Wedding Vows & Ceremony Discussions
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Family Only Ceremony/Large Reception

Hello! I'm new to this, recently engaged trying to hash out the details of our wedding. We are looking at October 1, 2011.  My FI and I have often discussed how our wedding would be and now that's time to plan, it seems so much more difficult.  We are wanting to have a small ceremony with close family and a few friends and then have a large reception immediately after.  What are your opinons on this?  Is it wrong to do it this way?
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Re: Family Only Ceremony/Large Reception

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    Well, the ceremony tends to be the least complicated and cheapest part of the whole shebang, so if you're looking to simplify, keeping the large reception in the picture isn't going to do it.
    This is a neglected planning bio.
    This is a belated married bio, with no reviews yet because I'm lazy.

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    Sometimes I feel like people think that brides are delicate little flower princesses who get all dressed up and pretty for one special moment of their dreams, when really they're just normal people who just happen to be getting married. Things shouldn't have to be sugar-coated for grown-ass women. -mstar284
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    I agree with PP. Ceremony is the EASY part. I also think it would be strange to go to just a wedding reception, not the ceremony, but thats just one girl's opinion. Wedding planning can be super rough, but just take your time, and don't slack off. If you want a small, intimate ceremony, and a big reception, then do it!

    My FI and I think that a ceremony is a very personal thing. That being said, we're having a small wedding in general. In our reception, it will be FI, officiant and I, then our closest friends and family on a different tier (we're getting married most likely in this park with tiered rocks) (closest f&f= parents and WP), and our guests on the next tier. If your concern is intimacy, that's one way to go.

    HTH

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    I know that people do this, but for me, the ceremony is the important part of the day.  So I'd be miffed about not being included in that part.

    And ditto pps:  it is far more involved to plan a reception than a ceremony.  If you're thinking you want to simplify, you're not really succeeding.  It's the same ceremony whether 12 people are watching or 200 people are watching.

    But it's a whole 'nother ballgame about dinner and dancing for 12 people or dinner and dancing for 200 people.
    "Trix, it's what they/our parents wanted. Why so judgemental? And why is your wedding date over a year and a half ago? And why do you not have a groom's name? And why have you posted over 12,000 posts? And why do you always say mean things to brides?" palegirl146
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    keep both small.  we're inviting the same 80 people.  the wedding and reception is at the same place.  if you're not coming to the wedding, don't show up at my reception. 
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    I know of people who have had small intimate ceremonies then a large reception.  I have received a fair share of "reception only" invites, and have attended all but one (it was out of state). 

    If you want to have an intimate ceremony, do so.  There are alot of B n Bs that have "elopement packages".  You could even have the wedding on one day, and the party/reception the next if you wanted. 

    There is no "wrong" way to have a wedding celebration, IMO.  It is about you and the groom getting married.

    Anniversary
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    As a guest, I would really want to attend the ceremony and actually see you walk down the aisle and get married.

    If I were only invited to the reception, I would just view it as a dinner party, not a wedding. Depending on which friends you decided to let in on the ceremony or not, I'd also feel a little offended that I was only important enough to come to one part of the day.

    Just my 2 cents. HTH.
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    I love the idea! I agree that an intimate ceremony keeps it personal. BUT, it's definitely not going to cut any costs for you AND you may hurt some guests' feelings...

    Anniversary
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    Thanks everyone for the advice, I completely understand where everyone is coming from.  I definitely would love for the small intimate wedding but I think you've convinced me that I should everyone to both the wedding and reception, now it's just figuring out how we're going to afford it. My FI told me last night that he wasn't planning on spending more that $1000 on this wedding.  Although my parents have said how much they are going to spend yet, I'm really stressing over how we're going to do all this.
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    I am glad you are leaning toward having the same people invited to both the wedding and the reception.  I am personally hurt when a couple invites me to reception only because it makes me feel not important enough to witness the event (ceremony).  There will be certain fixed costs (renting a facility, photography, attire, flowers, music, etc.) that are not directly dependent on the size of the wedding.  If you invite fewer guests, you will save on invitations, food/drink costs, favors, etc. 

    Alternatively, you can find ways to cut back on your fixed costs (e.g. no flowers, lower price photographer, iPod instead of DJ, etc.).  That might allow you to afford to have more guests.

    HTH!
    image
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    i've been to quite a few reception only weddings and ours will be no different, we have about 50-60 friends that will be coming to party with us but wont be attending the ceremony/dinner

    it's your day, do it your way!!!
    good luck with all your planning
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    I'm trying to do the same thing-- small intimate ceremony and a large reception immediately afterwards.  Not for financial reasons, but just so I can feel like my ceremony feels intimate-- just immediate family and bridal party.  I think its a great idea if its what you want!
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