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Ceremony and Vow Ideas

NY city hall wedding with Family Celebration later

Oceansurf70Oceansurf70 member
edited August 2013 in Ceremony and Vow Ideas
I am planning to have a NY City hall wedding in mid-Oct.  It will be just me and my FH, followed by a brunch and possibly a sail in the harbor if the weather is nice, just the two of us. I will likely hire a photographer to take a few pictures around the courthouse area.  I am very happy with this choice for many reasons, it suits my style, I am not traditionally religious, and I don't have any family locally or that would be able to travel to NY, vs. my FH who has a large, local family and many local friends.
What we do want to do is have a family wedding dinner celebration with his immediate family that weekend (the civil ceremony will be a weekday.)  I would like to make it special and "wedding-ish" feeling for his family, who I know are disappointed we aren't doing a "real" wedding.  However, I absolutely am NOT planning a "do-over" type wedding, or any of the trappings of wedding, etc. But was imagining a dinner at a nice, scenic restaurant where my FH and I could do champagne "toasts" to each other that would express our love for each other (and to his family would substitute for "vows") as well as "toasts" to his family,  I'd wear a cocktail ivory/champagne/silver dress (so a nod to wedding-ish without being actually a wedding dress), and we would have a fancy sit down dinner in a restaurant (that we host/pay for.)   So ... my questions are:   is this OK/etiquette wise? Has anyone else had a similar experience or could share advice/ideas or "no no's"?    How would I word a wedding announcement (or should there even be one)? How would I word the invite to his family, given it isn't an actual wedding I am inviting them to?  I am looking to be elegant, simple, polite and ideally make it a happy, heartfelt celebration of our love and marriage.

Re: NY city hall wedding with Family Celebration later

  • Also, any recommendations on:
    - photographer for city hall wedding photos
    - restaurants in NYC with either private room or ability to seat party of 20 , that also has charm/views/pretty decor or festive atmosphere (our style is NOT minimalist/ultra modern - looking for old-school NY style and/or beautiful views/decor)   budget isn't a huge issue given this will be our only real expense.
  • I would skip anything resembling a ceremony or vows. If they wish to toast in honor of your marriage, that would be fine. Marriage announcements are generally mailed out the day of/after the wedding and say something simple like "Oceansurf70 and FH were married on date." The location is optional and you can word it to indicate whether or not you are taking his name or if he is taking yours or whatever, i.e. 'Ocean Maiden and FH Lastname' or 'Ocean and FH Lastname.'

    The dinner invitation should not reference a wedding or reception. 'Celebration of their marriage' or something similar would be appropriate. You could also mention having wed in a private ceremony on the invitation.
    Oceansurf70[Deleted User]
  • NYCMercedesNYCMercedes BOS, NYC, DC. Forever a city girl member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited August 2013
    Sounds lovely! Passes every etiquette test I can think of. For the dinner invitation, you could say something like, "Miss Jane Doe and Mr. John Smith will be married September 18, 2013 in New York, New York. Please join us for a celebration at Tavern on the Green on Saturday, September 21, 2013 at seven o'clock." Have fun.
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    The toasts sound good. 

    As far as restaurants go, you might try one of the ones on West 46th Street in the section called Restaurant Row (it's between 8th and 9th Avenues).  They wouldn't have much of a view, but they might have nice decors.  They'll be expensive though if you choose this option.  You might also consider something near Battery Park downtown for a nice view. 

    The NYC board may also have other good suggestions for you.
  • thank you, all!
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