July 2012 Weddings
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HELP!

Ok...I am officially freaking out!  We are planning on having a tiny family only wedding and a slightly larger reception where we will be inviting our close friends and their children.  I am panicking bc I just read a bunch of posts on the etiquette board saying how horribly rude this is.  I have been invited to plenty of weddings where I was only invited to the reception and never thought anything of it but I dont want to totally offend anyone!  Do I need to rethink our wedding plan and invite everyone to both the wedding and reception?  Sorry...I am too scared to post on the etiquette board.  You ladies are much nicer, even if you disagree with what I am planning.  
:)AJ Pregnancy Ticker

Re: HELP!

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    Based on what I have read, what you are planning to do is OK so long as the ceremony is limited to ONLY immediate family, and typically there is a reason that it is limited to this (space constraints, religious constraints, etc).  I have also read that the invitation should clarify that the ceremony is private- something like

    "please join us for our wedding reception following our private ceremony"

    obviously I just made that up, but you can creep around on the etiqutte boards for something more specific and well written. 

    I personally would find this very strange as I have never been to a wedding like this, but if it is the norm in your region or circle of friends, then I doubt anyone would be offended. 
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    I would probably be offended to be only invited to the party. Unless the ceremony is just immediate family parents and siblings only. It would make me feel like I wasn't important enough to watch you get married. Besides the party is the expensive part so it's not like you ate saving money. What are your reasons for doing this? Is it only parents and siblings? You may be able to do it if you have a super clear cutoff line.

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    I agree with dramaqueen I would be a little offended if I was only asked to the party and not to witness the actual ceremony.  Are you limited on space?  If I knew as a guest that this was only going to be for immediate family I may be less offended but still.
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    Honestly, I find that what is on the etiquette board is sometimes difficult to follow because it doesn't apply to everyone's situation. You need to make the decision based on your venue, your family, your friends and your personal situation. Like some have said, if it was me and I was invited to just a reception and the invitation specified "following a private ceremony", I would be honored to just be included in your day. I would not be offended at all. Also, I think this would only work if your ceremony and reception locations were different.
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    What do you mean by a "family only ceremony?" If you're inviting anyone other than parents and siblings, you should be inviting everyone. I would say that even if grandparents are invited, everyone should be. Why are you wanting to have such a small ceremony anyway?

    I would be a little peeved if I got an invitation for the reception only. It's basically like saying: you're not good enough to come and watch the part where we actually get married, but you're good enough to bring a gift to the party. KWIM?
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    Only our families are invited to the wedding.  This is a compromise between us bc he wanted a small wedding and I wanted to invite all our friends.  I need to figure this out asap bc we have to rent chairs for the wedding and I need to make sure the rental place will have enough time to set up and take them down during our allotted time for the ceremony.  It is a normal thing where I live but I still don't want to offend anyone!  My FI thinks I am being silly about this and that a lot of our friends wouldn't be able to come to the wedding bc its at 3:30 on a Friday and that would require them to take off work.  The reception is at 6 so that they wont have to worry about that.  I know that our family members wont mind taking the day off of work but I don't want our friends to feel obligated.  Seriously, I am not trying to make excuses for why we should do this.  Just explaining what is going thru my mind.  I really appreciate your opinions.  Thanks in advance!!!
    :)AJ Pregnancy Ticker
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    Again, what do you mean by "only our families?" How many people are we talking here? In order for this to work, there has to be a distinct cut-off line.
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    By family only I mean my dad, my brother, my aunt and uncle, FI's mom, his 2 brothers, his aunt and uncle our 2 daughters, our ring bearer and his parents.  Thats it.  The reception and ceremony are in two different places (two different cities actuallys) and are 2 hours apart.  I am going to have to discuss more with FI.  I really feel like we should just invite everyone but I know that is not what he wants to do.  
    :)AJ Pregnancy Ticker
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    And the other thing that I don't understand is why this would be a compromise for your FI. If you're planning on having a large reception, you're still having a large wedding. All eyes will be on you during the toasts, the special dances, the cake cutting, etc. Why not have all those eyes on you during the ceremony too? What difference does it make?
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-club-boards_july-2012-weddings_help-8?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20Club%20BoardsForum:066005ef-215f-48b1-8655-328b41e07c52Discussion:1c0c9353-c985-48dd-84f1-96c49becc0d0Post:eec29a28-51df-41dd-95fe-6a4ea743b8cb">Re: HELP!</a>:
    [QUOTE]By family only I mean my dad, my brother, my aunt and uncle, FI's mom, his 2 brothers, his aunt and uncle our 2 daughters, our ring bearer and his parents.  Thats it.  The reception and ceremony are in two different places (two different cities actuallys) and are 2 hours apart.  I am going to have to discuss more with FI.  I really feel like we should just invite everyone but I know that is not what he wants to do.  
    Posted by ajmom2two[/QUOTE]

    Okay, this wouldn't be too bad IMO. Your ceremony would be very small and the distance thing does help. But I would still try to get your FI to agree to let everyone come to the ceremony. Again, it just doesn't make sense to me to be okay with entertaining a large crowd all night, but to not want a large crowd (of people I'm assuming you love) watch you actually get married for 30 minutes or so.
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    I have no idea really...its just his preference so that really was our compromise.  
    :)AJ Pregnancy Ticker
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    edited March 2012
    I think that by inviting aunts and uncles and what sounds people who aren't related to you (ring bearer and his parents), some people might be offended that they are not included in the ceremony. What about cousins? (specifically, the children of your aunts and uncles who you are inviting)? your very close friends? nieces and nephews?

    If you kept it to, say, just your parents, fiance's parents, and your children, I think this would work and could truly be considered a "private ceremony." But going out much farther into your family could make for some sticky situations, IMO, as it isn't really private if aunts and uncles are coming.
     
    I just don't want you to hurt any of your guests' feelings, I know that isn't your intention, but I am afraid people would feel that way (especially if they know someone or are related to someone who is being included in the ceremony)
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-club-boards_july-2012-weddings_help-8?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20Club%20BoardsForum:066005ef-215f-48b1-8655-328b41e07c52Discussion:1c0c9353-c985-48dd-84f1-96c49becc0d0Post:13592044-475e-4e4e-8c67-b40d7ade8cda">Re: HELP!</a>:
    [QUOTE]I have no idea really...its just his preference so that really was our compromise.  
    Posted by ajmom2two[/QUOTE]

    I would mention to him your (and our) concerns about hurting people's feelings and see what he says. Like you, he might not have even thought about that aspect. He might change his mind if he thinks he will upset people.
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    I dont want to offend or hurt anyone either.  I guess I will need to talk more with FI and see if I can get him to understand why I am concerned about this.  
    :)AJ Pregnancy Ticker
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    I understand where you're coming from with the "I don't want peopel to feel obligated" part... I feel a lot of that with our wedding.  But the advice I was given was that, your guests are all (or mostly) grown adults that can decide for themselves whether they want to make the trip, take off work, etc, and it's really rude to decide that for them by only inviting some people to the reception only.

    Ditto celgare's post: It's basically like saying: you're not good enough to come and watch the part where we actually get married, but you're good enough to bring a gift to the party. KWIM?
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    I think a lot of things are regional. I would never do what you're talking about, and I can't imagine it being done to me. However, you make it sound like it's the norm where you're from in, which case our situations are probably polar opposites. If you're very confident that you wouldn't be offending people then it really doesn't matter what etiquette says. 
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    I posted a poll on my facebook asking the same thing and everyone said they wouldn't be offended so I guess its a local thing.  However, it no longer matters bc I talked FI into just inviting everyone to both the wedding and the reception.  I explained that I was worried about offending people and that if people really don't want to take time off work they wont and that we shouldn't worry about that.  I also said that I would be offended if someone else had invited me to their wedding and I only was invited to their reception (which is the case for a few of our guests).  After explaining all of my concerns he agreed to invite everyone even though it makes the wedding a lot bigger than he wanted it to be.  Thanks for helping me think thru this!  
    :)AJ Pregnancy Ticker
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