Post # 1
I know it’s not etiquette to have an open ceremony and a private reception. However based on finances but still wanting to share a portion of this day with close friends this is the best we can do. I’m looking for ideas on what I can do to include the ceremony only guests in the festivities and also stall the reception guests from going to the hall right after the ceremony. There is a 1.5 hr gap between the ceremony and the opening of the reception hall. This is the time we were going to take photos.
Post # 3
No it isn’t really a good idea because people tend to get feelings hurt. I think most people tend to understand when there is more time in between the two events. Anyway, you could do one on one day or ceremony in the morning.
Also, keep in mind that people might linger around more after the ceremony if they don’t have anywhere else to go. So that could cause problems with your timing on photos.
Post # 4
Is it possible to do cake and punch or something after the ceremony with all of the guests and push the reception back a little bit? It’ll give all of your guests some time to visit with you and your FI before you rush off, and I think it’ll make them feel a little more included.
I’d hope that guests could understand that in the economy brides and families are so torn between wanting to share their day and not wanting to break the bank on their wedding. Personally, I’d be delighted that someone wanted to include me in their ceremony, even if I wasn’t invited to the reception. Especially if there was a little time afterward to say hi and visit with people before every rushed off for other things.
Post # 5
I just re-read what I wrote and it came of harsh sounding not what I intended. I was trying to give you a couple of suggestions. Good luck on the planning I know it is hard to please all!
Post # 6
I agree with the cake and punch suggestion. You could also do cookies, fruit, a bagel platter, or any other small handheld foods. However, I think you should do your pictures as quickly as possible, or work out some sort of plan for that, because you would need to be there for the cake and punch in order to greet your guests.
As a guest, I wouldn’t be upset if I only got invited to the ceremony and cake, and not the reception. But I would be upset if the bride and groom were too busy taking pictures to spend time with those not invited to the reception.
Maybe you can do cake and punch for the first hour after the ceremony and then use the last 30 mins before the reception for pictures.
Post # 7
The whole reason that people don’t like “ceremony only” invitations is because it is seen as rude to ask people to travel and come out to your wedding (and potentially buy you a gift) without offering them something to thank them for coming. However, you don’t have to have a full dinner and dancing reception to show your guests a little hospitality! Does your ceremony location have a room where you could do cake and punch? Then you could chat with your guests, thank them for coming, and make them feel like there were really part of your day, rather than just seat-fillers at the ceremony.
Also, you need to avoid making people feel like they were second-class guests. If you and half the guests leave to go to somewhere else and have a larger reception, the other guests will be left thinking “What, I’m good enough to bring a gift, but not good enough to be invited to the “real” reception?” As most I would say that you and your immediate families and wedding party could go out for a nice dinner, hours after the cake and punch reception ended. Anything other than that which includes a larger number of people, or that happens right after the ceremony, is pretty insulting to the guests who you don’t invite…
Please be very careful with this. There is a lot of potential for hurt feelings or even lost friendships if people start to think you are ranking your friends, or that you just invited them for a gift. That may not be what you intended, but that is the message some people will get. You can have a fun reception for all your guests and still keep it really low budget if you go for something like cake and punch. Plus, then you get to spend more time with these people, which is probably why you invited them in the first place.