My FMIL and FFIL told us that a lot of people just come for the reception and dont show up for the ceremony. Personally and no offence to anyone who has done that but I kinda feel like that is rude. Its kinda like saying "well I didn't care enough to come and see you get married but I wanted to come and get a free dinner and some booze"
I mean on the other hand I guess if they brought a gift and wanted to at least show up to part of the wedding to say congrats..... but it still wouldn't hurt to sit through our 10 minute ceremony.
Yes. I've done it and I've been to weddings where you could tell the difference in numbers between the ceremony and reception.
It is rude but I also think it's rude for couples to expect an entire day from all their guests where there's a large gap between the ceremony and reception.
I recently went to a wedding with a 4 hour break until the reception and I wish I would have skipped the ceremony!
I have never heard of anyone doing this before except once when due to a christening in the mornin they couldn't make the ceremony n the couple knew it was happening. I personally think unless there is a reason why you can't attend that it is the rudest thing I have ever heard of people doing. If you don't like that there is a big gap between dont go at all otherwise I feel your are basically using the couple for free food n booze. The important part of a wedding is the ceremony as well so I have heard of ppl attending the ceremony but not the reception for various reasons and that to me means your showing your support of the 'marriage' by trying their for the important part
We had our ceremony and reception in the same place immediately after. So everyone stayed and some people left early due to other commitments. I find it incredibly rude to skip the ceremony !!! If you are going to only attend one then attend the ceremony not the party. You are invited to a wedding NOT a party!!!!
Its one day of your life, celebrating a once in a lifetime event with someone you care about. So regardless of time in between events it's not rude it's the norm of weddings. People attend multiple events on the same day in different areas with big or small breaks in between all the time, if you have a problem planning your day this way you wil not survive as a parent who's shuffles kids to their activities all the time.
I always notice a large difference when a bride has her ceremony in a church earlier in the day. I can't say I would be mad at guests bc like a PP stated...people would be spending their ENTIRE day for you and unless they are close family or close friends I just don't see nor expect that to happen. However, when people have ceremony AND reception at the venue I see almost 100% attendance for the ceremony. Ofcourse, you always have people that come late but that's unavoidable.
People seem pretty heated about this. I would personally rather see my guests at the reception. The ceremony is about me and my fiance, then we can socialize at the reception, that is what they are for... on my day I won't have any idea who is at the ceremony anyways except a few people that catch my eye walking down the aisle.
I had 40 people attend my ceremony and 95 people attend my reception. Go figure!
@babecake: That's a big difference! Did you have a large gap of time between the two?
@AlwaysSunny: Yes, I had a catholic wedding so there was a 3 hour difference. It's actually pretty common in my parent's circle of friends to only attend reception
We have not had this issue with our DDs' weddings, but there are no gaps at all. Straight from the wedding to the cocktail hour to the reception. I think it makes a big difference.
I went to one Catholic wedding that had a 3+ hour gap and I will never do that again. We were in the middle of the truest BFE you have ever seen. Farms as far as the eye can see, a post office, a bar, and a Catholic Church. That's it. Never again. If I am invited to another one, I will attend one or the other. FWIW - I married into a Catholic family and the family weddings never have gaps like that.
I had a few people only stay for the ceremony and leave before the reception started but if people are going to skip out on a part of your big day it shouldn't be the ceremony. That's the truly important part, my wedding/reception was all in the same building so I guess I didn't have this problem. However I would have been super upset and vocal about it if a bunch of people just showed up to eat the food, that seems terribly rude to me.
That is so rude! and I've never heard of anyone doing this.
@nativedesires: Isn't a wedding a fancy party?
ETA: I don't care if people only show up to the reception. Lets be honest with ourselves, people. Weddings are boring as hell. You get to sit around packed like sardines watching a couple people get sniffly and make long winded speeches. Sometimes there's a video or slide-show (Be honest, you're not paying full attention anyway) and the real fun begins when you get to have some delicious om nom noms and maybe a splash of champagne.
I've been in and to a lot of weddings in my life. Most of them for people I adore and are absolutely over the moon happy for.
But weddings, as a whole, are boring as hell until the reception starts.
Edit: @JaneyDcat: As someone who grew up in a tiny, rurual farming town, I totally get this.
I think the only time this becomes a big issue is if there's a big gap between the ceremony and reception. It certainly crosses my mind when there's a 2-3 hour gap between them that I should skip one or the other!
This is the norm in the small town where my parents live. 95% of the people who live in that area are farmers. Most people know that guests aren't going to attend the church ceremony-- they will simply come to the reception late at night.
Farming isn't a job that you can just take a day or two off from. Cows HAVE to be milked.
I know to outsiders it must seem just awfully rude, but that's just how things are!
In my social circle, this would be incredibly rude. I couldn't even imagine someone doing that....though JaneyDcat gives a good reason (and I don't know any dairy farmers so I would have never thought of that), the "I didn't want to wait 3 hours" is BS in my book. I went to a Catholic wedding with a break in-between, and I got some lunch and took a nap in my hotel room. Adults should be able to occupy themselves for a few hours.
It had never occurred to me that you could skip the ceremony and just attend the wedding until last summer when my FI and I were invited to one of his co-workers wedding. In total, we were five "company persons" (this includes partners) that showed up to the ceremony, almost 15 for the reception. I found that incredible rude, to me - what matters is that you get married, so unless you have a good reason you should show for that part too!
In this case, there was a 6-hour gap between the two events - so I can see that you might have to pick one activity if you have kids (or a farm), but the majority of the people attending the wedding basically spent the time up until dinner in the hotel were staying in that night. So, they picked “playing in the pool” rather then attending the ceremony. Rude.
I agree with others that it's incredibly rude to only come to the wedding reception- and to sit there and say that the ceremony is "boring" and it's only about you and your FI is absurd. Okay, maybe some see wedding ceremonys as boring, but for us- it's committing ourselves to one another in front of our closest family and friends that we chose to invite- otherwise why not just go to the courthouse or get eloped?
With that being said, and as someone who was raised Catholic, I would never have a 3-4 hour gap between my wedidng and reception- it's SO inconvenient for guests. I know someone who did this and had guests who lived "local" but were like 35 minutes away from the venues so they ended up having to make 4 trips back and forth and it ends up being like a 10 hour thing. No way.
I personally wouldn't be bothered by less people coming to my ceremony and more people coming to my reception. I would be happy to have my closest friends and family at my ceremony and everyone else at my reception. I would agree with PP that if you have a big gap (2+ hours) between the ceremony and the reception, it would be a lot to ask people to spend most of a day devoted to your wedding. To each their own though, I think a lot of it depends on the situation! :)
it has happwned to me twice (not been able to attend wedding but did make it for reception) and both cases were catholuc wedding on a friday much earlier in the day. In both cases I did take a half day from wirk so I could attend but one was in a popular vacation area on 4th of july weekend and even leaving double time I was too late to get to the church. The other time a tanker truck carrying gas spilled on the bridge and I ended up in hours of traffic and slmost missed the reception too! luckily I was able to drive myself (since the bus left without us) ....... this is why I would never have a friday wedding. Its too annoying snd stressful for your guests ans ruins the aymosphere bc people are annoyed and cranky from trying to get there on time instead of happy to celebrate w you
Hopefully no one tries to do this for our wedding - they will be sorely dissapointed in our finger-food-only reception. Ha!
I personally never have but I know lots of people who have done it. If there was a long gap between the ceremony and reception I would be tempted to for sure! I wouldn't mind if it was at a hotel where I'm staying but anything else and I might skip the ceremony... I hate long gaps!
@TogetherThroughLife: I would LOVE this and would not be anything near sorely disappointed. Finger food rocks!
I have done this before, only gone to the reception and skipped the ceremony. It's not my preference to do so but as PP have pointed out, that is just the way it is sometimes. For mine I had to travel and could not be there early in the day so just want to the party at night.
I went to a ceremony that was held 25 kilometres from reception with a 3 hour break in between, We went to both but It's really inconvenient to do so.
Our ceremony is at 3 and reception is that 5. Both in the sam eplace with coctails and appetizers in between so I don't think that is too bad for guests.
I think it only gets hard to attend both when ceremony is around noon or so and reception is few hours later and further away. When booking both, it's best to think of your guests.
I find it very rude and have let a few friends who have a habit of doing it know. I feel weddings are a once in a lifetime event, and if you don't want to be there for the marriage, don't come for the party.
I've never done it, but I'm sure people do. I've never been to a wedding where there was a noticable difference between ceremony and reception attendees.
FI and I accidentally did this a few years ago. We were invited to a beach wedding followed by a reception at a hotel. We spent the better part of an hour driving/walking from beach access to beach access trying to find the wedding, and we never did! I felt horrible just going to the reception, but the couple was completely unfazed. They were just glad we were able to come see them afterwards!
I have never done this. Of course I haven't attended weddings where there was a large gap (there were two where there were small gaps, but I was IN the bridal party so obviously I was occupied lol) And I can't remember being at a wedding where I noticed a large difference either...
I would find a way to entertain myself, for certain. My cocktail hour, ceremony, and reception are in one location (I mean within feet of each other haha) so in my case, if a bunch of people didn't show up to my ceremony but did to my reception, (unless they hit traffic, had really important other commitments, etc) I'd be pretty pissed. If one of those other things happened, I'd just be happy they were able to make it to share some of the day with me :)
I'd find it rude, especially if the ceremony and reception are in one place (like mine is!). I would be especially upset with my guests as our ceremony venue fee is pp, so I still have to pay for them if they decide not to show up to the ceremony! I've been to many Catholic weddings before and only 1 that had a gap in between. Not a fan of the gap at all, but I would still find it rude to not show up for the actual important part of the wedding (the ceremony).
@windcriesamy: This happened to us when we attended a wedding in a small town. We left with plenty of time to travel up there and find the place and got completely lost. I think it's different when you're making the effort to attend both, but get lost. Instead of saying, "I don't feel like going to the ceremony- I just want to get the free food and party".
I don't care if it's Catholic, not Caltholic...gap or no gap...if you're going to eat the food, drink the booze and dance on the dance floor, then you damn well better be sitting in a pew with everyone else watching the ACTUAL marriage happen. Yes, some wedding ceremonies are painfully dull, but you're there to support the couple at that time. They are paying upwards of $150pp, so you can suffer through a few tired readings and hymns you don't know.
@caits615: totally different...that almost happened to us once too!
I've seen this happen at weddings with large gaps, particularly with large guests lists - and it usually seemed to be the 18 - 25 crowd that didn't go to the ceremony.
I think it's rude but it isn't unheard of for some social circles.
I would be appalled if our guests skipped the ceremony and only came to the reception. I know that people do this, but it blows my mind - even if there's a gap! The couple wants to share their huge, life-changing moment with you, but it's too much of an inconvenience? I don't get it - in my book, either you go or you don't!
I think it's rude as a rule, but my parents have had to do it a few times. My brother and I usually go on ahead to the ceremony to "represent the family" as it were, but my dad worked in the horse business for forever, and that meant working seven days a week, and sometimes meant not getting out of there fast enough to make it to a late afternoon wedding on a Saturday. They still wanted to come celebrate the marriage though.
I would be pissed. It DOES seem like they don't care enough to be there for the ceremony, and seeing as the ceremony is the REALLY important bit, if someone only showed up to get a meal and drink some booze I would be highly offended. You can't sit through a 15 minute ceremony, but you can come and eat the food I pay for?! Not cool.
BTW, I find it hysterical that bees are always saying the reception is purely for the guests, it's not about the bride and groom, it's a thank you to the guests for witnessing your ceremony. Well, i'm not in the habit of thanking people for something they didn't do.
I also come from a rural farming community, and this has never happened at any weddings I have attended. People usually go to the whole thing, or don't go at all. I've found that dairy farmers usually have more than one person milking, and in such close knit communities it's usually easy to find someone to replace you for a night. I dunno, maybe it's a regional thing, but even in our very rural, middle of nowhere town, this just doesn't happen.
I've never heard of anyone doing this intentionally and it sounds incredibly rude. The only way I would find this acceptable is if the guest was late to the ceremony and deigned to stay outside the venue so as not to interrupt/make a scene.
I think skipping one or the other is more common when there is a big gap. DH and I skipped a ceremony last summer because there was a 3.5 hour gap between the ceremony and reception. That was just too much for us, since it was a 2 hour drive as well. We didn't have anyone that could come let our dogs out and I'm not boarding them so I can sit on my butt for 3.5 hours.
We had our ceremony and reception at the same place with no gap and I don't think anyone skipped either part.
I've never heard of someone doing that. Here it is typical to have a 2-4 hour gap between ceremony and reception... generally people go to someones house in between for dianties and a break before the reception. I would find it pretty rude to miss the ceremony,... unless they had some reason to miss it.
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