How to word the invitation after the wedding was postponed? Wording an invitation for a Convalidation ceremony
My now husband and I had planned our wedding for last Sept. Then in June, at the last minute, we had a small wedding in Fl with his family. My mom was able to come from Puerto Rico and I had a couple of friends as part of my wedding party which was put together in about an hour. The wedding invitations for the Sept wedding were sent, vendors were booked, dress has been bought. We did it because my husband was having some legal issues and we were advised to marry as soon as possible with a small wedding. My sister was supposed to be my maid of honor and she, along with many of my guests bought plane tickets to go to the Sept wedding in Puerto Rico. I made the mistake of announcing the “surprise” wedding on Facebook, and while some were happy, many were very upset, including my sister who didn’t speak to me for about 2 months. I was mortified to have to approach people and announce the change. We did say that we were to schedule a ceremony for June. I wanted to have a Catholic ceremony to be able to carry the whole thing in a fashion that would be more suitable to the fact that I will now have two weddings with two different wedding gowns. I feel sad cause I wish things would have been a bit different, cause now that I look back, as much as I know that it is a wedding, it isn’t the same. The wedding dress that I had chosen so carefully is now my second wedding dress and the one that I wore on the flash wedding was picked at a sale rack in a matter of minutes. I was able to reschedule the vendors and everything is pretty much paid for. I don’t want to fool myself thinking that the guests that I had originally invited will go cause they probably still mad at me, but most importantly is the fact that I am already married, and I now have my husbands name. So, how do I send the invitations for the new wedding which is still happening in the original venue in PR when most of my guests are from the states? I am a hot mess trying to figure this out, and as much as I try to be excited about it, it somehow doesn’t feel as anyone else is excited. Hope you can help, sorry for the novel I just made you read. Hope to hear from you soon.
Donna, Wedding Queen, President; Top Wedding Sites
I can see why some, including your sister, might be angry/hurt. There can only be one wedding since, after that, as you admit, you’re already married. So, one can argue that those who were not invited to your wedding in September will never get to see you get married. They missed that event which really cannot be recreated. Saying these vows are a one in a lifetime event and trying to recreate it would devalue the original.
I think the reason you’re having trouble wording this invitation is you can’t put a name to your event. What is it? it’s not a wedding – you’re already married. It’s not a vow renewal since you’re really newlyweds and have nothing to renew. There is a Convalidation ceremony in the Catholic Church whereby the church will bless your marriage if your September wedding did not take place in Church by a priest. I’d urge you to speak to your priest to see what he advises.
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Best of Luck,
Jodi R R Smith, The Mannersmith Etiquette Consulting
Congratulations on being married. I do hope the “issues” which forced the early ceremony have cleared and that all is well now.
For clarification, was the first ceremony just a civil one? There are cases where the couple marries in City Hall by a judge or justice of the peace. They are, according to the law, married. But then has a religious ceremony months later with family and friends. This is considered their “wedding.” I realize this is semantics, but it may help as you begin to plan. Good luck!
Rebecca Black, Etiquette By Rebecca
Yes, some host a second “wedding” and call it one because it is a religious ceremony. But, it really shouldn’t be considered one, as guests know the couple is already legally and have been living together married. These should be small, intimate affairs not treated as a traditional wedding, but what it is: a religious ceremony to recognize the union or to “marry” in the eyes of the church. Until recently, this was a very simple, private affair with the couple dressed in very nice “church clothes” with family and, perhaps, a few close friends in attendance.
It is best to try to view this as guests would. Would they view this as a wedding? Would they approve of including all the traditional elements? Would they feel comfortable incurring costs to watch a ceremony of you two marrying when they know you already are?
When we invite guests, it really is best to, at least try to, be the best host possible. So, please consider your guests when making the decision to invite them to this ceremony.
Having said all of that, why not simply invite all your guests to a belated wedding reception? This is viewed positively and wouldn’t be whispered about 😉 In my opinion, this is your best option.
Hi and thanks for your kind words. I am happy to say that we will be convalidating our marriage in a Catholic church in my country. I have completed the process and requirements, and I cannot express the happiness that I feel to know that I will be able to have our marriage blessed. I did a lot of research on the subject and have learned a lot. I have made small adjustments to the reception, I am by no means registering anywhere as for my family to be there is the most I want. The funny thing was, that I went to try on the gown that I had originally purchased for the wedding, it turned out that it is wayyyy too short and it would cost me a fortune to alter. So no more ballgown lol… I was looking for a different dress anyways, but that pretty much narrows it down. I did call the parish where I will be having the ceremony and they actually celebrate it as a “regular” wedding. The lady said “In the eyes of God your are not married”… I guess that’s up to the religious views on everyone, but I am still taking everything that happened into account. I won’t decorate the church, but I do get to walk down the isle with my dad. I won’t have a wedding party, instead I made ammends with my sister and she is the only one witnessing this event, and she gets to pick the dress that she wants 🙂 I am looking for a simple gown maybe even somthing “tealength” and just add some drama with a headpiece (not a veil). Everything is paid for, so the reception is still on, I never ordered a cake to begin with, so I will look into something appropiate for the occasion. I told my sister that if anything I want it to be like a family reunion, but everyone looking nice 🙂 I have a very complicated family situation, so getting them together is worth a celebration, so I have my fingers crossed that things will work. Thanks again for the advice
Donna, Wedding Queen, President; Top Wedding Sites
I realize the church doesn’t see you as married, but all the guests do. The tradition of the father walking his daughter down the aisle is symbolic of the daughter leaving his home to go to the home of the groom. So, consider that when asking dad to fill that role. My choice would be to have a unity candle ceremony. That way you can include all of the family members in the ceremony without pushing tradition or being confusing (some guests might think, hmmm, isn’t she already married? Why is her dad walking her down the aisle? Why is she wearing a wedding dress) Just some things to consider.
So, on to your question about how to word the invitation. The Convalidation ceremony is typically less formal, but since it is being held in a place of worship, more formal language can be used. I’d get less formal (non-engraved) invitations for this purpose.
The honour of your presence is requested
at the sacramental marriage of
Notice we use the word honour since the service is being held in a church.
For a less formal wording you could just write a note explaining your service like this: Jane and John Smith invite you to join them as their marriage is blessed…
Ypu can read more about the convalidation ceremony and invitation wording here: http://forums.cathol…ad.php?t=223375 and here http://www.idotaketw…validation.html
Donna, Wedding Queen, President; Top Wedding Sites, Inc®, a wedding planning guide, and Recent Mother of the Groom –
“Write your sorrows in the sand, your blessings in stone”.