How to invite people to Ceremony but not Reception

posted 3 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
Member
164 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

@asianbarbie:  I personally think it’s a bit rude to send invites to the church and not the reception. I understand a wedding isn’t about the party but the marriage itself but at the same time, I wouldn’t like being told “you can come to the church but not the reception”. 

Post # 4
Member
3736 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

@asianbarbie:  Because of Finances we can’t have more than 150 at the reception


Then you can’t have more than 150 at the ceremony. Period.

Post # 5
Member
3756 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

@asianbarbie:  I think since you’re having them on separate days, it’s easy to just send an invitation to the wedding ceremony. You don’t even have to mention that you’re having a reception the next day. I’ve heard a lot about people that invite many more people to the ceremony because of church friends/acquaintances that they wouldn’t normally invite to the reception. Just have a response prepared for those that are going to ask you about a reception. 

ETA: You are going to get a lot of “you can’t do it” responses. But I have seen this many times in church communities where the entire church community is invited to the ceremony but not the reception. Do whatever you think is best 🙂

Post # 6
Member
40 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: May 2013

Definitely only invite those to the ceremony that you can actually accommodate at the reception. I think it would be really rude to invite some to the ceremony but not the reception…. And I would be offended if someone did this to me!

 

 

 

if you can only accommodate 150 at the reception (and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that!) then only invite those same people to your ceremony. People will understand that you have space/budget constraints… but they will likely not appreciate feeling like the B-list, cut from the ceremony. 

 

 

 

Post # 7
Member
697 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

No no no no. If 150 people is how many people you can afford at the reception, that’s how many you can afford to have at the ceremony. If you want to invite more people than that, downscale your idea of what your reception looks like. Have a large cake and champagne reception immediately after your ceremony. This can be done so affordably and elegantly. Then if you want to have a more intimate bbq or something casual the next day with out of town guests or your closest family, do that. 

Post # 8
Member
657 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

@asianbarbie:  Is there anyway you could just do a short cake and punch type of reception after your ceremony at your church. Or you could offer a “potluck” type of reception after your ceremony so that people wouldn’t feel put out. Honestly, I’ve met a lot of people in the past year that I’ve became friends with and would love to have at my wedding/reception but am unable to due to trying to keep my reception between 60-75 people. It’s upsetting but I just explain that the wedding/reception is mainly for family/old family friends and they understand. Perhaps it’s best that you don’t invite them to the ceremony or the reception and explain it that way. I would be afraid that they might think I was trying to be gift grabby by inviting them to one but not the other, but those are my own insecurities.

Post # 9
Member
11772 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2013

@asianbarbie:  Put up a flyer at the church and have an announcement that all church members are invited to attend your ceremony!

ETA: I’m from a community church where EVERYONE was invited to EVERY wedding ceremony! But understood that didn’t mean the reception. So I don’t think it’s rude or bizarre!

Post # 11
Member
3344 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2013 - Rhode Island

Yeah, this is a big faux pas.  You can invite people to the reception and not the ceremony, but not the other way around.

From what you described though, if they are just a bunch of church friends, you can put an announcement in the church bulletin that says when you will have the ceremony.  Then just don’t mention anything about the reception, and if anyone asks, tell them you’re not having one.  Because you’re not.  The day after thing sounds more like a private party than a traditional reception that follows right after the ceremony.  I wouldn’t send out actual invitations to those people though.

Post # 12
Member
2642 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

You cannot invite people to the ceremony and not the reception.  It basically tells people that they are good enough to watch you get married but not good enough to feed.

What you can do though, is put an announcement in your church bulletin about your ceremony.  Since churches are public places of worship, weddings are open to the entire congregation and people are fee to come on their own accord.

Post # 14
Member
10490 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: January 2011

@asianbarbie:  Can you do a church bulletin and leave it as an open invitation?

Post # 15
Member
10490 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: January 2011

@s2bmrscook:  I disagree.  If people choose to show up for the ceremony, you don’t have to have them at the reception.

Post # 16
Member
708 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

In our church, there is an annoucement put in the bulletin a few weeks before saying that Sally and Johnny are getting married on such and such a date at such and such a time and the church family is invited.  It’s usually followed by “Reception is by invitation only”.

That way, the church family is ‘invited’, but never really receive a two-tier invitation.

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