Wedding Invitations & Paper

Inviting for Private Ceremony Public Dinner/Reception

Struggling with my guest list for who gets invited to the ceremony and reception and who just gets invited to the reception. Large crowds in small areas make me extremely nervous and trying to avoid this by having a small private ceremony with a large reception. FI has a huge (50+) family just including first cousins, whom all live nearby. Also our ceremony venue will only accomodate around 70 guests. How do I tactfully word invitations and what do I do when someone asks about the ceremony?

Re: Inviting for Private Ceremony Public Dinner/Reception

  • Struggling with my guest list for who gets invited to the ceremony and reception and who just gets invited to the reception. Large crowds in small areas make me extremely nervous and trying to avoid this by having a small private ceremony with a large reception. FI has a huge (50+) family just including first cousins, whom all live nearby. Also our ceremony venue will only accomodate around 70 guests. How do I tactfully word invitations and what do I do when someone asks about the ceremony?
    The reception is supposed to be a thank you for attending the ceremony, so technically all people should be invited to both. The only time that this is seen as okay (and only with some people) is if there is a truly private ceremony with only parents and siblings, or an extemely small number of people. However, if you are inviting 70 guests to your ceremony and an additional number to the reception, that is called a tiered wedding, and it's considered very rude. There is no nice way to word your invitations, because as soon as guests realize that they weren't one of the 70 people invited to your ceremony, feelings are going to be hurt, and relationship will be impacted.

    My advice? Have a small wedding - 70 people or less since your ceremony location can accommodate that number; OR find a different ceremony location that can accommodate everyone.
    doeydo
  • photokittyphotokitty where I want to be mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    edited December 2013
    You can have a ceremony with just immediate family and a reception with everyone else. Then you can say you had a private ceremony on the invites and when folks ask. This is typically limited to grandparents, parents, siblings, their children and everyone's significant other. And children of the B&G, if there are any. Maybe, one best friend each.

    However, 70 guests is not a private ceremony. If you want the extended family at the ceremony you should either find a larger ceremony space so you can fit everyone and you don't feel stressed about a ton of people in small area. Best wishes and GL! :)
    :kiss: ~xoxo~ :kiss:

    [Deleted User]doeydoSKPM
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    The only way to do this is to have a TINY ceremony, like 15 people, tops. 70 is in no way private or intimate.
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
    image
  • You need to find a different ceremony location so that you can invite everyone to both the ceremony and the reception.  To do otherwise will result in hurt feelings and it is rude to your reception only guests.  (What?  We didn't make the cut?!) 
    Your other option is to limit your guests to the ones who will attend your ceremony, and plan a small reception.
    Sorry, but what you are asking is not acceptable.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
    KittyKaty20
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    You should be inviting everyone to both the ceremony and reception.

    The only exception would be a truly private ceremony, 15-20 people max, 100+ at the reception.  If you are inviting at least 70 people to the ceremony, it isn't a private ceremony.  
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