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Small ceremony - large reception afterwards or informal party later?

(4 Posts)
Gwennan Tue 21-May-13 13:04:15

We would like to get married next year. I've found a great venue for our civil ceremony but, if we book it, it means we would only be able to invite 22 guests. The venue isn't particularly accessible so it would be tricky for our grandparents and other older relatives to join us for the ceremony. If we decide to book this venue, I think we would only invite our parents and siblings (together with their partners). However, following the ceremony, I'm not sure what we should do.

We have about another 45 people we would like to invite - grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, and close friends. Should we invite them, and our ceremony guests, to a traditional wedding breakfast immediately afterwards or wait and host a more informal party to celebrate? If we didn't have a traditional wedding breakfast, we would take our parents and siblings out for a nice meal.

I would like a small, informal wedding but it's important for my fiancé that we celebrate with our friends and family and I'm happy with that idea. If it makes any difference, our friends and family members would have to travel to join us. The longest it would take is about 2 1/2 hours for those furthest away.

We can afford a proper white wedding for our number of guests (around 65-70) but the idea of spending £££ on just one day makes my eyes water!

What would you do and what's the best way of making everyone happy?

feetheart Tue 21-May-13 13:11:46

We had a small, family-only ceremony and meal afterwards for 13 people including 2 yr old DD. The next day we invited everyone we wanted to a picnic at a local English Heritage place - we supplied bubbly and chocolate cake (that DH, DD and I had made) and asked everyone to bring a picnic and outdoor games. It was a brilliant day with juggling, kite-flying, etc going on and the perfect wedding for us.
We checked beforehand with the property to see if there was anything else going on and because there wasn't we were able to decamp to one of the follies when it threatened to rain, taking a few slightly bemused punters with us smile

Gwennan Wed 22-May-13 14:08:46

Your wedding sounds perfect, feetheart. Definitely something to consider!

Pandemoniaa Wed 22-May-13 20:12:54

I'm having a family only ceremony because we weren't prepared to choose one friend over another and our civil wedding venue only holds 40. We are then having lunch before a big, informal evening do later that same day.

I love the sound of feetheart's wedding but I would say that friends who waited until the day after for the bigger friends do was a bit of an anti-climax because at least 40 people didn't turn up. The main excuse (and a really feeble one, imho) being that it wasn't actually their wedding day.

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