Is a private, just-us, ceremony okay?

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bluenecklace Posts : 1 Registered: 6/16/10
Is a private, just-us, ceremony okay?
Posted: Jun 16, 2010 11:12 PM

Is it okay to have a private just-us ceremony and then later that night to have a reception of 100-200 or so people? We want to keep the reception more of a celebration/party and we aren't expecting gifts since were not inviting anyone to the actual wedding.

I want a private ceremony because I hate the idea of making our special day a show. It's not a budget issue, I just never pictured a huge wedding ceremony and I've always believed that the wedding itself should be about just you and your FH.

Anyways, would the average person consider this rude? I don't really care because I'm going to do it anyways, but I guess I just want to prepare myself for my family and friends reactions.


auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Is a private, just-us, ceremony okay?
Posted: Jun 16, 2010 11:26 PM Go to message in response to: bluenecklace

Dear BN,

That's OK.

The reverse (many people invited to a ceremony and a select few to the reception) is not OK. It's like saying "You are OK to see the ceremony and give me a gift, but not good enough for me to feed and water you."

You are extending hospitality (food, drinks, entertainment) to people to celebrate your new marriage. That's fine. Just make sure your invitations make it clear this is a reception, not a ceremony and reception.

"and we aren't expecting gifts"

No one expects gifts. Gifts are voluntary. If someone wants to give you a gift, thank them sincerely, then write a personal note later.

I'll re-state. Every newlywed couple hopes for gifts, but it's rude to in any way volunteer that they are expecting gifts. That's why registry info, for example, is only communicated to the guest in answer to the guest's query.


Agape14 Posts : 201 Registered: 12/31/08
Re: Is a private, just-us, ceremony okay?
Posted: Jun 17, 2010 8:05 AM Go to message in response to: bluenecklace


If I was one of your family or friends, I'd be very hurt and upset if I was excluded from your wedding. There is middle ground between a huge wedding and one with no guests: it's a small wedding, one where close family and friends are invited to witness your vows. So I'd think long and hard before planning a wedding ceremony that doesn't include a single family or friend.

Besides, why bother having a reception at all if you think a wedding is all about "private time"? Why would you want 100-200 people around to celebrate something they weren't part of and didn't get to see?



~~Life's tough, wear a cup~~


ArtBride Posts : 4,838 Registered: 5/9/07
Re: Is a private, just-us, ceremony okay?
Posted: Jun 17, 2010 9:04 AM Go to message in response to: bluenecklace

In most states, you will need at least one official witness. This isn't true everywhere, though - we did not need anybody to sign as a witness in our state.

I have no problem with small, private ceremonies followed by a larger reception - but I'd strongly suggest AT LEAST including your immediate families in the ceremony. Most parents would be heartbroken if their child wanted to get married without them there. And if I was your sibling, I'd be pretty pissed, too. I wouldn't care whether it was your vision to get married without your family there - I would simply be hurt and angry that you didn't want your family to share in an important moment in your life, and an invitation to the reception would not be any consolation to me. I'm not saying it is wrong for you to want to get married privately - I'm simply telling you how I would feel in this situation if I was your family member.

As a regular guest, it wouldn't bother me much. I might think it was a little weird, as you normally get to see a ceremony when you go to a wedding, but I probably wouldn't give it much thought. If the wedding was local for me, I'd still go and celebrate. If I was an OOT guest, however, I'd be much more likely to decline a reception-only invitation. Spending money on travel, traveling, and potentially taking time off from work to do so are one thing when you're invited to witness someone's wedding, but seems like an excessive amount of money and hassle to attend a party. For example, we know we're being invited to a wedding in Illinois in Sept. The couple is getting married in a small church that the groom's grandfather built. Sounds lovely, but it can only hold about a quarter of the guests they want to invite, so the ceremony is family-only and everyone else is going to be invited only to the reception. Now we MIGHT have made the trip for this couple's wedding, but that helped us make the decision. It would have been a big hassle to attend, as the wedding is a two-hour drive from the closest airport. Sorry if it seems harsh, but we wouldn't spend over a thousand dollars and 5+ hours traveling to go to someone's reception.

I would happily spend that kind of money and time traveling for a close friend or family member's wedding - but if I was not invited to the ceremony, I'd be really hurt. If it was a friend and the ceremony was family-only, I would understand, but I'd be VERY hurt if it was a close family member. So if I were you, I would REALLY consider inviting your immediate family, at the very least, to the ceremony. There is no way to exclude them without upsetting or hurting them.

DaisypathWedding Ticker

Vice President and Guardian of the Toilet Brush of POOP: People Offended by Offended People


MsDenuninani Posts : 3,962 Registered: 3/16/07
Re: Is a private, just-us, ceremony okay?
Posted: Jun 17, 2010 6:13 PM Go to message in response to: bluenecklace

accidentally answered the wrong question here -- sorry! Ignore me, please

Edited by: MsDenuninani on Jun 17, 2010 6:13 PM


wzq103 Posts : 1,190 Registered: 9/11/12
Re: Is a private, just-us, ceremony okay?
Posted: Sep 20, 2012 3:35 PM Go to message in response to: bluenecklace

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