The phrase “private ceremony” can mean a lot of different things. To some couples,

Let The Ceremony Begin!!!

it means being surrounded by core friends and family instead of a large guest list. To other couples, a private ceremony is a way to trim back their budget and just keep things simple. In reality, you can have the best of both worlds with a small, private ceremony followed by an open reception where you can include everyone on your list.

By keeping the ceremony small, you have the freedom to choose a unique venue that best reflects you as a couple. Fewer guests also means fewer schedules to work around. Your wedding is all about you and it should be special, so don’t fret too much about the guest list. Many couples who host a ceremony outside of a church generally have a brief ceremony and if the guest list is small the rental savings can be as high as 25%.

In order to avoid hurting any feelings, take into consideration a special invitation for the reception. Let your guests know you are having a private ceremony or have already tied the knot, and now you would like them to join you at the reception to celebrate. For invitation ideas, check out the destination wedding article on Truly You want to be sure your guests feel included even if they aren’t invited to the actual ceremony.

How to Have a Small Private Wedding from offers some excellent advice when it comes to planning an exclusive ceremony followed by a larger reception. Keep it simple and low-key and be sure to word your invitations so your guests understand they are still a big part of your big day.

Our Bride and Groom last week opted for a small civil ceremony on the Front Steps of the Castle, with 35 of their closest friends and family in attendance. Following the ceremony, guests enjoyed a delicious dinner catered by Dianna’s Kitchen. As dinner came to a close, an additional 100 guests arrived and the celebration moved outside to our Courtyard.

Heavy Hors D'oeuvres!

The reception guests joined the happy couple to dance the night away and celebrate with the newlyweds. Outside, lights illuminated the big white tent and each table was adorned with touches of black, silver and deep red roses.

Dianna’s Kitchen provided a tasty array of heavy hors d’oeuvres, keeping the party goers snacking all night. Tables scattered out on the Courtyard provided plenty of space for the beautiful cake, DJ and a bartender.  By having a more casual style reception the evening flowed effortlessly without the rigidity of a more structured formal reception and the guests had a fantastic time.

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