Anonymous asked in Family & RelationshipsWeddings · 7 years ago

Had plans for a big wedding, now we may want a small wedding, need advice! any thoughts?

We're getting married June 1, 2013 and I am about to send out save the dates (waiting til @ least Feb. to send formal invitations..) long story short we had a big church wedding planned, we're on the calendar but won't pay the deposit until next week. Our reception is planned to take place by the lake at a different location only a few miles down the road. We started thinking about it, and really don't have a huge desire to have a big wedding. We want everyone that's on our list to attend our reception and celebrate with us, but instead of a big ceremony we've kind of thought about just having a private ceremony, just us two, my immediate family, his immediate family, that morning and then having everyone come out to the lake and celebrate; we will keep our reception spot regardless. We haven't told anyone WHERE the wedding is to take place yet anyways, but I do worry if some people will be disappointed that they won't be there when we say "i do." The difference between the cost is dramatic for us also (we are paying ourselves) the church will be almost $600 more than if we have the small garden ceremony at the wedding chapel that we like. My dress that I have will work for both church or garden wedding, and my accessories. Also, IF we do go with the small private ceremony, what would be a way to still make our appointed bridesmaids and groomsmen stand out at the reception? We still want to make them feel special.. Please give open thoughts and suggestions :) Thanks!

11 Answers

  • 7 years ago
    Best Answer

    Congrats on the wedding. I'm getting married 6/1/13 as well.

    btw you can send out save the dates now or right after the first of january. typically save the dates go out 9-7 months in advance for a destination weddings, popular dates, or holidays and 5-6months for a local wedding. June 1st is a popular date for weddings so sooner the better however you dont want to compete with christmas and new years otherwise it'll just get forgotten. If you havent ordered them, I suggest a postcard with a photo of you and your fiance on it. It's cheaper to send and then all of your guests get a photo of the two of you. Can do similar idea for thank you cards. Use a photo from your wedding.

    Now is where I get to be a buzz kill. You've already somewhat commited yourself to your bridal party. Are they still throwing you a bridal shower? Are they kicked out of photos as well?

    There are other ways to cut down costs for your wedding. It appears you really want the big wedding but the church is coming to be over your budget. Maybe you can look for other venues that are cheaper.

    Check out forest preserves that you can rent for the day. They can run less than $100 typically. They have shelter and have adequate parking. You can rent arches (cheaper than making) and decorate it with silk or handmade flowers.

    Source(s): vistaprint and overnightprint for postcards
  • 7 years ago

    I can only speak for myself and a few friends here, but there are a lot of people who aren't your immediate family who will consider your decision to only invite them to the reception a favor. Granted, if it were someone I were extremely close to, I'd want to see the ceremony, but for people I'm not really really close to, the ceremony is something I sit through and bear so that we can all have fun at the party afterward. Just being honest.

    I think it's a great idea. First, there is NO WAY I would spend $600 on a big church unless I just absolutely had my heart set on that location. Since you like something smaller and less expensive, I say go for it!

    You will need to have two invitations made up, which may end up costing a bit extra. On one, which will go to the people you intend to be at the ceremony and reception, you'll need a standard one that has the info for both. On the other, you should send out something that says something along the lines of "You are invited to a reception celebrating the marriage of....." and only include the reception information.

    As far as having your bridal party stand out, have them still in their wedding attire, or if you're going very casual for the lake, some kind of shirt or something that indicates that they're the groomsmen and bridesmaids. Still have the best man and maid of honor give toasts like they would anyway. Seat the bridal party at the head table, as you normally would. You and your new husband could make a toast, thanking the bridal party.

  • 7 years ago

    Ok, my friend who got married last month had the same issue. So what she did (and it seemed to go really well and didn't offend anyone) is state on a little poem inside the invite that she wanted a quiet family wedding ceremony, but a large celebration afterwards with all her friends at the reception. She also saved a reading that her and her fiance chose together read at the reception, so that everyone felt included in some part of the actually ceremony.

    Maybe you could do something similar?

  • Linda
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    The fish idea is not a well-thought through one. While I agree that it could be really cute, there are some major flaws. 1) Some people will be grossed out and too distracted/disgusted to eat. There are people with issues like that. 2) They're expensive. Especially when you have two per table. And you'll have to make sure there are some extras just in case. 3) Some fish don't get along with each other and don't like sharing bowls. They will begin to fight, and nobody wants to see fish maiming each other under normal circumstances, let alone while eating. 4) There's a very high chance that a portion (if not all of them) will die at some point. Accidents can happen - someone could knock over the bowl, the transportation could not go as smoothly as desired, the stress of being schlepped around all day might be too much for their fragile beings, they might not get fed by accident, they might already be sick/old, they might need a specific temperature of water... You get my point. You don't want to end up short a few centerpieces, nor do you want your guests to be staring at a belly-up fish while they eat. 5) What in the world are you going to do with the ones that don't die? Do you have a fish tank? Or do you expect people to want to take them home with them? People will be tired and may have long drives ahead of them and most likely don't want to have to worry about getting a little fish home alive. I'm trying to make my case without going all crazy Animal-Rights-Activist on you the way some people might and the way that is my initial instinct. But you also have to take into account that some guests may be unhappy with the fish centerpieces from that point of view, too. There are a lot of things that could be considered borderline animal abuse in having those centerpieces. I hope you see what I'm trying to say.

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  • 7 years ago

    Lesson learned: don't ask a bridal party, buy a dress, make plans, tell people, etc., before you put down deposits for your locations and set your date in stone. Now you're feeling the consequences.

    Here's what to do to fix this:

    Come to an immediate halt with the planning. Sit down with your fiance, make a list of what each of you really want out of this wedding, and go over your budget. Decide what you can reasonably afford and what you really want, and make some firm plans.

    Realize that people are attending a wedding to actually SEE you get married. They're not just there for the party. Realize that, if you change it to a private ceremony, many people will likely be hurt and insulted. Are you prepared to deal with that?

    You shouldn't get married in a church because of what it costs. If you are religious and it means a lot to you, then talk to them about a payment plan or cut back elsewhere in your budget (favors, flowers, limos) to make it work. If you're not religious, then find a pretty and secular ceremony spot (garden, library, reception hall) for your ceremony.

    I don't get why you want an intimate ceremony but a big party. If you have the desire and the resources for the big party, then WTF is the difference if they all get to come to the ceremony, too? That will make people wonder why on earth you had a big party but suddenly couldn't afford/desire to have them at the actual wedding. There's a big difference between your plan versus, "We both lost our jobs and can't afford the big wedding, so we're just going to City Hall with our parents. Sorry." Your reasoning makes absolutely no sense. Why not just have your ceremony at the place where the party will be, in that case? Or find a nearby ceremony spot that can accommodate everyone?

    There is no way to kick out your bridesmaids and groomsmen without hurting their feelings. Especially if they will not be invited to your small ceremony. "I changed my mind, turns out you're not THAT important to me" is all they're going to hear. If you are intent on booting them, then you'd better reimburse them for every penny they may have spent on your wedding so far (parties, clothes, gifts, etc.).

    There is no way to "recognize" them at the reception, because you can't be a bridesmaid/groomsman *just* for the reception. The point of a bridal party is to act as official witnesses at your ceremony. Besides, what would you say? "These are the people who were supposed to be our wedding party before we changed our minds and kicked them out"? If space is an issue at your ceremony site, then have them all walk down the aisle but then go sit in the front row, and just the best man and MOH can stand with you (which is how it's done at Catholic weddings anyway).

    The best way to make them "feel special" is to not kick them out in the first place.

    My suggestion for the best way to handle this mess: find a ceremony venue that you can afford and that can accommodate all your guests. Keep your bridal party as it is. And stop putting the cart before the horse.

  • 7 years ago

    It's your wedding do what you want

    I personally would be insulted being invited just to the reception

    It's saying I am not good enough to see the ceremony and just was invited for the present

    I would give a lot less

    If you want to do a small wedding do it

    Some people would be fine with that and other will be insulted

    Be ready for both reactions

  • 7 years ago

    Make it a small wedding and invite the others to a reception so they can join in the celebration. Since you are paying for the wedding yourselves, make it a private small wedding. Just the immediate family. You can easily spend $15,000 on a wedding for a few hours and a book of pictures. Simply explain to the bridesmaids and groomsmen (they haven't bought anythiing yet) that you have decided on a private wedding because of the cost. Most will secretly applaud you now they don't have to spend hundreds of dollars on an ugly bridesmaids dress to wear once either. Ask them for some fun ideas for a reception. Be firm about it. Being married isn't about a wedding you cannot afford...its about working together toward the future. Good luck!

  • 7 years ago

    This is very doable. You can still have a grand entrance at the reception that involves your wedding party. That would make sure that they are front and center and get recognition. But why can't they be a part of your ceremony also? That's really the whole point of the wedding party, to have them stand next to you in support and be a part of it. I personally would be really hurt if my best friend told me "sorry, I know you're my maid of honor, but you're not invited to the ceremony." And know that some of your other guests probably will be very disappointed that they did not get to be at the wedding ceremony. But it's your day and it should be how you want it to be.

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    4 years ago

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  • 7 years ago

    whatever type of wedding you do small or big that is not important you partner is most import in relationship its always good to do small ceremony with friends and family members from either side. anyways wishing you all the best for second phase of life from single to mingle :)

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