(Closed) Inviting guests to reception and not ceremony?

posted 6 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
44 posts

@peachbaby4008: I don’t think it’s rude. You just have to find the right wording for the invitation. I’m looking at doing something very much like this, but only inviting immediate, immediate family meaning my mom her Boyfriend or Best Friend, my dad and step mom,  his parents, his brother and our grandparents (there’s only 3 of them in total) and then our Bridesmaid or Best Man and Maid/Matron of Honor.  So that’s a total including us and the Officant of 15 people at the max. My SO/FI is a really introverted and kind of private/shy person. When I brought up the idea he was like yeah, yeah, let’s do that.

Post # 4
2657 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

My friend did this. They put the info of the reception on a seperate card. That way they can invite people to the ceremony and then if they want, put the card in with the invite if they are very close to the couple. 

Post # 5
153 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

We did this.

We only had 8 people at our ceremony and then everybody else joined us for the reception about an hour later. We just made sure that we told people what the deal was and we didn’t mention anything in the invitation about the ceremony. From memory, I think we just wrote, Please join X and X as they celebrate their marriage…

We didn’t get a single complaint. Most people told us that they loved just coming for the reception part and not having to find something to do in the time between the ceremony and reception.

We still had pre-dinner drinks and canapes though and we greeted everybody at the hotel when they were arriving.

Post # 6
46254 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Many couples have had an intimate ceremony in a small venue folllowed by a larger reception.

Sample wording:

1. We will be married in a private wedding ceremony on (Date)Please celebrate with us at our reception following the ceremonyfrom (Time)at (Venue).

2. Please join us in celebrating the
marriage of
Bride’s First, Middle, Last Name
Groom’s First, Middle, Last Name
with a reception
on Date
at Time

3. Mr. and Mrs. Bride’s Father’s First, Last Name
    request the honor of your presence
    at a reception to celebrate the marriage of their daughter
    Bride’s First, Middle Name
    Mr. Groom’s First, Last Name
    on Date
    at Time


Post # 7
1542 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2012

@peachbaby4008: We’ll probably do this. Our ceremony will only accomodate 60 people, while our reception will be for 250. We’re planning to make invitations for the reception and a little cards as invitations for the ceremony that will go along with the large invite for those close family members we want to have at the ceremony.

Post # 8
1697 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

yep, it’s fine! I’d do it if I had to, fortunetely my church is HUGE. I am kinda afraid it’s gonna look like no one is there even though 250 are invited to ceremony and reception:)

Post # 9
4 posts
  • Wedding: June 2012

This summer my mother, my Fiance and I were invited to the wedding of a couple we have spent time with once a year for a good 15 years. We’re not that close with these people although close enough that we assumed we would be invited to the festivities.

We were only invited to the reception – no problem.

However, it was very obvious that we were the ONLY ones invited to JUST the reception. No one else arrived late. People stared at us when we came in and tried to find seats – we didn’t know where to sit because everyone obviously had been assigned a table/seat and some were up dancing… It was very awkward. We brought them two gifts and had no idea where to even put them when we arrived – all of that had been cleared away already. No one came to greet us. The bridal couple did not make a point of searching us out to thank us for coming and they definitely saw us. We felt very conspicuous and, although, we stayed for a few hours we, unfortunately, left with a bad taste in our mouths. We would have preferred not to be invited at all than to be the only ones not invited to the ceremony or dinner.

Just make sure that you make EXTRA EFFORT to ensure any guests you invite to one or the other part of your event are made to feel wanted and welcome. Make sure it is abundantly clear to which portion of events they are invited and that they are not an “after-thought”. 

Post # 12
1278 posts
Bumble bee

My brother and his wife did that, nobody complained!

Post # 13
4485 posts
Honey bee

Extremely rude. Guests must be invited to both or none at all. If someone isn’t good enough to attend the ceremony, why are they even invited, since that is the main event of the day?

Post # 14
893 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

@peachbaby4008:  I think it’ll be fine.  We’re most likely going to do the same since the reception can accommodate more people.

Post # 15
899 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

It’s totally normal. The last wedding I went to, I was invited to the ceremony because my Fiance was close with the bride & groom. I’m not, and I would have rather just been invited to the reception. Far less intimate. I know some +1’s were relieved that they had only been invited to the reception and not the ceremony.

Post # 16
5547 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: December 2011

I think this totally depends on how you plan on doing your ceremony. If it is just close family, then totally fine. If you invite 100 people to the cermony and 120 to the reception that seems off. I, as a guest, LOVE the ceremony part, but also wouldn’t get my feathers too ruffled to just go to the reception either. 

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