wedding reception for families that don’t get along

I have a problem. My fiance and i are planning on getting married in a little less than a year from now. We are both pretty much low-key people and are not ones for large gatherings. We like things to be unique and different and original and pretty much low-key. For our wedding itself it is a Catholic/Lutheran wedding in a church .. we really would like to have just parents, grand-parents and extremely close friends. HOWEVER, where the problem comes in is .. .. no one in our family likes anyone else (in the slightest bit).

Our families have already established that they do not like one another (in the slightest) as well as mine stating they do not like my faince (his parents like me fine however). My family do not even get along with each another. My parents are very strict VERY PROPER group of people who look down on any goofing around and will let you know if you are getting out of hand and be very abrasive in telling you. His family is the opposite .. they like to be loud, obnoxious, have fun, goof off etc. Because of these reasons we have decided a real “formal” reception with all family members is definitely probably out of the question. There would only be drama. I know this is supposed to be our day but we REALLY want to avoid things getting out of hand.

The question is .. .. is there anything we can do to still “celebrate” after our wedding? We have some friends throwing us a party later that night to celebrate and relax but we would like to have something done right after the ceremony even if it is just a toast. We just want things to run smoothly without drama happening .. we just do not know the best way to do it of if there are maybe some different unique ideas that we could do.

We have been trying to think of ideas for the past few months and can not think of ANYTHING .. we do not want our special day to be ended in drama and do not want things to be TO uneasy, stressed, and uncomfortable .. ..
PLEASE HELP! ANY suggestions would be helpful.
Thank you.

Rebecca Black, Etiquette By Rebecca

Dear Confused,

It is wonderful that you are considering everyone in your decisions. Family can be a challenge. I’m sorry it is such a problem in your life.

The only thing I can think of is to limit your time together. Perhaps you could just have a cake and beverage reception directly after your wedding. You can cut the cake, everyone toasts, and then you can run before the arguments begin.

Please remember that a reception after the wedding is not a must. This is optional. Your party later is not something you are hosting, so this is not even in the equation. If these grown-ups cannot be civil to each other, it is their problem not yours. So, you don’t have to try to do more than try to include them in your big life events–your wedding.

Best wishes,

Donna, Wedding Queen, President; Top Wedding Sites, Inc

I (unfortunately) understand where you’re comming from here…personally, I would have the ceremony with everyone present, have a short champagne toast and wedding cake (as Rebecca suggested) and then immediately fly off to someplace really awesome and spend a week, at least, alone with my spouse. AHHH….[sly]


Dear Very Confused:

I think we all agree here. The best option is limit your time together. A cake and champagne reception would be nice but as Rebecca said, it is optional. If you choose to have one, keep it short:-)

Best wishes,

Dawna Smith Custom Photo Book & DVD Services

People should be happy at their wedding. Some options:

1) Have a very private ceremony with just yourselves and a few close friends, only those people who like each other and are adult enough to keep their comments to themselves.

2) Elope and have a beautiful wedding with just the two of you.

3) Share your feelings with your family and let them know you would very much appreciate their cooperation. Apparently everyone has verbalized their feelings so it’s not like it is a surprise that there is animosity. Ask them to be honest if they will be able to keep their comments to themselves in order to help celebrate your special day. If they say they can’t, then don’t include them in the ceremony.

4) Rather than having a reception afterwards, just head for the honeymoon. After you get back, schedule a dinner party for your relatives at a nice, quiet restaurant. The next party schedule to have with his family and hire a DJ, do a buffet and party till you see dawn.

How lucky for you that you can have the best of both worlds!!! Enjoy!