General chatter - Wedding Question

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hello pinki
05-28-2009, 05:01 PM
We're planning our wedding for next spring, and I initially wanted a tiny wedding, my fiance wanted a HUGE wedding. Well, we agreed to meet in the middle and have a small ceremony (parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, aunts uncles cousins). We both have small families so that is about 50 people including our 10 people in the wedding party. I wanted to do an intimate sit down dinner right after the ceremony with the family to make it feel special and close for our family.

Our other goal was to keep the reception very casual and fun, nothing formal, but almost a night club feel to it. Its starting at 8:00pm with open bar all night and appetizers only, amazing club DJ and other fun things going on. We are inviting 220 roughly...

As I was going through the invitee list, I started to feel bad that there are many people potentially coming in from out of state and out of country, so I thought, Hmm, I probably want them at the ceremony too to make it worth their trip...but now my small intimate wedding is going out of the window. So now, I'm considering inviting everyone to the wedding, but have the wedding start at 7:30, do a quick ceremony and then get the party started.

We have the option to get married at our reception venue (if anyone is familiar with Milwaukee, its Turner Hall Ballroom). The ceremony would be on stage, after the ceremony everyone could go up stairs and have cocktails while the event staff sets up the cocktail tables and food, and then we'd all be down stairs for the reception. question is. Do I keep with my original dream of a tiny intimate wedding and large reception? Or do I cave and have a big wedding and big reception???

I keep telling myself that this day has to be about us and what we want, not about the people coming, but I'm also like Monica from Friends and the ultimate party planner so I feel bad if people travel there just for a reception.

Oh man this sucks. sucks sucks sucks.

I've asked my fiance 100 times but he's no help. God bless him because his quote is always "What baby wants, baby gets" but when I REALLY need input its the worst!

05-28-2009, 05:04 PM
How about this...

Get married one day then on a day near the wedding date, throw a reception party. Of course this would probably only work if your close family also live nearby.

05-28-2009, 05:10 PM
Most people who travel expect to be going to the wedding--the ceremony. I think you'd have a far lower turnout among people who live somewhere else if you're inviting them for, basically, a party.

05-28-2009, 05:14 PM
Yep, that's one option...intimate ceremony with an "at home" reception later. I went to something very similar...the wedding was in Hawaii and we weren't able to travel there, but the couple had a party at home and showed video of the ceremony (highlights), then partied the night away. They did throw in some traditionally wedding elements (tossed a bouquet, cut a cake) but mostly it was just a party. It's totally acceptable to do that, and as a guest, it was worth the trip.

05-28-2009, 05:20 PM
I was invited to a wedding only, and not the post-wedding dinner nor party. I was, however, given a wedding registry list of things they wanted as gifts. This was from a childhood friend (?) who said that she only wanted her real friends and family at the dinner. I decided not to go.

My only answer is this: if you want a family wedding, have the family wedding only. If you want a party, have the party another day as a reception/celebration. If you want the big celebration and wedding on the same day, keep in mind that there are those on the list who may not choose to spend the money to celebrate your wedding if they feel excluded from the usual events.

I personally would go with separating the two events completely. Or I would invite everyone for everything. But my personal last choice would be distinguishing between those "good enough" for the ceremony, those "good enough" for the dinner, and those "good enough" for the party. There are so many ways to have a wedding, and you have to do what feels right for you, but inevitably there will be compromise (i.e. you can get married in the Caribbean, just don't expect everyone to be able to afford can get married on a Tuesday morning, just don't expect everyone to be able to get time off of work can request "no children" at the event, just don't expect parents of young kids to attend...). So it really comes down to what you are comfortable with!

hello pinki
05-28-2009, 05:43 PM
Wow Kira! that's insane to be invited to the ceremony but not dinner...that's really crazy to me! I did consider seperating the events but 99% of my family and bridal party are from out of state so that makes it hard.

Thank you for the ideas ladies - keep the comments coming, I'm trying to figure it all out!!!


05-28-2009, 06:34 PM
I sure don't envy you! All I can say is that everyone definitely WILL have an amazing time -- I wish I could come! And if there is food there, and drinks, people will have a great time.
Here's a thought -- can you get someone to video the ceremony? Maybe you could get married, have a friend tape it, then get to the ceremony and play the tape (I know, it won't be professional, but who cares???) on a continuous loop throughout the night! Kind of like a background video during the music. Like, project it onto a large white screen in one area of the hall. Then people will be able to "see" the wedding, and still feel part of it, and have fun at the party!
That might work...and although it is a compromise, it just might let others see the wedding while you get your intimate service!