We had a hard time coming up with an appropriate title for today’s etiquette dilemma — since it’s really a series of overlapping issues, we had a hard time finding something that encapsulated them all! Read on, because we’d LOVE your thoughts on this one. I don’t think there’s just one right answer!
I’m still early in the wedding planning process, but my list of must-haves is pretty much set for the big day and while I was discussing the ceremony/reception with my mom, an interesting point came up. My mom wants me to have a church ceremony, which is fine, but I want the reception to be a barn raisin’ good time! And while most people invited to the ceremony wouldn’t be offended by attending a reception where a few cold ones are being passed around, there are some people (family friends, older family members, etc.) who would be offended. The last thing I want to do is disappoint my sweet granddaddy, but I’m not willing to budge on this reception. Our solution: a ceremony and small reception at the church with an invite-only barn party on the hush hush. So, here’s where I’m stumped: is this allowed? And if so, how do you pull this off?! I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, but I am pretty set on my big barn party! I can’t be the only Southern girl who has tried to balance honoring her family, not causing anyone to stumble, but having a certain vision for her wedding, right?! Any help you could give would be fantastic. Thank ya kindly!
My first instinct is that having a secret anything related to a wedding is just asking for hurt feelings when the secret inevitably gets out. Perhaps you go ahead with your tentative plan – church ceremony, small church reception, barn party – but put everything out in the open? Give guests a chance to check off which events they’ll attend on the RSVP card (and make it clear on the invitation that the barn party will be the most raucous of the three). That way, guests can pick and choose what they’re most comfortable with, and you can feel good knowing you’ve been above-board.
Friends, I (and I’m sure Brittney!) would love to hear from you on this one: have you run into this situation in your own wedding planning? Have you ever been to a two-part reception? Please weigh in in the comments!