters for your relationship with his family. If you don’t start setting them now, it will just be more difficult later on, for example, when you have children.

2) You are doing /nothing wrong/ with what you have planned.

That said, however, I think you are giving his family too much control over your special day–you are so afraid of them–and also you aren’t giving them a fair chance. I would be a little upset if I were them at not being invited at all to the ceremony. I understand you don’t want them to come because it’s secular, but I think they should at least be given the option. If they choose to be offended that it’s secular, then they don’t have to go. If being offended by that is more important than seeing their son get married, well, at least you tried.

3) Yeah, they’ll probably be offended. But, on the other hand, who cares?

My husband and I had a ceremony in Vegas with only my parents, his parents, and my sister. We had a glorious reception back home three months later and it was wonderful! Everyone had such a nice time and there was nothing to be offended about.

4) They will deal and get over it.

My parents who are strict Catholics. They asked early on if it would be Catholic. I said no because my husband and I are not religious, and having a religious wedding is not appropriate for either of us. They never said anything again, and they had a great time at the wedding, anyway, my mom even gave us a beautiful toast at dinner that really surprised me. In the end, their own desires for what my wedding should be did not matter because they were just happy for us. I’m sure the same will happen with his family once they see that they will not control what you are doing.

5) Wording the invitations is easy.

Whether or not your ceremony is right before or after your reception, it is very easy to word the invitation. On our invitation, we just requested the pleasure of their company at our wedding reception. I can give you the exact text, if you want, in a private message.

Post # 14
1351 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

@Mrs.KMM: I can see how people would like that.

I just meant that the OP was already anticipating opposition from family members and my response was meant to say that no matter what you do, there always seems to be somebody offended.

Post # 15
8246 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2010

@PinkPinstripes: Ah – got it!  Yeah – it definitely seems like with so many things you’re damned if you do, damned if you don’t.  Can never please everyone!

Post # 16
1300 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

actually i dont think anyone will be offended at this – ive been to many of weddings that had a small private ceremony before hand (even the same day!) and threw a large wedding. mostly it was a compromise with the couple because one wanted a small wedding and one wanted a large, so they had teh ceremony with only immediate family then the reception with everyone.

doing it the way you are doing it, private ceremony and public large reception is acceptable. however doing a public ceremony and private reception is rude. (basically you can watch us be married but you arent important enough to feed)

so i wouldnt worry about it.

just word it like one of the bees said before “come celebrate our union at blah blah” or something along those lines.

they need not know anythign about your ceremony really.

and also some religions actually insist on small ceremonies with just immediate family so i wouldnt be concerned with that either.

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