Post # 1
Getting off the stressful dress hunt for a moment, I have one of what I imagine will be a series of etiquette Qs. This one is “friendor” related.
We are having a small non-church wedding and I am lucky enough to work with someone who happens to be a Justice of the Peace; he used to be the City Clerk so in that capacity he was made a JP – he’s not serving as Clerk anymore but his JP status is “good” for a number of years.
So, we’d like to have him marry us, and he’s happy to do it. I will of course pay him the regular rate that he charges. My question is, do I invite him for the reception also, and do I invite his wife as part of the “officiant invitation”? Our wedding is going to be small (40-50 guests at current count) and he is more of a “friendly acquaintance” than a friend – I’ve never met his wife or socialized with him outside the office but we’ve had lunch as part of a group and we chit-chat. I’m not planning right now to invite anyone else from work; at most I’d be inviting my boss and/or one other coworker if we increase the guest list.
I don’t know if officiants are generally invited to the whole shebang or not – if so, I’m happy to invite him! Just don’t want it to be weird or awkward or make him feel like he has to go if he’d rather peace out after his part is done.
Any thoughts or wisdom from the etiquette gurus?
Post # 3
@VanillaCoke: Im not an etiquette guru, you need ThisTimeRound to pick up this post, she’s fantastic!
My feeble input; Ive never been to or heard of a wedding where the officiant was invited to the reception and ours certainly wont be. My FSIL used an aquaintance of the family/officiant but she felt in no way obligated to invite her to the reception (they had a good 90 people too FWIW)
But in saying that, things are so much different up there, and it varies alot from state-to-state to traditional places where you have them for dinner, to not so traditional places where its definitely not expected.
I really don’t think he would expect to be invited, let alone with his SO, but then we don’t know what kind of person he is. Could you see him beng upset if he wasn’t invited? You are paying him so really, I wouldn’t feel obligated for such a small wedding where he is also being payed for his services and is a non-out-of-work aquaintance. Taking all into account 🙂
Post # 4
I think it is a matter of personal preference, and the situation. If it is someone you are close to, such as your own pastor or a friend that can perform the ceremony, then sure. If not, I don’t think that an officiant who doesn’t know you would want to be invited. That being said, I am inviting mine, and his wife and baby daughter. We have become friends since he started at my church, and I couldn’t imagine him and his lovely family not being there.
Post # 5
@brendaray2009: Thanks to you and @FutureMrsHallam for your responses. As I mentioned, this man is in the “friendly acquaintance” category. He would not be on the “maybe” list for our 40 guest wedding if he weren’t performing it. And I doubt he and his wife would want to pay for a babysitter for their 3 kids even if we did invite them (only the two bridal party kids, one of whom is my nephew, will be invited). It is just a weird situation and I don’t want to offend anyone or breach any social morés.
Post # 6
All weddings I have been to.. the officiant has been invited (with their spouse). Whether ot not they attendi s another story.
Post # 7
I have never been to a wedding where the officiant *was not* invited to the reception. The way I figure it, they can always choose to bow out of the reception gracefully. Many wind up just coming, eating and getting out ASAP. For just an acquaintance, I highly doubt they’ll be worried about offending you if they can’t make the reception.
If it were me, I would invite him and his wife.