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Ceremony and Vow Ideas

Private wedding, open reception

My fiance and I are kind of wanting to do a small private-ish wedding, family and close friends only, with a large reception. Will people be offended if they are only invited to the reception? And how do you word an invitation for only a wedding reception? The wedding and the reception would be on different days if that helps...

Re: Private wedding, open reception

  • I am also planning a private ceremony with a larger reception. My fiance gets incredible "stage fright" even front of people he knows so I am doing a private ceremony for him. It is not because I do not give a damn about my guests. I would love to have everyone watch us get married but I want my fiance to enjoy our big day not stress out about it.

    Even though our wedding date is 15 months away I've already been mentioning to people to expect a private ceremony and so far I have not encountered any upset people.  I feel that having a private ceremony is no different than having a destination wedding...people get married in a sunny place, usually with only a handful of family and friends and then have a reception with all of their family and friends when they get back. 
  • In Response to Re: Private wedding, open reception:
    I am also planning a private ceremony with a larger reception. My fiance gets incredible "stage fright" even front of people he knows so I am doing a private ceremony for him. It is not because I do not give a damn about my guests. I would love to have everyone watch us get married but I want my fiance to enjoy our big day not stress out about it. Even though our wedding date is 15 months away I've already been mentioning to people to expect a private ceremony and so far I have not encountered any upset people. 

    You probably won't get upset people.  At least not to your face.  They'll say "Oh, no I understand and it's fine."  They'll say that because they don't want to hurt your feelings.  But they'll say something else when you're not around.

    I feel that having a private ceremony is no different than having a destination wedding...people get married in a sunny place, usually with only a handful of family and friends and then have a reception with all of their family and friends when they get back.

    The key word here is "handful".A handful is a whole different ballgame than inviting 20 or more people to the ceremony.  IMO, a private wedding is, as pp said you, your FI, your parents, and your siblings.  That's it.  Once you start including grandparents, aunts, uncles, and "close" friends, you've lost the distinction of a "private" wedding.
    Posted by sarahscott201


    And when you said that you "heard" that a lot of people don't care to attend the ceremony anyway, you're essentially taking that option away from your guests.  Don't make your assumption about their desire to attend the ceremony any part of your decision to issue the invitation.

    Finally, the purpose of a reception is to "receive" the guests who attended your ceremony:  hence the word reception.  So if they're not really invited to the ceremony, then you either need to rename the party after the ceremony, or invite everyone to both events.
    "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
  • I'd be offended. My first reaction would be that I would not come to the reception if I wasn't invited to the ceremony. But, if I did end up going, I definitely would not bring a gift.
  • A close friend of mine had a private ceremony on the beach and then a huge party 2 weeks later at her parents home. I was not invited to the ceremony and I was NOT offended at all. The ceremony is for the bride and groom. The reception is for your family and friends. I say do it the way you feel comfortable. I know I will.
  • Wow. What a polarizing subject. I am having a private ceremony with parents and siblings only becuase that is how the groom and I want it. We are private people and our marriage is very personal. Our reception will most certainly be called something more like 'party in celebration of marriage' blah blah. I've never been offended to be invited to the reception only, and frankly those who can't support my personal choice in the matter probably shouldn't attend. I've had 2 of my parents' friends decide not to come from out of state for that reason. I've never met them. I'm fine with that. As for gifts, we are not asking for any, don't want any, and won't be hurt to receive none at all. Have your private wedding, and invite the friends adn family who get you, and you're guaranteed to have a great night.
    Wink
    Sorry for any typos...
    Junebug2mimaebemily
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