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Etiquette

Private Ceremony/Reception Later

pinkcow13pinkcow13 The Concrete Jungle member
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I'm helping my BFF plan her wedding and need some advice. They are getting next month, July 24th at the Courthouse. It will only be family, her FI's best friend, and myself. Afterwards they are having a dinner reception. I'm helping her with the wording for her invitations.

So far, due to the time constraint, she wants to send e-vites. While less formal, the day will be more of a casual affair. In terms of what to write, I'm a bit at a loss. Would something along these lines work?

" Bride and Groom will be married in a private ceremony.  Please join them in celebrating their marriage at a reception to be held at (insert name here), on Saturday, July 24th 2015 at 7:00PM."

Is that wording okay? Any other suggestions are welcome!



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Re: Private Ceremony/Reception Later

  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
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    edited June 2015

    It's only okay if the only people at the reception are those attending the ceremony.

    Since the whole point of the "reception" is to thank those who attended the ceremony for being present, although strict etiquette doesn't prohibit it, it really isn't considerate to invite anyone to it who was not invited to attend the ceremony.  So I'd skip this.  It's okay to have a big celebration later on, but it needs to be made clear that it is not a "wedding reception."  That boat will have sailed. 

    ashtsb
  • ashtsbashtsb member
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    Are you saying people are not invited to the ceremony but are invited to the reception?

    If so, that is very rude. The reception is a thank you to those invited to the ceremony. Those who get invited to the recpetion should also be invited to the ceremony.
  • pinkcow13pinkcow13 The Concrete Jungle member
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    Ohhh okay. I really don't know the etiquette when it comes to having a private ceremony and then a reception, I thought that was fine? So, would it be more of a celebration of marriage? 
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  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
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    pinkcow13 said:
    Ohhh okay. I really don't know the etiquette when it comes to having a private ceremony and then a reception, I thought that was fine? So, would it be more of a celebration of marriage? 
    That's correct.  The word "reception" can only be used for a celebration that immediately follows the ceremony.  BTW, that is required even for small courthouse weddings.  Are you planning to have a true reception for those attending your courthouse wedding?  Not to do so would be rude.
  • pinkcow13pinkcow13 The Concrete Jungle member
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    ashncoal said:
    Are you saying people are not invited to the ceremony but are invited to the reception?

    If so, that is very rude. The reception is a thank you to those invited to the ceremony. Those who get invited to the recpetion should also be invited to the ceremony.
    Yes. So then should their invitations just be more of a "Please join us for a celebration of the marriage of Bride and Groom at so and so location?"
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    SP29
  • ashtsbashtsb member
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    Jen4948 said:
    pinkcow13 said:
    Ohhh okay. I really don't know the etiquette when it comes to having a private ceremony and then a reception, I thought that was fine? So, would it be more of a celebration of marriage? 
    That's correct.  The word "reception" can only be used for a celebration that immediately follows the ceremony.  BTW, that is required even for small courthouse weddings.  Are you planning to have a true reception for those attending your courthouse wedding?  Not to do so would be rude.

    Yes, even a small dinner reservation for those at the ceremony would suffice, am I right thinking this?
  • pinkcow13pinkcow13 The Concrete Jungle member
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    ashncoal said:
    Jen4948 said:
    pinkcow13 said:
    Ohhh okay. I really don't know the etiquette when it comes to having a private ceremony and then a reception, I thought that was fine? So, would it be more of a celebration of marriage? 
    That's correct.  The word "reception" can only be used for a celebration that immediately follows the ceremony.  BTW, that is required even for small courthouse weddings.  Are you planning to have a true reception for those attending your courthouse wedding?  Not to do so would be rude.

    Yes, even a small dinner reservation for those at the ceremony would suffice, am I right thinking this?

    Okay that makes sense. I don't know their exact plans, but they want a Courthouse Wedding, followed by dinner, but with family and friends joining. I suggested they just have a small dinner with those of us that will make the courthouse wedding, but they wanted to be able to celebrate with extended family and friends. Therefore I think it would be more of a dinner party to celebrate their marriage, and not have the invitation make any mention of the "private ceremony."
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  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
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    pinkcow13 said:
    ashncoal said:
    Jen4948 said:
    pinkcow13 said:
    Ohhh okay. I really don't know the etiquette when it comes to having a private ceremony and then a reception, I thought that was fine? So, would it be more of a celebration of marriage? 
    That's correct.  The word "reception" can only be used for a celebration that immediately follows the ceremony.  BTW, that is required even for small courthouse weddings.  Are you planning to have a true reception for those attending your courthouse wedding?  Not to do so would be rude.

    Yes, even a small dinner reservation for those at the ceremony would suffice, am I right thinking this?

    Okay that makes sense. I don't know their exact plans, but they want a Courthouse Wedding, followed by dinner, but with family and friends joining. I suggested they just have a small dinner with those of us that will make the courthouse wedding, but they wanted to be able to celebrate with extended family and friends. Therefore I think it would be more of a dinner party to celebrate their marriage, and not have the invitation make any mention of the "private ceremony."

    Stuck in box

    Not mentioning the "private ceremony" would be appropriate. 

    pinkcow13SP29
  • pinkcow13pinkcow13 The Concrete Jungle member
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    Jen4948 said:
    pinkcow13 said:
    ashncoal said:
    Jen4948 said:
    pinkcow13 said:
    Ohhh okay. I really don't know the etiquette when it comes to having a private ceremony and then a reception, I thought that was fine? So, would it be more of a celebration of marriage? 
    That's correct.  The word "reception" can only be used for a celebration that immediately follows the ceremony.  BTW, that is required even for small courthouse weddings.  Are you planning to have a true reception for those attending your courthouse wedding?  Not to do so would be rude.

    Yes, even a small dinner reservation for those at the ceremony would suffice, am I right thinking this?

    Okay that makes sense. I don't know their exact plans, but they want a Courthouse Wedding, followed by dinner, but with family and friends joining. I suggested they just have a small dinner with those of us that will make the courthouse wedding, but they wanted to be able to celebrate with extended family and friends. Therefore I think it would be more of a dinner party to celebrate their marriage, and not have the invitation make any mention of the "private ceremony."

    Stuck in box

    Not mentioning the "private ceremony" would be appropriate. 

    Great, thanks for the advice!
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  • Having a small guest list for a ceremony and then a larger guest list for a reception gets less and less rude the bigger the difference is between the number. For instance, 2 guests at the ceremony and 50 guests at the party is likely not a big issue. But if you have 10 guests at the ceremony and 20 guests at the party? You're going to come off as rude. 
    [Deleted User]
  • pinkcow13pinkcow13 The Concrete Jungle member
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    MandyMost said:
    Having a small guest list for a ceremony and then a larger guest list for a reception gets less and less rude the bigger the difference is between the number. For instance, 2 guests at the ceremony and 50 guests at the party is likely not a big issue. But if you have 10 guests at the ceremony and 20 guests at the party? You're going to come off as rude. 
    Yea I think their list will be like 6 max at the ceremony (me, his witness, parents) And then maybe 50+. I suggested that they just write "Please join us at a celebration of our marriage" and not make mention of the ceremony. So it will be more of just a celebration.
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    PrettyGirlLostSP29
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
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    ashncoal said:


    Jen4948 said:


    pinkcow13 said:

    Ohhh okay. I really don't know the etiquette when it comes to having a private ceremony and then a reception, I thought that was fine? So, would it be more of a celebration of marriage? 

    That's correct.  The word "reception" can only be used for a celebration that immediately follows the ceremony.  BTW, that is required even for small courthouse weddings.  Are you planning to have a true reception for those attending your courthouse wedding?  Not to do so would be rude.


    Yes, even a small dinner reservation for those at the ceremony would suffice, am I right thinking this?


    Yes, this would be fine.
  • pinkcow13pinkcow13 The Concrete Jungle member
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    edited June 2015
    scribe95 said:
    Okay, so I'm getting confused. I have no problem with a truly intimate ceremony and then a big party/celebration after - including who was at the ceremony.

    I do have a problem with small ceremony, then those people going to dinner then big party for the rest. Seems tiered to me to avoid the cost of a dinner.

    No, I probably explained it wrong. They are going to have a Courthouse wedding, and after that have the big party/celebration with other guests including those of us going to the Courthouse. The Courthouse (as far as I know) will only be their parents, the grooms best man, and myself. I have no idea what the timing of all that is, but I do know that they are going to have the celebration at 7, and that is what they want to invite more people to join in. They will be having a full dinner and open bar that the couple is hosting at the celebration.

    What I originally suggested was having the wedding, then dinner with those they invited to the courthouse. 
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  • CMGragainCMGragain member
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    edited June 2015
    The pleasure of your company is requested
    to celebrate the recent marriage of
    Bride's Full Name
    and
    Groom's Full Name
    Day, date of party
    time o'clock
    Venue
    Address
    City, State

    No wedding dress or wedding traditions like bouquet tossing, ceremonial; cake cutting.  (Having cake is fine, though.)  It is not a wedding reception.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
    pinkcow13newvalleyFosmoh
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
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    scribe95 said:
    Okay, so I'm getting confused. I have no problem with a truly intimate ceremony and then a big party/celebration after - including who was at the ceremony.

    I do have a problem with small ceremony, then those people going to dinner then big party for the rest. Seems tiered to me to avoid the cost of a dinner.
    Because it is.
  • pinkcow13pinkcow13 The Concrete Jungle member
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    CMGragain said:
    The pleasure of your company is requested
    to celebrate the recent marriage of
    Bride's Full Name
    and
    Groom's Full Name
    Day, date of party
    time o'clock
    Venue
    Address
    City, State

    No wedding dress or wedding traditions like bouquet tossing, ceremonial; cake cutting.  (Having cake is fine, though.)  It is not a wedding reception.
    Oh, this is perfect! Thanks, @CMGragain. She will be wearing a white dress, but it's not a wedding dress, it is a very beautiful summer dress. And they will not be having any sort of wedding traditions. I'm sending this over to her right now!
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    SP29
  • pinkcow13pinkcow13 The Concrete Jungle member
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    Jen4948 said:
    scribe95 said:
    Okay, so I'm getting confused. I have no problem with a truly intimate ceremony and then a big party/celebration after - including who was at the ceremony.

    I do have a problem with small ceremony, then those people going to dinner then big party for the rest. Seems tiered to me to avoid the cost of a dinner.
    Because it is.
    Is it, though? Isn't a tiered event when you invite a portion of people to the ceremony, and then  not invite them to the reception, or invite a different group to the reception? I do get where it is tiered in the sense that only 6 people will be at the ceremony, but those same 6 people will be included at the same dinner everyone else is.

    And in this case they are not avoiding the cost of a dinner. They are inviting and fully hosting the rest of the people. I guess my wording was wrong, though. I called it a reception, and it really is not. It's really a celebration of their marriage.
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    PrettyGirlLost
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
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    pinkcow13 said:
    Jen4948 said:
    scribe95 said:
    Okay, so I'm getting confused. I have no problem with a truly intimate ceremony and then a big party/celebration after - including who was at the ceremony.

    I do have a problem with small ceremony, then those people going to dinner then big party for the rest. Seems tiered to me to avoid the cost of a dinner.
    Because it is.
    Is it, though? Isn't a tiered event when you invite a portion of people to the ceremony, and then  not invite them to the reception, or invite a different group to the reception? I do get where it is tiered in the sense that only 6 people will be at the ceremony, but those same 6 people will be included at the same dinner everyone else is.

    And in this case they are not avoiding the cost of a dinner. They are inviting and fully hosting the rest of the people. I guess my wording was wrong, though. I called it a reception, and it really is not. It's really a celebration of their marriage.
    A tiered event is when some of your guests are not invited to the whole of the event while others are-regardless of the motives behind it.
    Fosmoh
  • pinkcow13pinkcow13 The Concrete Jungle member
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    Jen4948 said:
    pinkcow13 said:
    Jen4948 said:
    scribe95 said:
    Okay, so I'm getting confused. I have no problem with a truly intimate ceremony and then a big party/celebration after - including who was at the ceremony.

    I do have a problem with small ceremony, then those people going to dinner then big party for the rest. Seems tiered to me to avoid the cost of a dinner.
    Because it is.
    Is it, though? Isn't a tiered event when you invite a portion of people to the ceremony, and then  not invite them to the reception, or invite a different group to the reception? I do get where it is tiered in the sense that only 6 people will be at the ceremony, but those same 6 people will be included at the same dinner everyone else is.

    And in this case they are not avoiding the cost of a dinner. They are inviting and fully hosting the rest of the people. I guess my wording was wrong, though. I called it a reception, and it really is not. It's really a celebration of their marriage.
    A tiered event is when some of your guests are not invited to the whole of the event while others are-regardless of the motives behind it.
    Oh, then yes it's a tiered event. I thought the motives  had something to do with calling it a tiered event (for example excluding others due to ceremony space, or keeping costs down for dinner, etc). 
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  • If you're calling it a tiered event though wouldn't this fall into one of two types:

    1) The limited ceremony everyone reception tiered event.

    2) The tiered reception.   Everyone may or may not be invited to the ceremony but not everyone is invited to the entire reception.   Some get dinner and the rest get to stand and watch the guests finish their dinner.

    While I don't love the limited ceremony concept, if it's really small and all guests are invited to the reception (or celebration), it's not as egregious IMO. 
    PrettyGirlLostpinupbride6189OliveOilsMom
  • pinkcow13pinkcow13 The Concrete Jungle member
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    banana468 said:
    If you're calling it a tiered event though wouldn't this fall into one of two types:

    1) The limited ceremony everyone reception tiered event.

    2) The tiered reception.   Everyone may or may not be invited to the ceremony but not everyone is invited to the entire reception.   Some get dinner and the rest get to stand and watch the guests finish their dinner.

    While I don't love the limited ceremony concept, if it's really small and all guests are invited to the reception (or celebration), it's not as egregious IMO. 
    Yea, this is how I see it. Especially since they are not lying to everyone and trying to have a PPD. 
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  • PrettyGirlLostPrettyGirlLost A Land Filled with Unicorns and Cat Hair member
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    edited June 2015
    scribe95 said:
    Okay, so I'm getting confused. I have no problem with a truly intimate ceremony and then a big party/celebration after - including who was at the ceremony.

    I do have a problem with small ceremony, then those people going to dinner then big party for the rest. Seems tiered to me to avoid the cost of a dinner.
    Except that having one reception following the ceremony and then another, hosted party later for a larger crowd wouldn't actually really save any money. . . this couple is still going to have to pay to feed and provide drinks for the 50+ guests at the celebration of marriage party, on top of paying for everyone's dinner following the ceremony.

    This is why these types of events- small "intimate" ceremony followed by a huge reception afterwards with more people who weren't invited to the wedding- don't make any sense to me.  They don't save the couple any money and they don't keep the couple from being the center of attention.

    "Love is the one thing we're capable of perceiving that transcends time and space."


    [Deleted User]
  • PrettyGirlLostPrettyGirlLost A Land Filled with Unicorns and Cat Hair member
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    lilacck28 said:

    Except that having one reception following the ceremony and then another, hosted party later for a larger crowd wouldn't actually really save any money. . . this couple is still going to have to pay to feed and provide drinks for the 50+ guests at the celebration of marriage party, on top of paying for everyone's dinner following the ceremony.

    This is why these types of events- small "intimate" ceremony followed by a huge reception afterwards with more people who weren't invited to the wedding- don't make any sense to me.  They don't save the couple any money and they don't keep the couple from being the center of attention.
    BOXES?

    Except that's not what OP said is happening. OP said:
     1. Couple will get married at courthouse with 4 or so other people in attendance. 
    2. People who attended the ceremony as well as other friends and family will be hosted with open bar and dinner at a celebration/ reception at 7 (I'm assuming "7" means 7pm the same day the couple gets married?) 

    There is no extra dinner. 

    If a couple wants to do an intimate ceremony and a bigger reception/ celebration, I don't see a problem. Clearly saving money isn't the reason they are doing this, since they wouldn't be saving much. And though nothing in the OP suggests that the reason the couple is choosing an intimate ceremony is because they don't want to be the center of attention, since you brought it up:  I believe there have been tons of people with social anxiety or who have friends/ family with social anxiety who have argued that being the "center of attention" at a ceremony (all eyes on you all the time) is different/ more debilitating than a reception/ celebration (eyes may frequently be on you, but there are other people around having conversations, and it is easier to slip away.)

    All of that being said, I love the ceremony portion of weddings, and would miss not seeing it. But if it is truly a tiny number of people invited to the ceremony, as a guest invited to the reception, I would not be offended, and I further do not think this is a  breach of etiquette. If it is, it's a small one. 
    Um, the "reception later" part of her OP. . . that's the extra dinner.  PP"s mentioned that immediatley following the ceremony, the couple in question needs to host their guests to some sort of meal.  So if this bride does that, then she is hosting people related to her wedding twice- once following the ceremony and then again at 7pm for an even larger number of people- and therefore she's NOT having a tiered event in order to avoid the cost of feeding people dinner, as Scribe was implying in her post. . .which is what I was responding too.



    "Love is the one thing we're capable of perceiving that transcends time and space."


  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana member
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    I think it is not a breech of etiquette to hold a reception after a truly intimate ceremony such as this. I also think it is fine for the bride and groom to wear their wedding attire and to have a cake etc. The party is being held directly after the ceremony which is very small. These kind of affairs were more common years ago. Since no one group is receiving a meal that someone else isn't getting, it isn't a tiered reception.
    Sharpschruter2250+andProudSP29
  • pinkcow13pinkcow13 The Concrete Jungle member
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    lilacck28 said:

    Except that having one reception following the ceremony and then another, hosted party later for a larger crowd wouldn't actually really save any money. . . this couple is still going to have to pay to feed and provide drinks for the 50+ guests at the celebration of marriage party, on top of paying for everyone's dinner following the ceremony.

    This is why these types of events- small "intimate" ceremony followed by a huge reception afterwards with more people who weren't invited to the wedding- don't make any sense to me.  They don't save the couple any money and they don't keep the couple from being the center of attention.
    BOXES?

    Except that's not what OP said is happening. OP said:
     1. Couple will get married at courthouse with 4 or so other people in attendance. 
    2. People who attended the ceremony as well as other friends and family will be hosted with open bar and dinner at a celebration/ reception at 7 (I'm assuming "7" means 7pm the same day the couple gets married?) 

    There is no extra dinner. 

    If a couple wants to do an intimate ceremony and a bigger reception/ celebration, I don't see a problem. Clearly saving money isn't the reason they are doing this, since they wouldn't be saving much. And though nothing in the OP suggests that the reason the couple is choosing an intimate ceremony is because they don't want to be the center of attention, since you brought it up:  I believe there have been tons of people with social anxiety or who have friends/ family with social anxiety who have argued that being the "center of attention" at a ceremony (all eyes on you all the time) is different/ more debilitating than a reception/ celebration (eyes may frequently be on you, but there are other people around having conversations, and it is easier to slip away.)

    All of that being said, I love the ceremony portion of weddings, and would miss not seeing it. But if it is truly a tiny number of people invited to the ceremony, as a guest invited to the reception, I would not be offended, and I further do not think this is a  breach of etiquette. If it is, it's a small one. 
    Um, the "reception later" part of her OP. . . that's the extra dinner.  PP"s mentioned that immediatley following the ceremony, the couple in question needs to host their guests to some sort of meal.  So if this bride does that, then she is hosting people related to her wedding twice- once following the ceremony and then again at 7pm for an even larger number of people- and therefore she's NOT having a tiered event in order to avoid the cost of feeding people dinner, as Scribe was implying in her post. . .which is what I was responding too.


    lilacck28 explained it well. All of us who are attending the Courthouse (I believe there will be 6 of us), will afterwards head to the location where the party will be held. I personally don't have a problem with this. Even if I were only invited to the party, as long as the couple was being honest (which they are), I would be totally cool with it.




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  • ashtsbashtsb member
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    edited June 2015

    pinkcow13 said:
    lilacck28 said:

    Except that having one reception following the ceremony and then another, hosted party later for a larger crowd wouldn't actually really save any money. . . this couple is still going to have to pay to feed and provide drinks for the 50+ guests at the celebration of marriage party, on top of paying for everyone's dinner following the ceremony.

    This is why these types of events- small "intimate" ceremony followed by a huge reception afterwards with more people who weren't invited to the wedding- don't make any sense to me.  They don't save the couple any money and they don't keep the couple from being the center of attention.
    BOXES?

    Except that's not what OP said is happening. OP said:
     1. Couple will get married at courthouse with 4 or so other people in attendance. 
    2. People who attended the ceremony as well as other friends and family will be hosted with open bar and dinner at a celebration/ reception at 7 (I'm assuming "7" means 7pm the same day the couple gets married?) 

    There is no extra dinner. 

    If a couple wants to do an intimate ceremony and a bigger reception/ celebration, I don't see a problem. Clearly saving money isn't the reason they are doing this, since they wouldn't be saving much. And though nothing in the OP suggests that the reason the couple is choosing an intimate ceremony is because they don't want to be the center of attention, since you brought it up:  I believe there have been tons of people with social anxiety or who have friends/ family with social anxiety who have argued that being the "center of attention" at a ceremony (all eyes on you all the time) is different/ more debilitating than a reception/ celebration (eyes may frequently be on you, but there are other people around having conversations, and it is easier to slip away.)

    All of that being said, I love the ceremony portion of weddings, and would miss not seeing it. But if it is truly a tiny number of people invited to the ceremony, as a guest invited to the reception, I would not be offended, and I further do not think this is a  breach of etiquette. If it is, it's a small one. 
    Um, the "reception later" part of her OP. . . that's the extra dinner.  PP"s mentioned that immediatley following the ceremony, the couple in question needs to host their guests to some sort of meal.  So if this bride does that, then she is hosting people related to her wedding twice- once following the ceremony and then again at 7pm for an even larger number of people- and therefore she's NOT having a tiered event in order to avoid the cost of feeding people dinner, as Scribe was implying in her post. . .which is what I was responding too.


    lilacck28 explained it well. All of us who are attending the Courthouse (I believe there will be 6 of us), will afterwards head to the location where the party will be held. I personally don't have a problem with this. Even if I were only invited to the party, as long as the couple was being honest (which they are), I would be totally cool with it.


    edited because boxes !!!!

    I can see this being ok. I think this still rubs me wrong because the couple is having a ceremony that not everyone is invited but they are are then invited to the reception. But this isn't really a reception, there doesn't seem like there will be any wedding things besides maybe a cake and the fact the couple was recently married, yes?



  • pinkcow13 said:
    lilacck28 said:

    Except that having one reception following the ceremony and then another, hosted party later for a larger crowd wouldn't actually really save any money. . . this couple is still going to have to pay to feed and provide drinks for the 50+ guests at the celebration of marriage party, on top of paying for everyone's dinner following the ceremony.

    This is why these types of events- small "intimate" ceremony followed by a huge reception afterwards with more people who weren't invited to the wedding- don't make any sense to me.  They don't save the couple any money and they don't keep the couple from being the center of attention.
    BOXES?

    Except that's not what OP said is happening. OP said:
     1. Couple will get married at courthouse with 4 or so other people in attendance. 
    2. People who attended the ceremony as well as other friends and family will be hosted with open bar and dinner at a celebration/ reception at 7 (I'm assuming "7" means 7pm the same day the couple gets married?) 

    There is no extra dinner. 

    If a couple wants to do an intimate ceremony and a bigger reception/ celebration, I don't see a problem. Clearly saving money isn't the reason they are doing this, since they wouldn't be saving much. And though nothing in the OP suggests that the reason the couple is choosing an intimate ceremony is because they don't want to be the center of attention, since you brought it up:  I believe there have been tons of people with social anxiety or who have friends/ family with social anxiety who have argued that being the "center of attention" at a ceremony (all eyes on you all the time) is different/ more debilitating than a reception/ celebration (eyes may frequently be on you, but there are other people around having conversations, and it is easier to slip away.)

    All of that being said, I love the ceremony portion of weddings, and would miss not seeing it. But if it is truly a tiny number of people invited to the ceremony, as a guest invited to the reception, I would not be offended, and I further do not think this is a  breach of etiquette. If it is, it's a small one. 
    Um, the "reception later" part of her OP. . . that's the extra dinner.  PP"s mentioned that immediatley following the ceremony, the couple in question needs to host their guests to some sort of meal.  So if this bride does that, then she is hosting people related to her wedding twice- once following the ceremony and then again at 7pm for an even larger number of people- and therefore she's NOT having a tiered event in order to avoid the cost of feeding people dinner, as Scribe was implying in her post. . .which is what I was responding too.


    lilacck28 explained it well. All of us who are attending the Courthouse (I believe there will be 6 of us), will afterwards head to the location where the party will be held. I personally don't have a problem with this. Even if I were only invited to the party, as long as the couple was being honest (which they are), I would be totally cool with it.




    So is the courthouse wedding happening late enough that a 7pm reception is immediately afterwards without a gap?  This is what made me think there would be a meal IMMEDIATELY after the ceremony for the 6 people in attendance, then a Party later with everybody.
  • So I only started glancing through all of the responses toward the end. But, a friend of FI's did something very similar recently, and I can tell you how it went down:

    Courthouse wedding with JUST immediate family and B&G's best friends (6 people total) on a Friday.
    Dinner with those people immediately after.

    Party on Saturday at a local bar with the rest of their family and friends. 

    They sent out email invites that basically said what CMG said, about it being a celebration of marriage. Also, the B&G had a tab for guests to put drinks on, but the party was not like...paid for with meals or anything. I think a lot of guests put stuff on their tab, but I felt weird doing that and FI and I just paid for our own bar food and drinks. I don't know if that is etiquette-appropriate, but I thought it was fine as it wasn't billed as a reception and I didn't think it was hosted.
    image
  • PrettyGirlLostPrettyGirlLost A Land Filled with Unicorns and Cat Hair member
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    adk19 said:
    pinkcow13 said:
    lilacck28 said:

    Except that having one reception following the ceremony and then another, hosted party later for a larger crowd wouldn't actually really save any money. . . this couple is still going to have to pay to feed and provide drinks for the 50+ guests at the celebration of marriage party, on top of paying for everyone's dinner following the ceremony.

    This is why these types of events- small "intimate" ceremony followed by a huge reception afterwards with more people who weren't invited to the wedding- don't make any sense to me.  They don't save the couple any money and they don't keep the couple from being the center of attention.
    BOXES?

    Except that's not what OP said is happening. OP said:
     1. Couple will get married at courthouse with 4 or so other people in attendance. 
    2. People who attended the ceremony as well as other friends and family will be hosted with open bar and dinner at a celebration/ reception at 7 (I'm assuming "7" means 7pm the same day the couple gets married?) 

    There is no extra dinner. 

    If a couple wants to do an intimate ceremony and a bigger reception/ celebration, I don't see a problem. Clearly saving money isn't the reason they are doing this, since they wouldn't be saving much. And though nothing in the OP suggests that the reason the couple is choosing an intimate ceremony is because they don't want to be the center of attention, since you brought it up:  I believe there have been tons of people with social anxiety or who have friends/ family with social anxiety who have argued that being the "center of attention" at a ceremony (all eyes on you all the time) is different/ more debilitating than a reception/ celebration (eyes may frequently be on you, but there are other people around having conversations, and it is easier to slip away.)

    All of that being said, I love the ceremony portion of weddings, and would miss not seeing it. But if it is truly a tiny number of people invited to the ceremony, as a guest invited to the reception, I would not be offended, and I further do not think this is a  breach of etiquette. If it is, it's a small one. 
    Um, the "reception later" part of her OP. . . that's the extra dinner.  PP"s mentioned that immediatley following the ceremony, the couple in question needs to host their guests to some sort of meal.  So if this bride does that, then she is hosting people related to her wedding twice- once following the ceremony and then again at 7pm for an even larger number of people- and therefore she's NOT having a tiered event in order to avoid the cost of feeding people dinner, as Scribe was implying in her post. . .which is what I was responding too.


    lilacck28 explained it well. All of us who are attending the Courthouse (I believe there will be 6 of us), will afterwards head to the location where the party will be held. I personally don't have a problem with this. Even if I were only invited to the party, as long as the couple was being honest (which they are), I would be totally cool with it.




    So is the courthouse wedding happening late enough that a 7pm reception is immediately afterwards without a gap?  This is what made me think there would be a meal IMMEDIATELY after the ceremony for the 6 people in attendance, then a Party later with everybody.
    Good question.

    This type of thing might be technically Ok as per etiquette, but I'm just not a fan.  It just seems awkward and gift grabby to me.

    If I got that invitation I'd be thinking, "Hmmm, if I wasn't invited to the wedding, why am I being invited to the marriage celebration?  I would have liked to see them actually get married.  That's the important part, the reception is just a glorified party. . . for the guests who attended the actual ceremony.  Should I bring a gift to this party or not?  It's not really a reception. . . "

    Then, at the celebration party, "Oh hey, Couple!  Congrats on your marriage. . . that I didn't actually witness."

    I get that no one HAS TO invite anyone or everyone to their ceremony.  But I don't understand why you'd then want to celebrate your marriage with a bunch of people that actually weren't there to witness it.  I had a bunch of people that I didn't invite to my wedding for budget and venue limitations; I didn't throw a celebration party later to include them.

    I just don't get it.

    "Love is the one thing we're capable of perceiving that transcends time and space."


    Maggie0829
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