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Topic: What HAVE I let myself in for?!  (Read 1168 times)
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What perfume am I wearing? It's called Febreze.

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« on: June 17, 2008 07:28:14 PM »

Ok, firstly I must remember to breathe...

Secondly, help!!

We're getting married, after years of saying we wouldn't, after years of not even considering what I want!

And it's in 6 weeks...

the wedding itself is no real hassle, it's the reception!  There's only going to be 9 guests (if they can all make it) at the wedding, and I'll be wearing an outfit I already own (black dress, red accessories, going to knit a red shawl) and the guests really aren't expecting anything except to turn up and go to the pub after with us!

Now, the reception...

How do I, nicely, put "please come to the reception, but not the wedding, sorry...", especially as NO family are coming to the wedding itself (close family all know already, and are ok with that), and, we're not laying on food, I should mention this, right??  The venue we're having (hopefully!) does serve food, but we can't afford to lay any on (not unless they want a bag of crisps each...)

Also, it's generally accepted that gift registry details are included for wedding invites, but what about if they're only coming to the reception?  Is it cheeky to even mention a gift list? Or should I add something like "if you wish to buy us a gift, we'd love something from..."

I'd like to keep it as informal as possible (I was hoping that meant low stress...), but I'm also aware that we might be stepping on some peoples toes (my nan doesn't yet know, for example), so I'm trying to be as 'correct' as possible, whilst still casual!

and where do I start on deciding on invites?!?  I'd like *something* slightly unusual, but don't really know what...

One more question, I'm mad, right?? I mean SIX WEEKS!!!

« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2008 05:33:25 AM »

First, congratulations! Second, hit a few etiquette websites before you start your invites. I say a few, because if you read more than that your head will explode with all the "rules". I'm assuming this is a casual affair and most etiquette sites will have your head reeling with do's and don'ts. Here is a run down of generally accepted answers to your particular questions:

1.) Invite wording for reception only

Mojen and MojenMan McCraftyton request the honor of your presence at a celebration of their marriage Saturday, the ninth of January at seven o' clock Rob Roy Country Club, Tarrytown, Wales

(peeps will know in advance this is just the reception - you don't mention "hey we're getting hitched earlier, but you aren't invited to that." This way, guests will be aware that the wedding itself has already taken place.)

2.) It is never acceptable (in the world of etiquette) to list where you are registered on an invitation. It is commonplace to tell your bridal party and family and they are required to spread the word. While this is stupid and unhelpful to your guests who would care to purchase things for you, it is not what is deemed "acceptable" in the stuffy realm of the etiquette world. But, I would say if this is a close and dear crowd, and you are really humble about it - you could add at the bottom of your invite in a much smaller font "If you would care to purchase a gift for the couple, they are registered at Harrod's."

Here's a couple websites that will help you with all those nagging etiquette questions you never, ever thought you would have to think about:
The Knot - http://www.theknot.com/keywords/sc_221_525.shtml
How to properly address envelopes:
DIY Templates for things like ceremony programs, etc:

3.) Where to start on invites? Do you have an idea of the colours or style that you prefer? You could start there, design them yourself and print them out at the local copy shop or on your home printer. You can go as simple (purchase invites from a local shop, premade) or as detailed (design your own, Gocco them, handwrite, etc) as you would like. What is your crafting specialty or interest? You could go in that direction. Just try not to get caught up in all the myriads of options and frippery out there since you have such a tight time table and want to get your invites to people in enough time for them to plan.

There are alot of options out there, so don't get overwhelmed. You have a VERY special and unusual opportunity here of making your invites really personal since you are inviting so few people. So take that into consideration, but take your mental health into consideration first! Good luck. If you need any help, feel free to PM me, I'll do what I can.
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2008 01:39:26 PM »

It's totally acceptable to invite people to a reception following a "private ceremony". I just went to a reception-only last weekend (the wedding was 2 weeks prior, followed by a honeymoon)... this was a "I swear I'll never get married again" wedding.. hehehe
The reception was potluck - people brought their fave dishes. They had pulled pork/pit beef sandwiches, salad, fruit salad, chips & dip, veggie platter, macaroni/potato salad, and soup (crab & cream of crab... marylanders). Someone brought beer, etc...
For dessert - cake & ice cream.
Everything was self serve. Paper plates, inexpensive wedding favors and a boom box playing a mix cd & everything was very lovely.
I ate better than I had ever eaten @ a reception & had a great time.

Oh - as far as invitations. They were literally dollar-store invitations that she filled in "What:" "Where:" "When:" etc... Smiley

Keep it inexpensive and save $$$ for something nice! Smiley
Good luck planning & Congrats! Smiley


"Be open to learning new lessons even if they contradict the lessons you learned yesterday."
- Ellen Degeneres
"All great achievements require time" ~Maya Angelou
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« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2008 11:55:05 AM »

thanks guys Smiley

re gift list - I've now passed the details on to my mum (and him to his mum) and they're the point of call for people!

we've decided to have "really casual drinks" after the ceremony, and have an actual reception NEXT july (phew) which means so much less stress! (or so much more time for me to stress...)

Expect to see me around here a bit over the next year!

« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2008 09:04:56 PM »

Lots of good advice here, but I just wanted to add:

1) It's completely acceptable to invite people to the reception only and not the ceremony (but not the other way around).  Check etiquette books for standard wording on this.

2) It is never acceptable to include registry information in your invitations.  Gifts are optional on the part of the guest and the couple does not dictate to the giver what they are.  Hence, the couple should not take action that's tantamount to asking for them, like telling guests where to shop for them up front.  A guest who chooses to give a gift would hopefully want to give one useful to you, which is why registry information is provided upon request only.  But it's not mandatory guests buy off the registry (although it's definitely easier).

The word of mouth method is always good to spread the registry news.  If you do a Web site, have a discreet link there to the stores where you've registered. 

3)  MAR had some really good ideas on where to start for invitations.  Don't kill yourself over them, particularly since your wedding is soon.  Have you thought about doing an e-mail "save the date" and then following up with hard copy invitations?

4) On the topic of potluck...I'm afraid I don't agree with this, either.  Hosts shouldn't ask the guests to help throw the event.  Furthermore, it's an event that is in celebration of a personal milestone.  Asking guests to help put on a party for one's own milestone?  It's a no-no.

Let me close by seconding MAR--your mental health comes first!  Good luck!
« Last Edit: June 20, 2008 06:04:04 PM by BoxOfRocks - Reason: Typos--para. 3 and closing sentence. » THIS ROCKS   Logged
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2008 07:31:26 AM »

Congratulations!  Don't stress too much!  Smiley

I have also been to "reception only" weddings.  It is perfectly acceptable.  A great aunt might come up to you and say, "There may have been a mistake with the wedding invitation. I only got a reception invite.  Where is the wedding again?"  But you can simply explain, "I'm sorry, the wedding is for a small group but we would be honored if you came to the reception to celebrate with us!"

I agree with the other posters: I find including wedding registries in the invitation tacky.  There are other ways around it.  Word of mouth is the most accepted.  But a lot of people put it on wedding websites these days.  You could always create a simple website to proclaim your love for one another, give directions to the reception, and include a link to the registries. 

I think the weddingchannel.com and theknot.com offer free wedding websites.  The knot's wedding websites give these complicated URLs -- I find them extremely annoying. Unless you bookmark the site, you'll never remember it!  Not sure if weddingchannel.com gives a short website URL for free or not.  My cousin's fiance set up her wedding wesbite through them and its simple to remember:


After you type in that URL, it redirects to a more complicated URL. 

Good luck!  I'm sure whatever you plan will be beautiful and wonderful.

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