Wedding Vows & Ceremony Discussions

What would you do?

My DF and I are not religious. Not in the slightest bit. We always planned on having our ceremony at our venue.

But...and this is a big but!

I am a dance teacher at the studio I grew up in. I cannot imagine having my wedding and the kids not being able to come see me get married. We are all very close, but I obviously cannot invite 100 kids to my reception so the ceremony is the closest they can get.

So then I figured we have to get married in a church so they can come.

Is that really my only option or is there something I am not thinking of? The only other thing I can think of is going to a venue where we get married on the beach, but out of all the venues we are considering that is only 1.

Any ideas at all?!

Re: What would you do?

  • I personally think your personal life is your personal life and that being a dance teacher is your professional life.  I am a strong believer in keeping your personal life and your professional life separate.

    I am a teacher.  My DIL is a teacher.  My DD was a teacher.  We didn't invite children to our wedding.  And everyone understood that.

    And if you invite 100 students, you certainly have to invite at least 1 parent to come with them.  So that puts it at between 200-300 additional people on your guest list.  I don't know what your number is without the kids, but that's an awful lot of people.

    Now....let's get into the issue that it's rude to have a huge ceremony, and then only invite "selected" guests to the reception.  That is just poor form under any circumstances.

    And now let's move on to the issue of "using" a church because it's a big enough venue to sit your adoring fan club.  I work in a church, so I admit up front that this makes me crazy.  But you're self described "non religious~not the slightest bit".

    For that reason alone it is disrespectful to any church and its congregation to use their facility as a pretty backdrop for your ceremony.  Unless you care about having religion in your lives, you should not be considering, at all, using a church.

    Finally, you can have a ceremony and a reception in different places.  But remember:  those invited to that ceremony should also be invited to the reception.

    Bottom line:  don't invite your students.
    "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
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_ceremony-ideas_would?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:10Discussion:b9d7d261-aa3e-4900-9ac9-9f9f74f7bfb6Post:90475df7-c55c-4250-a621-7a6b49a01bef">What would you do?</a>:
    [QUOTE]My DF and I are not religious. Not in the slightest bit. We always planned on having our ceremony at our venue. But...and this is a big but! I am a dance teacher at the studio I grew up in. I cannot imagine having my wedding and the kids not being able to come see me get married. We are all very close, but I obviously cannot invite 100 kids to my reception so the ceremony is the closest they can get. So then I figured we have to get married in a church so they can come. Is that really my only option or is there something I am not thinking of? The only other thing I can think of is going to a venue where we get married on the beach, but out of all the venues we are considering that is only 1. Any ideas at all?!
    Posted by diskris[/QUOTE]
    "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
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
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    If you are not religious, do not get married in a church.  It's disrespectful to the church, and it is disrespectful to your own beliefs (or lack thereof).  

    If you invite your kids to the ceremony, you MUST invite them to the reception.  Church or no, it is horribly rude to invite anyone to the ceremony and not the reception.  The fact that they are children does not change this.  And like Trix said, since they are children, you'd have to invite a parent as well.

    Either 1) figure out how to expand your guest list to include pretty much the entire studio or 2) come to terms with the fact that the students aren't going to make the cut.  

    Outside of the logistical, it is a little inappropriate to involve your students in your personal life.  I get that it is a dance studio and not a regular classroom, so these rules are a little more relaxed, but you are still a teacher to them.  They are your students, not your friends.  
  • I think if you really want to involve your students somehow, you should throw a pizza party or something for all of them after the wedding.  I was sort of a teacher's pet as a child and was very close to all of my teachers, but I would have been WEIRDED THE HELL OUT to be invited to one of their weddings (and several of them did get married while I was there).  It definitely crosses the line into creepiness.  I don't care how close you are to someone within the context of school, seeing them outside of that context is just strange and awkward for everyone involved.  I also would have been very hurt and disappointed to be told after the ceremony, "Okay, run along, the rest of us are going to have fun now."

    Don't overestimate how much other people want to be involved in your wedding.  And if you don't want your students to be disappointed about not being involved in your wedding, don't discuss your wedding with them.  Which is probably good advice anyway, because doing so is kind of inappropriate.
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  • I remember in junior high one of my teachers got married and mentioned to the class that we were welcome to come to her church to watch the ceremony if we wanted.  She may have written the address on the board, but she didn't send out invitations to the students.  I don't necessarily think that was weird or creepy.  At the time I thought it was a nice gesture, although I'm not sure if any of the students went to the ceremony since the church was a few towns over.

    In my family and FI's family, it is common to bring children to watch the wedding ceremony at the church even if the children were not invited to the wedding.  Technically the church is open to everyone and anyone in the community is welcome to attend the ceremony.  So I don't think it would be really strange to mention your wedding to your students. 

    However, as PPs said, you shouldn't get married in a church if you don't believe in it.  That is dishonest and disrespectiful.  Although it's nice that you want to invite your students to the ceremony, I wouldn't plan your wedding around them.  I wouldn't change venues and get married in a church just so they could come if they wanted to.




  • Wow I don't find it strange or creepy at all. I wasn't going to send invites either. It was just more of a 'if you want to see me get married it is at this address' type of thing. I went to my dance teacher's ceremony when I was younger along with half the studio. I really only see about 20 kids coming, with a lot of others saying they want to come but really won't. It is a lot different then a school setting. A lot of these kids are with me since they were 3 and are now teenagers. They are with me more than they were home. I always considered my teacher like a second mother to me. I guess you would say different dynamics.

    And as for having the ceremony in a church. I am not religious in the respect that I don't go to church every Sunday. Reasons why you don't need to know because it seems like I will be attacked for it anyway. So you are telling me that every wedding you have been to at a church you know the people go to church every Sunday?

    I was looking for different ideas. Maybe something different and out of the box that I wasn't thinking of. My kids at the studio want to see me get married and they and their families understand that I cannot invite 500 people to my wedding. 
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_ceremony-ideas_would?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:10Discussion:b9d7d261-aa3e-4900-9ac9-9f9f74f7bfb6Post:e7704eda-70e5-4776-a455-6bd3920aa6eb">Re: What would you do?</a>:
    [QUOTE]Wow I don't find it strange or creepy at all. I wasn't going to send invites either. It was just more of a 'if you want to see me get married it is at this address' type of thing. I went to my dance teacher's ceremony when I was younger along with half the studio. I really only see about 20 kids coming, with a lot of others saying they want to come but really won't. It is a lot different then a school setting. A lot of these kids are with me since they were 3 and are now teenagers. They are with me more than they were home. I always considered my teacher like a second mother to me. I guess you would say different dynamics. <strong>And as for having the ceremony in a church. I am not religious in the respect that I don't go to church every Sunday. Reasons why you don't need to know because it seems like I will be attacked for it anyway. So you are telling me that every wedding you have been to at a church you know the people go to church every Sunday?</strong> I was looking for different ideas. Maybe something different and out of the box that I wasn't thinking of. My kids at the studio want to see me get married and they and their families understand that I cannot invite 500 people to my wedding. 
    Posted by diskris[/QUOTE]

    As far as I know of, at every church wedding I have been to, at least one member of the couple was fairly religious.  That's not to say that they went to church every single Sunday, but I would say they considered themselves Christians.

    However, in your original post you described you and your FI as:
    "My DF and I are not religious. Not in the slightest bit."

    When you say you are not the slightest bit religious, that gives the impression that not only do you not go to church on a regular basis, but that you don't really believe in the religion.  Which is why PPs are getting upset that you seem to be considering switching to a church only because it holds more people and you can invite your students.

    As I said in my earlier post, I disagree with PPs who said that wanting to invite your students is creepy.  However, I don't think it is necessary and I don't think you should get married in a church just to invite them
  • It sounds like you are willing to plan a lot of your ceremony around these kids, which is nice of you, but I wonder if you would regret it later.  I'll say that I agree with PP about some of the issues about using the church.  But my main issue is, are you really going to look back in 10 years and think "I'm so glad I had those 100 kids at my ceremony."  Honestly, as someone who taught gymnastics to kids from preschool to elementary school age for 6 years, I can tell you that I can't remember a single kids name (except for the daughter of the woman that I taught with).  Similarly, I teach at a local University on the side, and I seriously can't remember a student's name that I taught last semester, let alone last year.  On the surface it seems like a nice gesture, but I think it's going to end up causing more stress and hurt feelings than it's worth.
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  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
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    "Not religious, not in the slightest bit" is a whole lot different than semi-religious people that just don't regularly go to church.  

    If you only think about 20 students will come, invite those 20, and invite them to the whole thing.

    It is still horribly rude to invite people to the ceremony and not the reception.  The fact that they are younger than you does not make it ok to treat them this way.  
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_ceremony-ideas_would?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:10Discussion:b9d7d261-aa3e-4900-9ac9-9f9f74f7bfb6Post:90475df7-c55c-4250-a621-7a6b49a01bef">What would you do?</a>:
    [QUOTE]My DF and I are not religious. Not in the slightest bit.
    Posted by diskris[/QUOTE]
    See, when someone says this, it usually means that they don't believe in the religion.  So when I refer to my DH and I as "not remotely religious," it means that he identifies as atheist and I identify as Taoist, and neither of us belong to any sort of organized religion.  So having a wedding in a church would have been extremely inappropriate for us.  If you both do identify as Christian (or whatever) but are not active in the practice of your religion, then say that.  Though a lot of people feel that if you aren't the kind to attend church at least somewhat regularly, you really shouldn't get married in one.
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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
  • Don't invite the kids to the wedding, but share pictures with them after the fact.

    You shouldn't be using a church as your venue if you're not religious, and if you invite the kids to the ceremony you must invite them to the reception as well.

    I think you've lost sight of the big picture.
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  • As far as inviting kids, my 5th grade teacher invited us as a class to sing at her wedding ceremony (Catholic school, Catholic wedding, we sang a religious song). We were not invited to the reception. I remember not really caring and my parents weren't offended. BUT I can see where it is still poor etiquette to only invite someone to one or the other. Creepy? I don't know if I'd go that far b/c you are not a traditional classroom teacher and your relationships are different (Side note: I am a classroom teacher and would never invite my students. I also took dance for 14 years and COULD have seen being invited to a dance teacher's wedding if they got married).

    But I do agree with the church part. You sort of changed what you were saying in your follow-up post, so I am not really sure what you are saying exactly, but it came across as not belonging to a relgion at all and just wanting to use the Church b/c it's a large venue. I would sort of frown on this, esp. if I was a member of that church. If you do believe in that religion and just don't go every single Sunday, I think that's a totally different circumstance, and they'd probably be fine with you getting married there.

    Having said all that, I think you should think really hard about inviting essentially an extra 200 people (including parents/guardians for the kids). if you are especially close to a small group (you mentioned 20), what about inviting just those 20 to both the ceremony AND reception? You don't have to invite them all. I am not inviting all my co-workers or all my college friends, etc. You don't have to invite EVERYONE in a particular group if you are not close to them.


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  • Honestly, if you want to invite your students then invite them, but you have to invite them to both. As well as invite a parent. So you would need to be prepared to handle an additional 200 possible guests. Highly unlikely all would attend, but even so it's a large number.
     
    I think that inviting only 20 of your students rather than all is slightly rude to those 80 that aren't getting invited. Kids talk and the 20 that went probably would talk at dance all about how amazing your wedding is. Just invite all of your students if you want to invite any to avoid hurt feelings. Generally, I think it's dumb to consider other people's feelings about you wedding unless they are directly involved, but with something like this with kids it can become an issue so I'd say either invite them all or none rather than picking your favorites.

    And I'm with others in that when you say you aren't religious at all...I take that to mean you and your FI aren't involved in religion in the slightest bit. Meaning you either don't believe in organized religion or don't believe in God. Not that you just don't make it to church as often as some. If you and your FI are slightly religious I don't think there's a problem with getting married in a church..as long as it's important to the two of you.
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  • There a ton on non-religious places you can have a ceremony! 
    Beach, Park, Hall, Hotel, museum, etc.
    I looked at a historical town hall building and a non-religious chapel for my wedding in MA.  In the end, I had it at the hotel that I got married at (they had a beautiful chapel attached to the ballroom). 
    Here are some examples:
    http://www.historicvillagehall.org/
    http://www.wayside.org/weddings
    http://wcecarriagehouse.com/
    It may take a little more work, but you'll find the perfect place.

    Then you can tell your students that they can stop by if they want (I wouldn't send them formal invites, but let them know when and where it is). 
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