A large, very public wedding ceremony may not be how you want to make your wedding vows to one another. The love and passion between the two of you may be something you just aren’t interested in sharing with your entire world. And yet, the notion of a large party can be exciting. So, here’s the thing: You can have both! (And here’s another thing: this may save you a lot of money!)

Want to have a garden party reception? Get married in the garden an hour before everyone’s invited with just your closest family and friends. No need for the very formal dress and tuck, a simple sun-dress or more casual wedding dress will be perfect. You don’t need lots of attendants or lots of flowers because the dear friends who would have been your attendants are your wedding guests. Then invite people to an elegant back-yard party with passed hors d’oeuvres. It’s a lovely thing. You can move casually between your guests and be completely at ease.

Want a sailboat wedding? Get married on your boat and then sail into the marina and your fabulous party. Change your shoes, brush your hair and dance the night away beside the water.

Want a cocktail reception? Find the perfect venue and decide on your fabulous hors d’oeuvres. An hour before the reception starts, invite a very small group to your apartment and tie the knot. Wear something edgy and smart with bridal overtones.

None of these need to be small receptions. You’re already saving money because you’re passing hors d’oeuvres rather than offering a sit-down meal and cutting back on a lot of the things that “normal” weddings demand: lots of wedding attendants, gifts and favors. You may or may not want a band. You might decide to eliminate the rehearsal dinner.

You just might wind up with a perfect wedding ceremony, the exact guests you want witnessing your wedding vows and a fabulous party with your friends afterwards. This just might be exactly the right way to start out your marriage and maybe even continue it!

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