(Closed) Inviting people to ceremony and not reception

posted 7 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
Member
333 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

@Ldunn8: Don’t do it!  It’s really rude if your think about it.  You’re basically telling your guest “Hey, you’re good enough to watch me get married but I really don’t want to pay for you to eat and celebrate.”  Think of how you would feel.

Post # 4
Member
1068 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2011

It will lead to a lot of hurt people. Those who find out that they weren’t invited to the reception will be hurt that they were not included.

Can you think of any way to make the reception less costly so that all can be invited?

Post # 5
Member
713 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

It goes against etiquette to invite people to the ceremony and not the reception. The other way around is fine I think.

That said… it really depends on your congregation. Maybe talk to the pastor or whatever and see what they say? If it’s a really big deal for the community and everyone would be happy to attend it as a church event then it may be ok. You could even get the pastor to announce it a couple of weeks before and say something like “X and Y are getting married and while they have limited space for the reception, they are more than happy to have any and all of you come witness there wedding ceremony!” I think that formal wedding invitations to people for just the ceremony wouldn’t come off well…

Post # 6
Member
2775 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

Anybody who receives a formal invitation to the wedding must also be invited to the reception.  No exceptions.  Ever.

Now, at some churches, weddings are considered church services and therefore open to the entire congregation.  In that instance, there may be an announcement in the church bulletin or something, but these people do not receive formal invitations from you and therefore do not expect to be included in the reception.  If this is the case at your church, it would be hospitable to host a simple cake/punch reception for the congregation and then depart for another location where you host a reception for your invited guests.

Post # 7
Member
2867 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

Unless it’s customary for your church to have “Open weddings” where everyone is invited to attend the service – don’t do it. Either you’ll end up with people confused and showing up to the reception uninvited or you’ll end up with people with hurt feelings.

All it takes is a couple of guests asking the uninvited “Are you going to the reception?” to start flood of people asking if they’re invited – avoid the stress in the future by only inviting those people you want to spend the entire day with you.

Post # 8
Member
321 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

Ditto to what everyone said! My friend once got invited to one and not the other and refused to go if he was not invited to both events! It can be very upsetting and hurtful.

Post # 9
Member
5894 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2010

At one church I went to, they had a pot luck immediately after the church service that had the wedding at the end. So it’s not like I got all dressed up just for the wedding. Then the immediate family had a very small <25 separate reception after that.

But I think having a 130 out of 250 of your church would be rude.

Post # 10
Member
171 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

In my (Catholic) social circle, it’s not that uncommon for a couple to say everyone is invited to the ceremony, but they will have a limited guest list for the reception. I think you should only send invitations to those coming to the reception, but have an informal way to let the congregation know they are invited to the ceremony. Maybe you could some light refreshments afterwards at the church for everyone before you leave for the reception? In this economy, I would think most people would understand.

Post # 11
Member
4510 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

I have a relative who’s a pastor, so obviously active in his church, as you are. He invited the entire congregation to the ceremony and a quick cake and punch reception at the church afterward. Then all the “invited guests”–family, close friends–proceeded to the reception. There’s nothing rude about it as long as you handle it the right way. I think it’s actually not uncommon to do it this way when you are active in a church community. 

Post # 12
Member
1638 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

@Ldunn8:

OMG we are in the EXACT same situation.

It is customary at my church for ceremonys to be “open” and for receptions to be invitation only.

What I’ve done is to welcome everyone to the ceremony only. Yes, it supposedly goes against etiquette, but hey, it’s the custom in my church. Everyone is told kindly that they are welcome to the ceremony but I do not mention the reception whatsoever. If questions come, I just gently say due to budget it is family only.

Invite people, but DO NOT mention the reception. It should send a clue that it is private. Then if someone asks, just tell them kindly that due to budget/space you are keeping it to family only.

Yes people will be hurt, BUT you have tolive after the wedding too.

Post # 13
Member
1638 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

I however would caution AGAINST a mini reception for those uninvited to the formal reception.

When this was done at my church, people were MORE OFFENDED than not being invited to the formal. They were thinking “I wasn’t good enough for your formal so you send me this pity party reception”. For two brides at my church, no one stayed for the mini reception.

Post # 14
Member
369 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

I’d feel pretty sad and offended if I got invited to the ceremony and not reception.

Post # 15
Member
110 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

I’d be pretty hurt if I got invited to the ceremony but not reception. You’re basically saying ‘I want you to witness us getting married, but I don’t care enough about you to pay for you to celebrate with us.” I wouldn’t do it.

Post # 16
Member
2550 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

Just invite 130ppl if that’s all you can afford.  Most people will be offended if they were invited to the ceremony but not the reception. 

I would talk to your pastor to discuss the situation.  I’m sure your church family will come up w/ a viable solution.

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