(Closed) Can I Skip the Ceremony?

posted 9 years ago in Etiquette
  • poll: Can I skip the ceremony and just go to the reception?
    Yep : (31 votes)
    53 %
    Nope : (26 votes)
    44 %
    I am a special snowflake and I will explain my unique answer in my post! : (2 votes)
    3 %
  • Post # 3
    247 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: April 2009

    Yes you can skip the ceremony and just put in an appearance at the resception.  I had a few guests do that and I wasn’t offended at all.

    Post # 4
    1022 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: June 2010

    I don’t see why not.  As long as you rsvp to let them know you will be there, I see nothing wrong with just attending the reception.

    Post # 5
    2004 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: November 2008

    As long as there will be enough people that you won’t really be missed, you will probably be okay and they’ll never notice. But if they were to notice, would they be offended, and how much would that matter to you? That’s the risk I see you’re taking. It does sound like a most unfortunate time of day and year to have a wedding. Ugh.

    Post # 6
    446 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: September 2007

    I’m on the side of not skipping the ceremony. That was one thing that really got to me about our wedding. I would rather people come to my ceremony to see me get married than skip it and just come to the reception. To me, I feel like people are saying that I’m good enough to supply food and drink for you, but not important enough for you to see me make my vows to my husband. I know I’m in the minority on this one, but I feel that the ceremony is more important than the reception.

    Post # 7
    446 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: September 2007

    Oh, and with that said, that is a really unfortunate time for a wedding! So, if you can, try to make it to the ceremony, but given the day and time, it would be more understandable than if it were on a Saturday at the same time…

    Post # 8
    6661 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: May 2010

    I’m going to play devil’s advocate and say NO to skipping the ceremony. In my opinion, the whole point of inviting people to the reception is because they were there with love and support during the ceremony.

    I, of course, admit that I probably won’t care if people skip my ceremony. BUT, I think it’s in poor taste, no matter how inconvenient.

    Post # 9
    2820 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: February 2013

    I think that skipping the ceremony is the epitome of rude. You’ll go to the reception, where you’ll get free food and drinks and music and dancing, but you won’t go to the ceremony and celebrate and support the couple’s commitment to each other. It just strikes me as incredibly rude, not to mention that it gives the impression that you don’t care about the couple.

    If you really don’t want to go, mail in your gift. If you really need to go to the reception, either go to the ceremony as well, or just go in, drop your gift off and say your well-wishes to the couple, and leave. 

    Post # 10
    406 posts
    Helper bee

    We actually contimplated doing the same thing a few weeks ago for a HS friend’s wedding. We really meant to go, and RSVP’d yes but things just fell apart at the last minute and we KNEW we wouldn’t make it to the ceremony. FI’s Dad said to just go to the reception but we (FI & I) decided that would be WORSE than not going at all because it would look like we didn’t care about seeing them get married, we just wanted food, and drinks. I still feel guilty about it but know that if I were the bride I’d rather you come to the ceremony & skip the reception than vice versa. If you don’t think the bride would feel that way then I’d say go to the reception only, but her feelings might be hurt. It’s just a risk you’d have to take. πŸ™‚

    Post # 11
    398 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: February 2009

    For me I think the most important part of the wedding is the marriage ceremony and not the reception afterwards.  You can go to a good party anytime but this couple will only be married once!  I had 5 or 6 people attend our ceremony but not attend our reception (even a long catholic ceremony).

    If I were in this situation it would be all or nothing.  Go to the ceremony and reception and make concessions to do so, talk to my boss about working extra hours earlier in the week etc.  Otherwise I would not go at all and just send a gift later.

    Good luck!

    Post # 12
    157 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: April 2011

    Well, SHOULD you… probably not.

    CAN you…realistically, probably yes if there are enough people there that you won’t be missed! πŸ™‚ 

    Post # 13
    37 posts

    If you think they’ll talk for months if you don’t come at all … they might still talk for months if they see you at the reception and not the ceremony. I would tough it out and go, it’s just one night! πŸ™‚

    Post # 14
    613 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: May 2009

    i say yes.  i have definitely skipped the ceremony.  Examples: there is a 3 hour break before the reception, the ceremony is during the week at a crazy time, the ceremony is 2 hours long, etc…

    Brides will tell you its rude, but so what.  Its rude for her to be angry and have the ceremony at the time and place that would require you to take the whole afternoon off.  If you really arent that close, you wont be missed.  Trust me, as long as you take a gift, she wont care that you didnt make it to the ceremony.

    Post # 15
    3979 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: January 2012

    I agree with everything Mlkey said… I would be deeply hurt if people only showed up for the reception & skipped the ceremony.

    I didn’t want to go to someones wedding… so I went to the ceremony w/ a gift in hand & skipped the festivities. (I told her ahead of time so I didn’t leave her with an empty seat!)

    If you are going to skip the ceremony– I think you need to tell your family/cousin that due to [insert excuse] you won’t be able to get to the ceremony on time, but you’ll be there for the reception.  This way no one will be surprised & hopefully it won’t be big news in the family circle πŸ™‚

    Post # 16
    360 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: September 2009 - Westwind YWCA camp

    I would personally be deeply offended if a guest skipped my ceremony but showed up for the reception.  To me, that says "I’m only here for the food".

    If you have to go to the wedding, go to the ceremony.  If you think your family will "talk" if you don’t show up to the wedding at all, they would probably still "talk" if you only show up for the reception.

    I’m sorry to sound brutally honest, but I think it’s important to consider all sides to your situation.

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