Post # 1
FI’s worked in youth ministry for 10+ years and knows what seems like a million people from our church and feels obligated to invite them to our wedding. We want them to be a part of our big day, but can’t afford to invite them all to a big dinner banquet also. Would it be ok to have a light hors d’oeuvre/dessert reception after the ceremony for everyone, and then a smaller dinner banquet for our families and family friends, or is that a major faux pas?
Post # 3
You can’t tell some of your guests that they are more special to you than others.
If you want to invite everyone, then go with just the light hors d’oeuvre/dessert reception after the ceremony for everyone.
Post # 4
My FMIL when planning her daughters wedding had a similar situation. So they invited people to the wedding/reception. Others, recieved invites to the dance portion only and we’re totally cool with it. Plus FMIL had a mini buffett going on just in the evening for late commers, dance invites and to help everyone get fuled up for a longer party….lol.
It went over great and no one was offended as they understood tspace and money is always tight.
Post # 5
I’m shooting from the hip here – I thought it was understood (and acceptable) in these situations to invite the whole congregation if you so choose to the ceremony since it’s not assumed that everyone will be invited to the reception?
Post # 6
Actually it seems really odd to have appetizers, desserts, and then dinner – I think you will wear out your actual guests before the real reception. And then you have the headache of getting the "extra" guests to leave before dinner. I would have your actual reception just after the wedding with just the guests you really want there, and have a separate youth ministry party (open house maybe? with light food and a cake) another weekend. If you want the youth ministry folks at the actual wedding, send them an invitation to the wedding plus your open house, rather than the wedding plus the reception. You will just have to have two sets of "reception" cards.
The other option is to have a reception to which you can afford to invite all your guests. Whether that’s a big reception with a little food or a small reception with a lot… it took my FI a while to figure out that we didn’t have to invite everybody that we know. Its kind of like the people from work thing – is your wedding actually your wedding, or is it a general church function? If the first, you don’t have to invite everyone you shake hands with on Sunday.
Post # 7
my dad’s a minister, so i understand your situation all to well…..
one suggestion that was given to me was to celebrate the following sunday (or soon after) with the congregation. During announcements have the secretary say something like "please meet the newlyweds Audie74 and Newgroom in the fellowship hall right after service for cake and punch to celebrate their new union!". the feel free to re-enact the cake cutting, a punch toast, and maybe even a first dance with some instrumental music (if allowed).
i still dont know what we are doing yet, but this suggestion seemed like the best option. that way, your wedding reception would be seperate and affordable and you still get to celebrate with your church family.
Post # 8
I’m in a similar situation, and my plan is:
-invite (as in, with invitations) family and friends to wedding and reception
-post banns (we have to) in the church, knowing that most of the congregation knows me and may or may not show up at the wedding. Let the rumour get around to people at other churches who I know through church work. Basically, in my circles, church weddings are *always* public–people don’t often go (esp. if it is strangers), but some probably will, and I’d be more than happy to have them at the ceremony.
-(maybe) invited the church choir to sing–again, for the wedding, but not with invites to the dinner.
-(maybe) have lemonade and a receiving line at the church on the way out of the ceremony.
-I might go with cake and cookies the next week after the service, but am not sure (mostly because I may very well be attending/working in a new church)
Post # 9
musingsfromhere has a good solution!
It comes across wonderfully – guests invited to ceremony + reception, but that anyone is welcome to the ceremony, without being formally invited. Lemonade + a recieving line at the church sounds like a great solution.
I think it’s the inviting (invitations) guests to the ceremony, but not the real reception is the faux pas. Realizing that member’s of the community will just come to the ceremony is acceptable!
Post # 10
I’d add to my post before–
If you don’t have to post banns in your jurisdiction, you might be able to swing something at church that lets people know a) that you are getting married (they probably already know that) b) date and time and c) that they are welcome to the service. At my parish, we’d have the priest announce it, or put it in the bulletin under "this week’s events" or something.
One of my big considerations were that I do know approx a million church people–and can’t/don’t want to have a million person reception and that even if I invited say, 25 couples/families, I would still not have invited everyone–there was no way for me to be "fair."
Post # 11
When our rector got married, the ceremony and reception were invitation only, but they had a big reception for the church after they returned from their honeymoon with cake and hors d’oeuvres.
I think, in the circles we speak of, that if an extremely large group of people (i.e., the entire congregation) is invited to the ceremony, that they’re probably hip enough to know that you’re not going to feed them all dinner.
I’m a firm believer that a wedding should be a celebration for the community, so invite away!