In the Summer 2011 issue of Occasions Magazine we featured a gorgeous wedding beautifully orchestrated by Michelle Gainey of Lemiga Events. It was the ceremony, wedding and “par-ception” of Katrina and Keinon and besides the glamorous details, it was the unique way this couple was able to include more of their friends and family after the ceremony & dinner with an “after party” of sorts that really caught my eye. Since, I’ve heard on numerous occasions that brides-to-be want to invite more guests to their wedding but budgets don’t always allow, I thought it be worth hearing more from Michelle on this “par-ception” concept to see if it’s really something to consider.
Ironically, just as our issue was coming out, the world was wowed by the Royal Wedding and I immediately noticed the separate guest lists for the ceremony, lunch reception and dinner. While I don’t think it’s appropriate to invite guests to the ceremony and make them skip the reception following immediately, I do think there is some leeway in having an intimate ceremony & dinner and then increasing the guest list for an “after party” where more of your friends can join in the celebrations.
Here’s what Michelle has to say…
So what exactly IS a par-ception?
Party + Reception = Par-ception. A par-ception allows you to invite extended family and friends to celebrate with you following your wedding. A par-ception is all about the party – light bites, good music, and celebration. A par-ception allows you to have a ceremony and intimate lunch or dinner with close family and friends, and then enjoy a par-ception later with extended friends.
We’ve encountered several situations with readers who want to invite more friends to their wedding/event but because of budgets, they just can’t. The idea of the par-ception definitely gives people an opportunity to open up the guest list for the later part of the event, but do you think those guests would be offended for not being invited to the earlier festivities?
Friends are going to be honored to attend any of your wedding festivities. I think it’s all about your approach in not making guests feel any less welcomed. To make sure the guests still felt included in the wedding festivities, we showed a same day edit of the wedding photos and included in the par-ception some traditional wedding elements such as the cake cutting and first dance. I think it’s also important to let guests know personally and through the grapevine why
you’re choosing to do an alternative style wedding.
Do you find similarities in this kind of event to those of the royal wedding?
Yes! I loved the flow of the royal wedding. A big ceremony, followed by a brunch/lunch for close family and friends, and then a fun evening reception. It’s a great way to spend quality time with your loved ones, get rest in between, and party well into the night. I think this is also a wonderful compromise if you may have parents that want a more traditional reception and you want to have a modern style reception geared more toward your friends.
Do you send separate invitations for the par-ception?
Yes. We don’t want guests to be confused on which events they are invited to.
How do you suggest the invitations be worded?
Have fun with it! Certainly when guests see wording like PAR+CEPTION, they will know that it’s not like any wedding they’ve been to before. At my client’s wedding we used the wording: “PAR+CEPTION Def: (N) A uniquely designed wedding celebration that blends the modern party
with the traditional wedding reception.” Guests were so excited to attend – they had no idea what to expect other than it was going to be
one fun party!
Anything else you’d like to share?
Remember a wedding is all about the bride and groom. As long as you are considerate of your family and friends, feel free to personalize your wedding and do things differently. It will definitely be memorable for all involved and actually save you a lot of stress!