Wedding Etiquette Forum
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Just a reception

After a long discussion my fiance and I have decided to be married at the JP's office (both of our parents did that and we really like the idea) and to have a reception to invite our extended family and friends. I was thinking that it could be nice to have a small ring ceremony or something like that at the beginning of the reception for those who didn't go to the JP's office. Any ideas on how we could include everyone in on this without actually having a wedding ceremony. 

There are lot of reasons we don't want to whole wedding ceremony and we aren't going to change our minds about wanting one but I was for people to really feel like this is a wedding reception.

Thanks!

Re: Just a reception

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    You could have a ring warming at the beginning of the party - without the whole "ceremony" but as a way for your guests to give their blessings.

    This is one ceremony idea I fell in love with the first moment I read about it.  

    How long after the JOP is the party?  It's okay to have a small private ceremony and larger reception (as long as it's much larger than the number of people at the actual ceremony).

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    No ceremonial stuff. The marriage has already occured.

    Dress up (it's okay to wear your wedding attire if you want), and enjoy your party.

     

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    Well I'm looking at a venue right now and when I can secure a date over there I'll be able to figure out everything else around it. I'm hoping to do the JP pretty close to the reception- maybe the week before if possible. We've had friends do just the reception with the actual ceremony being a destination wedding but we wanted to do things a little different. 
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    No fake ceremony. By all means have a party, but no big white dress, first dances and cake cutting. 

    As for your friends, just because they've done it doesn't mean it's not rude. 
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    I say nix any ceremonial crap and just have a huge fun party.

    I think including a ring ceremony or whatever at the beginning of the reception is like trying to make up for the fact that you didn't include them in the actual marriage ceremony.  If you want a JOP wedding where it is just you and your FI that is perfectly fine but own that decision and don't try to make up for it at your party.

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    I think you can do a cake cutting, can be "introduced", and have a spotlight (not first) dance, but there's not much ceremony to do as that will have been done already.
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    Don't do anything ceremonial.  If you want a JOP wedding, the trade-off is that most of the people you'd like to celebrate with later cannot be there.  Just enjoy the party-but don't try to "compensate" for the fact that it's not your wedding.
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    I agree with the PP's, skip the ceremony stuff.  When you send invitations to your guests to your 'Reception Celebrating the Wedding of X and Y' they will understand that the wedding already occurred and won't be expecting to see anything.  Wear your dress and have a great time!  
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    Meddied since 6/15/13!
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    You could have a ring warming at the beginning of the party - without the whole "ceremony" but as a way for your guests to give their blessings.

    This is one ceremony idea I fell in love with the first moment I read about it.  

    How long after the JOP is the party?  It's okay to have a small private ceremony and larger reception (as long as it's much larger than the number of people at the actual ceremony).

    What is this?
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    As someone who had a ceremony for two (just H and I) with a celebration party later that day for about 100 guests, I would recommend not having a ring ceremony or any types of ceremonial activity at your party.  It would just be awkward.  But, I think it's perfectly okay to have traditional reception elements (wedding cake, dress, etc.) if your party is closely following your wedding. 

    It is perfectly acceptable from an etiquette standpoint to have an intimate ceremony with a larger reception/party afterwards. (Although some people's feelings are hurt by this, just to forewarn you.)

     

     

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    edited September 2013
    A ring warming is where you give your guests the rings and they pass them from hand to hand around the room. The guests are invited to say a silent prayer or blessing when they have the rings.
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    You could have a ring warming at the beginning of the party - without the whole "ceremony" but as a way for your guests to give their blessings.

    This is one ceremony idea I fell in love with the first moment I read about it.  

    How long after the JOP is the party?  It's okay to have a small private ceremony and larger reception (as long as it's much larger than the number of people at the actual ceremony).

    What is this?

    A ring warming is when the wedding rings are passed around and each person "warms" the rings, sometimes says a small prayer or similar (in their heads of course). By the time they get back to the bride and groom all the guests have warmed/blessed the rings. I love the idea but FI is terrified the rings will get lost.

    After 6 years and 2 boys, finally tying the knot on October 27th, 2013!

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    That actually sounds like such a cute idea. I would be a bit worried about the rings getting lost as well. Why couldn't the OP do this idea? I
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    That actually sounds like such a cute idea. I would be a bit worried about the rings getting lost as well. Why couldn't the OP do this idea? I


    Because her guests won't be seated in a fashion to make this logical.

    The one time I saw it done (on an episode of Four Weddings) the rings were in a little tulle baggie, and the guests passed them row to row during the vows while someone (usher?) kept an eye on them.

    Passing table to table during dinner just isn't logical.

     

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    doeydodoeydo member
    First Anniversary First Comment First Answer 5 Love Its
    edited September 2013
    When you decided to get married (have your ceremony) at the JOP and have a party to celebrate your marriage on a different day with a lot more people, you also decided that those people wouldn't be able to see you get legally married.  Oh well.  Take some pictures.  Preforming a fake ceremony isn't going to make them feel like they didn't miss the real thing.  ETA typo
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    Last year I attended a wedding recpetion that was stand alone.  The bride and groom were from Long Island and a large portion of their family was from New Jersey.  Due to Hurricane Sandy (which hit one week before their wedding) they decided to nix their plans and just get married in a small church with their immediate family.  Then they re-scheduled the reception for March.

    It was a great party, the bride still wore her dress and they still had a cake, but they opted for a spotlight dance since they were legally married for 5(?) months.  It was a great party and everyone had a great time.  Under their circumstances I would allow for a gap, but I think as long as you have your reception within a week (preferably the same day!) ten you should be fine with this idea.

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