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How do you put on a wedding invitation that the ceremony is private?

Weddings are a special time for couples and their guests to celebrate the love of two people. Traditionally, wedding ceremonies are open to all guests who are invited to attend, but sometimes a couple may opt for a private ceremony. Private ceremonies are usually held with a small number of guests, often limited to friends and family members. If you want to have a private wedding ceremony, you may be wondering how to convey this message to your guests. In this blog post, we will explore how to put on a wedding invitation that the ceremony is private.

Why Choose a Private Wedding Ceremony?

There are several reasons why a couple may choose to have a private wedding ceremony. For some, it may be a matter of privacy and intimacy. Others may simply prefer a smaller wedding with only their closest family members and friends. A private wedding ceremony can also be a great way for couples to save money on their wedding budget, as fewer guests often mean less cost.

Wording for a Private Wedding Ceremony Invitation

When putting on a wedding invitation that the ceremony is private, it is important to use wording that clearly conveys the message to your guests. Here are some examples of how to word a private wedding ceremony invitation:

– “Jane and Joe request your presence at a private wedding ceremony with family on May 11, 2022.”

– “Please join us for a private wedding ceremony with family and close friends on May 11, 2022.”

– “We invite you to a small and intimate wedding ceremony with just our family members on May 11, 2022.”

Whichever phrasing you choose to use, it is essential to make it clear that the ceremony is private and that only a small number of guests are invited to attend. You could also consider including a separate card with more information about the private ceremony, including the location, time, and dress code.

How to Communicate with Guests about a Private Wedding Ceremony

When guests receive a private wedding ceremony invitation, they may have questions or concerns about the event. It is important to communicate with your guests in advance to let them know what to expect. Here are some tips on how to communicate with your guests:

– Be clear and upfront about the nature of the event. Explain the reason for the private ceremony and the limited number of guests.

– Provide guests with a phone number or email address where they can reach you or your wedding planner if they have any questions.

– Offer alternative ways for them to celebrate with you. If you are having a private ceremony, consider throwing a bigger reception or an after-party so that guests who are not invited to the ceremony can still celebrate with you.

– Respect your guests’ feelings. Some guests may feel hurt or disappointed that they are not invited to the ceremony. Be understanding and try to explain your reasons for having a private ceremony.


A private wedding ceremony is an intimate way for a couple to exchange vows with their closest family members and friends. If you are planning a private wedding ceremony, it is essential to communicate with your guests and ensure that they understand the nature of the event. By using clear wording on your wedding invitation and being upfront with your guests, you can help to prevent any confusion or misunderstandings. Remember that your guests want to celebrate your special day with you, and with a little communication, you can ensure that everyone has a wonderful time.


Can a wedding ceremony be private?

Yes, a wedding ceremony can be private. A private wedding, also known as a confidential wedding, is a ceremony that is performed without any guests or public attention. This type of wedding is attended only by the bride and groom, the officiant, and if desired, a photographer.

The reasons for choosing a private wedding are varied and personal. Couples may opt for a private wedding if they prefer a more intimate and personal ceremony, if they face opposition or disapproval from family members, or if they want a low-key and stress-free celebration. Getting married in secret can also be a way to elope without the fuss of a big ceremony and reception.

When planning a private wedding, there are a few things to consider. First, it is important to find an officiant who is licensed to perform confidential ceremonies. Some states require that at least one witness be present, so you will need to arrange for this ahead of time. Additionally, if you plan to keep your wedding a secret, you will need to be very clear with your officiant and any other vendors about your wishes.

One of the benefits of a private wedding is that you can tailor the ceremony to your exact preferences. You can choose the location, the wording of the vows, and any other special touches that will make the day unforgettable for you and your partner. Without the presence of guests, you can also feel free to express your emotions and intimacy without feeling self-conscious.

While a private wedding can be a beautiful and meaningful alternative to a traditional ceremony, it is important to keep in mind that it may not be right for every couple. It is important to consider the feelings of close family and friends who may feel left out, and to be prepared for potential reactions from those who might feel hurt or surprised by your decision.

A wedding can absolutely be private if that is what the couple desires. Whether it is due to personal preference, practical considerations, or simply a desire to keep things low-key, a private ceremony can be a beautiful and intimate way to celebrate your love and commitment.

How do you invite people to the ceremony only?

Inviting people to your wedding ceremony only can be tricky, as some guests may feel left out or confused about why they weren’t invited to the whole event. However, there are a few ways you can make it clear that your ceremony is meant to be a smaller, more intimate affair.

One option is to use a traditional wedding invitation, but adjust the wording to make it clear that the ceremony is private. For example, you could write “We request the honor of your presence at our wedding ceremony” instead of “We request the honor of your presence at our wedding.” Or, you could include a note explaining that the ceremony is a smaller event, with only close family and friends in attendance.

Another option is to send an invitation designed especially for reception-only celebrations. These invitations typically have wording that emphasizes that the reception is the main event, and that the ceremony is reserved for a select group of guests. You can also include an RSVP card that specifies whether guests are attending the ceremony, the reception, or both.

Regardless of which option you choose, it’s important to be clear and direct in your invitation so that your guests aren’t confused or hurt by the exclusivity of your ceremony. You may also want to follow up with a personal phone call or email to those guests who may have questions or concerns about the arrangement. With a little extra effort, you can ensure that your wedding ceremony is a beautiful and intimate event, shared only with those closest to you.

Who to invite to private wedding ceremony?

When it comes to planning a wedding ceremony, one of the most important decisions to make is regarding the guest list. For a private wedding ceremony, the question of who to invite becomes even more crucial. If you are planning a private wedding ceremony, you must invite your immediate family members. This includes parents, siblings, grandparents, and aunts and uncles of both the bride and the groom.

It is essential to extend invitations to all immediate family members to avoid any hurt feelings or resentment. If one aunt or uncle is invited, all aunts and uncles should be invited to the ceremony. It is also a good idea to include any siblings’ spouses and adult nieces and nephews to make their presence felt.

While it may be tempting to invite friends or coworkers to your private wedding ceremony, it is generally a good idea to limit the guest list to immediate family members only. If you do choose to invite other guests, ensure that they have a close relationship with both the bride and groom and would not feel uncomfortable attending a private ceremony.

The decision regarding who to invite to a private wedding ceremony is yours. However, it is essential to remember that a private ceremony is an intimate and personal occasion, and the guest list should reflect that. By limiting the guest list to immediate family members, you can ensure that your special day is intimate and meaningful, and that the attention is focused on you and your significant other.

Is it okay to invite guests to ceremony only?

Yes, it is okay to invite guests to the ceremony only. This practice is not uncommon and can even be seen as a way to save on costs or maintain a small, intimate ceremony. In fact, according to traditional wedding etiquette, it is perfectly acceptable to invite a smaller group of guests to the ceremony, followed by a larger gathering at the reception.

However, it is important to note that if you do choose to invite guests to the ceremony only, it should be communicated clearly on the invitation. This may help avoid confusion or hurt feelings and give your guests a clear understanding of what to expect.

In some cases, guests may feel disappointed or left out if they are not invited to the reception. If you are concerned about this, you may want to consider hosting a second, more casual celebration for those who weren’t able to attend the reception. This could be a brunch, barbecue or other type of gathering.

It is also essential to consider the reasons why you might want to invite guests to the ceremony only. While some may choose this option to maintain a smaller event or save costs, it’s important to remember that a wedding is primarily about celebrating a couple’s commitment to one another. If saving money or maintaining a small event is the primary motivation, it may be worth exploring other ways to cut costs or create a smaller event that doesn’t compromise the importance or significance of the day.

Inviting guests to the ceremony only is acceptable, and in some cases, even preferable for couples with specific reasons or limitations. However, it’s important to communicate the decision clearly and consider the feelings and expectations of your guests when making this choice.