Wedding Etiquette Forum

Small wedding, big 1 yr celebration??

My boyfriend and I are talking about possibly getting married in April in a small ceremony with some close family and friends.  We would like to have a big ceremony and reception later, possibly the following year (due to his work schedule)  Has anyone done this?  Would we do Wedding Showers before the offical, small wedding or would we wait until the big one?  Same for gifts?  I would feel bad making people feel like they need to give gifts to a wedding they are not invited to (yet) but also seems odd to have them wait a year to give a gift.  I could use some thoughts on this.  Thanks.

Re: Small wedding, big 1 yr celebration??

  • There is so much wrong with this post. Are you even engaged yet?

    Click around on the boards- you're trying to have a PPD.

  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_small-wedding-big-1-yr-celebration?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:09a7f35f-59d6-4893-8418-030c7f128c93Post:ec62235f-aab1-48fb-b1e5-e5782357883b">Small wedding, big 1 yr celebration??</a>:
    [QUOTE]My boyfriend and I are talking about possibly getting married in April in a small ceremony with some close family and friends.  We would like to have a big ceremony and reception later, possibly the following year (due to his work schedule)  Has anyone done this?  Would we do Wedding Showers before the offical, small wedding or would we wait until the big one?  Same for gifts?  I would feel bad making people feel like they need to give gifts to a wedding they are not invited to (yet) but also seems odd to have them wait a year to give a gift.  I could use some thoughts on this.  Thanks.
    Posted by sunnyskies72[/QUOTE]<div>JIC

    <div>1) If you get married in April that is your wedding day. You don't get two ceremonies. The second ceremony would be a sham.</div></div><div>
    </div><div>2) If you get married in April you must host a reception that same day for whomever you invited to witness your marriage.</div><div>
    </div><div>3) Gifts are <strong>never</strong> required. Neither are any pre-wedding parties.</div><div>
    </div><div>4) You can't invite people to pre-wedding parties if they are not invited to the "official" wedding.</div><div>
    </div><div>
    </div><div>I don't even have the energy to address anything else that's wrong with this post.</div>
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  • edited December 2012
    Why don't you wait a year until you can have the big party, if that's what you want? Part of being an adult is planning the wedding you want and can afford, instead of trying to cheat the system by having a small wedding now and a big fake wedding later. 

    Edit: Nevermind that you should probably wait until you're actually engaged to figured this stuff out. Some people would say you are engaged because you've started planning, in which case he's your fiance and then see the above paragraph.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_small-wedding-big-1-yr-celebration?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:09a7f35f-59d6-4893-8418-030c7f128c93Post:ec62235f-aab1-48fb-b1e5-e5782357883b">Small wedding, big 1 yr celebration??</a>:
    [QUOTE]My boyfriend and I are talking about possibly getting married in April in a small ceremony with some close family and friends.  We would like to have a big ceremony and reception later, possibly the following year (due to his work schedule)  Has anyone done this?  Would we do Wedding Showers before the offical, small wedding or would we wait until the big one?  Same for gifts?  I would feel bad making people feel like they need to give gifts to a wedding they are not invited to (yet) but also seems odd to have them wait a year to give a gift.  I could use some thoughts on this.  Thanks.
    Posted by sunnyskies72[/QUOTE]<div>
    </div><div>1. DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT plan anything until you have that pretty engagement ring on your finger. Once you have that ring, look at it long and hard, and enjoy being engaged. Don't forget to over use the phrase "he's my fiance!".</div><div>
    </div><div>2. Sorry, according to proper wedding etiquette, you are allowed one wedding. Unless you get divorced. </div><div>
    </div><div>3. Like my grandma always said "the ceremony is for you, the reception is for your guest!" You get one of each, unless you get divorced. I really don't see why you want a marriage now and a party later... No one in their right mind will take you seriously. 

    </div>
    ~Soon to become Mrs. O'Kane!~
  • pearlaquapearlaqua member
    Third Anniversary 100 Comments
    edited December 2012
    There are lots of other threads on these boards and I had a recent conversation with a relative about why these Second Celebrations are a bad idea:

    As a guest, even if I am a friend or supportive relative, it is a lot to be non-stop excited and supportive of two events.  You might hear "Oh, I want to celebrate with you however you want to include me!" from people, but that is probably not true and you are still telling some people that they aren't close/good enough to be invited to the first/official/actual event.

    Also, these Second Celebrations seem to be angled to include a lot of people who didn't make the first round, and perhaps receive more gifts.  People who are given the shaft aren't likely to feel very generous when it comes to gift-giving time (nor should they, gifts are never mandatory) so the Big Party= More Gifts logic falls apart when Big Party=The Day of The Actual Wedding.
  • I agree with PP.

    Do what you can with what you have. If you can only afford to have a wedding reception for 20 guests in April 2013, then you have a 20-guest reception; if you wait a year until April 2014 when you can afford to have a 120-person wedding, then wait.

    But the A-list and B-list separate weddings are, frankly, not the best idea. All situations are unique and you do what you need to do. My Dad's marriage now, they got married in December and had only immediate family attend with a small reception following, then had a huge reception in May. She and her children needed health care, so as soon as Dad's divorce from my mother was final, he married his current wife. I had another friend who got married at the JOP because her fiance was deploying to Iraq for a year, then had the church wedding (both are Catholics) and reception when he returned.

    It happens.

    All situations are unique and you do what you have to do. Personally, if you can wait a year and have the wedding you want, I'd wait.

    I might roll my eyes at being List B and not attend. I've received an invite like that before. Wedding 1 was limited to close family and friends (I'm a first cousin) and I saw the pictures posted to FB of this gorgeous mountainside Inn where they got married and had a small reception...then I got an invite to Wedding 2 held at an American Legion Hall in the middle of nowhere. I did not attend.
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  • Is there a special reason you would get married now instead of just waiting to have the ceremony/reception you want? If your boyfriend in the military and about to be deployed? To me that would be the only reason to have a small ceremony & then do something later with family & friends. Or is one of you really sick and has no health insurance & the other has coverage which would allow you to get treatment then?

    If would be doing the small ceremony just so you could be married that much sooner, then you lose out on the things that come with having a traditional ceremony like the bridal shower, bachlor/bachlorette parties, and the big party reception. If you do a ceremony with just the two of you, then you need to wait until 10 years min. and then you can do a vow renewal & invite everyone to that.

  • Yeah I don't know why you don't just wait until April 2014.  My fiance and I got engaged in September 2011 and we are getting married April 6, 2013 because that's the timing that worked for us.  Not gonna lie - I'm ready to be married because our engagement has lasted so long, but it has allowed us to DIY a LOT of things and save a ton of money, in addition to really researching various aspects.  The amount we are saving has allowed us some major upgrades - like a band instead of a DJ - and that wouldn't have worked if we did it last minute.  Even with those upgrades, we are probably going to come in around $8000 under budget - so we are inviting some coworkers of mine and our parents since we have room.

    If you get married this April, you will be paying top dollar.  You are really talking about 16 months from now, and it sounds like you're not officially engaged yet anyway.  Our engagement itself was 19 months, and  FI and I had an understanding probably a year before we got engaged that we were going that direction.  We still had a formal proposal, ring, etc.  Wait until those things happen to start really planning.
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  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    Ditto most of the above, with the exception of needing a ring to be engaged and needing to overuse calling him your fiance. You don't need a ring to be engaged, but you should at least BE engaged before you start planning, and if you are calling him your boyfriend, it doesn't sound like you are. 

    As PPs mentioned, you get one day. That is your wedding day and the only day you get the reception, the gifts, the pretty dress, etc. 

    I, too, would like to know why you can't just wait and do the whole thing in a year. My engagement was 2 years. It's not that big of a deal to wait until you're ready for the whole shindig. 
    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
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  • Why not just wait until you can have the big wedding you truly want? That seems like the best plan of action. No use having a wedding now then attempting to have a do-over later.


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  • I never understand why couples who are living paycheck to paycheck seem to think in a year everything will be fine and they can afford a huge, multi thousand dollar extravaganza. My friend thought the same thing when she married her H, and to this day their quick ceremony in the park is the only wedding they had, because real life caught up with her and she realized she already had all the benefits of being married and it would be no point doing it all over again. 
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