New Jersey

Is a Private Ceremony OK?

Hello !

Does anyone know what the etiquette is behind a private ceremony (meaning just immediate family and bridal party)? We're looking into having our ceremony at Kip's Castle Park in Verona and to have the ceremony indoors, the capacity is only 50 people. Outside, is up to 200 people. Can we put on certain invitations where the ceremony is, and omit it from the rest? Or leave it up to chance that not everyone is going to show?    

Re: Is a Private Ceremony OK?

  • It's generally considered OK if you have bridal party and parents/ siblings - truly immediate family only and a VERY small crowd. If you have any more than that, it is basically like cherry picking who is good enough to watch you get married and who is only good enough to come for the party. I definitely wouldn't put the ceremony location only on certain invitations - the others are bound to find out and it seems really rude at that point.

    I think you have to decide what is more important: having your wedding at this exact location and dealing with a tiny ceremony, or switching locations so you can have everyone you want to be there.

    I also looked at Kip's Castle, BTW. We would have done outside. And it was not cheap (not sure if you got the pricing info yet).
    JCbride2015
  • @majesty318 I was looking at the info online today.. an outdoor ceremony would cost $100 and then the cost of the insurance.. indoors they said $150 (plus service fee if after hours or on the weekend) and then the insurance cost. I don't know if that's what you were told or not, but I'm actually going to call and find out too. 

    The thing is though, I think I would prefer the very small ceremony. My concern, if we use Kip's Castle, is everyone showing for the ceremony planned outside and it starts to downpour and only 50 people can fit inside. 
  • JCbride2015JCbride2015 Dirty Jerz
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    I second @majesty318's advice: etiquette-wise, it is OK if your ceremony is very intimate, only immediate family and maybe one or two friends.

    Just personally I'm not a big fan of this arrangement, even though E-approved.  As a guest I would feel like I was less important if I was only invited to the reception and not to actually see you get married.  Knowing the ceremony was immediate-family only might soften the blow, but I would still feel second-class.

    Do they have any kind of rain plan for 200 people?  It seems weird they would have such different capacities for ceremony and reception.
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    "I'm not a rude bitch.  I'm ten rude bitches in a large coat."

  • danaamariee88: I forget exactly what the deal was, but you have to pay per hour. I was looking at using the outside and by the time you think of set-up time, guests arriving, ceremony, and take-down it was like $1000. And I hated the thought of paying for chair rental and all the Kip's fees and then it might rain and all that would be for nothing!
  • @JCBride2014 I don't know. I'd have to actually call them (or someone in the county's office) and find out exactly what the deal is if all guests show and it rains, etc. @majesty318 that is a lot, and you're right it's all for nothing if it does end up raining. I had a feeling this was too good to be true! Definitely going to have to do some more research. As for the ceremony thing, I guess it's going to have to be a conversation between me and him. Thanks ladies!
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