1. Wedding Party Post City Hall Marriage

    Hey Everyone,

    I have been thinking instead of a wedding ceremony, my fiance and I, plus parents and siblings, would go to city hall and then celebrate with a big bash later with the rest of our family and friends. While I researched this, people mentioned that guests would not consider this a real wedding party so they either won’t come and they definitely won’t bring gifts. For me city hall seemed easy, money saving, and I was never really religious anyways, so it would be instead of a ceremony, but I would still have an engagement party and a bridal shower etc. Will people really consider my wedding a non-wedding? This is my first wedding and I want it to be exciting and fun and get the experience others get to have.

    • Alicia

      Well you only get to invite to bridal showers /engagement parties ect those invited to the wedding. The wedding is at city hall so you only get to invite those that you invite to join you at city hall. Which probably means you will have to forgo the bridal showers and engagement parties.

      That said a city hall wedding with a nice reception later is a lovely option. Yes people will likely still attend and likely still give you wedding gifts even if only invited to the reception. The closer these events are to one another the more real the reception will seem. So City hall friday reception saturday will likely feel more real then the city hall in march reception in september. I ‘m not making up this city hall march thing some friends of mine were married city hall a few weeks ago and their reception is in september on their 6 months anniversary. They have been living together. I’m going because I like the friends but 6 months later the excitement is lost a smidge and no it does not feel like the september party will be a wedding party so much as an anniversay party. That said I sent the gift the day they announced they got married in city hall early so no I will not be bringing the gift in 6 months.

    • Zakafury

      Your research turned up the formal answer. The engagement party, shower, and reception all orbit the wedding. People invited to any of them ought to be invited to the wedding.

      People will agree that your wedding was your wedding. You won’t actually be holding a reception for the wedding guests, though.

      Having a celebration of the marriage shortly after your city hall wedding is fine, but you cannot expect gifts. I wouldn’t even set up a registry, because it sends the message that you are, in fact, expecting presents.

      If you want to have all the wedding peripheral parties, you should have a bigger wedding. This could just mean hiring a Justice of the Peace to come do the city hall ceremony at the site of your reception.

      If I’ve learned anything from this forum, it is that some people get very touchy about the details of weddings. I would advise against calling anything by the usual name if it is in any way unusual (including calling something a wedding if you actually filed the paperwork a day early, or won’t until a day late.)

    • Winifred Rosenburg

      As Alicia said, you can only invite people who are invited to your wedding ceremony to any pre-wedding events including engagement parties and showers. You cannot invite anyone to a reception who was not invited to the ceremony. A reception is supposed to be an event for those who attended the event the reception is for, in this case the ceremony. Inviting people to a wedding reception without inviting them to the actual ceremony says “I don’t care enough about you to share the start of my marriage with you, but please give me presents!”

      You can have a “party for the newlyweds” where you invite people who weren’t invited to the ceremony, but you can’t use the words “wedding” or “reception” at any point, and you also can’t partake in signature wedding traditions like wearing a wedding dress or having a bridal party.

      • Alicia

        I disagree you can invite people to the reception only.It is rude to invite to wedding only but totally acceptable to invite to reception only. You can wear whatever you want and call it a wedding reception. Although your first wedding reception will be the lunch or dinner you take those who attend the city hall out to. It is not uncommon to have more then one wedding reception and this would just be a wedding reception without a ceremoney invite.

        • pam

          How about getting married at city hall and having a brunch with those who went to city hall and call it a day? Honestly, if I got an invitation to this, it would seem like a gift grab to me.

    • Elizabeth

      I agree with all that Alicia and Zakafury mentioned. However, I am confused by the notion that a city hall wedding would be substantially cheaper. Presumably you have to already have a venue, music of some kind – non-denominational ministers or others who have the power to marry (but non-religous) are not particularly expensive to hire, and many venues allow you to have the ceremony right on the premises. If you want the whole ‘kit and caboodle’, I’m not sure that the ceremony is the place to find cost-cutting opportunities. You can keep your ceremony short and sweet (and nonreligious), you can forgo a wedding party, and you can still allow your friends and family to witness your union. (It’s kind of the point of a wedding.)

      • AntoniaB

        I agree that you can only invite people to pre-wedding events that were also invited to to the wedding.

        I also wonder why it’s cheaper to have the wedding at city hall and agree with all Elizabeth’s points. It was very important to us to make this commitment in front of those who are dearest to us (about 80 people were at our wedding).

  2. Winifred Rosenburg

    I’m looking for the right way to resign from my job. The situation is delicate because I work for music school and I have two positions, manager and faculty. I would like to quit the manager position but continue the faculty position.

    The reason I would like to quit is I have ethical objections with the way my bosses run the school. Because it is a small non-profit the usual recourse of going to human resources isn’t available to me. My bosses are very difficult to work with and I don’t like the way they treat some of the children. Some of their actions towards the children and toward me make me suspicious that they are racist. (Plus, I just discovered a large pay disparity between the white and Asian staff.)

    All of this stress has had a negative effect on my health. I have had Lyme disease for over 10 years, which had been stable but my symptoms have been flaring up in the last 6 months. I have also gotten several other infections including bronchitis and scarlet fever. I have also developed an ulcer and have been getting almost daily migraines.

    In addition to these reasons for quitting, I also have a side business as a musician/private instructor and have been starting my own non-profit organization, all of which have been demanding more of my time.

    My question is what the best way for me to resign that wouldn’t jeopardize my faculty position or my relationship with my bosses? They could potentially help my side business so it would be unwise for me to end up on bad terms with them. I could tell them about my health problems, which would make them more sympathetic toward me and less likely to say bad things about me behind my back, which they’ve been known to do, but I’m worried they will then consider me too weak and not want to bother me with other business opportunities. Alternatively, I could tell them about my nonprofit and say I need to devote more time to that, but they have unpredictable emotional responses and may view it as an act of disloyalty and smear my name with whomever will listen (I’ve seen them do it for less). Or perhaps some combination of the two? Also, how should I go about announcing my resignation to the parents and students?

    • Zakafury

      Let me know if I have this right. In your position as manager you came across evidence of racial discrimination in pay, and it is giving weighing on your heavily. So, you want to resign your administrative position due to a moral objection to this perceived racism, but you wish to keep teaching through the program.

      I would feel obligated to have a frank discussion about the implications of these pay disparities with whomever is actually responsible for them. This can be framed without threat or accusation – “I noticed something that should concern the organization.” If they have a valid reason payroll worked out this way, then it’s nothing to worry about.

      To resign one job and not the other, I think “just a desire to teach more” is a nice reason. This makes it clear why you want to remain on the faculty, and it dovetails nicely as a way to network more private lesson business.

    • Elizabeth

      It sounds as if you have two rather different reasons – your ethical objections and your desire to channel your energies elsewhere (into your business, etc). If you wish you quit one aspect of your job while retaining the other, it would be smart to mention only the second set of reasons – that you love teaching, and you’re trying to reorient your life such that you can make the most positive impact doing work you love.

      However, you also bring up an ethical problem that I think is not so easily solved by quitting your position as manager. What it kind of sounds like is that you’d like to take a position of less responsibility so that it’s not your responsibility to speak up, confront the issues, etc, as if you could just forget what you saw if you’re just on faculty. I’m not at all in favor of your taking a stand that would land you out of a job, but now that you do know about racism, pay disparity, and poor treatment of children (??), the ball does seem to be in your court to do something about it. I have no idea what that would be. Perhaps an anonymous note or email to the lesser-paid faculty letting them know? Anonymous note to childrens’ parents who are being mistreated? An anonymous report to the appropriate state agency?

      Oh – and I just saw that you have a third reason for wanting to step down your involvement – your health. That is of course paramount. I suppose my advice would be to do what you can to address the ethical problems while maintaining a sense of security for your health and job. I realize that this is not a specifically etiquette-related answer, but in many ways the question is not strictly related to etiquette either. The very narrow question about how to deal with your bosses is straightforward: focus on the positive, don’t tell them anything directly about your ethical disapproval or health issues, and frame it as a win-win for the organization. It might help if you had some suggestions for who could replace you. Best of luck, I hope you’ll let us know how things unfold.

    • Winifred Rosenburg

      Thank you all for your input. Zackafury, I like your idea about saying I “desire to teach more.”

      As much as I’d like to try to correct the problem of the way they treat their staff and students, I don’t think it’s possible. I consulted a lawyer and it turns out no pay disparity laws apply here because the company is so small. Fortunately, the faculty pay is regulated by the union so the problem only really affects three of us (and the other two are away of the problem and considering quitting as well). The board of directors consists of my bosses and their friends so I seriously doubt they would change anything.

      As far as doing something about their mistreatment of staff and students goes, I can’t imagine anything good would come of it. One of my co-workers informed me that before I started working there several employees confronted the bosses about changing certain practices. It escalated into a stand-off and several of them quit in protest. Nothing has changed since. Many of the students actually seem to be aware that one of my bosses should not be in his position (I’ve noticed eye-rolling several times) but probably aren’t aware of how far his favoritism extends. My bosses are nearing retirement age so I just hope that they will step away from their positions soon and allow someone with integrity to take over.

  3. Jerry

    You quit with a note in substantially similar form to the following:

    Dear [Bosses]:

    Effective [date], I resign from the position of [manager] to focus on my responsibilities as [faculty] and other professional projects. I am very grateful for all of the positive contributions you have made to my success during my time as [manager].



    BTW, this is one of the few times I would say do not confront your boss about your thoughts that they are racist. Consult an attorney. Then lodge an anonymous complaint through the attorney as a whistle blower. The complaint should go to the board of directors or whatever group is ultimately in charge.

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