Family debate gone sour – PLEASE HELP

posted 2 years ago in Etiquette
  • poll: Which part of the big day "as a guest" is the most important to be a part of?
    Ceremony : (15 votes)
    16 %
    Reception : (30 votes)
    32 %
    Has to be both : (48 votes)
    52 %
  • Post # 2
    8677 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: December 2012

    I see being invited to a reception and not the ceremony as, “Hey, you weren’t good enough to see our ceremony, now give us money and presents.”<br /><br />If this is the route you want to go, I’d have the ceremony and the “get together” on different days and make the get together as casual as possible.

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    Post # 3
    602 posts
    Busy bee

    I know someone who had an intimate destination ceremony a few hours away then came home and had their reception with family and friends. No one had an issue with it but they may have if the couple had a local ceremony and opted not to include them. 

    Post # 4
    7030 posts
    Busy Beekeeper
    • Wedding: November 1999

    Hyperventilate:  “Hey, you weren’t good enough to see our ceremony, now give us money and presents.” – My sentiments, sort of. Now it’s not quite that bad because the cost of hosting/feeding people at the reception usually outweighs what we get in gifts, but it is a *little* bit like that. Because many people love watching the ceremony. It depends on your guests; but if your mother feels that way, the chances are some of the guests will do.

    Post # 5
    9526 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: August 2013

    I went to the reception of a friend who had a ceremony for just immediate family and bridal party the day before. I was a little sad not to see the ceremony, but I got over it and wasn’t offended. They threw afantastic  reception with amazing gourmet food, so I look back on the whole thing fondly!

    Post # 7
    1230 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: June 2015

    outdoorsycouple:  Nope not rude at all. In fact many international weddings (UK, Europe) do this.  

    Post # 8
    1981 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: November 2014

    Maybe it is because I am American, but I think the ceremony is the most important part! I’ve never been invited only to the reception. It would make sense if it was a destination ceremony, but I think it would be weird if the ceremony were local.

    Post # 9
    1202 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: March 2014

    Normally, it’s ceremony + reception.

    But I think you get a free pass if it’s just you and both sets of parents.  Your parents are really in a different, special category from your friends or cousins.        

    Post # 10
    291 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: April 2014

    I feel both parts are important, but I understand the whole intimate wedding and then big party thing. I would feel the opposite of some of the PP’s…i would never think that a reception only invite is a “give me money and gifts!” cry. I think the reception is when YOU spend money on your guests. It’s thanking them for celebrating in your special day, you buy their dinner, you buy their drinks, and you provide a night of fun for them. The ceremony is all about you.

    I would feel miffed if I was invited to a ceremony only and not the reception (if I knew they were having a reception). I would feel like “oh, I’m good enough to attend the ceremony and to get you a present, but not good enough to attend the party on your dime afterwards?!”


    Post # 11
    1363 posts
    Bumble bee

    outdoorsycouple:  I asked this very question. The answers varied and I learned that in the UK its normal to do this.

    Look, if its for your parents and your bros or sisters then I don’t see the problem. I’m not sure why people get their panties in a bunch over not being invited to the ceremony. Maybe some people have stage fright and can’t imagne being in frot of 100 ppl.

    I was told by countless bees that if its small and just your parents and bro/sis then its fine. People should understand and if they dont they can go cry in their beer.

    Post # 12
    428 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: September 2014

    We’re only inviting our immediate families to our ceremony (parents, siblings, siblings’ kids), but we’re having a large-ish reception a couple weeks later and it’s pretty much an open-invite type of deal. Nobody has said a word about it, and most people we know are really only interested in the reception anyway.

    Our reception will be super casual (backyard with music, bonfire, food, and drinks), and it’ll be a lot of fun. Our friends know that gifts aren’t an obligation, and that we just want them to come celebrate and party with us. I don’t get a sense of “I’m not good enough to come to your reception” from anyone at all.

    Post # 13
    7135 posts
    Busy Beekeeper
    • Wedding: June 2015

    The things people will get offended by are limitless. I see nothing wrong with your idea. As PP said, it’s done inEurope. 

    Post # 14
    4760 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: November 1999

    I think it’s rude to only invite people to reception just as I think it is rude to only show up at the reception.  

    All these people are from OOT but arn’t going to the main even?  I think you’re being beyond rude.  You ask me to travel to a freakin BBQ bearing a gift, but I’m not good enough to be there with you for the important moment.  hells no.  

    Post # 15
    2173 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: June 2017

    From a guest stand point, I would prioritize a ceremony over a reception.  I hate hate hate when people think it’s OK to skip the ceremony and just show up to a reception because they didn’t want to sit through a boring part.  (This is often the advice given to people who don’t want to “deal with” Catholic ceremonies- just go to the reception!  And I’m putting it out there now- THAT IS NOT OK.)

    This is different.  I view this casual get together more like a graduation party- just because you weren’t invited to the ceremony doesn’t mean you can’t come to the party.

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