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Does this wedding idea sound ridiculous?

(104 Posts)
NorfolkingTime Fri 21-Apr-17 11:57:50

Imagining you and your other half get incredibly awkward when in the limelight, but want a big party afterwards...

Traditional (but secret) church ceremony just with parents/older relatives/siblings in attendance, followed by a big party afterwards at home. But, invites to non-church people would just be a generic party invite, not a wedding invite IYSWIM.

So, we'd invite everyone to us for a garden party, but then obviously we'd turn up in wedding gear and tell them all we'd just got married. Then do speeches etc, followed by food and dancing.

Would people be annoyed at missing the main service? I just know I will be blubbing throughout, DP will probably trip over his own feet stood still, and we'll want the official bit just done as soon as possible!

I also really don't want the constant questions about wedding planning on the run up, or the hen do, or any of that. (It's not public knowledge yet that we're engaged). Or the drama of who is bridesmaid and who's not.

Would it work or will people just be baffled why I'm rocking up to our own party late, and in a wedding dress grin

SillyLittleBiscuit Fri 21-Apr-17 12:01:56

Not silly if that's what you want but you might be disappointed by a few people not turning up as they may prioritise something else over a party but would have attended if they knew it was a wedding.

TiredCluelessMummy Fri 21-Apr-17 12:03:12

I think you will probably get a mixed bag of guests who think it's really cute and original, and guests who feel a bit miffed about it. Not that it matters but I know I have a little branch of our family who would think it was attention seeking bollocks. But they are fairly miserable people in general.

I did have a friend who recently got married and she just did it in secret (her, DH, bridesmaid, best man) and told everyone when they got back. Then they had a big party a month or so later. Have you considered something like that?

CuppaSarah Fri 21-Apr-17 12:04:17

Could you tie it in with one of your birthdays and make it a "surprise birthday party" only the surprise isn't the birthday party! I think you won't need to worry about people not coming as it's "just a normal party"

I think it sounds amazing though, really lovely and unique.

MirriMazDuur Fri 21-Apr-17 12:04:25

Surely a lot of people just won't come because they won't know it's a wedding?

MirandaWest Fri 21-Apr-17 12:09:50

I'd feel a bit disappointed to not be able to be at the actual marriage ceremony. I'm also not sure why doing speeches would be all right to do with other people there whereas the getting married part wouldn't be.

And people might also want to give you wedding cards and presents.

I can see you wanting to avoid the wedding run up pain but I don't see why you couldn't let people know it's a wedding, have the service for just a select few and then the party for everyone else. Why does it need to be a secret?

leedspirate Fri 21-Apr-17 12:15:31

I love that idea!

NorfolkingTime Fri 21-Apr-17 12:18:32

The whole 'people may not attend thing' had occurred to me, but I kind of think people who really enjoy spending time with us will make an effort to come to a party, without us saying it's a wedding (unless they genuinely can't, in which case they couldn't come regardless of what we call it!)

I want to do the traditional ceremony thing for the elderly relatives who would be really upset to miss it, and so our parents can see it. We want to get married in the village church.

One of the reasons for a secret thing, was so we could just plan something nice without everyone's constant input - we've already had people pitching ideas at us before we were even engaged, I dread to think what it would be like when a date is actually set!

I like the idea of mixing it in with a birthday - DP has a summer birthday!

beardotdo Fri 21-Apr-17 12:19:47

We had a similar wedding. Very close family (17 guests including our children and us) to the ceremony and a nice meal in a restaurant. Then we had an evening reception with approx 90 guests. We had nice food, a paid bar, a singer/guitarist and a disco Everyone knew it was our wedding though.

We did it mainly for cost reasons, but also we aren't massive fans of being centre stage. It took so much pressure off, everyone had a great time and if anyone did mind not coming to the ceremony, no one told me.

Do what you want to do.

HonorBright Fri 21-Apr-17 12:22:00

I completely understand why you would want to keep your wedding ceremony private. I don't understand why you would want to withhold information about the party from your guests.

I agree with PP - I think you'll find that people will not prioritise a garden party in the way that they would a wedding. I live a long way from my friends and if I'm perfectly honest whilst I would really prioritise a wedding, regardless of the logistical challenges, I might not do the same for a party. I'd be really disappointed to learn afterwards that I had missed out on my friend's wedding.

HonorBright Fri 21-Apr-17 12:24:00

I kind of think people who really enjoy spending time with us will make an effort to come to a party, without us saying it's a wedding (unless they genuinely can't, in which case they couldn't come regardless of what we call it!)

Not necessarily. I'm hundreds of miles from my friends. I know that if they throw a party I will hardly seem them because they will (quite rightly) be circulating and being a good host/ess. I'd rather make plans to see them in a small group so that I can genuinely spend time talking to them.

Obsidian77 Fri 21-Apr-17 12:24:59

I know someone who did this.. she did get a surprising amount of peope saying sorry, can't make it but of course we'll come to your wedding.
And then being really miffed that they had missed her wedding.
Less drama all round if you just say you're having a very low-key ceremony, family only but make it clear they're invited to the reception.
Your choice, don't be pressured into doing anything that makes you uncomfortable.

KnockMeDown Fri 21-Apr-17 12:25:01

Who are the people who you feel would interfere if the wedding was common knowledge? Friends, or closer family? And the family who will be attending - is there a chance they may let the cat out of the bag?

MauvaiseFemme Fri 21-Apr-17 12:25:14

I know someone who did just that. Invited friends to a 'birthday party' and when everyone arrived, they told them it was actually for their wedding. They'd made a big enough deal of the birthday party (asked for rsvp etc. and also did it in a village about an hour away from them) that people made an effort and those who said they were going, went. Guests thought it was really original and enjoyed it.

MirriMazDuur Fri 21-Apr-17 12:26:21

It's not just about spending time though is it? I don't think you can judge how much someone likes you on whether or not they come to a garden party. I don't like parties generally and we don't have a baby sitter for just an everyday party. I'd make an effort to come to a party if someone had just got married though.

NorfolkingTime Fri 21-Apr-17 12:30:10

Knock i think friends are the ones who would perhaps interfere - or at least those are the people that have expressed opinions on what we should do so far.

I see what you're all saying about distance etc. I've always been worried about people not turning up to things I arrange, but we had a day time party recently and I was really surprised at how many people came and from how far. I think maybe that gave me the idea that people would still come for just a party. (Most people we know are local except my parents and siblings - but they would know it's a wedding!)

ClashCityRocker Fri 21-Apr-17 12:30:11

I don't dislike the idea, but don't you have to have your banns read in church four weeks in advance?

Just thinking if you have any guests who attend the church, or any church goers who will let the cat out of the bag.

Although I don't know how it actually works in practice!

I do think it is a good point re guests... I would make a lot more effort for a wedding than a party for no reason... Xx

inappropriateraspberry Fri 21-Apr-17 12:31:40

I'd love to turn up at a party and be surprised like that! Yes, I'd think it a bit of a shame that I couldn't be at the ceremony, but I'd hope my happiness for the couple would outweigh that. True friends should be thrilled for you. If it's what you really want to do - then do it!

Ahardmanisgoodtofind Fri 21-Apr-17 12:32:36

I wanted to do this but dp the sensible one said make a list of all the people you would be gutted if they couldn't come. That list got rather long and to keep it quiet we'd have had to rely on DM and dmil big mouths to keep it secret and we'd have had to tell quite a few friends who live far away to ensure they came, the number of people who would "need to know" out weighed those who wouldn't.
Instead we're having just immediate family at the wedding and meal, extended family and very good friends are invited earlier than evening guest so we have a bit more time with them esp as many will be travelling 100s of miles. We're not doing speeches or first dance because it'd would be uncomfortable for us.everyone has been great about it saying they think it's perfect for us as a couple.

GattoColorCioccolatto Fri 21-Apr-17 12:33:31

If you get married in the village church, won't word spread re the real reason for the party when the banns are read in advance?

Glitteryfrog Fri 21-Apr-17 12:33:52

we've already had people pitching ideas at us before we were even engaged, I dread to think what it would be like when a date is actually set!

Smile, nod and ignore.
No one really cares what you do, they ask to make polite conversation.
My stock answer is - it's all going fine thanks.

FlyAwayPeter Fri 21-Apr-17 12:34:10

Um, as far as i know (clergy family) a church service is open to anyone. Anyone can wander in, you can't have a "secret" service.

titchy Fri 21-Apr-17 12:34:23

Terrible idea sorry! If people think it's just a normal summer party, they may well have another party invite and have to choose between the two - which may mean they opt to go to the other party. People often like dressing up for a weeding reception so again they might well be pissed off if they turn up in jeans and a trainers. A slightly ill child/partner/self/dog might mean they don't bother but if they knew it was your wedding they'd make the effort.

Basically i think a lot of people would be quite disappointed. If you don't want any of the fuss or suggestions pre-wedding, just book everything and don't tell anyone until you hand out invitations 5 or 6 weeks before hand.

ShotsFired Fri 21-Apr-17 12:34:31

I prefer seeing the ceremony to the party tbh.

I like to see two people in love declaring that for the world to see and would do all I could to be there if they asked)

Whereas parties and having to mingle and make smalltalk with strangers (and would really only go if I knew I'd be amongst familiar company and couldn't get out of it!)

DeliciouslyHella Fri 21-Apr-17 12:34:56

Some relatives of mine did similar, and it did cause some bad feeling with some people - but only because the secret had leaked and so some people turned up to the 'party' with wedding gifts and cards, whereas others didn't have a clue and felt left out by not knowing.

So, if you're going to do it, I would say keep it absolutely quiet until as late as possible and swear anyone in the know to secrecy.

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