• Images
  • Text
  • Find a Couple + Registry
GO
Etiquette

Super small reception - Qs about bridal registry/shower & church invites

edited October 2013 in Etiquette
Hi everyone!

I would like your advice because I am unsure on how to proceed. My fiancé and I have decided not to have a huge wedding venue blowout for tens of thousands of dollars… we have been playing around with the idea of just a very small intimate dinner with immediate family and best friends after church. I have a few questions because I don't know what ettiquette says (hence why I am posting this!):
  • How do the bridal registry and shower work? Do I still register? Do I still have a bridal shower? If so, who comes? Can I invite most of the people I was going to invite to the reception even though they're not coming to the wedding dinner?
  • Do I send invites to everyone for the church?
  • AND will the bridal registry/shower and church invites be seen as innapropriate/offense and us just asking for money/gifts? Even though it's not - it's to include everyone in celebrating our big day even though they will not be there for the dinner.
Please note that NO PLANS HAVE BEEN MADE. This is purely just discussion between me and my fiancee. We will take everyone's suggestions into consideration and figure out what the best compromise is for us. As stated above, the idea is to NOT be rude/offensive/innapropriate in whatever we choose to do, which is why I am asking for simple advice.

Thanks!
Daniela
«1

Re: Super small reception - Qs about bridal registry/shower & church invites

  • manateehuggermanateehugger member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    edited October 2013
    mdrwrl said:
    Hi everyone!

    I really need your help because I have no idea how to proceed. My fiancé and I have decided not to have a wedding reception, just a very small intimate dinner with immediate family after church. I have a few questions because I don't know what ettiquette says:
    • How do the bridal registry and shower work? Do I still register? Do I still have a bridal shower? If so, who comes? Can I invite most of the people I was going to invite to the reception even though they're not coming to the wedding dinner?
    • Do I send invites to everyone for the church?
    • AND will the bridal registry/shower and church invites be seen as innapropriate/offense and us just asking for money/gifts? Even though it's not - it's to include everyone in celebrating our big day even though they will not be there for the dinner.
    Thanks!
    Daniela





    Is your wedding ceremony going to be immediate family only? You must host some sort of reception for anyone who attends your ceremony. It can be very simple, like cake and punch, but you must host something for anyone at the ceremony. There are no "church invites" unless you mean you're putting an announcement in the bulletin. But if you are mailing something to someone, you have formally invited them and must host them after the wedding. 

    You have a bridal shower only if someone offers to host a shower for you. In which case, yes, you would register. However, only people invited to the wedding AND reception should be invited to your bridal shower. The only exception to this rule is if someone from your church hosts an informal shower for you for which the guests know it is a church shower and they will not be invited to the wedding - but I personally don't even like this exception. 

    You send invites to everyone at your church if you are planning on feeding everyone at your church dinner. Otherwise, no, because you aren't willing to host them. 

    And yes, if you invite someone to just a bridal shower or just a ceremony, it will look like you are just hoping for gifts. You must host a reception for anyone who attends your reception. 
    image
    KeptInStitchesBlue_BirdPrettyGirlLostnmsa
  • doeydodoeydo Southwestern Ontario member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    Question- are you having lots of people at the ceremony and then only a select few to dinner (which would be your reception)?  If so, that is rude, IMO.  If you are just saying "Hey guys, the B&G will be going to Rudy's Restaurant after the ceremony if anyone wants to join them" then that is ok, I guess.  But if I were you, I would only have a small guest list for the whole wedding or host the entire large guest list for the entire wedding day.
    As for registering, you can register for a few things if you want and someone might still offer to throw you a shower (don't plan/host your own shower or pre-wedding parties).  The people who would be invited should be close female friends and family members (or men and women if you want a joint shower).  I would not invite the majority of the guest list.  
    Yes, you need to send invites.
    Some people might be offended because they aren't important enough for your private dinner but they are apparently good enough to come to a shower and get you a gift....
    mdrwrl said:
    Hi everyone!

    I really need your help because I have no idea how to proceed. My fiancé and I have decided not to have a wedding reception, just a very small intimate dinner with immediate family after church. I have a few questions because I don't know what ettiquette says:
    • How do the bridal registry and shower work? Do I still register? Do I still have a bridal shower? If so, who comes? Can I invite most of the people I was going to invite to the reception even though they're not coming to the wedding dinner?
    • Do I send invites to everyone for the church?
    • AND will the bridal registry/shower and church invites be seen as innapropriate/offense and us just asking for money/gifts? Even though it's not - it's to include everyone in celebrating our big day even though they will not be there for the dinner.
    Thanks!
    Daniela

    image
  • mdrwrl said:
    Hi everyone!

    I really need your help because I have no idea how to proceed. My fiancé and I have decided not to have a wedding reception, just a very small intimate dinner with immediate family after church. I have a few questions because I don't know what ettiquette says:
    • How do the bridal registry and shower work? Do I still register? Do I still have a bridal shower? If so, who comes? Can I invite most of the people I was going to invite to the reception even though they're not coming to the wedding dinner?
    • Do I send invites to everyone for the church?
    • AND will the bridal registry/shower and church invites be seen as innapropriate/offense and us just asking for money/gifts? Even though it's not - it's to include everyone in celebrating our big day even though they will not be there for the dinner.
    Thanks!
    Daniela
    Why aren't you having a reception?  
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    doeydo
  • mdrwrl said:
    Hi everyone!

    I really need your help because I have no idea how to proceed. My fiancé and I have decided not to have a wedding reception, just a very small intimate dinner with immediate family after church. I have a few questions because I don't know what ettiquette says:
    • How do the bridal registry and shower work? Do I still register? Do I still have a bridal shower? If so, who comes? Can I invite most of the people I was going to invite to the reception even though they're not coming to the wedding dinner?
    • Do I send invites to everyone for the church?
    • AND will the bridal registry/shower and church invites be seen as innapropriate/offense and us just asking for money/gifts? Even though it's not - it's to include everyone in celebrating our big day even though they will not be there for the dinner.
    Thanks!
    Daniela
    First bolded: if you are only hosting your immediate family at the dinner (which is your reception, btw) then they are the only ones you are inviting to your wedding. Anyone who gets a formal invitation to the ceremony MUST also be hosted at your dinner.

    As per the first bolded, only those invited to the wedding can be invited to pre-wedding parties. Throwing your own shower is considered tacky, so generally brides only have them if someone offers to host it for them.

    Second bolded: anyone you send an invitation to has to be hosted in some way after the ceremony. It is terribly rude to invite someone to your ceremony and then not host them in some way. Even if it is just cake and punch afterwards, you must do something for your guests.

    So basically, it sounds to me like you want to have all the trappings of a large wedding without actually having to pay for it. That is rude and tacky. Either only invite the people you can afford to host or just elope with no guests and send announcements afterwards.
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic Anniversary 
    doeydoPrettyGirlLostKeptInStitchesRebeccaB88
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    If you're inviting anyone outside your immediate families, there has to be a reception of some kind. It can be as simple as going out to dinner somewhere or hosting one for them, but this is something that cannot be omitted without being intensely rude.
    Blue_BirdPrettyGirlLostKeptInStitches
  • You can open a department-store registry any time you want to, regardless of what type of a wedding you will have. It is a useful planning tool for determining what fine china, crystal and silver you need to acquire to run your new marital household in the style that you aspire to. It's between you and the department store; and presumably you are the person who will be the principal purchaser of the household goods that you plan to acquire. You would be graceless to make any effort to publicize your registry: it would still be graceless even if you were having a great fancy reception. People who love you enough to want to give you gifts will either go to the effort of discovering your registry for themselves -- it isn't that hard; there are only a few stores that still support registries -- or they will know you well enough to guess what you would have on your registry.

    If someone wishes to hold a little party for you, to "shower" you with small, expendable housekeeping items to assist you in setting up your household; that is up to them. It shouldn't be given by anyone related to you, unless they are only inviting other relatives. It is the hostess's business whom she invites, but she should be sure to limit her invitations to only those people who actively want to participate in a shower for you, and who want to do so regardless of the fact that they are not being invited to a fancy reception. Naturally, that means it will be only people with whom the hostess is very intimate -- which results in your having a small, casual and appropriate shower as is traditional rather than the more modern cast-of-thousands big-as-a-wedding type of shower party.


  • doeydodoeydo Southwestern Ontario member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    You're right, Viczaesar.  I have never been to or heard of a wedding without a reception of some kind and it would be rude to include some but not all guests in a reception or other festivities.
    image
  • Blue_BirdBlue_Bird Bawlmer member
    Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 500 Comments First Answer
    mdrwrl said:
    Hi everyone!

    I really need your help because I have no idea how to proceed. My fiancé and I have decided not to have a wedding reception, just a very small intimate dinner with immediate family after church. I have a few questions because I don't know what ettiquette says:
    • How do the bridal registry and shower work? Do I still register? Do I still have a bridal shower? If so, who comes? Can I invite most of the people I was going to invite to the reception even though they're not coming to the wedding dinner?
    • Do I send invites to everyone for the church?
    • AND will the bridal registry/shower and church invites be seen as innapropriate/offense and us just asking for money/gifts? Even though it's not - it's to include everyone in celebrating our big day even though they will not be there for the dinner.
    Thanks!
    Daniela
    "Can I invite most of the people I was going to invite to the reception even though they're not coming to the wedding dinner?"

    No. The "wedding dinner" is the reception. And only those invited to the reception may be invited to the wedding. This is one event.

    "
    Do I send invites to everyone for the church?"

    Only if you intend to pay for dinner for all of them.

    "
    AND will the bridal registry/shower and church invites be seen as innapropriate/offense and us just asking for money/gifts? Even though it's not - it's to include everyone in celebrating our big day even though they will not be there for the dinner."

    Yes. You only have a shower if someoneoffers to host one, and only those invited to the ceremony and reception may be invited. Asking them to come to a pre-wedding party and excluding them from te main event is not a way to "include" them. It's just rude.

    You can not have a tiered reception either (one meal for select guests and something smaller for the rest). The only way you can invite all of these people to your wedding is if you host them afterwards. In this case, you should move your wedding up to a non-meal time so you can just serve cake and punch.

    doeydo
  • mdrwrl said:
    Hi everyone!

    I really need your help because I have no idea how to proceed. My fiancé and I have decided not to have a wedding reception, just a very small intimate dinner with immediate family after church. This is your wedding reception -- you're receiving the guests that attended your ceremony. I have a few questions because I don't know what ettiquette says:
    • How do the bridal registry and shower work? Do I still register? You can register, but I wouldn't expect to receive gifts and definitely don't share that registry information with anyone who is not invited to the dinner after the ceremony.  Do I still have a bridal shower? If so, who comes? Can I invite most of the people I was going to invite to the reception even though they're not coming to the wedding dinner? You can have a bridal shower, but you can't plan it. Someone needs to offer to plan it for you, and the only people who can be invited are people who are invited to all wedding events (including the reception), otherwise you are telling those invitees that they are good enough to buy you a gift, but not good enough that you'll invited them to your wedding ceremony or buy them dinner afterwards.
    • Do I send invites to everyone for the church? Send invitations only to people who will be invited to all wedding events including the reception. You can put an announcement in the church bulletin about the wedding date/time if you want.
    • AND will the bridal registry/shower and church invites be seen as innapropriate/offense and us just asking for money/gifts? Even though it's not - it's to include everyone in celebrating our big day even though they will not be there for the dinner.  Again, inviting people to these events without inviting them to the reception is saying that they're good enough to buy you a gift, but not good enough that you'll buy them dinner. If you want to include everyone to celebrate your "big day," you need to be a good host and include them in all wedding activities.
    Thanks!
    Daniela

    PrettyGirlLost
  • You can open a department-store registry any time you want to, regardless of what type of a wedding you will have. It is a useful planning tool for determining what fine china, crystal and silver you need to acquire to run your new marital household in the style that you aspire to. It's between you and the department store; and presumably you are the person who will be the principal purchaser of the household goods that you plan to acquire. You would be graceless to make any effort to publicize your registry: it would still be graceless even if you were having a great fancy reception. People who love you enough to want to give you gifts will either go to the effort of discovering your registry for themselves -- it isn't that hard; there are only a few stores that still support registries -- or they will know you well enough to guess what you would have on your registry.

    If someone wishes to hold a little party for you, to "shower" you with small, expendable housekeeping items to assist you in setting up your household; that is up to them. It shouldn't be given by anyone related to you, unless they are only inviting other relatives. It is the hostess's business whom she invites, but she should be sure to limit her invitations to only those people who actively want to participate in a shower for you, and who want to do so regardless of the fact that they are not being invited to a fancy reception. Naturally, that means it will be only people with whom the hostess is very intimate -- which results in your having a small, casual and appropriate shower as is traditional rather than the more modern cast-of-thousands big-as-a-wedding type of shower party.

    bold, umm...no
    only people invited to the wedding/reception would be invited to the shower--so only a wedding guest should even be offering to host a shower (and the whole no one related to you should host is very outdated.  It is very common for moms/MILs or aunts to host).   And ONLY those invited to the wedding itself should be invited to the shower (does not have to be every wedding guest, but they need to be on the guest list).  Its up to the host to say how many can be invited, but its up to the bride provide names of people who are on the guest list (so even if host says i can host up to 50 people, if only 10 people are on the guest list, only 10 people are invited to the shower.  If someone not invited offers to host a shower, bride needs to decline the party. say "sorry we having a private ceremony and reception."



    OP--I am a little confused.  If you are having a ceremony open to your church members I believe that is typically announced through the church announcements.  These people know they are not an "invited guest" so they are not invited to the reception.  You do not send them personal invitations. 

    I think sometimes churches offer to host a shower, which I believe that is OK to accept--and if that is the case I would DEFINITELY provide some sort of cake/punch after the wedding ceremony for having such a supportive church group.   

    Anyone you personally invite to the wedding MUST be invited to the reception--in your case a dinner, that is still a reception. 

    Even with a small guest list you can register, but keep it small.

    My brother and SIL did this.  They had a nice small ceremony with family/very close friends(about 30 guests) and then hosted a nice dinner at a local restaurant afterwards for all 30 of their guests.  There was no shower because she did not want one (my mom offered to host, but bride declined)... but if she did only those of the 30 guests she wished to invite would have been included.  Her best friend hosted a "bachelorette day" in which bride asked to invite her two sisters, cousin and myself.  The 6 of us had a spa day. 


    image

    Anniversary
    PrettyGirlLostGypsyWife_
  • The reception is where the bride and groom receive their guests. It's purpose is to thank everyone for attending the ceremony. It is rude to host a social event (say a wedding) without providing refreshment appropriate for the time of day. All the guests of the ceremony must be received at the reception. It can be cake and coffee in the church basement or a multi-course meal with dancing, but it has to be something, and it has to be appropriate for the time of day. Cake doesn't cut it if lunch or dinner time.

    As for the shower, only people invited to the wedding can be included in pre-wedding parties. If your wedding is immediate family only, then your shower must be too. Nothing says "You're good enough to get me a gift, but not to see me married" quite like a shower only invite, and you don't seem like the type of person who would want to send that message. Church and work showers are considered the exception to this rule, so if you are offered one of those, you may accept.

    You cannot mail anyone an invite unless you are hosting them at the reception. If your wedding is announced in the church bulletin, that is fine, but once you personally invite someone, they are your guest and you are responsible for receiving them at the reception.

    Good luck!
    image
    PrettyGirlLostMGPdoeydo
  • erinlin25 said:
    .
    .
    .


    she should be sure to limit her invitations to only those people who actively want to participate in a shower for you, and who want to do so regardless of the fact that they are not being invited to a fancy reception. Naturally, that means it will be only people with whom the hostess is very intimate -- which results in your having a small, casual and appropriate shower as is traditional rather than the more modern cast-of-thousands big-as-a-wedding type of shower party.

    bold, umm...no


    Actually, "umm" yes. Etiquette's function is not to reduce the number of small kindnesses and social activity that go on in society. So why would it forbid people who want the pleasure of visiting with the bride, imposing silly little gifts on her, and playing a few silly games? The key-word is "want". There really are generous people like that in the world, and snubbing them is not a kindness or good manners. In fact, people who want to give shower presents are the only people who should be invited to showers even if they do happen to be invited to the wedding reception. It's the shower hostess's responsibility in making her guestlist to ensure that she doesn't impose on anyone.
    pbi9994jendemeyer
  • ashleyepashleyep member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Name Dropper First Anniversary
    edited October 2013
    ETA: nvm.
    Anniversary
  • grumbledore said:People who "want the pleasure of visiting the bride" may do so at any time, they need only make plans with the bride to see her.  Anyone who chooses is also free, at any time, to give the bride a gift.
    Which means they are also free to get together at the home of one of them, invite the bride over, and all give her gifts at the same time. And lo! you have just re-invented the shower, which is a casual gathering of close friends for the purpose of showering the bride with nominal gifts.

  • NYCMercedesNYCMercedes BOS, NYC, DC. Forever a city girl member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    What you are planning is beyond rude! Please see my expanded answer to your identical question on the Registering board.
    PrettyGirlLostdoeydo
  • edited October 2013
    grumbledore said:People who "want the pleasure of visiting the bride" may do so at any time, they need only make plans with the bride to see her.  Anyone who chooses is also free, at any time, to give the bride a gift.
    Which means they are also free to get together at the home of one of them, invite the bride over, and all give her gifts at the same time. And lo! you have just re-invented the shower, which is a casual gathering of close friends for the purpose of showering the bride with nominal gifts.

    Come back to Earth, ATB.

    Love that the OP hasn't responded yet.
    image image image

    You'll never be subject to a cash bar, gap, potluck wedding, or b-list if you marry a Muppet Overlord.
    aurorajanetteclimbingwifedoeydo
  • erinlin25 said:
    .
    .
    .


    she should be sure to limit her invitations to only those people who actively want to participate in a shower for you, and who want to do so regardless of the fact that they are not being invited to a fancy reception. Naturally, that means it will be only people with whom the hostess is very intimate -- which results in your having a small, casual and appropriate shower as is traditional rather than the more modern cast-of-thousands big-as-a-wedding type of shower party.

    bold, umm...no


    Actually, "umm" yes. Etiquette's function is not to reduce the number of small kindnesses and social activity that go on in society. So why would it forbid people who want the pleasure of visiting with the bride, imposing silly little gifts on her, and playing a few silly games? The key-word is "want". There really are generous people like that in the world, and snubbing them is not a kindness or good manners. In fact, people who want to give shower presents are the only people who should be invited to showers even if they do happen to be invited to the wedding reception. It's the shower hostess's responsibility in making her guestlist to ensure that she doesn't impose on anyone.
    From Emily Post (who isn't my favorite):

    Bridal Shower Do's and Don'ts

    Do

    send thank-you notes to all shower guests—even if you thanked them in person at the shower. And don’t forget those who couldn’t attend but did send a gift.

    WP_bridalshower_WODon’t

    ask guests to address their own thank-you notes.

    Do

    send a thank-you note and a gift to anyone who hosts a shower for you.

    Don’t

    coerce anyone—especially bridesmaids—to host a shower. It’s a financial burden that many aren’t able to take on.

    Do

    include registry information on a separate sheet in the envelope with the shower invitation, but not on the invitation itself. The theme of the shower (Kitchen, bath, lingerie) may be noted on the invitation, but color preferences or sizes should be noted on a separate insert.

    Don’t

    invite anyone to a shower who won’t be invited to the wedding. Showers are intimate gatherings for people you know very well—not excuses to haul in more gifts. The only exception is a workplace shower to which a large number of coworkers contribute. (If an office shower involves only a few coworkers, thoughtful couples will probably include these colleagues in the wedding guest list.)

    aurorajanetteKeptInStitchesBlue_Birddoeydo
  • grumbledore said:People who "want the pleasure of visiting the bride" may do so at any time, they need only make plans with the bride to see her.  Anyone who chooses is also free, at any time, to give the bride a gift.
    Which means they are also free to get together at the home of one of them, invite the bride over, and all give her gifts at the same time. And lo! you have just re-invented the shower, which is a casual gathering of close friends for the purpose of showering the bride with nominal gifts.

    Oh FFS!  Yes, they are free to do that, but with a true bridal shower, anyone who is invited should also be invited to the wedding.  Period.  Typically with bridal showers the bride gives a list of guests that she would like to have invited thus making sure that no one who isn't invited to the wedding is included.  Now if people want to throw the bride a surprise party to visit with her and give her gifts then it is on them that the people invited may not also be invited to the wedding.  But by doing this the hosts of said party not only take the risks of making themselves look bad but also the bride if everyone included in the guest list for the "shower" is not also included in the guest list for the wedding.
    Exactly.

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • ...Yes, they are free to do that, but with a true bridal shower, anyone who is invited should also be invited to the wedding.  Period.  Typically with bridal showers the bride gives a list of guests that she would like to have invited thus making sure that no one who isn't invited to the wedding is included.  
    An informal gathering of friends who want to give gifts is "a true bridal shower". It is a lucky bride who has such spontaneously generous friends. The rented-venue catered assemblage of dozens of guests, shadow-managed by the bride through a nominal hostess who may not even be acquainted with many of 'her' guests, with the expectation of garnering significant material value in boxed-gift donations, has more in common with a charity gala. And for the bride to be involved in arranging it makes her look bad regardless of her guest-list.
  • ...Yes, they are free to do that, but with a true bridal shower, anyone who is invited should also be invited to the wedding.  Period.  Typically with bridal showers the bride gives a list of guests that she would like to have invited thus making sure that no one who isn't invited to the wedding is included.  
    An informal gathering of friends who want to give gifts is "a true bridal shower". It is a lucky bride who has such spontaneously generous friends. The rented-venue catered assemblage of dozens of guests, shadow-managed by the bride through a nominal hostess who may not even be acquainted with many of 'her' guests, with the expectation of garnering significant material value in boxed-gift donations, has more in common with a charity gala. And for the bride to be involved in arranging it makes her look bad regardless of her guest-list.
    when was the last time you found a bunch of women who weren't invited to a wedding get together to host a shower?  You are really stretching here and even Emily Post, who has some pretty shaky, less formal etiquette, says so.  And, yes, I know her family runs the business now, but even they say it is wrong.  Give it up - you don't have any etiquette to back this up beyond your own opinion.  If you do, please share it.
    aurorajanettedoeydo
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    ...Yes, they are free to do that, but with a true bridal shower, anyone who is invited should also be invited to the wedding.  Period.  Typically with bridal showers the bride gives a list of guests that she would like to have invited thus making sure that no one who isn't invited to the wedding is included.  
    An informal gathering of friends who want to give gifts is "a true bridal shower". It is a lucky bride who has such spontaneously generous friends. The rented-venue catered assemblage of dozens of guests, shadow-managed by the bride through a nominal hostess who may not even be acquainted with many of 'her' guests, with the expectation of garnering significant material value in boxed-gift donations, has more in common with a charity gala. And for the bride to be involved in arranging it makes her look bad regardless of her guest-list.
    What are you on?

    Where in my post did I say that the bride was involved past giving a list of individuals that she would like to have invited to her bridal shower by the host.  Please point it out.

    So what I am gathering from your post is that you hate over the top bridal showers.  Well I agree. But whether the bridal shower is over the top under your standards or not does not mean that it is against etiquette or the bride had a hand in the planning.  The only thing that the bride should do is provide a list to the host of individuals that she would like to have invited, who are also invited to the wedding.  Now, if the bride has a hand in any other planning for the shower besides that, then yes, I agree with you again that it does make her look bad and gift-grabby.  But just because something is over the top according to your standards does not mean it automatically falls into the poor etiquette category.

    I also do not get how being spontaneous equals friends being more generous as compared to friends who plan out a lavish gathering with a rented hall, caterer and all the other accoutrements.

    KeptInStitchesTeddiD34PrettyGirlLost
This discussion has been closed.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards