Etiquette

Registries for courthouse wedding?

Our wedding budget recently plummeted and we're switching plans to small courthouse or something similar, down from 100+ intended guests at a chapel. We have no specific plans yet and I have no clue how courthouse weddings are supposed to go, or what other super-cheap options we could have. I know that kind of topic for the most part is for other boards but the point is: If we get married in a courthouse (or whatever) with just a handful of friends and family, and then have some kind of reception later which we can hopefully invite more people to, is it wrong to have gift and/or honeymoon registries? If not wrong, is there a specific way to do that?
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Re: Registries for courthouse wedding?

  • If you still want a bigger reception later, why not wait to get married?  

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  • redheadfsuredheadfsu
    2500 Comments
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    edited March 2012
    1. Small ceremony means no registry. Or a tiny one (less things then people at ceremony).

    2. Everyone at the reception must be invited to the ceremony. Unless it is only immediate family and by this I mean only parents, siblings, and grandparents. No friends.

    ETA: honeymoon registries are ALWAYS rude. As you are lying and being rude.
    1. They take a cut of the money. You get less money then the guest intented
    2. Your Aunt will actually think she bought that sightseeing tour, not cash.
    3. You are basically just asking for cash. Asking for cash is rude.

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  • If you don't have the money for a ceremony and reception now, just wait until you do to get married.  Or, get married now with the courthouse ceremony and take your handful of guests to dinner.
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  • Anyone invited to the reception must also be invited to the ceremony and vice versa.  Therefore, your idea of inviting more people to a later reception would be an etiquette faux pas.

    Also, honeymoon registeries are considered rude because its the same as asking for cash. That's exactly what you'd being doing - registering for money and your guests shouldn't feel obligated to fund your vacation. If you are having a small wedding, you can either a) have a small registry at a department store or b) not register at all. 

    Lots of people don't register (we aren't).  Not registering is also an acceptable hint that cash is preferred.
  • I could have had a wedding for 150 people for $300. No, for $400. My church and officiant are free, and there's a hall for a cake and punch reception. I've priced cake and punch and plates and forks and napkins and cups at less than $2/person. The other $100 I almost forgot was about $80 for the marriage license.

    I don't know your connections to officiants and spaces that can hold 100 people. [If for some reason my church didn't work, there's a few other friends I could call that would let us use their house or office or whatever for free.] But it is possible to have a very cheap, but rather large, wedding.
  • You need to host people after your ceremony - even if you get married at a courthouse and even if it's only parents and siblings and even if you're just taking them to lunch.
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  • In Response to Registries for courthouse wedding?:
    Our wedding budget recently plummeted and we're switching plans to small courthouse or something similar, down from 100+ intended guests at a chapel. We have no specific plans yet and I have no clue how courthouse weddings are supposed to go, or what other super-cheap options we could have. I know that kind of topic for the most part is for other boards but the point is: If we get married in a courthouse (or whatever) with just a handful of friends and family, and then have some kind of reception later which we can hopefully invite more people to, is it wrong to have gift and/or honeymoon registries? If not wrong, is there a specific way to do that?
    Posted by ShadowCutter
    Also, did you already send out Save the Dates for the 100+ wedding? I was just wondering because you said you had original plans, and if you did STDs, you should invite everyone who got an STD to the wedding. It would be rude not to after telling them to, well, save the date. 

    If not, then you're fine to change plans and downsize your GL. Ditto PPs. 
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  • Take the few guests who attend your ceremony to lunch or dinner after the ceremony.

    No honeymoon registries but I would make a small personal registry.  Quite often people want to send a gift and without a registry,  you could wind up with awful vases or lamps because they didn't know what you like
  • KimmyzncKimmyznc
    100 Comments
    member
    edited March 2012
    I know someone who did a honeymoon registry... there was even an option for "buying a round of drinks for the newlyweds" for about $40. I found it a little strange personally.
  • In Response to Re: Registries for courthouse wedding?:
    In Response to Re: Registries for courthouse wedding? : I don't think she was saying that she gave anything to the HR or that she thought it was a good idea.  She said she saw it and thought it strange.
    Posted by monkeysip
    Ugh. Yes, I was saying that I thought it was weird. Meaning that I do not really agree with honeymoon registeries. I read the thread. 
  • I've been to a few receptions where the bride and groom were married in Hawaii or on a cruise or something, but wanted to have something where their friends and family could celebrate with them, so they had a local reception. I didn't see anything wrong with that. Half the time, people only show up to the reception anyway.
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  • Feel free to listen to the advice above, but I'll represent the other side of this.  I see nothing wrong with a small ceremony group for a courthouse wedding and then a larger reception, as long as the small ceremony group is truly very small.  The family-friends distinction makes no difference; I'm closer to most of my friends than all of my family.  My boyfriend and I are planning to do exactly that this October -- a courthouse ceremony that will have our 4 parents, 2 siblings, and our 2 best friends (a married couple).  Then, a reception a few hours later with 100 people.

    This isn't rude.  Your reception will be a celebration of your recent wedding, which you are throwing and paying for, and which people will be happy to attend.  (If not, screw 'em!)  And you can register as anyone else would, because it's not about whether you "deserve" a registry by having your wedding the "right" way.  People want to give you gifts, so you should help them out! 

    The problem I do see is if the ceremony group is a BIG percentage of your reception group, so that it really looks like you went through your whole guest list and just played favorites.  Like, 25 people at the ceremony and just 25 more at the reception - I agree that would be rude.  But where you draw the line is a judgment call.
  • In Response to Re: Registries for courthouse wedding?:
    I've been to a few receptions where the bride and groom were married in Hawaii or on a cruise or something, but wanted to have something where their friends and family could celebrate with them, so they had a local reception. I didn't see anything wrong with that. Half the time, people only show up to the reception anyway.
    Posted by EsmeGrumble
    Umm no.
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  • In Response to Re: Registries for courthouse wedding?:
    In Response to Registries for courthouse wedding? : Also, did you already send out Save the Dates for the 100+ wedding? I was just wondering because you said you had original plans, and if you did STDs, you should invite everyone who got an STD to the wedding. It would be rude not to after telling them to, well, save the date.  If not, then you're fine to change plans and downsize your GL. Ditto PPs. 
    Posted by em01092
    No we haven't done any of that yet
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  • In Response to Re: Registries for courthouse wedding?:
    I don't think you have to do this.  Have an afternoon ceremony followed by a cake and punch reception at the same location.  You can use a park  with a shelter, like my sister did.  You don't need alcohol, dancing, DJs, favors, aisle runners, etc.  Just cut the cake and socialize with people.  This is a very proper, traditional wedding.  Does the chapel you were planning on using have a basement or hall you could use for a reception like this?
    Posted by CMGr
    Yeah the chapel we had was for ceremony and reception. I was thinking about a park but I'm not sure of parks around here with a good shelter thing. I will look though.
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  • In Response to Re: Registries for courthouse wedding?:
    I agree Edie.  But she said that family and friends woudl be invited to the ceremony.  As soon as you invite one friend, I feel it enters the rude camp.
    Posted by crfb87
    Well that was the original idea, but that's why I'm asking about it here. I mean the *original* idea was a regular ceremony+reception wedding with around 100-120 guests, and now that we have to go smaller I'm trying to find a way to have a small cheap wedding and still invite people to something. So we were talking about courthouse wedding and then reception later but we didn't actually discuss who would be invited to the courthouse wedding. And I'd rather have a cheap outdoor wedding than an actual courthouse one anyway.
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  • In Response to Re: Registries for courthouse wedding?:
    I've been to a few receptions where the bride and groom were married in Hawaii or on a cruise or something, but wanted to have something where their friends and family could celebrate with them, so they had a local reception. I didn't see anything wrong with that. Half the time, people only show up to the reception anyway.
    Posted by EsmeGrumble
    Heh we can't do that kind of thing, unless we combined the ceremony with the honeymoon; but I was invited to the reception of someone who'd had a private family-only ceremony. I didn't go but I didn't think it was rude. What if we called it a party or something instead of a reception? Even though everyone will know it's an after-wedding party, even if it's a few months later.
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  • If we do whatever small/cheap wedding we can then we should have enough for the honeymoon, so we don't need to register for that anyway. I was just asking about it because my friend suggested it.
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